Museum of Sex: antique vibrators & more

I used my senior discount at the Museum of Sex, the self-described “educational sexual epicenter” at 233 Fifth Ave (at 27), New York City. The Museum of Sex describes itself as “wholly dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality.” That’s a worthy goal, and the museum is well worth a visit when you’re in New York City.

Amid the film clips of sex through the ages and models of sex machines, dolls, and such, there was an entertaining display of condoms and condom advertising . “I take one everywhere I take my penis!” proclaimed one poster, and another pointed out that a condom was “250,000 times cheaper than the average child.” I don’t recall the date of that poster — surely condoms are cheaper and childraising more expensive than they were then.

I loved the exhibit of antique vibrators.One resembled a rotary egg beater, and another could pass as a travel hairdrier. The early vibrators looked so heavy and difficult to operate that I can imagine women getting carpal tunnel syndrome before we even had a name for it!

Other than my presence, senior sex didn’t exist in the museum. Oh yes, there was an old film clip of a dowdy 40-plus-year-old woman lecturing her teenage daughter about sex and revealing, “I was young once. I remember.” Oh dear.

Hey, visiting a sex museum is tough research, but somebody’s got to do it!


  1. Adult Toys on January 26, 2009 at 6:07 am

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  2. Kathy Sena on May 6, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Joan, what fun! I didn’t know this museum exists.

    The idea of a 40-year-old mom lecturing her daughter about sex and saying “I was young once…” Oh my! I’m glad things have changed.

  3. Sue Katz on April 28, 2008 at 1:23 am

    I’ve been trying to get to that Museum for some time, so I’m happy to read your report. I’ve visited several sex museums in Europe and an amazing one in Lima, Peru that had pre-Inca artifacts. Also on my list to visit is the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago.
    Sue Katz: Consenting Adult

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