The mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. With each new exhibition, the Museum of Sex is committed to addressing a wide range of once taboo topics, while simultaneously highlighting material and artifacts from different cultures, time periods and media. In a short time, the Museum has received attention from academic institutions, media outlets, and celebrities such as Howard Stern, Jay Leno and Chris Rock - positioning the Museum of Sex within the realm of both academia and pop culture alike. Please do not bring children, as this museum is for mature audiences only. Located in the former 19th century “Tenderloin” district, the Museum of Sex serves as the landmark of an area previously known for its bordellos, saloons, and dance halls. Aside from displaying artifacts from the sex industry that chronicle the history of sex, the museum also exhibits safe-sex practices and informs its patrons of some of the sexually transmitted diseases that arise from unsafe sex.
The Museum of Sex displays various forms of content ranging from film and fine art, to historical objects oft destroyed for their explicit nature. Museum events are regularly featured in such top publications as The New York Times and The New Yorker as well as being highlighted on various programs on CNN, IFC, and NBC.
The Museum of Sex avoids marketing itself as sleazy, maintaining its reputation as a legitimate showcase of uncensored sexual academia and a place where open and frank conversation about one of the most important areas of human behavior can take place. MoSex, as it is flirtatiously nicknamed, is partnered in collaboration with a wide variety of academic institutions and organizations, lending it more than enough credibility to support its serious reputation. Among these are New York University’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, and the New York Public Library. The museum is also affiliated with Trojan Condoms and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Demonstrating a keen interest in the interactive and real-time collection of sexual data, MoSex is carrying out an ongoing project in which the sexual behavior of voluntary participants is geographically mapped and charted for future study.
The Museum of Sex, in addition to its 15,000 piece-strong permanent collection, features an edgy array of rotating exhibitions, including Night Fever, and Known/Unknown. Thanks to the museum’s comprehensive collection of artifacts, the studies performed in its own research library, and its portrayal of sexuality through the abstract concepts of contemporary art, visitors will leave with a new awareness of the importance and realities of sexuality.
So yes, the Museum of Sex has the kind of name that might make you think twice about a visit, but don’t. While it’s not a place to bring children, it is a one-of-a-kind institution that provides a fun way for adults to improve their understanding of sexual behavior and gain knowledge of new developments and research in the field. After perusing the exhibits, be sure to sit for a while at the Aphrodisiac Café, where delicious cocktails are brewed. Or try making your own from a list of aphrodisiacal ingredients. On your way out, pay a visit the MoSex Store, and pick up a witty, sex-themed souvenir to take home.