Welcome to New York’s Museum of Sex, fully equipped with a bouncy castle full of inflatable boobs. This cosy little attraction on 5th Avenue will take you on a fun and lighthearted journey through the evolution of human sexuality.
The Museum of Sex was revealed to the world in 2002 and has since gone on to win prestigious awards for its wholly unique exhibitions, such as How New York Transformed Sex in America.
While the museum takes pride in its ability to see the fun side of sex, the exhibitions here are carefully curated with a serious and academic approach, making the journey through the museum entertaining but first and foremost, informative. The people enlisted in the creation of the exhibitions are mostly doctors and historians with PhDs in their field.
The museum’s goal is to open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality while striving to present the public with the best current scholarship unhindered by self-censorship. In keeping with the museum’s mission, more than 30 exhibitions and six virtual installations have been created since its opening.
Each exhibition is committed to “addressing a wide range of topics, while simultaneously highlighting material and artifacts from different continents, cultures, time periods and media,” according to the attraction’s website.
Exhibition, events and tours
The museums’s current flagship exhibition is Superfunland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival – a psychedelic experience examining the sexual history of the carnival. Interactive installations reimagine the illicit thrills of the carnival with a 4-D immersive Tunnel of Love ride, a biometric kissing booth, an erotic fortune-telling machine (with an appearance from drag queen legend RuPaul) and a climbing structure with a slide ending at the carnival bar. Just a flavour of what to expect at the MoSex.
Over the past 18 years the museum has explored a plethora of different topics: Punk Lust between 1971 and 1985; examining the female gaze; the beginning of pornography; the sex lives of animals; and the history and struggle of the condom.
Tours and events are also available from the Museum of Sex. A walking tour around the building’s vicinity enlightens visitors on the historically world-famous red-light district of New York, also known as Satan’s District. Guided tours of the museum are a regular feature, while the events held at the museum are constantly changing. A recent show named Vogue Nights engaged visitors in the highly stylized, modern house dance from the late ’80s that came to the limelight after Madonna’s song “Vogue” was released.
The cost and how to get there
Located at the heart of the New York peninsula, 233 5th Avenue is not a difficult location to find. The museum can be found just around the block from Madison Square Park and about a two-minute walk from either the 28th Street subway station or 5th Avenue bus stop.
MTA also operate a vehicle from Grand Central Terminal (station) to the Musuem of Sex every five minutes costing $3 for a three-minute journey.
When you get to the MoSex, a ticket for 18+ only is $20. Group visits are available at reduced rates for groups of 10 or more people and can be scheduled during regular hours (depending on availability).
Admission to the museum is also included in the $30 New York Pass which includes access to the nearby Empire State Building Observatory and the Fashion Windows Walking Tour, along with a whole bunch of other attractions. The pass is definitely worth considering for tourists of The Big Apple.
To look around the entire museum takes between 30 minutes to an hour but would take closer to two hours if you are planning to really study the exhibitions.
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