Thursday, October 23, 2008

And Now ...


Well, the Museum of Sex, actually, located in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, just about 5 blocks south of the Empire State Building. It houses a permanent collection and the featured exhibition covered the sex lives of animals.

The thesis behind the featured exhibition was that many of the sexual behaviors we consider human (homosexuality, prostitution, etc.) aren't exclusively human. Since pandas in captivity are rarely if ever exposed to seeing other pandas mating, they may not know how Tab A fits into Slot B. So the Chinese scientists show them porn videos of pandas mating to give them pointers.

For the featured exhibition, an artist was commissioned to do life-sized sculptures. Yes, white-tailed deer do engage in threesomes in the wild.

Amazon River porpoises have been observed engaging in blowhole sex. Hey, any orifice in a storm, right guys?

This part related the true story of two male penguins in a zoo that raised a chick together. As I recall a children's book was written about it, and is a featured attraction on most Banned Books lists as a result.

Apparently penguins are too cute to be Teh Gay.

I'm very happy that this came out, as it's a hologram.

The permanent collection includes films and videos from the old 50s nudist films to 70s videos of sex acts done as part of the Masters and Johnson research into sex (some people watching the videos giggled when they partners in the video climaxed), artwork including the old "French postcards" that were considered so damned naughty back in the day, and a few exhibits on strippers such as Gypsy Rose Lee.

One exhibit managed to simultaneously intrigue and repel me. Back in the hoary old Victorian days when masturbation was considered rather naughty, enterprising folks designed and patented various devices to keep young boys and girls from pleasuring themselves. The Museum had taken some of these designs from the US Patent Office and, through the use of computer-assisted design (CAD) software, was displaying 3-D renderings of them. The one with the steel spiral to coil about the penis looked a tad ... intimidating.

Part of the exhibit dealt with the future of sex, and included a prototype cybersuit, a variety of sex devices reminiscent of the old Victorian "hysteria machines" and one complicated device (on loan from the creator) that was based on a combination of a dentist's chair and a gynecologist's exam bench. Very interesting stuff.

There was an exhibit about the RealDoll there as well. The RealDoll is the current state of the art in sex doll technology, with a fully articulated plastic skeleton and silicone plastic flesh. If you can afford the $5000 or so price tag, you can customize it. A torso was on display with cutouts in the plastic over it so you could reach in and touch its breasts or vulva to determine for yourself whether it felt realistic or not.

My assessment? A bit clammy, but it appeared to be correct in most details. Felt about right.

All in all, a very worthwhile museum to visit.


Anonymous Real Doll Guy said...

Great coverage of the museum. As an owner of a realdoll I'm always curious what people think of the dolls and glad this museum has a "sample" for folks to check out.

9:25 AM EST  

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