Museum of Sex – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura

Museum of Sex

A semi-scholarly approach to sex. 


It’s amazing that it took so long for New York to catch up to the rest of the world. Sex museums were popular in Europe in the 1960s, and a museum dedicated entirely to sex first premiered in America in (where else?) San Francisco in the 1970s. However the sex museum in San Francisco was short lived, leaving all of America without a sex museum for nearly three decades. Finally, in 2002, the Museum of Sex in New York City stepped up with a singular mission: fill that void.

Founded by Daniel Gluck with the aim of turning a scholarly eye to a subject often considered vulgar or taboo, the museum features over 15,000 artifacts, including art, photographs, movies, clothing and inventions–all relating to sex, of course. The museum is only open to those over 18, and the gift shop was voted the “best place to buy a last-minute gift,” in 2008 by the New York press.

When Gluck tried to get non-profit status for his museum, he was rejected by the NYC Board of Regents, who said his idea made a mockery of the concept of museums. Since Gluck refused to accept sponsorship from the porn industry, ticket prices are steep. Exhibits have included, “US Patent Office Sex Inventions,” and “Sex Lives of Animals,” among many others.

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August 18, 2009

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