LONDON, March 15, 2010 -- "Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me..." So went the hip-hop trio Salt-n-Pepa's famous words from their hit "Let's Talk About Sex."
Sex. It's a topic that's often touched upon, joked about and skirted around. Increasingly, however, it is on display. From age-old, electric anti-masturbation machines to modern-day S&M portraits, erotic exhibits have taken center stage in the museum world. ABC News has compiled a list of 12 of the world's kinkiest museums that are worth the tease.
Amsterdam's Venustempel, or Temple of Venus, is the world's first and oldest sex museum. The house of eroticism first opened its doors in 1985 and now hosts about 500,000 visitors each year. With three floors of erotic portraits, photographs, paintings and recordings, the Venustempel embodies the highly sexualized nature of this European city. The museum's 4,000-year-old artifacts showcased in its "Sex Through the Ages" exhibit tests modern-day critics' accusation that today's society is too loose.
New York City
Saks isn't the only attraction on 5th Avenue. Sex is a highlight as well. After its ribbon-cutting in 2002, the Museum of Sex has grown in size, hosting 15 exhibits, five virtual installations and more than 15,000 erotic artifacts. Unlike the more touristy, specialty-sex museums, this NYC hotspot is run by a board of advisers whose mission is sex education. In addition to its erotic art, costumes and technology, the Museum of Sex offers temporary exhibitions such as Michael Sullivan's "Sex Lives of Robots," "Rubbers: The Life, History and Struggle of the Condom" and "Action: Sex and the Moving Image."
If you're looking for a relaxing place to cool down in sunny South Beach, the World Erotic Art Museum is not the place to go. This world-renowned erotic hot spot showcases 20 galleries of sex throughout the ages. "It's art, not porn." That's the motto of this educational sex stop. Curator Naomi Wilzig, also curator of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., has designed the museum in such a way as to educate visitors about the many ways to express your internal sexual being.
From the traditional cultural galleries, to the topical galleries of gay and lesbian sex, masturbation and fetishes, the World Erotic Art Museum covers it all. And, on a final note, for all of you Hollywood junkies, this museum has a number of erotic Hollywood memorabila, including the murder weapon used in "A Clockwork Orange."
World's Kinkiest Museums
What better place to go to on a sex museum tour than Sin City. Las Vegas' Erotic Heritage Museum focuses on Sex All Americana, specifically the American Sexual Revolution of the 19th century. This museum has nine galleries featuring pictures, films and performance art. The name of the game at this museum is sex appreciation of all kinds. The House of Gord exhibit, for example, showcases the allure of ultra bondage, any S&M fan's dream come true. But it's not just strict education at the Erotic Heritage Museum. If you visit, make sure to stop by the bathroom for the "Toilet Humor" exhibit, where you'll not only get a laugh at the dirty jokes graffitied on the bathroom walls, but you can add your humor to the mix as well.
Paris' Musee de l'Eortisme, or Museum of Eroticism, is devoted to the art of making love. Scattered along its seven floors are four permanent exhibits and a host of temporary delights. The mainstays of the museum include the Popular Art exhibit, showcasing the unrestrained recreational art of Curiosa, the Sacred Art Exhibit, displaying amulets, masks and spiritual objects used in sexual celebrations, the Contemporary Art Exhibit and the Brothel Exhibit.
Open 365 days a year, the Erotic Art Museum never let's up. This German sex museum displays the world's largest publicly accessible collection of sexualized art. The art itself is idolized almost as much as the sex it's portraying. The more than 1,000 works of art illustrate that anything is possible on paper and canvas, including sex. The Erotic Art Museum also offers guided tours for tourists that call ahead.
Does size really matter? Do men have a G-spot? What are the benefits of having sex regularly? Get these answers and more at the Beate Uhse Erotik Museum in Berlin. Interaction is the name of the game at this international sex museum. With 32 exhibits, 12 interactive games, 3D projections and more than 30 LED screens, this sex museum offers the ideal blend of education and fun characteristic of the German sex industry.
Located in beautiful Barcelona, one of the travel capitals of the world, is the historical Museu de l'Erotica. Spain's Museum of Erotica has been etched into Spanish history as the first museum of erotic art in Spain. Its more than 800 pieces of arts covers every arena of cultural and historical eroticism, from sex of Ancient Civilizations and the Far East to European and Indian tantric sex. Within its seven galleries are also specialty displays, like the sadomasochism exhibit.
9. Museum of Erotica
Rumored to have Russian mystic Rasputin's penis, the Museum of Erotica in Saint Petersburg is a unique sex museum all its own. Rasputin has been considered a legendary psychic and healer, but that's not what put him on the chart. His 12-inch penis is. In addition to owning this legendary piece of phallic property, the Museum of Erotica displays a host of sculptures and paintings.
An electric anti-masturbation machine, chastity belt and handle-operated vibrator are just some of the tantalizing treasures on display at the Sex Machines Museum in Prague. More than 200 sex appliances are scattered throughout three floors to showcase the abundance of extraordinary and unusual ways that people pleasure themselves. In addition to the vibrators, the museum's cinema displays age-old erotic films, one film in particular, "Ladies' Cabinet" is one of the very first scenes in history capturing a threesome.
The Antarang in Mumbai is a much different type of international sex museum. Run by the state government, this unique erotic hot spot aims to not only celebrate sex, but to educate visitors about the dangers of unprotected sex. Hoping to attract the country's hundreds of prostitutes, museum staff aims to promote HIV/AIDS awareness by showcasing graphic and eye-opening images, photographs and portraits of HIV/AIDS vicitms. The museum's motto is "No Condom, No Sex." Taking a much more subtle route than the vibrant sex museums of Amsterdam or Germany, Antarang showcases spiritual sexual objects, like the "lingam," a phallic-shaped symbol worshipped by some Hindus.
12. China Sex Museum
Located in the heart of the old Chinese fishing village of Tongli and surrounded by traditional Chinese wooden bridges and rock gardens, the China Sex Museum is a fun and kinky break for tourists. The Museum was built on the location of a former young girls' school in 1999 and now has more than 1,500 exhibits. The museum's artifacts span 9,000 years of Chinese sexual history and is divided into four areas- Prehistoric times, Women and Marriage, Sex in Everyday Life and Unconventional Behavior.