Stay Sexy ~ Check out the Erotic Heritage Museum!

 

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Erotic Heritage Museum

Is Las Vegas on your radar screen for a future adventure? When you come to Vegas, do you mostly stay on the strip? Last week we took friends and spent an afternoon at the Erotic Heritage Museum, just off the strip on Industrial Road, north of Desert Inn Road.

Before you get all titillated just thinking about this, we want to let you know this is a serious museum, curated by staff who hold advanced degrees in sexology. Here’s a little information from the Museum’s home page:

The Erotic Heritage Museum maintains a mission of preservation for erotic artifacts, fine art and film.

The Erotic Heritage Museum houses more than 17,000 square feet of permanent and featured exhibits designed to preserve wonders of the erotic imagination as depicted through the artistic expression of acts of sex and love. It is dedicated to the belief that sexual pleasure and fun are natural aspects of the human experience, that such pleasure must be made available to all, and that our individual sexuality belongs to each of us.

It wasn’t our first visit – my husband and I were privileged to participate in a book signing there in March, 2009, not long after the museum opened. We fell in love with it and have been eager to get back and share it with friends.

Because its range of interest is so broad, the exhibits run from the sublime to the ridiculous. One of my favorites was a collection of Oriental “pillow books,” etchings of sex positions carved on bone and given by families to their offspring upon marriage. How would my life be different if my sexuality had been welcomed and provided such a resource early in life?

 

Hmm…that one begs for a close-up:

 

I’m afraid we all laughed when we looked at this dress up close and realized what it was made of – condoms, opened or in the package. I’d been ignoring it, actually, because it wasn’t “lovely,” but our curious friends took a closer look and made the discovery.

   

There’s an amazing collection of early 1900s German erotica that was condemned and burned by the Nazis during the 1930’s – apparently, some copies survived, and the Museum is fortunate to have them. (My apologies for the flash reflections).

Dildos? Sex Toys? The range is comprehensive, and some of these devices have a long history. And the list goes on – erotic playing cards, penis art, erotic poker chips…

 

Part of the Museum’s mission includes sex education – present and past. Here are a couple great posters for safe sex:

   

An exhibit that was an eye-opener for me in 2009 has been upgraded and fills several display cases on the first floor. It chronicles our journey as a culture from repression and prosecution of explicit sexual content and activities toward the protection of our first amendment rights – a battle that still rages. It is a moving acknowledgment of how much those who preceded us have sacrificed – and a little scary, actually, to learn how tenuous our right to read, write, publish and distribute erotic materials still remains.

Photos are allowed only on the first floor, so I can’t share visuals of my favorite second floor exhibit, entitled “petals.” It consists of twenty-four large photographs of female genitalia, demonstrating not only the beauty, but the wide variation in how nature has arranged us. In a recent interview, Museum Event and Education Director Amanda Morgan talks about the powerful impact this exhibit has on women who may have never seen anyone else’s and think they’re hopelessly abnormal.

After we’d finished exploring the museum and were browsing the museum shop, we were thrilled to see one of our books, The Merry Widow, on sale in their display case:

If you go:

The Erotic Heritage Museum
3275 Industrial Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89109‎
(702) 369-6442
eroticheritagemuseumlasvegas.com
Hours:
Friday and Saturday: noon – 10pm
Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday: 11am – 4pm
Closed Mondays
Fee: $15 (discounts for seniors, students)

We hope you can include the Erotic Heritage Museum on a future trip to Las Vegas, and we’d love to hear from you when you do. Until then, have fun, and stay sexy!

 

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