Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Visit to the Scandalous Prague Sex Machines Museum

A Visit to the Scandalous Prague Sex Machines Museum

If you're researching a trip to Prague, you'll undoubtedly come across the Sex Machines Museum as I did - it seems to be one of the more popular tourist attractions in the city and since Prague is known for being quite progressive, it's the perfect home for such a place. I'm usually not one for museums really and when I travel I like to keep touristy activities to a minimum, so I did not originally intend on visiting the Sex Machines Museum, however we walked past it one day while wondering through the streets of Prague and since it was swelteringly hot outside, in we went to have a look. For about £7 per person, it was a welcome shelter from the blistering summer heat and a bit a giggle if I'm honest though I want to be clear... This museum is not for the easily offended, the faint of heart and children are not permitted. Feel free to stop reading now if you fit into one of these camps because even if you're not easily offended, I'll be surprised if this museum doesn't make you blush 
a little and leave you with your mouth hanging open in shock at least a time or two... Some of what's on display can be a bit surprising.

Prague Sex Machines Museum facade

The Sex Machines Museum is near the Old Town Square, so it's convenient to visit for most tourists in the city. Opened in 2002, it is the only museum in the world that's exclusively dedicated to sex machines. The collection comes from all over the world and began several years ago as the result of research conducted by the owner Oriano Bizzochi. The collection is 'designed to guide the visitor in an ironic and intelligent manner, permitting them to move through the curiosity, history and perversion of human sexuality.' [quoted from the website] While a lot of what's on display is quite funny, old-fashioned and mostly historical, it's worth noting that if you're at all prudish or easily embarrassed, this might not be the museum for you. That said, if you are lighthearted, curious, interested in human behaviour throughout history and have a bit of a sense of humour, I think you'll find it informative if not enjoyable. The Sex Machines Museum is an exploration of how people have reacted to, achieved, prevented and thought about sex around the world for generations, whether it be prudish, adventurous or downright disturbing.

dolls at the prague sex machines museum

Situated over three floors with over 300 exhibits of sex gadgets, the Sex Machines Museum is honestly about as far from sexy as you can get, but offers a pretty informative look back at sex through the ages, what people have been willing to do or use to find (or in some cases, prevent) sexual pleasure and some of the more comical gimmicks that have bamboozled people through the years. Exploring all manners of sex machines from chastity belts to BDSM props and everything in between, you're bound to find something you've never seen before and in the event that you can't quite understand how something works, there are dummies, drawings and descriptions to help. I definitely had different reactions to different things.. Seeing things like plates worn hundreds of years ago across a woman's torso to prevent spontaneous rape by strangers can be alarming and infuriating among other frustrating historical sex and sex-prevention practices. One room in the museum houses a number of dolls from the lifelike type seen in the film Lars and the Real Girl to a cabinet full of porcelain dolls that look like those you'd play with as a child, except they're dressed in a much more risqué fashion - I found that a bit disturbing if I'm honest, but usually I'm creeped out by big rooms full of any kind of dolls, so that's not surprising.

historical corsets

When you enter the museum, you'll notice the decor straight away. You'll also find a chair you can sit in that tells you how hot you are and makes for a fun photo opportunity to remember. Once you've purchased your ticket, head through a hall decorated with mannequins in corsets depicting various style statements through the ages into a small theatre where some of the world's earliest pornographic films from Spain in the 1920's are being shown. Though these movies seem quite tame in some respects next to the mainstream movies we watch in multiplex cinemas today, they are definitely naughty and with regards to the five minutes of one I saw, quite sexist, so be prepared and if you're not, just skip this part. It's not worth being upset over.

bleumette bra

One of the more memorable pieces I saw in the museum was an early peep show wagon, which had little windows along the sides. A naked lady would lie inside and men would pay money to look at her through the windows. It was interesting as well to see the Bleumette Bra, an adhesive, strapless bra from the 1960's - something I didn't think was invented until much, much later. While some exhibits will make you blush, there are other exhibits that are a bit more tame such as vintage pin-up girl playing cards or lingerie displays.

pin-up girl playing cards

The Sex Machines Museum in Prague is located at Melantrichova 18 - 11000 Praha 1 and it's open daily from 10am to 11pm. Tickets are Czk 250 for adults, Czk 200 for groups of 8 or more people and Czk 150 for students with a valid ID. Admission is strictly for those who are over 18 years old. It took us just less than an hour to wander through the whole of the museum, however you could take longer if you wanted to. For more information or to plan your trip to the Prague Sex Machines Museum, visit sexmachinesmuseum.com

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