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Sex Museum (Amsterdam)

18 Damrak Street, Amsterdam, tel.: +31 020 622-83-76.

http://www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl

The Sex Museum (the Museum, for short) in Amsterdam, the "Venus Temple", is the world's first and oldest sex museum.

The Sex Museum in Amsterdam is the leading museum on the theme of sensual love with an extension collection of erotic pictures, paintings, objects, photographs, and even attractions.

All of the exhibits have been gathered together personally by the owners and can be viewed in their 17th century property on the Damrak. The "Venus Temple" opened its doors in 1985. There were some apprehensive moments at first because the initial collection was limited to a small display of 19th century erotic objects, exhibited in a few showcases. Nobody knew if the idea would really take off. However, the first visitors were so enthusiastic that it was decided to expand the collection — the general public was fascinated by the new museum.

There were museums for practically everything except sex in Amsterdam. Despite sex intriguing (nearly) everybody and being the subject of so much heated discussion, it was not until the "Venus Temple" was opened that the historical and artistic aspects of sex were fully highlighted. "The most natural thing in the world" is probably also "the most historically well-documented thing in the world". The art of loving has been translated into a thousand and one different shapes and forms in the course of the centuries and this is what the Museum is all about.

As the collection steadily grew, it became necessary to create more room for the Museum. It was as though fate took a hand: two erotic objects were found in the foundations during one of the first building alterations — a fragment of a Delft Blue tile showing a man with an erection playing cards and a small antique Hermes figurine with an enormous penis. It was discovered later that a Dutch merchant had brought the Hermes figurine back from the Mediterranean hundreds of years before. Was this a portent of the great success that the Museum would become? Whatever the case, the "Venus Temple" is now visited by some 500,000 visitors every year, making it one of the best-visited museums in Amsterdam.

The collection is displayed in two houses on the back of the building and a house on the front of the building all connected by a specially designed stairwell. The result is an exciting labyrinth of rooms and corridors, where the visitor is surprised time and again by tantalising sights.

Thus, the extended and interesting exposition displayed in the Museum shows manysidedness and the mindbending history of erotic evolution. And people say that the Museum is a unique place to be surely visited by every tourist.

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Sex Museum



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