The Amsterdam Sex Museum is of course a perfect fit for a city where sex is not reserved for the boudoir, but proudly displayed in the window.
One would not be too surprised then to find out that Amsterdam hosts an Erotic Museum as well.
The larger Sex Museum, a.k.a Venus Temple, boasts the title of "world's first sex museum" and is doing its best to live up to its self-imposed standards.
It's a serious, interesting museum that circumvents the bluntness of pornography. It's the 4th most visited museum of Amsterdam, after the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House.
The museum aims to reveal and illustrate the attitude people had towards sex from Classical Antiquity until the Victorian period. And indeed, if you think today's morals are loose, a look at the ancient Greeks and Romans can be quite revealing.
Among the items on display one can find paintings, cartoons, photographs, statues and recordings. The large collection is displayed in several rooms bearing the name of personalities who are said to have influenced the history of sex and eroticism, such as the Marquise de Pompadour, Marquis de Sade, Mata Hari, and so on.
The Amsterdam Sex Museum is located within walking distance from Central Station, at Damrak 18, one of the busiest streets of the city. Opening hours: daily from 9.30am to 11.30pm. Admission fee: €3. Minimum age: 16. Homepage: www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl.
Although not completely lacking interesting exhibits, compared to the Sex Museum, the Amsterdam Erotic Museum (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 58) isn't as interesting as it's big sister. It's more of a "red ear & giggle" type of museum than the more sophisticated Sex Museum.
The Erotic Museum is located right between the window brothels in the Red Light District. It's clearly oriented towards it's specific location, as it offers the visitor the chance to see a replica of a prostitute's work place along with vintage erotic photographs and costumes. It's no surprise, then, that the museum is part of the same company that runs Casa Rosso, the Bananenbar and various peep shows in the area.
On the other hand, John Lennon's erotic sketches can be considered a highlight of the museum. So if you're a Beatles fan…
The ground floor hosts a shop with erotic souvenirs. Opening hours: daily from 12pm to midnight. Admission fee: €5. Homepage: www.janot.nl
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