The Museum of Sex’s 150-Year-Old Porn Exhibit

lifeofpeiWhile we may think that the popularity of porn is a recent phenomenon (thanks to the internet), the Museum of Sex’s exhibit, “Hardcore: A Century and a Half of Obscene Imagery,” proves hardcore sexual images have been around for a long, long time. The exhibit shows that erotic literature, dating back to the 1500s, was just as—if not more—hardcore as anything we have today. The 16th century writer Pietro Aretino, who is known as the “father of pornography,” wrote about gay sex, orgies, masturbation, and all in plain talk. In fact, such pornographic books sparked our country’s first obscenity trial.

The museum has vintage brothel catalogues that were sold on street corners to advertise a sex den, and a sheep intestine condom as thick as a bicycle tire! There are also Victorian era graphic images of cum shots and of women using homemade sex toys—on themselves and on other women—that they would fashion out of things from around the house (broomsticks, candlesticks, and bottles). And in perhaps the first documented image of BDSM, a naked woman holds a bullwhip while standing with her spike heel on a naked man’s face. There’s also the first porn on film depicting both gay and straight sex, which was viewed in large public venues by groups of men. The exhibit goes to show that people have always found ways to express their erotic desires!

Want to celebrate the freedom to be as sexual as we want to be? Three cheers to porn!

Check out more about the Museum of Sex’s 150-year-old porn exhibit!

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