Museum of Eroticism (Musée de l’érotisme) is a sex museum in Paris that displays erotic art, historical sexual aids and documents on the history of erotica. It provides its visitors with an amusing mixture of sex, history and art, and can be an intriguing alternative for those who on a rainy day.
The museum was founded in 1997 by an antique dealer Alain Plumey and a French teacher Jo Khalifa, who had amassed a collection of over 2000 items of erotic art over a period of 30 years. Being located in Pigalle, a famous tourist district with many sex shops on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards and prostitutes operating in the side streets, the museum is annually visited by more than 170.000 visitors.
The museum’s collection ranges from the ancient religious art of India, Japan and Africa to contemporary art with an erotic focus. There are five floors, including a basement exhibition.
The first two floors are mainly devoted to Greek, Etruscan, Asian, pre-Colombian and Peruvian fertility icons. Moving upwards, the exhibits become more contemporary and ‘western.’ One floor is devoted to ‘maisons closes’ – the legal brothels of the 19th and early 20th century. It is there where one can watch ‘Polisson et galipettes’ – a collection of erotic silent short films that were directed in France between 1905 and 1930 and used to ‘warm up’ the patrons of Parisian brothels. The upper two floors have revolving exhibitions, mainly of contemporary artists.