Previously I’ve spoken about one of the most visited sites in Prague, Charles Bridge. And today I’ll speak again about a very interesting place right in the middle of Old Town Square, again, in Prague: the Sex Machines Museum. Interesting because: it’s about sex machines, about sex, it’s a museum of sex. Well, because all that and a little bit more. For those who like the subject, here it goes a different article…
Since the beginning of times, sex has always been a theme of everyone’s interest. For good or bad, ignorance or wisdom, sex has always been there. But what I’m going to talk about today is… Since when toys, mechanical erotic appliances, dildos, etc, has been part of our lives? Since long ago. And this museum is there to show us a bit of the story of these incredible sex toys.
Inside the Sex Machines Museum
Being the first museum in the world devoted to erotic and sexual gadgets, the Sex Machines Museum has an amazing collection of subjects in a building from the 17th century. It has been restored in 2004 and its has 3 floors divided in old erotic cinema and clothing, sex machines gallery and the permanent gallery. Open daily from 10am until 11pm, it has a very interesting collection of articles of all kind. By the time I got there, late night, and I must confess, after a few drinks at amazing Black Angel’s Bar (a few steps away, also located in Old Town Square) my mind was completely in the mood for it. For 10 euros you can stay there as long as you want, and better yet, photograph. Yes, you can photograph.
All the items inside the museum were collected around the world for the long period of 15 years by the Italian entrepreneur Oriano Bizzoch (same owner of the Museo delle Curiosità (Curiosity Museum), located in San Marino. Inside those red walls, you will find all different kinds of erotic gadgets: iron corset, chastity belt, voyeuristic chamber pot, electric anti-masturbation machine, dildos, etc… and the list goes on and on, but it’s much nicer if you just see it for yourself. So please, welcome 🙂
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Everything you need to know about Dildos
I think it’s important to mention the importance of this specific theme inside the article. Dildo comes from the Italian “diletto”, which means delight. As long as we know, dildos are part of human history. If it’s there for fun, pleasure, decor, etc. it does not matter. The thing is, it’s a gadget, an erotic toy (call it whatever you want), and it’s there for everyone. We know that the first one date from the Paleolithic period. They were made of bone and/or carved stone (picture that :-O). The next step lead us to the Greek and Roman Empire, where they used to have parades with big phallus raised up like protests (they used to worship Bacchus and Dionysus). Both, Romans and Greeks, men and women, used to have dildos for pleasure.
The Romans were responsible to have invented the ‘double dildo’ (to be used in ceremonies and with friends) and the Greeks to use animal leather to cover the ‘carved penis’ giving a sensation of natural feeling. In ancient times, wealthy Chinese husbands used to have many wives. So, as they were not up to satisfy all of them, they used to give their wifes dildos, also a matter to prevent the lesbianism among them and to keep them faithfull. Chinese dildos were made of bronze and several other metals.
Back in India and Persia (Kama Sutra people, right?)…it was thought that the blood of hymen was not pure, so at the night of wedding celebration, a holy man would appear with a stone dildo to break the hymen, so the husband would not be contaminated with the woman’s hymen blood. Back then, these dildos could be made by gold, silver, and ivory. But not all cultures were up to invent well made dildos. Some of them used more natural items, like unripe fruits (bananas), plantains and phallic gourds.
Then we have the 20th century, the new materials: rubber and the electricity. And then we have vibrators. We also have the use of silicone, which added functionality for sexual stimulation. Silicone are hypoallergenic and feels more natural. Then the glass came. More thick and more strong. Yes, glass! The kind of thing that many people were looking for. Today dildos are there to sell in all shapes, colours and sizes to everyone, just around the corner. At the museum, you will find a large demonstration what I’ve just written here. It’s all there.
BDSM – Bondage, Dominance, Sadism and Mosochism
BDSM is the abbreviation of several erotic practices that involves: bondage and discipline (B/D), dominance and submission (D/s), sadism and masochism (S/M). Oh yes, the Museum has a large demonstration of items about this. Even if theme does not interest you, worth the visit to the last floor, where the items are exposed. It’s known that the history of BDSM comes from centuries ago, since times of Kama Sutra and Ancient Greece. Practices of masochism, sadism, discipline, punishment were already part of people’s life.
The terms sadism and masochism are tributes to the Marquis of Sade and writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The first was a French philosopher who spent part of his life captive and led an isolated life due to his erotic works (women tortured for pleasure). And Leopold Masoch was an Austrian journalist, whose most famous work tells of a character who has an orgasm while being beaten and humiliated by his wife’s lover.
Bondage means the art to tie people, that is to say, for pleasure, esthetic, or restriction. People can be tied up with ropes, chain, iron, handcuffs.
Discipline means disciplinary or be disciplined by a person for various purposes. Although consented, the discipline usually goes beyond a simple relationship of domination because, to reinforce the desired behavior change, we need to manipulate the person being coached and make it push the boundaries to themselves.
Dominance and submission is a dynamic relationship where a person submits to another, and this person, takes control of the situation. This is the case of person who lets someone else tie, humiliate, beat and do things for goals that may or may not be sexual.
Sadism is when a person takes pleasure in causing pain to someone else. Out of BDSM, sadistic is the adjective that usually give to people we consider very cruel, like rapists or serial killers. In BDSM, we can use the word sadist, to highlight people who like a kind of safe sex and consented where they can cause pain in your partners.
Masochism is the opposite of sadism and is when someone likes to receive pain. The word also has different connotations outside of BDSM, usually used to describe depressed people, who like to be exposed to bad situations and then have the sorrows of life. In BDSM, masochist is only a person who takes pleasure in pain, and this is not necessarily erotic. BDSM has no exact definition, and as a subculture, covers many practices and fetishes that do not quite fit the acronym. This is the case of people who are obsessed for feet or lovers leather clothing, for example. It does not matter what’s your gender, color, class or creed. You can be whatever you want, change roles, etc. Your preferences are the limit.
Nowadays the BDSM is based above all in safety and agreement.
The Fantastic World of Sex Machines
Let’s get now into the fantastic world of sex machines. You may not know, but around 1850, these machines were created to ‘cure’ women hysteria. YES, men back then though theses machines were therapeutic for women, since orgasms are so relaxing. Men were horrified that women could be ‘a little out of control’, and with that, they created these incredible toys. Of course soon these toys ended up being sexual toys, and not only for women. You can see inside the museum some of these precious and old sex machines. All that to increase, improve, satisfy the sexual act. And not only for an individual or couples. Lots of the machines were made to please also orgy groups, manage a trois, etc.
And among all that, you will find: phallic shoes, erotic relics, sandals worn by Greek prostitutes, masks and leather whips, genital piercings, voyeuristic chamber pots, medieval massagers and a replica of the famous see-saw of the Middle Ages, which had, at each end, an artificial penis.
And as the proposal of the museum is to supply all fetishes (even the most excentrics ones), it also has, a throne with a hole adapted in the middle, especially for the “golden rain” or “brown bath”. If you don’t know what that is, here it goes a hint: think about physiological needs.
Once you’re inside there, you will be able to slightly feel what Anne Declos (under the pen name of Pauline Réage) showed us when she wrote Story of O, the unique and erotic controversial book about dominance and submission.
Sex Machines Museum
Melantrichova 476/18, 110 00
Praha, Czech Republic