Sun-Fri, 11am-6:30pm; Sat, 11am-8pm
6 at 28th St.; N, R at 28th St.
$14.50, $13.50 students and seniors
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
With Times Square all cleaned up and the gritty city's legendary smut relegated to outer-borough fringes, the Museum of Sex can seem like an opportunistic attempt to reclaim dirty dollars from tourist pockets. But the institution actually makes an earnest effort to present the history and politics of sex—albeit with a predilection for 20th century kitsch. Textual contributions from experts tilt things toward the intellectual while flickering snippets accompanying the history of stag films ensure that exhibition never gets too bookish. Similarly, a chronological survey of images of the male body may start out with sanctified classical Greek nudes but it ends with raunchy beefcake. A sense of digression pervades. Two narrow galleries are dimly lit; the museum's blacked out lower windows add to the furtiveness. Should it all excite you, on the upper floor, a computer terminal is set up for visitors who wish to contribute their own bawdy tales. Shows change every six months or so, and occasional changes are made to the Spotlight on the Permanent Collection on the second floor, which trots out selections from the 15,000-plus artifacts in the permanent collection: Keith Haring prints, vintage condom tins, prototype sex machines, a metal and leather anti-onanism device, and vibrators from the turn of the 20th century. The small scale exhibits don't merit an admission price just a few cents under the Guggenheim's, but then again "you don't think about Picasso seven times an hour." Note: You must be at least 18 to enter the museum unless you're accompanied by a parent or guardian.Permanent Exhibit
A museum computer traces sex inventions and their patents, including U.S. Patent # 494,437 from 1893, for a water-cooling anti-nocturnal emission device. There is also a timeline on display tracing the evolution of sex education in America.