Visitors to Paris have way more choices when it comes to museums than just the standard fare – sure, there are classics like the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay that pretty much everyone has to see or people won’t believe you’ve actually been to Paris, but this city also rewards those with a taste for the unusual. I mean, this is a place that’s got a sewer museum, for pete’s sake – so the fact that Paris also has a Museum of Eroticism shouldn’t be a surprise at all.
Paris’ Musee de l’Erotisme, or Erotic Museum, is almost entirely made up of the erotic art collections of two people. It opened in 1997, so it’s a relatively recent addition to the Paris museum scene, but this is no ordinary erotic museum. The building which houses the Paris Erotic Museum is a former cabaret, and the museum fills seven floors with historic and contemporary erotic art from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Among the exhibits, you’ll find an early 20th century silent porn movie in black & white, and a floor entirely dedicated to the legal Paris brothels of the 19th century (they were finally closed in 1946).
The neighborhood that the Musee de l’Erotisme is in may make you think that the museum is on the seedy side of things, but it’s not. The people who are visiting the erotic museum aren’t the perverts who mistakenly wandered in thinking this was the local peep show; the museum’s collection is decidedly artistic, not pornographic. Of course, if the show piques your interest in ways that are other than artistically inclined, there are shops a few steps from the museum’s front door where you can buy your own sex toys and create your own (ahem) art.
As an aside, one of the sites that gives information about the Paris Erotic Museum has a few boxes at the bottom of every tourist attraction’s listing letting you know what kinds of services you can expect to find there. For some reason I find it amusing that while child-minding is not available at the Erotic Museum (quelle shock!), animals are welcome. Feel free to giggle along with me now.
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Location: 72, boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris; 18th arrondissement
How to Get There: Metro stop Blanche; bus routes 30, 54, 74, 80, 95
Hours: Daily, 10:00am-2:00am
Admission: €8 each, but if you go to the museum’s website you can get a discount voucher worth €3.
Good to Know: There are discounts for students and groups, ask at the ticket window.
Photos are allowed in the museum, so have fun. Just don’t include those shots in the trip slideshow you prepare for grandma.
More Information: The museum’s official website