Sex may be a taboo in many parts of the world but Amsterdam goes all out to break that taboo by having the Venustempel, world’s first sex museum. By Shubhanjana Das

Located at the heart of the city, right in front of the Central Station, Venustempel is a hotspot for tourists visiting Amsterdam. This temple of Venus depicts sensual love with a collection of artefacts, which include an extensive collection of figurines, paintings, recordings, photographs and a lot more. The building, which houses the museum, dates back to the 17th century and is a historical site in itself. The Venustemple is the fourth most visited museum in Amsterdam after the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank’s House.

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Interesting figurines include Mata Hari with her male partners and Marilyn Monroe with air pumped below her skirt at all points to recreate the iconic ‘Monroe’ image. The collection is divided into several small rooms named Mata Hari, Marquis de Sade, Rudolf Valentino, Oscar Wilde, Marquise de Pompadour and so on. The experience of winding through the museum is sensory in more ways than one as the speaker plays repetitive sounds of the steam machine interspersed with female screams of sensual pleasure.

The collection in the museum is sophisticated and avoids pornographic bluntness. It offers a unique opportunity to understand sensual love and sexuality through the ages, right from Classical Antiquity till the Victorian Period, with the help of its dedicatedly curated collection of artefacts from around the world.

The museum is at walking distance from the Central Station and is open from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. Minimum age to enter is 16 and the tickets are priced at three Euros (INR 235). Photographs are allowed throughout the exhibition, so that when you come back and share stories with your amused friends, you will have visual evidence to show that such a unique museum exists in Amsterdam.

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