a tempting delight

Trigger warning: article contains sex machines

Passing down one of the main tourist avenues in Prague, it’s hard not to notice the elegantly designed and distinguished museum known for its display of sexual innovations and absurdities. It is, of course, one of those places made for the discerning tourist who has finally run out of beer at the Beer Museum and caught all the fifth print releases of Mucha’s posters they could handle. I was obviously ever-enthralled with the place, especially with the sentimental and highly artistic statue poised near the entrance—one where a beautiful, innocent lass sat above a wheel, her legs spread and skirt raised, while attached to the wheel was some dozen tongues spinning underneath. Oh innocence, thou art a virtue ever more!

It had become a standing joke between my wife and me in our years long quest to visit all the museums of Prague, from the weirdest—perhaps the toilet museum takes that throne—to the most touristic. The Sex Machine Museum certainly hits the prize for one of the most touristic museums.

Where is it?

Touristic Museums

These museums are defined by typically four things: they have no real connection with the locale, they are overpriced, business there is explicitly reliant on their location, and few items on display are actually genuine. A Torture Museum, for example, is almost exactly the same whether you see it in Berlin, Amsterdam, or Shanghai. Though I’m not sure how much you’d like to see the genuine torture articles, replicas do tend to diminish the horror of the price you just paid for entry.

The touristic museum might not necessarily be a bad thing. It might be a little interesting for you to see Mucha prints that you could have just as easily printed from your printer hanging on a wall in an official space in the old town, or replica sex machines or torture instruments. And if that’s your thing, fine. Just know that it's designed to be a money mill and nothing more. But as long as there are no illusions about that, then that’s okay. As a matter of fact, I’ve started making plans to make my own Sex Machines Museum in a town near you.

The Sex Machine Museum itself

Entry costs a whopping 250 crowns, or 12 euro. For this price, you might expect at least a souvenir vibrator or perhaps a happy ending. Well, you do sort of get a happy ending, more on that later.

The museum consists of three floors. You start by going up the stairs. The room to the right consists of various contraptions used to cure women of hysteria, fits that would happen presumably after paying 250 crowns to enter a worthless museum.