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Sex MuseumsThe Politics and Performance of Display$
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Jennifer Tyburczy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226315102

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226315386.001.0001

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Touring the Sex Museum

Touring the Sex Museum

(p.125) Four Touring the Sex Museum
Sex Museums

Jennifer Tyburczy

University of Chicago Press

Chapter four examines sex museum tourism as an otherwise unacknowledged form of sex tourism that confirms the ever-growing reach of the sexual marketplace as an economy that seizes on local, national, and international travelers’ desires to include some component of sex in their sight-seeing itinerary. Sex museums show how sex and money constitute the architecture of many unexpected urban spaces that go beyond the ones locally marked or governmentally regulated as pleasure zones. In addition to what they display, the strategies that sex museum planners have used to carve out this niche market in the post-industrial sex industry demonstrate how specific kinds of sex permeate the public sphere in ways particular to late capitalism. This chapter exposes some of these strategies by examining the cultural histories of two sex museums in the United States—the Museum of Sex in New York and the World Erotic Art Museum—and pays specific attention to how their owners—Daniel Gluck and Naomi Wilzig—worked both with and against more intelligible forms of sexual commerce to keep their sex museum doors open.

Keywords:   sex museum, tourism, tourist, Museum of Sex, New York, World Erotic Art Museum, Miami, capitalism, commerce, international

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