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Confession: I had sex in the Museum of Sex

Confession: I had sex in the Museum of Sex
Photograph: Hailun Strauss

Written by Will Dawes

My first sojourn to the Museum of Sex was on a drunken whim with my brother. It took all of five minutes at the History Of Condoms retrospective to note that as far as sibling excursions go, this was a bad idea. So we bolted.

The second visit was at an event hosted by my buddy’s then-girlfriend (who starred in a Cinemax After Dark program titled The Girl’s Guide To Depravity). Neither the series nor the relationship lasted much longer than the party.

The third time I had sex in an exhibit.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Museum of Sex in NYC

The Plot

MoSex’s latest interactive eye-catcher titled Splendor in the Grass “translates the campground setting into a surreal adult playground where the complexities of human sexuality are at play in multiple physical, visual and olfactory…” Bottom line? The moment I read the press release, I figured somebody should actually spend the night in this faux forest. And then some.

When you were a kid, did you ever read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? It’s a delightful novel about a brother and sister who run away from home and secretly move into The Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Well, this would be like that. Except with fucking. (And not with a brother or sister. Can’t emphasize that enough, Mrs. Frankweiler.)

The Pitch

Getting the museum’s brass to let me spend a night in a tent was relatively easy. Getting a willing partner? Less easy. I broached the idea to a platonic but always fun friend of mine who, for the purposes of this piece, will go by “Hailun Strauss”.

“Hailun” immediately said… “hell no." But H-Strau’s gal pal, who I’m eternally indebted to, convinced her that she’d never do anything this weird again and all of a sudden I had my “photographer." So just like that: Wonderfully, inexplicably, nervously and what-the-fuckly, my partner-in-sex-crime and me were both scheduled to put the “ass” in Splendor In The Grass

The Prep

My backpack attack was as follows: A pocket knife, (hello? I’m camping, people); some cheap vino (bottles not boxes—I’m a gentleman, for chrissakes); two sleeping bags (not that there’d be much “sleeping” going on, am I right guys?! Guys…? *sigh*); one pith helmet (because…of course); several prophylactics of the ribbed-for-her-pleasure variety (because she’s worth it); and most importantly? Cialis. (What? Oh, like you’re NOT a middle aged alcoholic with performance anxiety issues, Judgey McHypocrite.)

The Problem

“Just confirming for this evening. Hope all goes well, enjoy your slumber party!!! Zelle the attendant will be here at 9:30.” emailed a MoSex staffer on the day of the deed. 

This presented an unforeseen, pre-hump hurdle. Until then, I assumed the institute was operating under their own little “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. But as Zelle, resplendent in a kitschy campground employee uniform, walked us past carnal-looking constellations, pro-masturbation signs and a kinkily kinetic mound of grass that’s shaped like a woman and moans when you touch it, I realized: only Zelle could prevent our forest fire.

“Unfortunately, the bouncy house is under repair. A visitor's high heels popped the thing,” reported our overnight attendant/chaperone after my photographer asked about the museum’s famed bit of boob ballooned fun.

At this point, the booby-baby-bouncy-whatever wasn’t the only thing getting deflated. “Okay, I think were just gonna take a few more shots up here, if you want to hangout downstairs, Zelle," I said. "I don’t want you to feel like you have to babysit me all night.”

Even though I’d never make it as an actor, much less a competent salesman, our night watchwoman did acquiesce to the tune of at least moving down to the main floor directly below the exhibit. And then my bicycle-built-for-ew hit yet another big roadblock, this one from the photographer herself: “I don’t think I can do this.”

The Performance

Desperate I pulled out the sexiest line/whine I could think of: “Can we at least just check out this tent, pleaaase?”

My co-conspirator agreed and we entered “Wetten Your Appetite,” which as the museum described “a cloud chamber of scent and steam”. The slippery, stroke-inducing confines projected weird red lasers onto the walls, while a humidifier type machine (which was supposedly releasing pleasantly scented pheromones) made the rubbery floor (and here’s a word we all love) moist. 

Upon surveying this supposedly sexy scenario, I immediately figured my best laid plans on getting laid were up in machine smoke. But the Gods of exhibit exhibitionism started smiling upon me, because Hailun Strauss all of a sudden went from 0 to 60 faster than you can say “Zelle could already be on her way back.”

What happened next was a literal blur (again---the tent was very cloudy). My “photographer” threw me down on the floor, and her loose fitting top got a little looser. The preemptive strike pill I’d ingested hours earlier immediately began working as advertised and all of a sudden we were in business. 

The Pull Out

I quickly pulled out of my R-rated rave and landed right back into reality: me laying down bare ass on a slightly stickier, rubber cave. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” swooned my clearly-impressed photographer.

I suppose this means my museum mission was accomplished? (Oh, and apologies to the extremely accommodating Zelle, who gave us a super suspicious look as we scurried past the Exit.) 

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