The Museum of Sex takes the subject seriously: its board of advisers is filled with historians and scholars, and the museum’s goal is to show the best in current thinking about human sexuality. Academic purpose aside, the exhibits are fun and informative, such as ‘Rubbers: the Life, History, and Struggle of the Condom’, ‘Graphic Sex in Japan,’ and ‘Sex and the Moving Image.’ The museum has more than 15,000 artifacts related to subjects of human sexuality, and houses a research and multimedia library. The explicit nature of the material, however, means admittance is restricted to those 18 and older.
To see the human mating game in real life on a warm day, head to the Frying Pan, a 1929 lightship tethered to Pier 66 at West 26th Street and the West Side Highway. The boat and the pier have been converted into a large bustling bar and casual eating spot, where buckets of Corona, burgers, and clams are served up with a fabulous view of the Hudson River. Plastic chairs are on deck, the interior is barnacle-encrusted with worn couches, an exposed engine room, and bands or DJs playing on occasion in the belly of the boat. Those prone to seasickness are counseled to remain on dry land and enjoy the Tiki Bar.
In winter months, the artistic crowd in the neighborhood packs The Breslin Bar in the trendy Ace Hotel. Wood flooring, high ceilings, and a vintage mahogany bar give this gastro pub an old-world, gentleman’s club feel, respectful of the hotel’s 1904 origins.