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Our next adventure was a private tour of Paris' own Musée de L'erotism. The Erotic Art Museum. Ooh la la!
Heresy? Hardly. Many of the most respected artists in history, now enshrined in our most honored museums, were considered "erotic" artists or even "pornographers" in their day.
Just down la rue from the Moulin Rouge, smack in the center of the Pigalle district, on 72 Boulevard de Clichy, le Musée de L'erotisme regales the visitor with seven floors of erotic, sensuous, hilarious, brilliant paintings, sculptures, photography, video and mixed media from all over the world, from ancient times to the present.
If I were going on a hot date in Paris (and I was!), this would definitely be a stimulating stop to make along the way to le lit.
Our private tour was conducted by le Directeur lui-même, the chicly bald, sensuously mustachioed, genial yet Mephistophelean-looking Joseph "Jo" Khalifa and his sweet and helpful press associate Cecilia Conseils .
Le Musée de L'erotisme is Jo's bébé. He "gestated" it when he started collecting erotica during his travels, and "gave birth" to the museum itself, inhabiting a restored, 19th century building on Boulevard de Clichy, in 1997. Open from 10.00 to 2.00 a.m., le Musée de L'erotisme is the only Parisian museum which can be visited day or night !
Jo and Cecilia took us on a mesmerizing journey through the visual and kinetic delights that grace his walls on seven floors, including a special exhibit of wonderful, whimsical paintings by Julian Murphy that show how sex of all kinds can occur between everyday household appliances...
A hand-sculpted meal of luscious vulvas with cock-shaped silverware...
Miniature sex scenes enacted by the erotic equivalent of toy soldiers...
Sculptures of every shape and kind, including some of our own Karin Swildens...
Gorgeous tapestries of tantra, fetish, sex magic, confections of flirtation, the art of seduction and orgiastic expression...
and even some bonobos (at least, I think they're bonobos).
At the end of our tour, Jo enhanced the already potent appeal of his art by presenting us with several beautiful erotic art books, including Histoires du pénis by Dr. Marc Bonnard and Dr. Michel Schouman...
la caverne sentimentale by anne van der linden...
and Denyse Willem by Denyse Willem.
While I was gabbing with Jo and Cecilia and gawking at erotica, Max bought me a 10th wedding anniversary present ("Thou Shalt Give Her Things" being the 7th Commandment of a Lady's Pleasure; so what if it was my money he was buying it with!): an exquisite sculpture of a naked woman garlanded by gold roses, apparently waiting to be spanked or taken from behind. It's what I call "touchable art." Sculpted of resin, her derrière is so smooth and well-formed, I just love to rub it like a magic lantern for good luck.
Wanting to continue to get to know our intriguing host and his vision of erotica in the heart of world art, we joined Jo for drinks and un peu manger at a nice, friendly little bistro named mpib. Good food, good wine, good conversation and, erotic art, Parisian style: just what we needed to inspire another night of pre-10th wedding anniversary sex...