Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Paris Museum Experience

Not Paris, France.

The other Paris.

The drunk, annoying one who used to haunt the celebrity gossip rags. 

The other night I went to the Museum of Sex, alone, as you do. Yes, that's a real thing. New York has everything! Our McDonald'ses even deliver!


So, I went to the Museum of Sex, alone, while pregnant, because they currently have an exhibit I wanted to see about the history of sex in the movies, both inside the mainstream and outside. I'm a BA in Cinema Studies, and my senior thesis was on the relationship between American culture and Hollywood movies, so this was right up my alley, no pun intended.


Also, I thought it would be funny to walk around a Museum of Sex with my baby bump, no partner with me, and no ring on my finger. (I've developed a metal allergy with this pregnancy. It's a thing.) When he was still cooking in my baby oven, my son the Juban Princeling got to go to the last home opener at the old Yankee Stadium; this baby got to go to the Museum of Sex. I'm nothing if not fair.


But no one noticed me, because everyone at the Museum of Sex is too self-conscious to pay attention to what anyone else is doing.


Do you know what people aren't too self-conscious to do? Call to each other across the room to come over and see something and then giggle about it like 12-year olds. (Who are not allowed into the museum.) 


The exhibit I saw, "Action," included a brief summary of each era of cinema and what kind of moral code was in place at the time regarding how moviemakers were forced to deal with the issue of sex. (From the 1930s to 1968, during the time of the "Hays Code," you could not show "white slave trade" or miscegenation, which is just dumb, or scenes of "real child birth," because that is so sexy, I guess.) It was actually quite interesting, and if there are any other cinema students out there who have seen the exhibit, I wouldn't mind getting into a super nerdy discussion about it. 


Part of the exhibit covers sex in modern day films, including the popularity in the past 10 or 15 years of the celebrity sex tape. This part of the exhibit included the showing of Paris H.'s infamous sex tape (I'm not using her entire name because I don't want this post popping up on searches for her). And this group of 6 or 7 young men could NOT tear themselves away from it, calling each other over, loudly talking about it, and generally acting like a bunch of morons. Like, haven't you guys seen this already? And, can't you go home and watch it in private, and not, say, when you are blocking the path for me to get through to the other part of the exhibit?


Listen. 


I know when I go to a museum called The Museum of Sex, there are going to be idiots there who just want to be titillated, who think that the museum is some sort of giant, walk-on porn set. And, yeah, the exhibits do show a lot of graphic photos and videos to get the point across. (Part of the "Action" exhibit showed some of the old "stag" films from the early 1900s.) But it's also a museum, not a 1970s Times Square peep show.


Eh, what did I expect on a Saturday evening?


As I left through the gift shop, I was almost inspired to do a bit of impromptu performance art: picking up one of the condoms for sale, looking at it sadly while rubbing my baby bump meaningfully, and then sighing dramatically and shaking my head. But I chickened out. I'm not a performance artist. I'm just a film nerd.

1 comment:

Joy Ann Ball said...

Hello! LOL, I thought I was following your blog already, but no, I guess I wasn't. Shame, shame on me. So much for my computer savvy. Ehh. Good blog post by the way. Did you have to pay to get into the Museum of Sex? If so that might explain the young men and the peep show mentality. Or it could be just the fact that they are... men. Their cerebral cortex is located in the the southern hemispheres in between the land of mushroom heads and the ravine of black holes. Information is constantly filtered by the mushrooms or sucked into the black hole to be compressed into antimatter and forgotten.