Category: Slideshow

The Institute of Sexology – Undress Your Mind, Not Pornography – Antiques

I find it most intriguing, when pornography is considered an antique, the label changes.

(Drag Queen and Sex Toys Illustration)

The Institute of Sexology

Thursday 20 November 2014 – Sunday 20 September 2015

The Institute of Sexology exhibition – in pictures

The Wellcome Collection will relaunch in November with a major exhibition on sex, called The Institute of Sexology. Alongside sex toys and artefacts including anti-masturbation aids, the show will look at the science of pioneers such as Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes and Alfred Kinsey. From instructions on repairing a diaphragm to erotic paintings, carvings and photographs, every conceivable aspect of human sexuality is explored. Warning, contains explicit images 

• Maev Kennedy: Wellcome Collection hails masters of sexWoman riding man, coloured postcard, from collection of Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902)

Woman riding man, coloured postcard (1840-1902). Photograph: Wellcome Images
Solid bronze phallic amulet in form of priapus with hindquarters of horse, Graeco-Roman, 100BC-400
Solid bronze phallic amulet in form of priapus with hindquarters of horse, Graeco-Roman, 100BC-400
Collection of sexual aids, with instructions, in wooden box, by Arita Drug and Rubber Goods Company, Kobe, Japan, 1930 to 1935
Collection of sexual aids, with instructions, in a wooden box, by Arita Drug and Rubber Goods Company, Kobe, Japan, 1930 to 1935.
Plate from 'The Secret Companion, a medical work on onanism or self-pollution, with the best mode of treatment in all cases of nervous and sexual debility, impotency, etc' from 1845
Plate from The Secret Companion, A Medical Work on Onanism or Self-Pollution, with the Best Mode of Treatment in all Cases of Nervous and Sexual Debility, Impotency, etc, from 1845. Photograph: Wellcome Images
A camel composed of copulating humans, Gouache painting, 19th Century, India
A camel composed of copulating humans, gouache painting, 19th-century India. Photograph: Wellcome Images
'Les charmes de la masturbation' Page from 'Invocation a l'amour, chant philosophique' ('A virtuoso of the good fashion') c. 1825
‘Les charmes de la masturbation’. Page from Invocation a l’amour, chant philosophique (A virtuoso of the good fashion) c.1825. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Plaster impressions from seals showing erotic scenes
Plaster impressions from seals showing erotic scenes. Photograph: The Science Museum/The Wellcome Library
Photograph of a man dressed in women's clothing
Photograph of a man dressed in women’s clothing. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Masked man in pink tutu
Masked man in pink tutu (1840-1902). Photograph: Wellcome Images
Painting manuscript of the Kamasutra, Nepal, 1948
Painting manuscript of the Kama Sutra, Nepal, 1948. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Veedee vibratory massager box, German, early 20th century
Veedee vibratory massager box, German, early 20th century.
Porcelain fruit, hinged, contains male and female copulating, Oriental
Porcelain fruit, hinged, contains male and female copulating, oriental.
Jugum penis, anti masturbation device, steel, nickel-plated, probably British, 1880-1920.
Jugum penis, anti-masturbation device, steel, nickel-plated, probably British, 1880-1920.
Loaded Playbill for Maisie's Marriage, 1923, based on 'Married Love' by Dr Marie Stopes
Playbill for Maisie’s Marriage, 1923, based on Married Love by Dr Marie Stopes. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Marie Stopes birth control clinic in caravan, with nurse, late 1920s
Marie Stopes’ birth control clinic in a caravan, with nurse, late 1920s. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Set of 12 rubber measuring rings and Clinocap diaphragms, made specially for Dr. Marie Stopes, 1934
Set of 12 rubber measuring rings and Clinocap diaphragms, made specially for Dr Marie Stopes, 1934.
Diaphragm repair instructions
Detail of instructions for Clinocap brand diaphragms – and tips for mending with a bicycle repair kit, 1940-50s. Photograph: Science Museum
Packet of Anti-baby condoms, German, 1980s
Packet of Anti-baby Condoms, German, 1980s. The Science Museum
Sex Machines, by Timothy Archibald. 'Dan and Jan Siechert, The Monkey Rocker, Bakersfield, California'
Dan and Jan Siechert, The Monkey Rocker, Bakersfield, California. From Sex Machines, by Timothy Archibald. Timothy Archibald/Wellcome Trust
Back view of standing figure, nude except for stockings
Back view of standing figure, nude except for stockings. Anonymous/The Kinsey Institute
Lili Elbe, watercolour attributed by Gerda Wegener circa 1929. Elbe had 5 gender reassignment operations, the first by Magnus Hirschfeld
Lili Elbe, watercolour attributed to Gerda Wegener, circa 1929. Elbe had five gender reassignment operations. Photograph: Wellcome Images
Oriental ivory shell, divides into two halves, on one half is  a female genitalia, on the other is a carving of a female looking at an erotic picture.
Ivory shell, divided into two halves, one half showing female genitalia, the other a carving of a woman looking at an erotic picture.
Far Eastern carved ivory statue, in the form of a copulating man and woman
Carved ivory statue, in the form of a copulating man and woman. Science Museum
Pervian pottery vessel with handle, neck broken off,  with a couple engaged in anal intercourse fashioned on top
Peruvian pottery vessel with handle, neck broken off, showing a couple engaged in anal intercourse.
A Japanese wood and glass pillow book, hinged and folded like a concertina, opening into six leaves, with twelve pictures painted on glass, complete with a mirror
A Japanese wood and glass pillow book, hinged and folded like a concertina, opening into six leaves, with 12 pictures painted on glass and a mirror.
Inside the wood and glass pillow book...
Inside the Japanese pillow book …
Cylindrical lekythos, with black figure decoration, showing scenes of copulation, probably from Attica, Greece, 550BC-500BC
Cylindrical lekythos, with black figure decoration showing scenes of copulation, probably from Attica, Greece, 550BC-500BC.
Alfred Kinsey lecturing at the University of California, Berkeley
Alfred Kinsey lecturing at the University of California, Berkeley. Anonymous/The Kinsey Institute
Page with notes and diagrams titled 'Definition of Coital Postures'
Page with notes and diagrams titled Definition of Coital Postures. The Kinsey Institute
Alfred Kinsey interviewing a woman.
Alfred Kinsey interviewing a woman. William Dellenback/The Kinsey Institute
Carolee Schneemann, Ye Olde Sex Chart (Sexual Parameters Chart), 1975
Carolee Schneemann, Ye Olde Sex Chart (Sexual Parameters Chart), 1975. Carolee Schneemann, c/o Hayes Gallery/PPOW New York
Neil Bartlett, Pedagogue (Video still)
Neil Bartlett, Pedagogue (Video still). Photograph: Wellcome Images

‘The Institute of Sexology’ is a candid exploration of the most publicly discussed of private acts. Undress your mind and join us to investigate human sexuality at ‘The Institute’, the first of our longer exhibitions. Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography, this is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex.

From Alfred Kinsey’s complex questionnaires to the contemporary National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), ‘The Institute of Sexology’ investigates how the practice of sex research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards sexual behaviour and identity. Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day.

‘The Institute of Sexology’ tells the complex and often contradictory story of the study of sex through its pioneers, including Magnus Hirschfeld, Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Mead, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, and the team behind Natsal. It highlights the profound effect that the gathering and analysis of information can have in changing attitudes and lifting taboos.

The show will also feature contemporary artworks exploring sexual identity by artists Zanele Muholi, John Stezaker, Sharon Hayes and Timothy Archibald. A new commission by artist Neil Bartlett will revisit the sex survey, joining visitors with the hundreds of thousands of anonymous participants whose personal accounts underpin the study of sex.

This is the first of our longer exhibitions in our newly opened Gallery 2. ‘The Institute of Sexology’ will evolve over the course of the year, with new commissions, live interventions, discussions and performances within the gallery space. The exhibition is part of a wider Sexology Season of activity across the country including Brighton, Southampton, Manchester and Glasgow.

Please note that ‘The Institute of Sexology’ includes exhibits and live events of a sexual nature.

What Happens After Men Get Raped in America

Important issue rarely spoken about.


 By Jack Fischl  

It’s highly likely that you know a man who has endured sexual violence. But you probably don’t know it yet, and might never know.

One in 6 American men will encounter sexual abuse at some point in their lives. According toMaleSurvivor, a nonprofit that helps male survivors of sexual assault heal, after a man is raped, he doesn’t tell anyone for, on average, 20 years. When he finally does, his courage is often met with derision, confusion, dismissal and even disbelief.

That makes it all the more important for people to understand how they can support of male survivors, if and when they decide to share their story.

When men share their stories of enduring sexual violence and rape, they are likely to hear remarks such as, “That can’t happen to a man.” These reactions, often rooted in ignorance rather than malice, contribute to doubt, shame, revictimization and depression. They often impede the survivor from seeking the much-needed professional help integral to the healing process.

In order to truly understand how to be supportive, one should search no further than the voices of men who’ve endured such painful, dehumanizing experiences.

Mic spoke with male survivors of sexual assault to solicit their recommendations for how friends and family members of victims can be supportive allies in the healing process. Their stories are multidimensional. They include assaults perpetrated by people from all walks of life, including men, women, strangers, family members, priests, friends and teachers. Some were assaulted as children, others as adults. They are sharing their stories in order to create a more compassionate and understanding climate for male survivors of sexual violence.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Believing without blaming.

It’s crucial to recognize that many of the things commonly said to male sexual assault survivors are things that we should probably never say.

Charlie, 66, from Boston, said victim blaming, accidental or otherwise, commonly crops up for male survivors.

“Were you drunk? Were you on drugs? Were you flirting with her the night before?” are some of the irrelevant questions that may shift the accountability away from the perpetrator. Expressing disbelief may be an act of sympathy, but this common reaction makes disclosure particularly difficult for survivors. It can even belittle what they’ve experienced.

Jeff, 51, from Indiana, told Mic via email that some people have refused to believe what happened and respond with a blunt: “No you weren’t.” Jeff was told that the priest who sexually assaulted him “would never do that. He’s a good man, and a priest too.”

In some cases, the perpetrator is not someone who you would expect. It could even be someone you respect, which could make it difficult to listen to the survivor’s account of what happened.

Don’t question the victim’s sexuality.

Some men get questions about their sexuality. Gregg, 50, from Michigan, said he’s been asked about his sexual orientation, asked whether the perpetrator was a woman or a man and if his experience with sexual violence makes him attracted to both sexes. These questions are all irrelevant. A man’s sexual orientation does not invite assault, nor does the assault alter his sexual orientation.

And for the men who were assaulted by women, some of them are told that they should be grateful.Jarrod, 47, is a survivor from Oklahoma. While he was not himself assaulted by a woman, he has worked with a variety of sexual assault victims, and says guys often respond, “Man, I wish that I had an older woman to teach me about sex when I was that age.” But the “hot for teacher” trope, entrenched in pop culture through references as Van Halen’s hit “Hot for Teacher,” inaccurately regards the incident as “sex” when it indeed was rape, ignoring the emotional trauma that often results from an adult woman taking advantage of an adolescent male.

Throw out stereotypes.

Perhaps one of the most troubling reactions, especially within broader conversations about a culture that often falters on issues of sexual violence, is when some survivors are told that men can’t be raped, or that sexual assault is a “woman’s issue.”

Chris Anderson, executive director for MaleSurvivor, told Mic via email that many responses to his story of survival have included statements like “Stop trying to make this about you,” and “A real man would have defended himself.” But these reactions only work to ensure that rape of men remains a silent epidemic, preventing many survivors from being comfortable enough to disclose what happened to them.

While many common reactions to male sexual assault survivors seem like appropriate responses to a devastating revelation, many of them are, instead, counterproductive.

Let him tell you his way.

Byron, 56, from Florida, said that just because he’s comfortable telling that story does not mean he’s comfortable answering a lot of questions about it.

“I’m comfortable telling people what I’m prepared to disclose, but not to relive the details of the experience,” he said. When the person is ready to tell you, Byron said, the details will emerge.

Even prematurely affixing labels to men who share their stories isn’t the best idea, according to some survivors.

Peter Pollard, director of communications and professional relations for 1in6, an organization supporting male sexual violence survivors, said via email that it’s important to avoid labels, even if they seem validating.

“Many men may not be ready to identify as a ‘victim,’ a ‘survivor,’ or someone who has experienced trauma,” Pollard said, adding that it’s best to let the person define their experience and their story in the way that they feel most comfortable.

Emphasizing active listening and empathy.

Even though it’s important to allow survivors to tell their experience in a way that works best for them, hearing it can put the listener in a potentially powerful position to help them on the path to recovery.

“Believing someone validates the pain they are carrying, and lets them know they are not alone,” Anderson said, a sentiment echoed by other survivors who spoke with Mic.

Through active listening, survivors are positioned to feel the compassion and empathy that they desire and very much need from supportive friends and family members.

Ed, 38, from North Carolina, said one of the most positive responses he ever heard was simply, “I can’t understand what you are going through, because I never have, but I will be there and support you as you go through.” But, to be clear, another survivor added that even if you actually have experienced something similar, everybody’s story is different and it’s impossible to understand exactly what the survivor went through.

While actively listening and being compassionate is an exercise of empathy, it’s helpful to provide survivors with the resources and information to seek professional help. No one should force a survivor to seek treatment, however, as everyone’s pathway to recovery is unique and should be tailored to their individual needs.

So if a male survivor approaches you with their story, listen to him. Don’t grill him, don’t blame him and definitely don’t berate him. Offer your support only if you are genuinely prepared to be an active part of what will be a difficult, uphill healing process.

Hopefully, with the care and understanding of people in their support system, he will come to recognize that what happened to him was not his fault, that he’s not alone and that there is hope for recovery.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and is male-identified, below are resources for referral.

Read more:


Press Release – August 19 – Merilyn Jackson & Zach Kluckman

Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon, Featuring Two Exceptional, Award Winning Poets, Merilyn Jackson and Zach Kluckman, Along With Attendee Readers, Tuesday, August 19.


Georgia O’Keeffe – contact: Susana Mayer, Ph.D., Salonnière,

PCSalons@gmail.comreserve a time slot to read at Salon (5 min max) – guidelines for reading. – blog: events, Salon notices, erotica, and guidelines.


The Erotic Literary Salon will be held Tuesday, August 19. Merilyn Jackson will read some of her erotic poems and the racier passages of the new romantic mystery novel she has just begun to write, Dutch Treat. Zach Kluckman will be reading his poetry in honor of his National Poetry Award, to be presented in Virginia on August 28th..


Approximately twenty attendees will also entertain with their 5-minute sex memoirs, rants, short stories and poetry.


The Talk: For Adults –  TBA


PHILADELPHIA: The Erotic Literary Salon, unique in the English-speaking world has launched a growing movement mainstreaming erotica. Salons attract a supportive audience of 65 or more individuals. Approximately 20 participate as writers, readers, storytellers, spoken word performers of original works/words of others, the rest just come to listen, enjoy and applaud. Frances, our resident nonagenarian (97 years young) occasionally recites her original erotica.


Salons gather the 3rd Tuesday of every month at TIME (The Bohemian Absinthe Lounge), 1315 Sansom Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (limited seating), for cocktails, food and conversation. Talk and Q&A between 7:00-7:30, readings begin at 8:00. Admission is $10, discounted for students, and seniors to $8. Salon attendees must be 21.


Creator of this event, Dr. Susana, is Philadelphia’s best-known sexologist. She lends her voice to the Salon by offering relevant information to support the discussions that arise in the Salon and blog.


…surprisingly comfortable….Salon devotees praise her for the space she has created….”

“I think Susana is doing a very brave thing.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 2010


“There are laughter and tears along with the hot rush of blood – to the face.

Daily News, March 15, 2010


“I never knew such a life of honesty could exist. I finally found a home I can be comfortable in…this event changed my life.

First-time attendee and reader 2013



Everything We Think About Porn is Wrong

Excellent article regarding Porn, originally printed by the Good Men Project, taken from The Daily Dot.


As a woman, and a person who talks a lot about sex, there are two things I’ve heard repeatedly about pornwomen don’t watch it, and feminists want to destroy it. These statements are both semi-correct and completely ludicrous, and as such are symptomatic of a larger problem: the whole porn conversation is ineffective and misleading. I’ll explain.


When we talk about porn, we usually fail to adequately address agency and the complexity of human sexuality. In doing so, we prevent any real progress or sexual liberation across the gendered spectrum. The way we think about porn is wrong, and assigning blame to either men as a group or the porn industry as a whole will foster neither critical conversation nor durable solutions to issues of sexual repression, violence against women and men, or exploitation. It is imperative that we start changing our conversation, beginning with the way we talk to young people, especially boys, about sex.


A large proportion of anti-pornography rhetoric from activists, feminists, and the average anti-porn human centers around the idea porn is a qualitatively male endeavor that caters specifically to the twisted sexual desires of men at the expense of women’s agency and sexuality. It is this idea that has led to a burgeoning humor industry of “porn for women,” including pictures of half-dressed men doing domestic activities. It’s funny because, obviously, women can’t possibly be aroused by or interested in consuming sexual materials in the same ways that men can.

Here’s the thing about “porn for women”: it already exists. It’s called porn—and it’s on the Internet. For some reason, no one wants to talk about the fact that women watch porn, too—and a lot of the time, it is the same porn men are watching. Though there are a whole host of politicians, religious leaders, and parents who want to convince you otherwise, women are humans and, therefore, are sexual beings. As such, many women need and want sexual outlets in the same ways that many men do. Even more importantly, many of these women and men are curious about sexual exploration and are turning to porn to find answers.

One of the greatest constraints to acknowledgement of this fact is that we as a collective society make every attempt to desexualize young people of all genders at the expense of both comprehensive sex education and validation of natural sexual feelings. Our rhetoric around youth and sex is dangerously misguided: sex is introduced as a solely reproductive act along with a myriad of strategies used to prevent you from doing it. STDs. Depression. Religious and familial ostracism. Damaged reputation. Pregnancy and teenage fatherhood. Destruction of marriage potential.

The general shaming of sexuality of young people runs concurrent to a world oversaturated in commercial sexuality, and yet we keep our friends, our families, and ourselves as non-sexual as possible despite clear biological sexual imperatives and cultural motivations. We raise our children to call their genitals by “cute” and unrelated names. We police clothing at school to keep boys from the uncontrollable sexual temptation of possibly seeing a shoulder. We instill early in girls a sinister and pervasive message: you are only worth as much as your sexuality, and thus, you should keep it “pure,” and private.

From the time we are born until we are old enough to independently consume sexual materials, we are discouraged from all sexual outlets or inquisitions. Masturbation is shameful, sexual thoughts are impure, natural sexual interest should be suppressed. The result of this process is the mass consumption of a free and secret sexual outlet: porn.


I am not arguing the semantics of at what age one is old enough to watch porn, nor am I advocating that we should oversaturate youth with porn or encourage anyone to have sex before they are ready. However, I do think that our approach to youth and sexuality is in part responsible for the problems in our porn culture that expose us to unrealistic and harmful ideals about our bodies and our sex lives. Porn perhaps reflects these problems, but I would argue that it certainly doesn’t cause them.

When we seek to completely restrict access to realistic approaches to sexuality, we force both the earliest sex education and sexual expression into a clandestine sphere controlled by mass media. Of course, porn provides young men and women with unrealistic, harmful expectations, and a lot of the time it is simulated sex, but the problem is that no one has ever told them any differently.

By restricting access to sexuality, I don’t mean suddenly telling eleven-year-olds that they should go have sex. I mean the cultural refusal to acknowledge the fact that at some point, a large proportion of young humans develop sexual urges and that our response to this thus far has been complete and total repression. We don’t talk to our kids about sex, unless it’s the  “when two people love each other” conversation. We don’t talk about the fact that bodies are weird and do weird things. We don’t talk about consent, we don’t talk about the vast scope of sexual possibility in both desire and act, we don’t engage in conservation about real bodies, real needs, and real consequences.

We don’t talk about sexual violence (against all sexes) or what to do if you and a partner have divergent sexual interests, or the fact that most people’s breasts and testicles are actually different sizes, that everyone enjoys different sexual things, or that on average, hard penises aren’t actually nine-inches long. Instead, we leave those we are responsible for educating to a world devoured by dressed-up, photoshopped, and scripted sex in an attempt to protect them from…from what? From the truth?

As Candice Holdorf writes in the Good Men Project, “I feel that porn limits us when we view it as the ultimate authority on sexuality. For those whose only sex education is pornography, sex must equal a penis entering a vagina, a big-busted women screaming as if she’s in the midst of an apoplectic attack, an impossibly endowed men pounding her like a jackhammer and both of them cumming (hard) at the same time, preferably with jiz  everywhere (especially on her face).”

Why are we relying on the capitalist media enterprise to falsely educate us about sexuality and then blaming the industry when they do just that? This is a great disservice, and our shifting of blame entirely onto pornography reads as little more than a self-diversion from our own failings.


Many (but not all) of the problems with porn culture can be understood as the consequence of a perfect storm. When our failure to have real conversations about sex and the permeation of violence, classism, racism, and sexism into the sex industry combine, the result is a culture with the potential to distort sex, misinform sexual consumers, and endanger men and women.

But here’s the thing about “the porn issue”: the porn issue isn’t really about porn. The issues of dehumanization, violence, racism, classism, and sexism in the sex industry are devastating and require impassioned opposition. The goal should be the destruction of power asymmetries, and as such advocacy should strive towards a sex industry that engages only willing and voluntary agents into non-coerced sexual activity.

But advocacy should also celebrate liberated, consensual sexuality. Many of the inequality problems within porn are resonating elsewhere as well, as they are symptoms of a larger exploitative socioeconomic, gendered, and race-based structure. The contention that consenting adults performing in filmed sexual acts that are available for public consumption is somehow immoral is itself anti-feminist, as it deprives the actors of agency over their bodies as well as perpetuates a highly anti-feminist view that a woman’s value is inherently degraded by mass consumption of their sexuality.

Turning our lens of blame to pornography for its universal and incontestable “exploitation of women” infantilizes the myriad of women who want to be in the sex industry (see: Wendy McElroy’s work) and those who consume porn—and weren’t forced by men to do either. Pornography itself isn’t the problem; the problem is that these dangerous elements are not being combated within the sex industry. Clearly, the solution is not prohibition.

Read more:

Meredith Loken is a Seattle-based Ph.D student, sexual violence researcher, sex-positive feminist, and cat enthusiast. She can be reached for comment at This article was originally featured on the Good Men Project and republished with permission.

Photo via Crysco Photography/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)