'MoSex' Opens in NYC; Exhibit Reflects 'Diverse,' 'Alternative' lifestyles.(NATION)(CULTURE, ET CETERA)
Byline: Liz Trotta, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
NEW YORK - Those who titter at the very mention of the Museum of Sex will learn that some, namely its straight-faced sponsors, see it as a critical addition to the city's mainstream history.
"We want to bring the best in current scholarship on sex and sexuality to a popular audience," said curator Grady T. Turner.
The museum, dubbed "MoSex," opened Saturday on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The very notion of a sex museum suggests it is not for everyone - and then there is the content. Visitors to the museum's opening exhibit, "NYC Sex: How New York City Transformed Sex in America," will learn New York's history takes many forms and makes many points, including:
*Wonder Woman, the comic book warrior, is actually a manifestation of "Lesbian Pulp Fiction."
*When the Nazis came to power, sadomasochism enthusiasts fled to New York, and by the late 1930s became host to "the nation's earliest known fetish and SM subculture."
*A "Butch/Femme" section explains that "butches" wore men's clothes and "femmes" women's clothes. A postscript says cross-dressing was illegal in the 1920s and that "appearing Butch was a bold statement of sexual identity."
Absent from this first exhibit's lurid lineup is old-fashioned heterosexuality, but that will get more attention in future exhibits, said Mr. Turner, who has a wife and four children.
"This is really a reflection of what's been going on in colleges and universities across the country," he said of courses in feminism, and male homosexual and lesbian studies. "And so you get to the moment where heterosexuality is even called into question."
The museum opening has drawn the wrath of the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights, which suggests it be called the Museum of Smut (MoSmut).
"If the museum's officials were honest, they would include a death chamber that acknowledges all the wretched diseases that promiscuity has caused," said league President William Donohue. …