Sex museum gets New Yorkers in the mood

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iol pic bp Museum of Sex AFP Demika Gilroy and Emily Richards from Australia play in the Jump for Joy bouncing castle at the Museum of Sex in New York. Picture: Timothy A. Clary

New York -

Shouts, giggles and selfies. Mildly titillating and lots of fun, bouncing around on giant inflatable boobs is the hit attraction of a hot and steamy New York summer.

As temperatures rise and hemlines shorten, visitors flock to the Museum of Sex to jump up and down on an adult moonbounce (or bouncy castle) called “Jump for Joy” and nicknamed “House of Boobs”.

It is the set piece in a flirty exhibition mounted by London-based conceptual art duo Bompas and Parr, and inspired by the naughtiness of an old-fashioned British or French funfair.

Shrieks of “Oh my God I'm not going on that!” or “I'm definitely going on that!” ring out of the low-lit corner where the boob castle stands erect, shoes quickly kicked off for a frolic.

Oversized breasts protrude out of its walls in every shape and colour as couples and groups of girls fling themselves around, laughing in delight and snapping pictures on phones and cameras.

“The boob jump house was fun,” nods New Jersey teacher Michelle Allen when asked about the best bit.

“It's like adult fun.”

Alissa, a 25-year-old nurse too embarrassed to give her surname, said it was “better than I expected”, as she enjoyed a “tourist day” with a couple of girlfriends.

The show's blurb promises a “rush of endorphins - many of which are the same as those released at the point of orgasm”.

So did Alissa reach orgasmic heights?

“No!” she laughed. “I've got a headache and my leg began to cramp. I'm dehydrated.”

Bompas and Parr have been darlings of the art scene in London, described as artists, “architectural foodsmiths”, even novelty caterers since they started out creating models made of jelly.

They designed five attractions for the exhibition, “Funland: Pleasures and Perils of the Erotic Fairground”, and hope it may go on to show in London when it finishes in New York next spring.

There is Grope Mountain - an adult climbing wall dotted with orifices - and a rather creepy “Tunnel of Love” or maze of mirrors that ends with a sculpture of the elusive G-spot.

“You want to put your finger in for practice?” jokes museum attendant David Jang, dissolving into peals of laughter.

“Foreplay Derby” - a game thrusting balls into a hole in order to jerk a bronze penis towards the finish line - is another hit.

Sam Bompas said he was less interested in the work itself than in the smiles and joy it provokes.

“Everything looks rude but it's also very satisfying,” he told AFP by telephone from London.

“It's gentle, it's got a British humorous approach to sexuality which is quite playful.”

The Old Etonian said he has also been taken aback by how positively even the most unexpected people have reacted to an exhibition he initially thought might be polarising.

Flying across the Atlantic with a G-spot sculpture, Bompas said the woman next to him saw crates and boxes, and jumped to the conclusion he was a wine merchant.

“Within the space of minutes we're talking about her G-spot, an extraordinary conversation to be having with someone, and people were craning their necks to listen to all the lurid details!” Bompas recalled.

Even with his mother, he said, the exhibition had a liberating effect on conversation, “which got very candid very quickly”.

Mark Snyder, director of exhibitions at the museum, said there have been roughly 10 000 visitors to “Funland” since it opened on June 26 - an increase of 15 percent for this time of year.

“The best thing is some people who say ‘I don't really know if I want to do this’ go to the maze of mirrors or the House of Boobs and then they have a really great time,” said Jang. - Sapa-AFP


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