Here my latest article for my column JOURNAL OF A LUNATIC ON THE VERGE OF A SEXUAL BREAKDOWN on the literary online magazine SATISFICTION
During my sexcapades on the island of MANhattan, as well as satiate my feverish Jungle Fever – the basic attraction for interracial relationships – with succulent and massive doses of dark chocolate, not disdaining kosher food – Hello Katz’s Delicatessen & Fuck Politically Correct – and stuff my Italian belly with every local and global gourmet and junk food, I always find the time and the curiosity to lose myself in its streets and avenues, with a particular fondness for bookstores – like the legendary Strand Bookstore which boasts of having 18 miles of books and the new home of Rizzoli at Flatiron – and museums. Metropolitan? MoMA? Guggenheim?
Of course, but before all these indisputable institutions in the field of art, your mischievous and irreverent Robbie prefers to immerse herself in the halls of MoSex, the Museum of Sex, described by the New York Times as “a mixture of obscenities, joy, creativity, vulgarity and mischievous stimuli”. In addition, the MoSex is one of the few museums in the world off limits to underage people, so you will not risk running into a bunch of vociferous children scurrying among old vibrators and XXX images taken by the first amateur porn films.
To enter the museum, you pass through a shop selling sex toys, lingerie, latex, ropes, erotic books, among other titillating objects. Without a doubt, the most interesting gift-store I’ve ever been in a museum: there’s so much “fucking” stuff to buy, use and abuse. Exhilarating is the sign that warns visitors against touching, licking, groping and mounting the exhibits; sexperts are, and have, a blast! After dedicated to the sinful, and very educational, museum an article on Playboy Italy years ago, where I interviewed the director Mark Snyder, I became a regular in its halls.
Over the years I literally enjoyed a series of temporary exhibitions, in addition to the permanent ones – which once included a very educational floor dedicated to The Sex Lives of Animals (where I learnt about polyamorous bonobo apes, masturbation among turtles, deers’ threesomes, gay penguins and Panda Porn) – including the intoxicating photographic exhibition Night Fever: New York Disco 1977-1979, The Bill Bernstein Photographs, a collection of images dedicated to the lascivious Seventies dancing days, investigating NYC sexual and multicultural night scene. The works of Bernstein, accompanied by audio interviews, were presented in an immersive installation that reproduced a real club, inviting viewers to experience the freedom and the thrill of disco’s golden era.
It only lacked lines of blow on the mirrored tables!
Among the disco clubs there were photographs taken at GG Barnum’s Room, The Clique, Xenon, Studio 54, Ice Palace … The extraordinary context of these clubs allowed interaction never seen before between heterogeneous groups: heterosexuals danced with gays, whites with blacks and Hispanics, young people with old ones, rich with poor. In publicly embracing alternative, previously hidden, identities these pioneers created revolutionary groundbreaking communities overcoming boundaries and aiming at finding joy and love, lust and freedom, paving the way to a future culture based on inclusivity.
The last exhibition I visited is called Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1971-1985, a survey of how Punk culture used the language of sexuality – both in terms of images and lyrics – to transgress and challenge society, as a political provocation and raw desire. The punk sexuality – not so much focused on sex but on the psychosexual dynamics with an aggressive and provocative attitude – was an expression of revolt that was playing with stereotypes and tackling the latent repressive and puritanical morality. In short, its motto was not so much Let’s Fuck but rather Fuck You and Fuck Off. The punk movement, also influenced by the booming and thriving 70’s porn industry, incubated in declining cities, such as New York, London, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. If the previous generation had rebelled embracing free love, punk did it by embracing something much darker.
Lissa Rivera, an artist and Museum of Sex staff curator, says that sex in the punk movement “was more into clothing, into the fetish-wear … Sexual relationships were more geared toward BDSM relationships, more aggressive. More interaction with violence and with risk-taking than the generation before. It was a real revolt against that.” That time was also marked by a high-rate of toxicity because of the widespread abuse of Sister Morphine, like Lou Reed’s tune, the heroin that decimated an entire generation.
Little-known fact: Did you know that Sylvia Reed, the singer’s wife and manager, was a dominatrix?
The girls of punk were bold, daring and driven by compelling urgency born out of boredom and sheer lust: Debbie Harry of The Blondie, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Patti Smith, Cherry Vanilla, Poly Styrene, Joan Jett … For a detailed report on female punk musicians, I recommend the book by Vivien Goldman, exhibition curator, musician and Punk Professor at New York University and author of Revenge of the She-punks: a Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot.
Today in hyper-gentrified, Instagrammable faux NYC young people queue up to buy a cupcake and take a fucking selfie in front of some outrageously overpriced patisserie made famous by Sex and the City, just like in the Seventies people lined up to get a shot ofBrown Sugar.
To each his/her own “poison” capable of making us swallow reality. Not virtual, fakers & fuckers!
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. In the deep throat …