Pigalle’s Museum of Eroticism, Paris

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It’s just a g-string’s throw away from the Moulin Rouge, and down the hill from Montmartre. La Musee d’Erotisme, or the Erotic Museum in plain English, is as much a part of Paris life and tradition as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. If you only ever visit one Sex Museum in your life, it really ought to be in Paris.

There is another reason for that too, apart from it seeming the natural thing to do in the French capital, the City of Light and the city of love, sex, romance and intrigue. The other reason is that the Erotic Museum isn’t sleazy or tacky. It is actually very tastefully done, very slick and modern, and absolutely fascinating.

In Paris there are museums devoted to magic, and to locks, to publicity, to wine, to children and to Edith Piaf. Why not have one devoted to sex and the erotic arts?

The Erotic Museum was opened in 1997 by Joseph Khalifa and two friends of his. They were all collectors of erotic art, and Khalifa had built up a large collection on his travels in Japan and the far east. By combining their collections and acquiring new material they were able to put on display over 1500 exhibits, spread across seven floors of a 19th-century town house.

Rather surprisingly there was no such museum in Paris at the time, and if any city ought to have an erotic museum, it’s Paris. Sex shows and strip shows might be taking place along the road and in the sleazy back streets of Pigalle, but the Erotic Museum is right on the main road and closer physically and in spirit to the great Moulin Rouge cabaret, just the other side of the Blanche metro station.

The Absolut Icebar, Shanghai

Night Life No Comments

See the opening of The Absolut Icebar, billed as Asia’s first ice bar. The concept is that there’s a lot of ice and ice sculptures, and it’s really cold inside. Absolut says that the ice being used isn’t just any old ice, but the pure stuff from the Torne River in Sweden.

The problem is that this place is being billed as “Asia’s first ice bar,” which seems to us as not completely true. In Shanghai, for example, we had Taste of Scandinavia as well as part of Binjiang One, both of which boasted similar set ups, the parkas, subzero temperatures, etc. Check out pictures out pictures of some of the cool cats that hung out at Taste of Scandinavia last year.

This newest one, which is still under construction (the sculptors are still working on the ice sculptures that will adorn the inside) is located on Huai Hai Lu. Sinosplice has some pictures from the outside. It seems that the only way you could really call this place the first ice bar in Asia is if you say all the non-Absolut ones don’t count.