New Condom Museum: Gratuitous Sex on Display?

Kim Conte

condomsA recently opened condom museum located outside of Bangkok, Thailand, has quite the variety of sex-related paraphernalia on display: a gigantic penis pump, different flavors of lube, phalanx-shaped objects for demonstration purposes, vintage condom posters, and, of course, condoms of every size and description.

Sounds like a sleazy way to attract tourists and make a quick buck, right?

Actually, that's hardly the purpose behind the museum.

In fact, the Thai Ministry of Health set up the museum as an educational resource in an effort to "eliminate Thai people’s negative point of view on condom usage" and "create awareness of sexual protection."

Although Thailand is one of the largest producers of condoms in the world, some studies show that only 20 to 30 percent of sexually active young people are using condoms consistently. The Ministry of Health hopes that the new museum will boost people's "confidence in using condoms" -- which (I think) is why the museum staff routinely does a number of seemingly basic condom demonstrations to teach museum goers about their durability and strength and explain that one size does not fit all.

Far from being a well-trod tourist destination, the museum is in a hard-to-find, rarely trafficked location (toward the back end of the ministry) on the outskirts of Bangkok. It's not even advertised. And you need permission from the ministry department head to get inside -- get-rich-scheme this is definitely not.

The new museum isn't even the only one of its kind: The Sex Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam; and the Museum of Sex in New York City is the first of its kind in North America.

Do you think sex museums promote safe sex? Would you visit a condom museum?


Image via Paul Keller/Flickr

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