Sir Henry Wellcome was a very successful American-born, British entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry. During his lifetime, he was an avid collector of artifacts, in particular those related to medicine. But that’s not all he collected.
There is something of a perception that Wellcome was a rather undiscriminating collector and that he also acquired a good deal of material of non-medical interest through buying up job lots which dealers had carefully salted with one or two medical items. In fact it turned out that he was specifically acquiring in the area of classical sexually-themed objects and the collection (before it was dispersed) had nearly 1000 of these.
At least in the case of the sexual objects of European Classical Antiquity, it appears that he saw these as falling within wider paradigms of medicine and the maintenance of life and health, in particular the (mostly phallic, but some vulval) amulets and votive objects. These were displayed alongside other amulets within the museum context, at a time, intriguingly, when most museums were still segegrating any material of a sexual nature into secret cabinets and closed collections, rather than displaying it alongside related materials of a non-sexual nature with which it might originally have been associated.
Read her whole post for an interesting look at Sir Wellcome’s collection as well as a commentary on the treatment of sexual artifacts of the time.
Header image is from the Wellcome collection and features a box of Japanese tortoiseshell sex toys, which is currently on display in the Medicine Man exhibition in the Wellcome Collection.
We're your creatures, putting to words things to inform you, amuse you, educate you and move you. Be nice to us, we already have a cruel mistress in our editrix. We say that with love, of course, we do love her whip.
That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.
That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.
Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?
If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.
Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.
Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.
Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.
Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...