By T.M. Bernard
A caricature of the US president battling Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the main draw at Moscow’s first sex museum, the cleverly named Tochka G (”G Spot”) located in one of the cities famous touristy streets. Controversy surrounding the new museum isn’t limited to the canvas entitled, ‘Wrestling,’ a bold depiction of a naked Barack Obama flexing his one phallus to Putin’s two. This is a region notoriously rife in political corruption and brothels, but sex is still a taboo topic.
“The Russian capital teems with sex, much of its nightlife centering on brothels and strip clubs,” wrote the UK’s Guardian. “But when it comes to public discourse, sex simply does not exist.”
According to the St. Petersburg artist, Vera Donskay-Khilko, Putin’s two members, one red and the other green, overpower Barack’s single tool…shown in yellow if you really must know.
”Putin has two members, as a symbol of hyperpotency, a symbol of the gray cardinal,” the wall text next to the oil on canvas reads. (Someone needs to tell them the cold war is over, but I digress.)
Reports on the museum’s offerings range from the ‘absurd to the historical’ and include soviet-era condoms (‘size 2’ vis-à-vis any of the more suggestive names of US-based brands), paintings of orgies and mermaids with doubles sets of breasts, two-meter high phallus-shaped columns decorated in white swirls in keeping with Russia’s traditional Gzhel ceramics, and old pamphlets on ‘women’s illnesses.’
International pleasures include, “erotic woodcarvings from France, ritual phalluses from Timor-Leste and Cameroon and even three gold-plated ‘phallus talismans’ from 20th-century England.” There are the requisite blow-up dolls from the United States and an erotic sculpture from Argentina as well (depicting the modern-day fascination with school girls in pigtails sucking on lollipops).
Founder and curator Alexander Donskoi insists the museum is about more than sex. At stake are the restrictions on freedom – and some might suggest corruption – placed there by a political system emerging from the ashes of the former Soviet Union with a marriage to the traditional Russian Orthodox Church, an organization that has been gaining more power in the years since Putin entered office.
”It’s a project about freedom,” Donskoi is reported as saying in an interview with The Guardian, UK. ”I think the clampdown on freedom in Russia is also the result of the fact that the nation is steadily moving away from secular government and that Russian Orthodoxy has filled the empty space left by communist ideology.”
Despite or because of the risk that the museum could be shut down (speculations only), or because sex museums by their nature court provocations and controversy, Moscow’s version of the G-Spot is not lacking visitors, reports the Guardian. “The museum continues to grow in popularity,” and those visitors are doing more than gawking. “Many headed straight for the shop which, Donskoi says, is the largest sex shop in Russia.”
After all, how else can her citizens work out their kinks and fears of ‘sexy tax police and prosecutor uniforms’ than by buying themselves some dress-up paraphernalia?
Says Donskoi: “It’s a bit of a fetish, because everyone is scared of them most.”