The following is a meditation on Museum Sex that was penned by Professor Gabriel O. Emerson, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, University of Toronto. It first appeared here on the Manic Readers website, at the invitation of Miss Ivy:
"I find museums enlightening, provocative … and sexy.
As a Dante specialist, I find myself invited to give lectures around the world. Over the course of my travels, I’ve had the good fortune of visiting many famous museums.
The best museums are quiet and spacious. They allow guests to appreciate the art and artifacts in silence. They’re tastefully decorated so as not to detract from the objects on display. They provide places for visitors to sit down or to stand and contemplate the exhibits.
My favourite museum, without question, is the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Cosimo de Medici commissioned the Uffizi in the 16th century. Giorgio Vasari, a famous painter and sculptor, designed the gallery. My favourite room in the museum is the Sandro Botticelli room, which contains several of his masterpieces.
One of my favourite paintings by Botticelli is “The Birth of Venus.”
Venus is a voluptuous but modest figure, with a serene countenance and long, flowing hair. I could gaze at her for hours. This brings me to another reason why I like museums – they are incredibly erotic.
Beauty, in particular, the beauty of the female form, has been celebrated throughout history through art. Sometimes the beauty one sees in a museum is so tantalizing, so seductive, it begs for release.
Never is this release more potent and necessary than when one is enjoying a museum with one’s lover. Art, like sex, is supposed to be a shared experience. One is supposed to stand in front of a painting and feel what the artist is trying to communicate. The presence of another, who one knows intimately, only heightens the excitement.
Which leads me to speak, quite naturally, about another favourite topic of mine, museum sex.
Imagine finding a quiet and slightly darkened corner of a gallery, pushing your lover up against a wall to steal a kiss, your bodies aligning perfectly. The low hum of the distant crowd echoes in your ears along with her whimpers and whispered pleas.
Almost breathless, you touch her, allowing your fingers to stroke the hidden nakedness of her skin. Unable to contain your ardour, you pay homage to her mouth and neck, causing her to repeat your name over and over. You push aside clothing, only to feel the blissful connection of flesh against soft, soft flesh.
Searing kisses. Speeding hearts. The rush of blood through the veins. The musky sweet scent of sweat and sex. And always there is the pleasurable excitement of the forbidden, the possibility of being caught …
In a temple that worships the gods and goddesses of beauty, why shouldn’t we indulge our carnal instincts? The sensuous coupling of two desires made one.
Yes, in the sequel to “Gabriel’s Inferno,” there is mention of museum sex. But you’ll have to read the story to see what happens …."
And now for something completely different -
Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating and thank you for your support.
All the best,