Exit Through the Sex Shop

At the Museum of Sex, sophisticated design in a curated collection of kink and curiosity.

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In New York, a city renowned for its museums and home to reliquaries of the world’s great art, design, and history, one establishment stands apart from the rest. Nestled on a bustling midtown corner, the Museum of Sex, known colloquially as the MoSex, presents an elegant and informed look at human sexuality throughout history and in the present day. Installations from visiting artists compliment an eclectic rotation of in-house exhibitions, sourced from the 1500+ objects and works of art housed in the permanent collection.

Always on the hunt for good design, we were particularly struck by the sleek, modern aesthetic of the museum’s recently expanded gift shop.

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Bright, airy, and open, the Shop at MoSex presents a playful and sophisticated showroom of exquisite erotica and upscale offerings to delight both the mind and the senses. The shop offers beauty and wellness products, books, apparel, gifts for the home, and of course, a sizable collection toys, props, and fetish sets that showcase the height of design and artistry in the adult industry.

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No longer relegated to the realm of the low-brow and the kitschy, the erotic accessories on offer at the Shop are testament to the style and sophistication that’s been brought to the industry. The most impressive collection comes from Swedish brand LELO, founded by three Stockholm designers with the intention of applying sophisticated Scandinavian design to intimate objects. LELO purveys products that are demure, modern, and discreet with a sleek, minimal aesthetic.

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Walking through the store you’ll find top brands and one-of-a-kind items, spotlighting local artists as well as contemporary trends from around the globe.

Approaching the cash register, novelty gifts—from raunchy fortune cookies to political prophylactics—populate the grab bins of impulse-buys and last-minute souvenirs, a nod to the museum’s playful spirit.

Among the other offerings are polished, evocative photography books, candles embossed with the art of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and a set of strappy, cut-out lingerie that can only be described as elegant.

Should you decide to purchase something from the varied and tantalizing selection—be it gold-plated handcuffs or a redolent candle from Malin + Goetz—the swag will be handed back to you in a discreet black shopping bag, fit to be toted around town.

In this great city, good design abounds in the most unexpected places. Next time you find yourself in our illustrious art hub, consider a stop at the MoSex—and be sure to exit through the gift shop.

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