Private sex museum struggles to survive

IT'S all there, artistically displayed on fans, bronze and ceramics and in phallic forms sculpted in crude stone or precious jade, showcasing more than 6,000 years of human sexuality in the world’s most populous nation. 

Liu Dalin, 71-year-old founder and curator of the Chinese Sexual Culture Museum, has made it a mission to re-introduce his country’s ancient culture of sexuality to generations brought up in more prudish communist times. 

But after years of struggling to keep his private museum afloat, Liu is packing up his collection of 3,700 erotic toys, icons and other sex paraphernalia and moving to the countryside. 

Liu, a retired Shanghai University professor and noted sociologist, said he was done in by a lack of official support.  

“Over the past 15 years, we have had more than 100,000 visitors. None of them said it was bad. Not one. They all felt it was very respectful, and something to be admired,” said Liu. 

“But some bureaucrats fear the topic of sex is dangerous,” he said at his museum in a nondescript office building far from popular tourism and shopping routes in Shanghai. 

For Liu, the move was his second. He set up shop in 1999 in a prime location in Shanghai but had to move two years later when local officials barred him from using the character for “sex” on a sign.  

Only a few dozen visitors now visit his museum in Tongli, 97km north-west of Shanghai, and he could barely afford his monthly rent of US$4,000 (RM15,200). – People's Daily  

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