I have to say that one of the highlights of Shanghai was the Sex Culture Museum. Lonely Planet, which has been hit and miss throughout the trip, got this recommendation right at least. The museum is at the end of the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, housed in a dingy basement along with a sad aquarium next door. It was 60 RMB for a one-way ride in the tunnel and admission to the aquarium and sex museum. I would have paid 60 RMB just to check out the sex museum.
The Shanghai Art Museum and the provincial museum were fine. But I can only take so many Ming vases, traditional Chinese calligraphy and bronze bowls. What I want are naughty porcelain figurines from the 19th century.
And also, many, many carvings — wood, stone, jade — of animals in coitus.
Bambi’s mom and dad:
My friend from Shanghai said that the museum caused quite the stir when it opened. I’m pretty sure people have gotten over it because I saw quite a few children running around the museum, looking at all the phallic art and sculptures, even playing around one of the bigger penis sculptures. It’s never too early for sex education, even for five year olds.
Perhaps the most sobering museum piece was the castration blade used on eunuchs. I’m not sure how authentic it is because it looks like a knife the curator bought at the local hardware store.
I got out of there pretty quickly after that and got a stiff drink across the street.