Museum of Sex Objects at The Horse Hospital

Poppers Handkerchief embroidered by Paul Hunwick

Museum of Sex Objects at The Horse Hospital
September 3rd – 29th 2022
The Horse Hospital

The Museum of Sex Objects is taking over London’s legendary arts venue The Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury for a month-long residency in September. The museum boasts a bountiful array of never-before-seen objects, artworks and relics, straddling the boundary between folklore, art, and history. The Museum’s compelling collection reveals the hidden tales of sexual heroes, moments, and places where assignations and confrontations changed the course of history…

Image of The Keeper
by Jorge Monedero ℅ Museum of Sex Objects

The Museum is entrusted to The Keeper and her proxies, sworn to protect these objects and the stories they preserve for generations to come. The current Keeper, Deborah Sim, states: “Charting sexuality’s cultural origins is not easy, with clues often locked away in old documents or institutions, their truth deemed too subversive at the time. The Museum of Sex Objects’ mission is to bring history’s blind spots into the light.” As part of that mission, The Keeper will be holding daily tours of the Museum’s realms, where she will:

  • Guide you along the Museum’s cobbled pathways to discover its origins with Lady Sexburga
  • Share the Fallen Sisterhood’s tragic tales and the perilous passions of the Haunted Feminine
  • Bring to life the peccadilloes of the people celebrated in Ode to Perversion
  • Take you through the clandestine rendez-vous of A Space of Peril – the dangerous public spaces where gay men found each other in the days before Grindr – from the 18th Century Molly Houses to cottaging in the public toilets of the 20th Century
  • Celebrate the people, places and objects that inspire the museum’s makers to this day, represented on the Wall of Sexual Heroes
Gabriel Lawrence Maker: Thomas Tyler Gabriel Lawrence figurine, c.1757 Hand painted Bone china, 19cm
Museum no: C. 457

Talks and Screenings
Also throughout September, The Museum of Sex Objects is hosting talks with authorities on sexual history who will enlighten us on the link between witchcraft and the early LGBTQ+ community, the feminist appeal of Japanese rope art, Soho’s under-the-counter book trade, sacred rites for medieval sex workers, legendary leatherman Tom of Finland, and how one fetish pioneer went from running a No Cameras, word-of-mouth underground club scene to designing historically pertinent rubberwear for inclusion in a prestigious art collection. Plus films exploring eco-sexuality and the influence of black gay culture on film, fashion, dance and – well – everything!

The Loving CupMaker: The Stoke potters Loving Cup, 1967 Start-rite box on loan to museum Stoneware, 10cm Museum no: C. 176
The Loving Cup Maker: The Stoke potters Loving Cup, 1967
Start-rite box on loan to museum
Stoneware, 10cm Museum no: C. 176

Speakers and Screenings Line Up
– we are honoured to have, straight from Gateway Grind, inaugural LGBT+ Poet Laureate Trudy Howson performing poetry about Love, Lust and the Universe. Plus opera soprano Red Gray will perform a piece from her upcoming work about a woman condemned to the insane asylum for her passions, The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H – staged in full at the Arcola Theature’s Grimeborn festival, London Sept 9th-10th.

Tuesday 6th PRESS DAY 12:00-10pm. Includes an evening performance from inaugural LGBT+ poet laureate Trudy Howson

Weds 7th TALK 7:30pm  Walk Like A Man – Dr Gary Everett on Tom of Finland
Friday 9th TALK 7:30pm Soho Bibles: Dr Helen Wickstead in The Lost Porn of Post-war London
Friday 16th TALK 7:30pm From Der Putsch to Die Kunst: Westward Bound with Steve Beech
Saturday 17th TALK 7:30pm Lucy Coleman Talbot: Sex Worker Rites at Crossbones Graveyard
Friday 23rd TALK 7:30pm Everything You Wanted to Know About Shibari but were Too Shy to Ask – Anna Bones, Anatomie Studio
Saturday 24th SCREENING 7:30pm  Beyond: There’s Always a Black Issue Dear, plus Q&A
Tuesday 27th TALK 7:30pm I Put a Spell on You: Mara Gold on Sapphic Women and Witchcraft
Monday 28th SCREENING & live Zoom Q&A 7:00pm Water Makes Us Wet – Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens + Imagine The Earth Is Your Lover – The 23 Minute Series, Curated by Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens

©2022 Museum of Sex Objects