Originally, I had set out to be a psychologist. After completing numerous transpersonal psychology classes for my undergraduate degree, I decided that a continuation of those studies would prove beneficial to others. I was accepted to the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California for their Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) program. As my start date approached, I gave careful consideration as to what my focus would be. How could I make the most impact? How could I truly reach people to be of service? I knew that I wanted my clinical practice to be authentic and desired to work with individuals at their core essence: sex and gender. I realized that I needed to know more about these subjects before beginning my curriculum at Wright. With a determined focus, I began to research other educational programs that specialized in these areas. This is how I discovered the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Upon reviewing their program and visiting the campus, I decided to obtain a Doctorate of Human Sexuality (D.H.S.) and then apply knowledge gained at The Institute to my graduate work at Wright.
At The Institute, I was introduced to its vast collection of erotological archives and libraries. I was intrigued by the intrinsic and instrumental value of everything around me. Being exposed to such materials was transformative. Through the use of erotica, it was possible for a person to think with the senses and feel with the mind. It was an opportunity to connect, explore and express without judgment. I devoted myself to learning as much as I could with the resources available to me.
I was about to receive my D.H.S. and preparing for Wright when I was offered the opportunity to receive Doctorate of Philosophy – Erotology (Ph.D.). My dissertation would not be qualitative or quantitative, but phenomenological. Meaning, my dissertation would be a experiential. The focus would be the design, development and activation of an art museum.
Needless to say, I accepted the offer and began to cultivate a philosophy that I still embrace to this day: Sex Education Through Art. The title of my dissertation was the Erotic Heritage Museum and I created a website to present the vast majority of what I had conceived and developed. I am delighted to share key components of this endeavor through a series of essays which I will write over time.
Concept – Sex Education Through the Arts
The Erotic Heritage Museum was designed to present a vast array of artwork celebrating the diverse joys and wonders of human erotic imagination. The museum celebrates the events leading up to and illustrates the 20th Century phenomena called the “Sexual Revolution.’ With a focus on 20th Century American contributions to this heritage, the museum will promote an understanding and appreciation of all erotic works of art, inclusive of literary, film, memorabilia and ephemera. The museum provides rich environments for a wide range of audiences to investigate and experience excellence in contemporary art. The museum accomplishes this through innovative exhibitions, education, interpretative programs and direct access to the experiential process.
The design of the museum is to be an open floor plan. The open floor plan of exhibitions and respective installations are designed so that the patron may absorb all visuals and information according to their comfort level. It is intended that the patron will have a better understanding of the full range of human sexuality by allowing guests to explore per their own interests. The museum gives guests permission to engage in internal and external dialogue to learn not only about their own sexual proclivities, but also understanding of the sexual proclivities of others without judgment.
Creation and Development
- Travel domestically and internationally to seek artists and like-minded art organizations for mutually beneficial alliances.
- Secure and develop the following domains: domains eroticheritagemuseum.com and eroticheritagemuseum.org;
- Create website and develop products for sales in museum store and gallery;
- Oversee design plans and collaborate with architects and builders to create floor plan suitable for art installations and special events;
- Design and curate annual exhibition calendar: as well as coordinate monthly exhibitions, artist lectures, merchandise opportunities, artist and special events to attract all socio-demographics for optimal patronage;
- Drive innovative and fiscally sound marketing campaigns that speak to and reflect the broad range of interests of clientele;
- Partner with public relations and marketing agencies to coordinate local, national and international media contacts;
- Write content for press releases, blogs and social posts while ensuring all content is optimized for SEO strategic goals, along with quality and brand recognition; and,
- Develop alliances with local, state, national and international civic leaders.
The Erotic Heritage Museum provides a rich environment for a wide range of audiences to investigate and experience sex education through art. The museum accomplishes this through innovative exhibitions, education, interpretative programs and direct access to a comprehensive sexological academic library. Presents innovative public programs, creating a cultural center of gravity in its community.
In 2005, the name for the Erotic Heritage Museum was established and the initial website designed. In 2005 and 2006, travel to Europe and England was necessary to develop strategic alliances with artists and art organizations. In 2006, artist Georgie Tier of the United Kingdom created a logo that would represent the all-inclusive mission of the museum. In 2007, travel to China as guest of government to lecture on the value of erotology and develop alliances with teaching facilities. This same year, extensive collaboration with architects and builders were necessary to achieve optimal use of space. Art and merchandise chosen for sale in museum store and gallery. In 2008, the museum installed intellectual and whimsical installations for its inaugural opening to the public. From 2008 to 2010, a tremendous effort was made to collaborate with nonprofit organizations, generate new exhibitions every six months to entice repeat patronage and court the media. Within two years of its opening, the Erotic Heritage Museum was named the Best Museum of Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Best Pick for Culture by 944 Magazine, Fourth Sexiest Museum in the World by ABC News and extraordinary press coverage.
The Erotic Heritage Museum houses more than 17,000 square feet of permanent and featured exhibits designed to preserve wonders of the erotic imagination as depicted through the artistic expression of acts of sex and love. 7,000 square feet of exhibition space is provided for temporary exhibitions to promote an array of installations that support equality, diversity and inclusivity. The museum is dedicated to the belief that sexual pleasure and fun are natural aspects of the human experience, that such pleasure must be made available to all, and that our individual sexuality belongs to each of us. It’s mission: Sex Education through Art.
Featured Image: Sex Ed, featuring EHM + Laura Henkel, 944 Magazine, Oct 2008