Prague, Czech Republic. Home to intravenous beer, starch and Communist souvenirs; to parallel bridges and Kafka memorials, to stern, skinny men and women named Martina.
And to a tourist attraction that is in no way linked to James Brown – the Prague Sex Machine Museum.
One thing’s for sure, today's sexual accessories - explored in SBS 2's Frisky Business series returning tonight - are far less complicated than their historical counterparts. Not long through my journey, I felt as if I’d walked onto the set of the next Saw installment. Let's review what was there...
The utterly inconspicuous Air Vibrator
Suspiciously reminiscent of early vacuum cleaners, this “vibrator” was inserted into the vacuum (!!) and caused vibrations with a valve at the end of the device. Apparently this sucker comes with a range of accessories aimed to create a "range of sensations", one of which must be "blowing a raspberry".
Smother Box is so much worse than it sounds
Woe is me to the power of sheesh. I guess anything called the Smother Box was always going to end up less puppies and rainbows and more ‘amorous coprophagy’ which I’ll leave you to Google, but let’s just say this item resembles a lavatory for practical reasons.
Humans once hung around in Love Baskets
Don’t worry, there’s nothing remotely scatological about this somewhat impractical extravagance. The basket is usually incorporated into foreplay – a method of teasing your partner with revealing angles.
Aw, what a romantic masturbatory aid!
I’m not sure what it’s called or how it works, nor for which gender’s anatomy it's designed, but this (probably) ingenious accessory to auto-eroticism comes complete/replete with a slot for your partner’s photo.
Get a load of this portable precursor to the peep show
When locals of yore visited an open-air market or rural festival, chances are they’d happen upon a freestanding, windowless compartment and the option to pay to peep through any number of eyeholes. Inside the magic box awaited a woman wearing less clothing than those outside of it.
Literal electricity in the bedroom
Made worse by its unsettling name, the Pansanitor is a massaging device aimed to stimulate all the body using "violet rays" that pass through a glass wand. These violet rays were nothing but electric shocks.
No sex machine museum is complete without vintage novelty items, a BDSM rack, and a situation involving a bottle of Pure Blonde (which made me homesick)
And to cap it all off... here's a teddy with a dildo
For more recent trends in sexual accessories, watch series 2 of Frisky Business on Tuesday, 23 August at 9.25pm (AEST) on SBS 2. After they air, episodes will be available on SBS On Demand.
In the meantime, watch Love Me, Love My Doll, about men who prefer relationships with life-like silicone dolls.