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This BDSM Museum Makes History Sexy! • Leather Archives & Museum

Charli Renken Charli Renken

This BDSM Museum Makes History Sexy! • Leather Archives & Museum

Who knew a museum could be so erotic? (Okay, maybe the people behind sexy librarian costumes did.)

The BDSM and Kink community has gained more mainstream attention in recent years through films and TV shows like Fifty Shades of Grey, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, and Netflix’s Bonding. What you might not know, however, is the history of BDSM. The Leather Archives & Museum is dedicated to changing that by making “BDSM, kink, leather, and fetish accessible through research, preservation, education, and community engagement.” 

Founded by Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase in 1991, the small museum spans many diverse topics relating to kink history. Dozens of collections are available both in the museum and online and feature displays of bondage equipment, leather apparel, and a variety of antique sex toys. 

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The museum also has several exhibitions that talk about where BDSM fits into LGBTQ+ history, AIDS activism, feminism, and other important movements. Some current exhibitions include “A Room of Her Own,” which explores female kink history; “The Dungeon” with its antique spanking bench; and “The Leatherbar” which discusses the leather bar scene in San Francisco, New York and Chicago during the late 1950’s.

LA&M often hosts events and film screenings in The Etienne Auditorium. Current and upcoming events include “Wild Pack of Dogs: A Visual Exploration of Pet Play Culture” (Oct 26 – Jan 5), “Restraint // Jessica Pierotti: How to Work Together” (Nov 7), and the Cinekink 2019 Film Festival (Nov 22-23). 

Make your way to the Leather Archives & Museum for a sexy history lesson! Those interested in visiting the museum can buy tickets online (for two dollars off!) or at the door. Note: visitors must be 18 years or older to enter. 

Location: 6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL

Tickets: $10 or $5 for Students, Seniors & Military personnel. Save $2 by purchasing tickets online!

Hours: Wed, 11am – 5pm; Thurs: 11am – 7pm (Free admission!); Fri: 11am – 7pm; Sat: 11am – 5pm; Sun: 11am – 5pm

18 years or older only.

More information.

Feature photo: Shutterstock