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Sex and eroticism

Frankie Goes to Hollywood photograph by John Stoddart

The collections of National Museums Liverpool demonstrate how attitudes towards sex and eroticism have changed over the centuries. 

Bell Krater jars from Ancient Greece feature homoerotic scenes and reference same-sex desire. Artworks from the early 20th century feature disguised images of homosexual eroticism and desire, made at a time when male homosexual sex acts were illegal. 

Later objects and artworks document the affects of the Sexual Offences Act (1967) which partially decriminalised male homosexual acts in England and Wales. Photographs of the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood highlight how fetish-wear and BDSM (Bondage, Domination and Sado-Masochism) have become a part of popular culture as attitudes towards sex and homosexuality have become more liberal. Play packs and promotional condoms relate the importance of practising safe sex and reflect the ongoing impact of HIV and AIDS on the LGBT+ community in the 21st century. 


LGBT+ collections

Explore our LGBT+ collections researched by our Pride and Prejudice research project