This week I learned about a fascinating
museum dedicated not to the history of art or war or science, but to
the history of human relationships. Specifically, this museum is a
showcase of stories about how relationships have ended, and the objects old lovers have left behind.
An article in Metro
“Grubisic and museum co-founder
Olinka Vistica were in a four-year relationship that came to an end
in 2003. Having joked about the idea of creating a museum for their
things, they decided to do it for real in 2006 …” People donate
objects that were left behind when their relationships ended. Each
item is accompanied by a story, written by its donor. They range from
a single word to cathartic paragraphs and lyrical pieces of prose.”
As you’d expect, some of the stories
that accompany the objects are very moving: tales of star-crossed
lovers destined to part, or bitter notes about people who cheated or
betrayed someone. Some are funny, like the toaster which just comes
with a message saying ‘how are you going to toast anything now?’
The coolest thing about this museum is
that anyone who’s had a relationship will be able to relate to the
often mixed feelings that accompany an ex’s possessions. Each item
charged with memories – happy, sad, or both – and all coming
accompanied by the dilemma: is it appropriate to keep this or should
I throw it away?
Exes and sex toys
One of the most emotionally charged
things that gets left behind at the end of a relationship is a sex
toy: or a collection of sex toys. When I broke up with my ex
boyfriend we had a fairly hefty collection, thanks to both of us
gradually building up a toolbox of
dildos, butt-plugs and whips over many years of mutual kink. Dividing them between us was one part of the challenge, but that’s easy to surmount if you’re both willing to share equally.
The emotional connection is strange, though. How did it feel using a butt plug that’s most recently been
in the arse of the person you still miss at night? It felt quite odd.
Likewise using my favourite rabbit vibrator that he bought me as a
present. I’d been using it for years without thinking of
him specifically while I masturbated, but for some reason as soon as
we broke up it was hard to close my mind to the fact that this object
was associated with him.
Given the museum’s brief, it got me
thinking about the objects that I might be tempted to donate from
past relationships. Which sex toys from my past have the most emotional impact?
dildo that I used for my first ever pegging session
This has a deep meaning for me
because… well… it was the first time I’d ever pegged someone.
We’d been excited about trying it for ages, and it was only after
we’d braved a real-world sex shop (this was back in the day where you
couldn’t really buy much online – and certainly couldn’t get hold
of such a
wide range of sex
toys) that we managed to lock ourselves in my bedroom and start
having a play. The experience was intense: not just for him, although
he did manage to jizz in record time, so powerfully that there was an
arcing spunk-stain on the wall above my bed that took quite a while
to get rid of. It was also intense for me: the first time I’d
experienced sex from a thruster’s perspective rather than a thrustee.
I was hooked.
My first ever boyfriend used to use
flavoured condoms that he bought in bulk. I know some people love
flavoured condoms, but I tend to prefer standard ones or perhaps
condoms for a little extra sensation. Still, we were young and I
think he was just keen to try out as many flavours as possible. It
meant that every time we shagged the room would smell slightly sweet
or – on one notable occasion – minty after we’d done it. Nothing
brings back memories of this guy quite like the scent of fruity
Ah, this I’d donate in memory of a very short but sweet relationship. It was fun and extraordinarily filthy – a whirlwind holiday romance. The guy and I had met online and
chatted for a while, and then decided to meet up after a lot of
long-distance flirting. One shag led to two, three, twenty-seven or
so that weekend, and the next weekend I introduced him to my sex toy
tie kit, when twinned with a set of restraints,
allowed him to truss me up into a neat parcel then have his wicked
way with me. It proves a massive success, and to this day when I look
at one I’m reminded of the way his eyes lit up, and given a sweet
kick of nostalgia for this quick and dirty relationship.
See, that’s the beauty of the museum of
heartache I think: wherever there’s sadness there’s also usually joy.
After all, we wouldn’t be heartbroken at the end of a relationship if
we hadn’t had some bloody good fun along the way.