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Avellon Williams 

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- He is hoping to attract 5,000 visitors by the end of the year after he opens a sex history museum located on Samford Road near Piarco Airport, on June 23. Sexologist and Therapist Dr Giriraj Ramnanan also known by many as “Dr Raj.”  “Trini Erotic Museum”, the gallery caters exclusively to adults 18 years old and over.

Dr Giriraj Ramnanan aka ‘Dr.Raj’ /Image, GTT/

According to Ramnanan, the museum will educate visitors on the history and origins of sex. It will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean and a third-world country.

“In all developed countries there are museums. There are about 20 of these museums throughout the world. No third-world country has anything like this.”

Ramnanan explained, “Among the museum’s collections will be ancient artefacts, manuscripts, photographs, carvings, and prints from way back in time. Also included in the era of porn, which has evolved over the last hundred years with the advent of the movie camera, as well as education on STIs which is an important part of the museum. The goal of the museum is to provide a lot of information. We have a library of donated books.”

There are over 1,000 books in Ramnanan’s library, and other items in the museum were obtained from his usual supplier and his travels. Ramnanan also invites people who have artefacts, tapestries, photos, etc at home, artists such as Carnival bandleaders, to donate either temporarily or permanently, and anonymously if they wish.

In Ramnanan’s view, a museum is important since people in this country are exposed to sexually explicit materials that are not educational. Moreover, they lack knowledge about the history of sex.

/Image, EL/

“For example, the meaning of the Kama Sutra (popular ancient Indian text on sexual technique, human sexual behaviour, and love) is an instruction in love, but people believe its main function is to talk about various positions,” he pointed out.

“Sex is not only about fornication, there’s a history attached to it. If you think about the history of mankind, it is the history of sex because mankind came about because of sex,” Ramnanan said.

The museum, which has an entry fee, will not only present histories but also explain the sexual connotations of items on exhibit. Ramnanan said that while some explanations may stir controversy, he would be willing to provide substantial evidence and data to support his assertions. Despite what some may think, he claimed there was no intention to offend anyone’s race or religion.

In addition to history and educational purposes, Ramnanan said the museum is also planned to entertain visitors.

“The entertainment aspect is seeing something you have never seen in your life,” he said.

In addition, Ramnanan explained that since curiosity drives tourism, the museum would appeal to some tourists coming to Trinidad, thereby generating foreign exchange. In addition to creating employment, the museum could provide excursions for adult students pursuing similar courses.

He said some of his followers residing in the Caribbean may be interested in visiting such a museum in Trinidad and Tobago, or perhaps those who travel there for other activities like cricket or Carnival may visit the museum. Visitors from countries where such freedoms are not available can still visit us here.

“Everybody likes sex in one form or the other. Some persons are shy about it and some persons are very open about it,” he said.

/Image, CNN/

It varies between countries how willing people are to talk about sex issues as a result of religion, laws and social norms.

In terms of attitudes toward sex, researchers rank Sweden as the most open and liberal country. According to studies, Scandinavian students are more tolerant of premarital sex than North American students (Grose, 2007). Data collected from 37 countries showed that non-Western societies like China, Iran, and India “placed little value on prior sexual experiences” in a potential mate, while Western European countries like France, the Netherlands, and Sweden “valued chastity highly” (Buss, 1989).

Sweden has a school system that includes sex education, starting at age six, and there are few restrictions on the public display of sexual imagery.

Researchers see a positive effect of the country’s openness about sex on the rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, which are among the lowest in the world (Grose, 2007).

When it comes to museums with sexual themes there are listings for Amsterdam in the Netherlands, New York, Las Vegas, Italy, Russia, Japan, and China despite the conservative nature of some countries. Ramnanan also explained that in India, a one-room exhibit educates on sexual health after a spike in HIV/Aids cases in 2002, and numerous artefacts and materials related to this theme can be found throughout Africa.

As educational and entertaining institutions, museums collect, preserve, interpret, and display objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance. Museums are intended to show every aspect of life and culture, and people usually visit them to discover how people lived in the past, whether for curiosity about the culture of the country they are visiting or for the enjoyment of the arts.

/Image, GYG/

There are two sex museums in the Netherlands. Temple of Venus, the oldest in the world, opened in 1985, and Red-Light Secrets, which began in 2014. It is said that the displays at the Temple of Venus explore sensual love through the ages and are organised, tasteful, and interesting.

New York’s Museum of Sex explores “the evolution, history, and cultural significance of human sexuality.” It contains galleries, artefacts, reading materials, and interactive games. The exhibits are presented in an educational format, but they sometimes contain explicit content.

Even though sex is a taboo in Trinidad and Tobago, Ramnanan believes the country is the most “open” in the Caribbean with respect to sex. He suggested that this may have something to do with the diversity of the people, who, he said, are generally more tolerant of each other.

Ramnanan believes he has made some progress in this regard by educating the public with his radio show, “Sexplosion”, which ran for 19 years, but was ended by the advent of COVID, and through broadcasts on most local channels for 20 years. In addition to speaking on a variety of topics related to sexual health, he has also created businesses related to entertainment and sexual health.

Dr. Raj /Image, FB/

From a young age, Ramnananan expressed his interest in teaching others about sexual issues. His clinics are located in St Augustine, Central Trinidad and South Trinidad. He treats males, females, couples, and women suffering from sexual dysfunctions, as well as women who cannot become pregnant and are referred to him by medical practitioners or psychologists.

He said locals would be responsive to the museum. A number of his supporters and followers have already expressed interest.

“I have about 5,000 in various WhatsApp groups. Over 1,000 people responded that they are excited to visit,” he said.

When it comes to opening the museum itself, the sex expert said he has not encountered any legal issues. He has had legal disputes with customs in regards to their “interpretation” of the law while importing sex toys.

“As far as the laws of Trinidad and Tobago are concerned, I have no problems with the police because all my stores are legal, everything I do is legal. The police investigated me for two years when I first started because they couldn’t believe anybody came out so boldly about sex. I have not done anything illegal,” Ramnanan said.

Among those who understand Ramnanan’s passion for sex education and entertainment, he said, is his wife, whom he has known for 48 years and married for 38 years.

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Avellon Williams

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