Walking through the museum, it’s clear that it understands and capitalizes on the fact that its draw is largely the tee-hee factor of rooms full of penises, exemplified by those obnoxious dudes who rode the bus with me. For example, it displays and sells in its gift shop an animatronic flasher in a trench coat with a motion sensor who gets a boner and makes rude comments as you walk by. He’s labeled “Inappropriate Man.” I hate the Inappropriate Man, who I keep accidentally setting off when I try to read an informative placard on the wall.
But there is a strange tension between the spectacle and the scientific. The spectacle gets people in the door, but the museum’s purpose seems to be more sincere. The “About” section of its website states: “Now, thanks to The Icelandic Phallological Museum, it is finally possible for individuals to undertake serious study into the field of phallology in an organized, scientific fashion.”