Last night, we rolled through the lobby of Flatiron’s Museum of Sex and into PLAY, a brand new experiential bar with two things on its mind – coitus and cocktails. The press event preceded today’s official opening to the public, and we’re happy to report back that this is quite far from your average Midtown lounge.


Curiously, PLAY is designed to look much like the sort of home library you might find in an old European estate, filled with hardbound books and leather couches that would make Ron Burgundy purr. Upon closer examination, however, you’ll discover that something’s a bit off. Flip through their copy of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for example, and you might find a still of a “deleted scene” from one of Aladdin and Jasmine’s more passionate Arabian nights.

MuseumOfSex_Play_BookDefaced Books at PLAY

Once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole, it’s hard to stop. The phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” has never rung so true, and PLAY’s collection of defaced novels stands as the best example we’ve seen. Lucky for you, PLAY keeps the lights turned down, so no one will notice those rosy cheeks (or worse…) when you find just the wrong picture. Talk about arousing the senses.


When it comes to drinks, PLAY has come up with some of the most creative cocktails we’ve found in the city. Take, for instance, Crush Porn, a special cocktail made from grapes smashed by the bare feet of famous archetypes (Alan Cumming has already done his bit, and we’re told Sasha Grey herself has recently signed on). If that doesn’t fit your fetish, you might lap up Pareidolia, a cocktail poured onto a plate, forcing you to get low and lick. MuseumOfSex_Play_AlanCumming

These experiential drinks put PLAY in a league of its own, a perfect extension of Midtown’s most giggle-inducing museum. Best of all, they’re designed by commissioned artists who will be rotated on a regular basis, ensuring that creativity will flow into every drink for the foreseeable future. Food pairings by Chef Ben Roche like beef tongue, curry shortrib and crisp spring rolls bring the night full circle.


The Museum of Sex plans to continue evolving PLAY over the coming weeks and months, and we’re pretty excited to see what else their cleverly dirty minds come up with. The lounge is open to the public as of today, and the bar plans to have Pareidolia ready for consumption by the end of the week. As for Crush Porn, you’ll have to wait until the end of the month. Pulverizing grapes with celebrity feet takes time, after all. The real beauty of the bar, however, is in its utility and longevity – this is no one night stand. PLAY plans to offer VIP cards to local New Yorkers who are interested in using the lounge for meetings and workspace during the day.


We’re not sure whether this is love or lust just yet, but we’re happy to be feeling anything in the heart of midtown. PLAY, we’re standing at full attention. Visit PLAY: 1 East 27th Street (between 5th Ave & Madison Ave) New York, NY 10016


Also check out our previous coverage on the Keith Haring safe-sex toys available at the Museum of Sex