A few years ago, when Ann Marie Coughlin, a New York dominatrix also known as Domina M., donated her brushed-steel bondage machine to be shown at the Museum of Sex, many people benefited.
Visitors to that Manhattan museum got a chance to learn more about sexual domination and sadomasochism. The curators received another attraction for their 15,000-item collection of vintage condoms, pornographic paraphernalia and one sexually explicit Picasso.
And Ms. Coughlin got a tax deduction.
Of course, there are people who quibble about whether whips and etchings and other types of erotica are the kinds of cultural artifacts that deserve a tax deduction. But the question is even more pronounced when it comes to the Museum of Sex because, unlike most other museums, it is not a charitable organization but a for-profit company.