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Monday, September 21, 2020

The History of Sex Toys

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Have you ever wondered how your great grand-parents had sex? Or, just maybe you have chosen to believe that sex started in the 1960s. Well, if the former is the case, then we totally understand why you have had to wonder this long.

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It’s very easy to assume that our ancestors were strictly religious people who would shake and shiver or be red with anger at the mere sight of a bare shoulder and ankle.However, in reality, people have always been in search for simple ways to get themselves off for centuries.

You are about to follow us on a journey through time as we expose you to everything you probably never knew about the history of sex toys.

About The World’s First Dildo

So, rumor has it has that archaeologists were once in Germany, digging through an ancient cave when they came across an 8-inch long pointed object created from siltstone. This sexy discovery was polished to perfection, and we assure you that it looked remarkably like a penis.

This discovery is somewhere around 28,000 years old, and it could most likely be the oldest dildo to have ever been found. Similar objects that are made out of bone, stone, and even teeth have been discovered in caves as well as other essential items such as combs and sewing needles.

Nevertheless, we are aware that our ancient friends, known for wine-drinking, always philosophizing, and sex-positivity (We are talking about the Ancient Greeks) were no strangers to dildos.

The ancient playwright called Aristophane wrote a comedy called Lysistrata in 411 BC. The comedy tells the story of a  group of women who attempt to put an end to the Peloponnesian War by refusing to engage in sexual intercourse until the men put an end to the war.

The ladies openly discuss about their sex toys.

Vulture Lungs And Bats Blood: Medieval Marital Aids

Sex Toys

Have you been looking for ways to spice up your love life? According to the ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), the use of vulture lungs and bat’s blood were a great aphrodisiac.

Around 1200 AD, in Ancient China, cock rings and jade butt plugs were made out of goat eyelids and also used to heighten sexual pleasure and to spice up married life.

According to Dr. Bronach Kane, a Lecturer in Medieval History at Cardiff University mentioned that sex toys were frequently used by women in the middle ages.

Kane says that sex toys of different kinds were produced during the Middle Ages, mostly by women and for women. She adds that while masturbation was mostly frowned upon and penance was given for both sexes, women’s use of detachable instruments for sexual pleasure triggered particular anxiety for both civic authorities and churchmen.

Hysteria And The subsequent Evolution Of The Victorian Vibrator

Sex Toys

Back in the 1800s, things were weird when it came to women as people seemed to assume that virtually any issue that a lady had – be it migraine or irritability – was caused by ‘hysteria.’ Hysteria’ is a word in Greek that means “suffering uterus.”

The belief at the time was that the womb would begin to wander around a woman’s body and go further to wreak havoc on her sensibilities.

The symptoms of wandering womb symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, and – god forbid – hot sexual fantasies.

At the time, hysteria had no known permanent cure, and so ‘treatment’ would have to be carried out every few months, weeks, or days.

The treatment for hysteria at the time was ‘pelvic massage.’ Doctors made sure to insist that it had nothing at all to do with sex, but pelvic massages often resulted in what is called a ‘hysterical paroxysm’ – or what we currently know as a screaming orgasm.

Initially, this was done by hand, but then the service became very common, and physicians began to complain of hand cramps.

In 1869, an American doctor called George Taylor had the idea of making a steam-powered ‘Manipulator’ machine – a table that has a vibrating ball in the middle – which was strong enough to perform the hard work, so that physicians didn’t have to do it with their hands.

This large machine was good enough for the hospital, but it wasn’t practical for home use. This wasn’t so bad because in 1880, the British physician known as Joseph Mortimer Granville patented the first electric vibrator in the world.

Sex Toys In The 20th Century

Sex Toys

For the next 6 decades, vibrating devices were made available, but they were not entirely associated with sex. If we should go by the history of vibrators, you will be convinced that it isn’t accurate to refer to vibrators as sex toys. This is because from Victorian times all through the 1940s or so, vibrators were not old for the purpose of sex.

These devices were marketed as healthcare devices that just coincidentally happened to trigger orgasm if you knew the right places to apply the vibration. Still, there is no proof that people who owned these toys knew that they could trigger orgasm (but there’s no proof either that they didn’t).

20th-century sex toys were also not sold as pleasure items but as home-care appliances and could be purchased from your local pharmacy, shop, or via mail order. These devices were innocent toys in the same way that you can consider a shower massager a sex toy. Pretty innocent, yeah? Right!

As time passed and people became more open about their sexuality, especially in the ‘60s, they also began to recognize female masturbation, and for the first time, a female-run sex-positive adult toy shop was opened in 1974 in the USA.

Social acceptance and technological advancement was all it took to bring sex toys to the point they have reached in today’s world. Now, sex is an openly discussed subject, and so is self-pleasure and same-sex relationships.

What we have to say about the Future Of Sex Toys

Today, things have become much easier as sex toys can easily be purchased online, and even on the high street.

With the availability of various kinds of vibrators, clitoral pleasers, suction toys, and even life-like sex robots, we can agree that sex toys are becoming even more futuristic by the day.

Let’s not forget that there is VR to look out for, just in case it finds its way into the sex toy industry (Imagine what VR sex with toys would be like, DAMN!!!). Hopefully, you get to learn more in our article about the future of sex toys.

Emmanuella Oluwafemi
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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