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by Katie Peachesa April 16, 2020 3 min read

Sex Toys Anthology Part 2: The Vibrators Then and Now

By Ksenia Sobchak

Last time you were here, we discussed the history of dildos and ancient phallic sex toys. This week, we’re going to discuss the vibrator. Woo hoo! Unlike the dildo, which only requires a general shape (and thus could be made of anything from rubber to camel dung…and yes, it once was), vibrators are a fairly new invention.

From Dildo to Vibrator—The Painful Origins

First, technology had to grow. Therefore, we surpassed ages of dildos made out of stone (ouch), wood, leather and other unsexy objects. Primitive names for these toys included “olisbos” and “dilettos.” It wasn’t until humankind first invented the idea of the “comfortable” sex toy, that vibrators could actually be studied, theorized and introduced. Original dildos or “dilettos” were still grating to the skin, even after the discovering of sexual lubricant (or olive oil, to be precise).

It wasn’t until the Victorian Era that comfy dildos were first introduced into hush-hush society. Rubber dildos debuted in the 1850s, and not too long after, mechanical vibrators were introduced. We know what you’re thinking! “Are you saying that Victorian society was actually that horny and were hiding their kinks behind those long queenly dresses?”

Actually, your suspicion is well founded. These dildos were made, not really for the pleasure of women, but for the treatment of women suffering from female “hysteria.” The recommended treatment for this alarming case of mental dysfunction? An orgasm! A rather brilliant deduction, we say!

The First Vibrators—O.K. for Women but Made for a Man

The first vibrator was actually powered by steam, and was meant only to take some pressure off the doctor who would give hysterical female patients manual genital massages. Interesting no? By the early 1900s, the first electromechanical vibrator was introduced, and it wouldn’t be until the 1960s that a cordless vibrator debuted.

Of course, by the 1900s, society let up on women a bit, and dildos and vibrators began appearing in women’s magazines and in erotic films. The 1940s and onward brought an age of conservatism to society, which almost ended in the 1960s, but went on until at least the 1980s, when many women and men legitimized adult products for modern lovers.

Now to the age of the vibrator boom! Today, vibrators come in a variety of shapes, styles, and mechanical designs. Some vibrators have a rather basic motion of constant shaking/vibrating, while others actually have multifunctional capabilities, including rotation and thrusting. The Rabbit Vibrator of the 1990s was a great teacher, and allowed women and couples to experiment with simultaneous clitoral and vaginal (and G-spot) orgasms. The mainstream media, including female-friendly shows like Sex and the City, also played a part in introducing sex toys to the mainstream.

It is well known (around these parts) that only 30% of all women can achieve orgasm with only intercourse. Often times, women cannot orgasm at all during certain sexual positions which do allow direct clitoral access. This is why the vibrator, especially the dual action vibrators, are so handy. Hopefully at Peaches and Screams, we have enlightened you just that little bit when it comes to the history of a certain few of our loves. Thankfully, today you don’t have to get a prescription…or ask for a doctor’s busy hands just to get some kinky fun!

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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