The Fascinatingly Strange History Of The Vibrator!

0

The Fascinatingly Strange History Of The Vibrator!

We live in a society where there is a plethora of sex toys and vibrators available for purchase, but it was not always like that. Back in the late 19th century, however, women didn’t have this luxury.

Let’s take a look at the fascinatingly strange history of the vibrator.

How did the extraordinary vibrator come to being? Reality is funnier than fiction, at least in this case!

The simple truth is that doctors, in the Victorian era, were sick and tired of having to manually give women orgasms to relieve ‘female hysteria’.

A strange time indeed, a time when female orgasms and sexuality were greatly misunderstood. The orgasm that was produced as a result of the ‘manual message’ was not perceived as orgasms. The prevailing view then was that only normal sexual intercourse with a man could lead to satisfaction. Ladies were enjoying the therapy, we can safely assume.

Let’s continue with why doctors were then performing manual pelvic massage to relieve ‘female hysteria’.

Victorian-era women who were diagnosed with ‘hysteria’, which was often nothing than what we now know as PMS, fatigue or even mild case of anxiety, would have to see a doctor who would relieve the hysteria, by performing a manual ‘pelvic massage’, which resulted in an orgasm.

Yes, the power of the orgasm, it can cure so many things and land you in the land of bliss.

What probably started as the best idea ever, quickly become every doctors’ nightmare. It was very time-consuming task, with doctors of the era claiming it was incredibly difficult to learn and would take up to an hour manually.

Doctors all over were suffering from sore arms and in no time one doctor in the US in 1869, invented a steam-powered vibrator dubbed ‘Manipulator’. It turned out to be a monstrous contraption as big as a table; which wasn’t easy to use or mobile.

Manipulator

Then along came Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville who invented the first vibrator at around 1880. One, which was portable and most important, would have women reach orgasms in five or ten minutes. The only downside to Dr. Granville’s invention was the battery, the size of a suitcase, which weighed a bit over 18 Kg alone.

The historical fiction film Hysteria features a reworked history of the vibrator focusing on Dr. Granville’s invention.

Granville's Electric Vibrator

Vibrators became a staple appliance in the common household and curiously advertised on mainstream magazines disguised as devices for massage. Got to love this fact!

However, things changed around 1920s when the porn films started featuring them and other sex toys, which meant this ‘massagers’ lost their guise and became socially unacceptable.

The vibrator re-emerged into mainstream public culture during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and has ever since remained. The most popular electric vibrator was called ‘The Magic Wand’.

The history of vibrators is interesting as it denotes both the birth of one of the best things in women’s self-pleasuring but also the long history in the control of female sexuality.

What started as a medical device, widely controlled by man, did evolve to become female’s first steps to sexual freedom and exploration.

Today more and more women are becoming part of the production and running of sex toys. Whom better than women to design a vibrator suited for their needs and pleasure.

RMIT university lecturer, Judith Glover, runs the first university course on sex-toys, teaching Melbourne students to apply industrial design principles to intimate appliances. The porn industry still controls the majority of sex-toys market but their products are not exactly the best or safest in the market.

The Future Sex design studio is the brainchild of Dr Glover and student, Victoria Cullen. Where they are creating designs for sex toys that address a range of sexual functions.

How women feel about their sexual functioning is fundamental to their sense of happiness and their health. This can also be said of men of course, but historically women have been more controlled by a patriarch society that misunderstood and tried to regulate female sexuality.

Main feature image credit: Industrial Luv Products Inc.

Share.

About Author

Jade Fox