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History of the Vibrator

  • Sex Toys Guide - Introduction
  • Sex Toys Guide - Vibrators
  • Sex Toys Guide - Using a Vibrating Sex Toy
  • Sex Toys Guide - History of Vibrators
  • Sex Toys Guide - Dildos and Dongs
  • Sex Toys Guide - Cock Rings
  • Sex Toys Guide - Penis Pumps
  • Sex Toys Guide - Masturbators
  • Sex Toys Guide - Realistic Masturbators
  • Sex Toys Guide - Mega Masturbators
  • Sex Toys Guide - Anal Sex Toys
  • Sex Toys Guide - Strap-Ons & Harnesses
  • Sex Toys Guide - Penis Extensions
  • Sex Toys Guide - Sex Dolls
  • Sex Toys Guide - Sexual Positioning
  • Sex Toys Guide - Sex Swings
  • Sex Toys Guide - Love Machines
  • Sex Toys Guide - Lubricants
  • Sex Toys Guide - Bondage and Fetish
  • It is said that the use of a vibrator dates back 1000’s of years. That Cleopatra was among the first women to use one. Hers would have been a “calabash” or a bottle gourd filled with buzzing bees.

    In the 19th Century doctors would treat women with “hysteria”, a chronic disease of the womb, which caused irritability and discomfort. The doctors of the time discovered that a massaging of the genitals with aromatic oils could relieve the discomfort for women; however, the women would need this treatment on a regular basis.  It was a very labor-intensive therapy for the doctors, as they would continue this massaging until the women reached “hysterical paroxysm” or orgasm. The massage was considered strictly a medical treatment and no shame was imposed upon its practice.

    Doctor’s of the 19th Century observed that up to 70% of women suffered from “hysteria” that could be treated by the genital massage which proved to be a very lucrative business, however, the fact that some women took up to an hour to reach paroxysm limited the amount of patients a doctor could treat in a day. Besides that the treatment was very taxing on the doctors themselves physically.

    Entrepreneurial doctors experimented with ways to mechanize the treatment trying ideas such as to shoot water onto the patient’s reproductive area. This was a productive idea but proved to be much too messy and still very time consuming. Other ideas included a foot pedal, hand crank or even steam-operated devices.

    In the 1880’s a British Doctor invented the first electric vibrator. It was designed to be a permanent fixture of a doctor’s office. It was bulky and expensive but the doctor’s that could afford one increased their business allowing them to treat each patient within about 10 minutes time and without the vigorous labor involved.

    Around the turn of the century Hamilton Beach identified a potentially huge market for private use vibrators and patented first hand held electric vibrator designed for women to take home and treat their “hysteria”. This made the vibrator the fifth electronic device made for the home.

    By 1916 there were more electric vibrators in homes than electric toasters or even sewing machines. Dozens of patents were registered and vibrators designed between 1900 and 1940. These devices look more like a large and bulky drill with attachments designed to stimulate the clitoris better.

    These home versions became so popular they were advertised in popular magazines like Woman’s Home Companion, Sears & Roebuck Catalog & Modern Priscilla. Those types of ads began to disappear in the 1920’s when vibrators were used in pornographic films showing women masturbating. Suddenly the once completely accepted cure for “hysteria” had become dirty and unacceptable. The most famous pornographic film of the time was The Nun’s Story starring the wife of body builder Vic Tanny.

    With the sexual revolution of the 60’s the vibrator made a big comeback. In 1968 the patent for the first cordless vibrator was filed which was soon followed by improvements such as multi-speed vibrators and one-piece construction making them easier to clean and maintain.

    From the 1950’s to the 1970’s the vibrator became the next “Camouflage Technology” offering it in such shapes as bananas or vibrators that doubled as a nail file or a vacuum cleaner attachment, back scratchers or hair brushes.

    In 1973 Betty Dodson started masturbation groups for women to explore their sexuality. Her vibrator of choice was the Hitachi Magic Wand, which has now become a household name. Her book Sex for One was translated in 8 different languages. The same year the first sex shop opened in New York City. It was called “Eve’s Garden”. “Good Vibrations” followed nearly 5 years later in San Francisco.

    Vibrators came back into the mainstream in 1980’s with many sex shops opening up nationwide. Also having ground breaking episodes on shows like HBO’s Sex in the City” geared completely around vibrators and the girls using them. In the 1990’s thanks to the Regan Administration, with the health scare of AIDS the Surgeon General mailed out a pamphlet to American homes to support safe sex practices. It cited vibrators and other sexual devices as safe alternatives to un-safe sex.

    Home party businesses like Tupperware parties for women became very popular in the 1990’s as well. These parties offered women a safe environment to shop with friends and get a bit of hands on education from a party plan professional. Whether it’s for masturbation or for use with a partner, there is virtually something for everyone. The home party business breaks down the barrier of possible embarrassment to ladies not interested in shopping in sex shops.

    Of course with the popularity of the internet and web based businesses private and discreet shopping took on a whole new meaning. You can purchase virtually any type of vibrator out there from the comfort of your own home by simply logging onto BedroomJoys.com

    Research published in 2009 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine shows that 46% of men and 53% of women ages 18 to 60 in America own at least one vibrator. And with the “baby boomers” becoming the new “senior citizens” we can expect that age to increase as well as the percentages.

    Necessity of a Vibrator for Orgasm

    Research shows that only 30% of women can achieve orgasm through intercourse. For many women stimulation of the clitoris or sex position may impact their ability to achieve an orgasm during intercourse. However, in many cases intercourse alone is not enough for a woman to achieve an orgasm.

    Sex therapists may recommend a vibrator to assist with one’s personal experience. This can help a woman become more familiar with herself and her body’s responses. That exercise can often help her to achieve her own orgasm and intern communicate to her partner what to do to help her achieve an orgasm during intercourse.

    Using a vibrator during intercourse can prolong the foreplay and help couples become more familiar with each other on many levels. They entice open communication and play. There are so many options these days for couples to experiment with allowing a fresh and fun feeling to help spice things up when they seem monotonous or dull. Vibrators are a positive addition on many levels for relationship with a partner or with yourself.

    Evolution of the Vibrator

    As mentioned above the modern day vibrator has come a long way. Starting out as a heavy electronic device resembling a drill or a blow dryer all the way to the first wireless hand held vibrator in the 1960’s. From there the idea of keeping a vibrator discreet was disguised by making them look like so many things. These days the variety is not only for discretion but for functionality as well. Many manufacturer’s are focusing on ergonomic design, materials, waterproofing to allow for better hygiene. There are so many options for every price range and for almost any type of stimulation you can imagine, probably even more!

    The original basic wireless vibrators were a few inches long, about 3” to 7” plastic. They took 2 C batteries and had a twist bottom, which provided multi speed. That original basic design is still very popular today. You can find them in an assortment of colors & sizes. They can be thin, thick, shiny, velvety. Some have gems in them, some look metallic, some are metallic. This is an item many women start with whether it’s a gift or the simple fact that it seems like a non-threatening place to start. This basic vibrator can be used for insertion or externally for g-spot stimulation.

    The Silver Bullet is also a vibrator that goes way back to the early 1970’s. This was a spin on the above vibrator. The Silver Bullet is a small vibrating “bullet” about 2” long with a cord that leads to a battery pack. The battery pack originally took 2AA batteries and offers a spinning wheel to provide multiple speeds. It was designed to get your partner involved, to free up your hand while pleasuring yourself or your partner. Also designed to use externally by putting it over the clitoris during intercourse or foreplay. This “bullet” vibrator is also available in gold and cream color plastic originally. It evolved to egg shape and then double bullets with the same type of hand held battery pack. These days you can get a vibrating bullet in all different colors & textures with sleeves for enhanced stimulation or not. Some of them have the battery inside of the bullet with a button to push on the end of the vibrator so it becomes a single-handed item to use. There are 100’s to choose from in varied speeds and intensities. Technology being what it is you can also get a remote control bullet in various sizes and speeds. These remote control bullets are to be placed inside a woman’s vagina or they can also be slipped into the little pocket on a woman’s panties. Once in place herself or her partner can have the control in a pocket and activate the bullet from up to 25 feet. Across a room at a party or a function, or simply during intercourse to provide the ultimate in hands free fun.

    The technology is amazing. Some of the bullets are heating bullets for stimulation purposes. The variety is virtually endless.

    The G-Spot Vibrator curved specifically to hit a woman’s g-spot or “Grafenberg Spot” which is an erogenous zone inside the woman’s vagina. It can be found approximately 1 to 3 inches up in the front of a woman’s vaginal wall. When stimulated properly a woman can experience a very extreme orgasm.  Again, there are a large selection of sizes and textures of G-Spot vibrators, different lengths and styles. Every woman is different so to try a few different choices until you find the one that suits your body properly is not unusual. Once you’ve found the magic that is he g-spot orgasm you may want to ad some other features to your vibrator. Features such as variable speeds and functions like escalating, rolling, pulsating, etc…  More advanced g-spot toys will offer a clitoral stimulator as well. That would be called a “personality vibe” or a “multi-function vibe” commonly known as a “rabbit vibrator”.

    Rabbit Vibrators  are also known as “multi-function vibes” or “personality vibes”. This is because they have many speeds, functions and do many things at once. They have a rabbit or a butterfly or a dolphin or some other “personality” in their design. The most popular being the rabbit, is usually made so the rabbit ears are set up on an extension that sticks out from the side of the probe properly positioned for clitoral stimulation while the main shaft is used for penetration. The shaft often times has rotating pearls positioned for stimulation at the labia and vaginal entrance. Recent technology has expanded the functionalities and designs of these toys to allow for 100’s of choices ranging in price from $40 up to over $100 or more. These vibrators are more advanced and very popular which is why there are so many options and room for upgrading. “Every girl needs a rabbit”.

    Pocket Rocket Vibrator is a small, yet powerful multi-speed vibrator. Only about 3” long. Generally operated by one AA battery. Often comes with a few attachments that connect to the top for varied sensation. Comes in many assorted colors and prices, however, the more expensive ones are always more powerful and last longer. This is a classic standard has remained at the top of the list of most popular choices for women. The Pocket Rocket is mainly used for external stimulation in the clitoral area, but of course, there are no limitations to how it can be used including but not limited to personal pleasure and during foreplay with their partner.

    Magic Wand Vibrators  are generally powered by a plug into a socket… a/c vibrator that packs a powerful punch that doesn’t fade out. The option of batteries not dying for this strong massager/vibrator make it reliably strong. Many women swear by this toy and have for years. It’s got a large handle with a bulb on the end that sort of gyrates and vibrates. There are many attachments available for various options of stimulation including g-spot stimulation or vaginal penetration. This vibrator has absolutely no phallic resemblance and can also be used as a back massager or for relief of man other muscular stresses. There are many different choices for the Magic Wand Vibrator, all very powerful and worth the money.

    Luxury Vibrators is a new style of vibrator has come out on the market in the past few years. The size, shape, design and material is all high quality, subtle and powerful. Usually, but not always rechargeable and definitely made to last. They come in beautiful storage boxes with life time warranties. They are ergonomically correct and very discreet. You are paying a lot more money for this type of vibrator but you will not regret it. The motors are very high tech & reliable. If you have tried many vibrators and you like them but they keep on dying on you, it’s time to upgrade.  You can get a small, simple, multi-speed luxury vibrator or a personality vibrator with 100’s of combinations of functions, and pretty much anything in between. That would include each of the above discussed styles of vibrators.

    There are many, many assorted shapes and sizes of vibrators on the market. One for virtually everyone and for every type of stimulation you can imagine and more!