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Published on September 9th, 2012 | by No Artificial

The Story Behind the Vibrator

The first steam powered medical massage devices were invented by Victorian era doctors to cure female hysteria.

The vibrator is probably the most well-known sex toy on the market. Many of us assume that it is an invention of our time. Just so there is no false misapprehension, one of the first mechanical vibrators was the steam-powered Manipulator, developed by British physician, Dr.George Taylor in 1869.

During the Victorian era, British women suffering from insomnia, chronic anxiety and irritability, known as female hysteria, were prescribed pelvic finger massage. Through therapeutic massage, doctors would create “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm) to relieve tension in the uterus.
The patients were lucrative source of income for doctors as they needed treatment every few weeks.
But very soon the doctors found this monotonous and time-consuming, as “hysterical paroxysm” was a manual job that required technique, so they invented something to do the job for them. The solution came via Dr. Taylor and his steam powered vibrator.

By 1900, medical professionals had a wide variety of devices to choose from, to treat female hysteria. Even better from physicians’ perspective was the invention of a hand-held vibrator in 1905, allowing women to treat their own condition without visiting the doctor’s office. Soon, companies started advertising for the home vibrators, using slogans such as “all the pleasures of youth…will throb within you.” For its early customers, the home vibrators made economic sense and they were nothing to be embarrassed about. Although many doctors preferred to believe the vibrator was an asexual device.

A subtle form of medical device survived until the late 1920s, as more pornographic films showed women using vibrators for sexual self-stimulation. Self-appointed guardians of morality branded them entirely improper and immoral, and very quickly vibrators disappeared from public view.

It was not until the early 1970s that the vibrator again became a common product, but even though, according to Shere Hite’s famous study of sexual behavior in the 1970s, only 1% of women had ever used one.

Since late 90′ the vibrator has undergone something of a rebirth. It began with the The Rabbit vibrator appearance on HBO’s show, “Sex and the City”. After the episode aired, demand for the sex toy increased. The development of internet shopping also helped. Vibrators fast became world’s favorite sex gadget. A 2009 US academic study found that just over 50% of women had used a vibrator.

Resource:
Guardian

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