The Short History of Sex Toys

Adult toys have been around since the tenth century, if not before. In ancient Greece and Rome, dildos were carved out of everything they could get their hands on from wood, glass, leather, gold, silver, and even animal horns. In China during the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1644, penis rings were made out of jade and ivory and in Japan the first Ben-Wa Balls (small balls the size of a thumbnail that are inserted into the vagina, so that they would bounce around the woman's walls and off the tip of a man's penis) were made out of lead and mercury.

Women (and surely some men) in Ancient Greece enjoyed using olisbos, which were phallic shaped objects made of wood or leather. Back in those days, olive oil wasn't just a staple of the Greek diet - it doubled as the best lube available. The Greeks believed that a lack of sperm caused "hysteria," or a wandering uterus, in women. In the US, "hysteria" entered the DSM, the official medical diagnosis manual doctors consulted. Symptoms of hysteria included, overly-emotional, moody, and irritableness. It was diagnosed mainly to women who were widowed, or had husbands at war; in short, women who weren't getting any action. Hysteria is no longer listed in the DSM.

The outstanding demand for the "manual stimulation" doctors were providing to "cure hysteria" gave way to the first vibrator. That's right, women used to go to the doctor's and to get off. This is largely the subject of the film Hysteria that opened in theaters in 2011.

The great explosion for the sex industry came in the sexual revolution of the 1960's, but most dildos were too hard and made of materials such as metal and hard plastic. Today you can get sex toys made out of realistic jelly rubber, silicone and elastomer, a hypoallergenic material most suitable for people with allergic reactions or chemical sensitivities.

Ladies, the sex toy has come a long way! We are no longer using age-old, large, cumbersome and clanky toys. We have sophisticated materials and toys that don't even look like toys. We have vibrators that pulse at different speeds, in different patterns. We have toys like the rabbit and the hitachi magic wand! This is something to celebrate. One thing is for sure though: at each stage throughout history, it's pleasured women.


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