The History of the Humble Sex Toys
The history of the humble sex toy is a contentious topic. It makes palaeontologists and anthropologist discuss the notion that humans may not have made these objects for just religious ceremonies or celebrations of fertility. The facts seem to point to the more realistic notion that we have always used foreign objects for pleasure. Nevertheless, the use of sex toys can still be a taboo topic today. We’re here to tell you just how prolific they have always been, and how far they have come since the dawn of civilisation.
The Cave: 30,000 Years Ago
Palaeontologists have found phallic like objects dating back to the stone age. Made of siltstone, the phallus was polished until smooth and glossy. The resourceful Gravettian women also used their dildos as devices to chip flint.
The Greeks and Romans circa 500BC
As polytheistic, meaning they believe in multiple Gods, the ancient Greeks and Romans were, they truly were far more liberal than we are. As polytheists, they worshipped gods/goddesses of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation, Aphrodite and Venus respectively.
The Greek’s and Roman’s appreciation of pleasure didn’t stop there, though. In fact, it is in Aristophanes’ anti-war comedy Lysistrata, that we see the first reference to female hysteria, aka sexual frustration. This idea of female hysteria will shape the medical profession’s opinion of the female body for centuries to come.
In Lysistrata, women discuss using and sharing dildos for pleasure, while withholding sex from their partners in an attempt to stop them going to war. Also during this time, men leaving for war or great journeys were know to give women ‘olisbos’ (dildos) to prevent hysteria.
The Greeks are known for their feats of engineering, and it certainly didn’t stop at military equipment and ships. The Greeks were the first to use leather or animal skin to cover a dildo to replicate a more realistic phallus.
Cleopatra circa 100BC
There is a fairly unconfirmed, but well loved historical rumour that Cleopatra was the inventor of the first vibrator. You might be wondering how when no form of steam power, electricity, or batteries existed in Ancient Egypt. Well, you could say Cleopatra was a bit of risqué, horny goddess because rumour has it she filled a hollow dildo with angry bees!
Ben Wa Balls circa 500AD
Ben Wa Balls aren’t just of 50 Shades of Grey Fame. While their origins are a bit hard to place exactly, but it is known that they were circulating around Asia, primarily Burma, China and Japan around 500AD.
Contrary to pop-cultural belief, the Ben Wa Balls are less of a toy for assisting climax, and more of an exercise tool, who’s extended use can enhance climax. Essentially, Ben Wa Balls are weights that help women to train their pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. Having toned muscles can lead to more powerful contractions during sex and increase the intensity of their orgasms.
The Beautiful Renaissances circa 1500’s
As with all things in the Renaissance, the dildos of this era were delicate and artistic. Despite the encroaching prudish Christianity, the dildo trade remained strong. In fact, the word dildo is derived from the Italian word ‘diletto’ meaning ‘delight’.
Company at Sea circa 18th and 19th Century
It is understood that French and Spanish sailors of this era were taking ‘rubber sleeves’ out to sea with them. These thrill seekers named their toys ‘Ladies of the Journey’, how romantic.
20th Century and Female Hysteria
In the 20th Century, it was believed by the medical profession that women simply did not have orgasms. That is despite this strange phenomenon, ‘female troubles’ or ‘female hysteria’, symptoms consisted of irritability, insomnia, nervousness and ‘excessive moisture in the vagina’.
Just how did the medical profession tackle this prominent condition? Well, through the ‘medical massage’ of course. You know exactly what kind of massage that is. The massage assisted what was called the female paroxysm – ‘a sudden violent expression or a sudden attack of activity or emotion’, aka. an orgasm.
Thankfully, someone during this time had some sense, because they saw the potential of the new product rubber. The manufacturing of rubber dildos soon became prolific.
All hail the domestication of electricity! Because, to assist the poor doctors tasked with easing female hysteria, General Electric made the first electric vibrator. This was the fifth home electrical appliance ever invented, behind only the kettle, toaster, fan and the sewing machine!
Sexual Toys in the 21st Century: Innovation and Acceptance
We have come a very, very long way in both the design and societal acceptance of sex toys. While we’re not raving about our personal use to our family just yet. There is a much broader acceptance of the ability for sex toys to be used by individuals and couples.
You can look at the proliferation of sex shops – physical and virtual – or you can look to the development of university courses that focus purely on sex toy design. Either way, you look, the market is growing and so too is out acceptance.
Toys are fantastic for the individual and are also a great way to spice things up in the bedroom with a partner. If you are looking to experiment with all the pleasure possibilities of sex toys, then the ladies and gents of 88 on Logan have a wealth of knowledge and toys to help you.