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Vibrator History

The History Of The Vibrator (This is so ridiculous!)

In The Beginning

For Many years it was held that various illnesses that affected women were because of ‘Hysteria’ and that her womb was complaining of neglect. In fact it appears that Plato thought that the Womb was ‘an animal within an animal’ and that you had to pacify it if it got out of control.

Anything from tiredness, headaches, absent-mindedness, melancholia and sleeplessness, irregular breathing, and confusion was thought to be due to ‘Hysteria.’ Very sexual or passionate women were deemed to be worst affected as men obviously thought that to be odd.

Therefore there was little question in their minds that the cause of all their problems was sexual frustration and that they desired sexual release.

How Did They Make Her Well?

You’ll Never Believe This!

A doctor or midwife had to manipulate the women’s vulva – thought in those days to be part of the uterus. This manual massage carried on until there were contractions and lubrication. This was often called the ‘hysterical paroxysm’ (now called an orgasm).

The women would feel a great deal better after that! It’s hard to be believe but, this form of manual massage until the women had an orgasm seems to have been used as a treatment for sexual issues as early as the 4-5th centuries.

Initially midwives took care of all sexual and reproductive difficulties in women. But soon modern medicine was to become involved and physicians, it would seem, took the treatment awfully seriously.

‘Hysteria’, was a deemed to be a prevalent disorder, second only to ‘fevers’ – or the classic cold. It was also classed as a chronic sickness that was incurable.

Single females with ‘hysteria’ were frequently urged to marry lively husbands and then to make forceful and repeated love making certain of sexual release for the women. Horse riding was also recommended!

After a while Other therapies were also offered, including manipulation with a jet of water (the cold water Douche)!

Orgasm usually occurred within minutes of such treatment. However, it became clear that a number of patients asked for more treatment than was ‘good for them’! No wonder in the 19th century it was quite usual for women to pay a visit to their doctor’s surgery on a repeated basis. After all, masturbation was still thought of as a sin, so what choice did they have?

Today’s Vibrator Was At It’s Beginning

A ‘revolution for the weary doctors came in 1869 when the steam powered massage and vibratory equipment for the management of female problems was patented. It was intended for supervised use only – in case of misuse.

The motor was attached to the table and a patient located her pelvis on top of the vibrating ball on the table.

It was considered a perfect invention, saving doctors a large amount of time, consequently enabling them to see more ‘sufferers’.

The majority of doctors had trouble in treating patients by means of their own fingers, and this new apparatus would be a blessing. They could complete in minutes, tasks that rather than could have taken up to am hour.

Other extraordinary techniques were also used, for example gasoline and air driven vibrating tables, swinging chairs, jolting chairs and many others.

Women didn’t realise it of course, but they were getting their ‘therapy’ for the same reason that women now use sexual aids – for relieving sexual frustration.

What appears strange to us now, is that it was considered normal for women during Victorian times to call on their doctor so as to acquire the sexual pleasure and relief they weren’t getting at home.

‘Rachel Maines’, historian and author states that due to the fact it was thought that women could only get sexual enjoyment through vaginal penetration, those peculiar ”remedies” weren’t viewed as a sexual encounter.

Subsequently, since using them didn’t involve the vagina it wasn’t sexual contact, purely a medical procedure! In

the 16th century Gabriel Fallopius claimed to be the first person to discover the clitoris. “It is so hidden that I was the first to discover it, several years ago” He proclaimed.

At the same time however, it seems that ‘Pietro d’Abano’ was the only one who understood what the clitoris was for. He proclaimed “Women are driven to desire… by having the upper orifice near their pubis rubbed. The pleasure that can be obtained from this part of the body is comparable to that obtained from the tip of the penis.”

In spite of this, both society, and the medical profession continued denying it for four hundred years! In fact gynecologists and sexologists alike, continued to deny the clitoris and it’s purpose right up until the 80’s.

The Next Phase

Approximately twenty years after the steam powered vibrator, a more versatile battery operated vibrator became obtainable.

By the turn of the 20th century there were at least two-dozen different types of vibrators available to the medical profession.

Soon businessmen saw the potential of producing vibrators and selling them directly to women. They were marketed as normal household appliances rather than for sexual use. They were promoted in respectable publications as ‘aids that every woman would appreciate’. In fact, these particular gadgets were only the fifth electrical household appliance behind the kettle, toaster, sewing machine and fan.

Throughout the 1920’s the first ‘naughty movies’ and early pornography showed women using these ‘massagers’ for sexual pleasure. But, as a result of this, by the 1930’s they were no longer openly promoted and medical use of them stopped.

Modern Day Vibrators

Fortunately, the notion of hysteria as a disease was thrown out in the 1950’s.

The Vibrator became popular again during the 1960’s and this time in all it’s sexual glory.

Masters and Johnson used vibrators in their research into sexuality in the late 1960’s. Penis shaped vibrators were starting to be sold in sex shops and mail order was becoming common.

Feminist Author and sex therapist Betty Dodson, in 1971 started to teach masturbation workshops and focused on using vibrators. She claims she was the first to introduce electric vibrators purely for sexual use.

In 1974 Joani Blank published ‘Good Vibrations’: The complete guide to vibrators. Joani invented the ‘Venus Butterfly’ Vibrator and in 1977 opened ‘Good Vibrations’ the first sex shop devoted entirely to the vibrator.

Today, women universally view their vibrator as part of their sexual freedom and independence.

Vibrators now come in all shapes and sizes and many women use them regularly to sort out their ‘Hysteria’

Thank Goodness for the 21st century!

Source by Denise Adair Wright

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