How The Vibrator Came To Be

Women holding a vibrator in her hand

What's the real story behind the invention of the our beloved vibrator? From there to today there were many advancements and sex toys are in a full swing with different sizes, colours, and shapes, but how it all started?

Vibrators story timeline

I don’t know if you heard this tale before, but back in the 19th century doctors used vibrators to treat women from a disease called Hysteria (an 1800s diagnosis that is now considered normal sexual behavior in women) and the recommended treatment was to orgasm. Doctors used to stimulate the patients using their own hands, which was a pretty arduous task, and that’s when they created the vibrator. 

This story gained popularity and was part of numerous books, movies and conversations. Here's the kick: the researchers Hallie Lieberman & Eric Schatzberg of the Georgia Institute of Technology did a careful analysis of sources and found no evidence of it. Crazy eh? 

The original story is that the very first electromechanical vibrator was invented in 1883 by the English doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville. The purpose of his vibrator was a treatment for pain, indigestion, constipation and “pseudo-diabetes”. Even though these massagers were only used by doctors, in the early 1900s a few companies began releasing similar models to use at home. However it’s hard to say whether or not these devices were being used for sex purposes.

By the 50s, doctors no longer stood behind the supposed health benefits of electric massagers, and they became entirely sold and produced for personal use. Manufacturers continued to make outrageous claims about the health and beauty benefits of their devices, but there was no medical science to back up those claims. By this time, massager ads started to explore a more intimate use for the devices. 

And then it came the 60s, which was a much more sexually liberated time. Birth control was legalized in 1965 and the women’s liberation movement was in full swing. During this time, electric massagers became an even more acceptable item in the home.

In the 70s, the pubic started using the term sex toys, but was only in the 1980s that vibrator officialy became a sex toy. In 1983, Vibratex released a line of vibrators with a hybrid of internal and external components. The products were made with bright colors and various animal shapes. These toys came with beaver, turtle and kangaroo shapes, but the most popular to this day has been the Rabbit model. 

From there to today there were many advancements and sex toys are in a full swing with different sizes, colours, and shapes. Vibrators, and sex toys in general, are becoming less taboo with time and taking an integral role in our sexuality. 

What’s your all time favourite vibrator?

 

 

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