Sex toys have been around for centuries, whether we like to accept it or not. They’ve grown from stone to the current purple silicones we have become accustomed to seeing.
Though we are at the peak in sex education and toy manufacturing, we love going back and seeing the funky and bizarre sex toys that were available for the people of our past.
The Stone Age:
Somewhere in Germany, inside a dark cave, archaeologists found a 28,000-year-old stone that’s so very dildo like. It’s around 20 centimetres long and round at the top like a penis is. It’s very clearly an early depiction of the “male” sex, but could it be the world’s first sex toy?
Researchers have been hesitant to call this finding a dildo or sex toy of sorts, resorting to calling them mere representations instead. This fear stems from the fact that there is a strong want to not associate the current ideologies of sex and sex toys to our past cultures.
Researchers have also found a 36,000-year-old bison horn carving called the Blanchard phallus in southwest France.
Stone Age means hard and long – if you know what I mean!
Ancient Greece is known for being a sex hub of the past. Of course, that means that the Greeks were exceptionally open and outright with themes like sex and masturbation. They are shown to be using sex toys such as dildos as early as the 6th century BCE.
In the comic story of Lysistrata by Aristophanes, there are multiple mentions of the dildo. It is a comic account of a woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War between Greek city-states by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they desire.
The most famous of these is the bread dildo. Yup, you read that right, bread dildo’s are a genuine thing and we are glad we know of them. It was the first ever green dildo that served as a personally created dildo that suited your needs.
In around 206 BCE, the Han dynasty had enjoyed a strong relationship with their sex toys. Findings suggest that they used bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. While the bronze dildos were in use a lot like the ones we use now, the jade butt plug was in use in a very different way.
Jade is known as exceptionally rare material. It helps ward off spiritual and bodily decay – as in chi. Thus, they were in use as butt plugs by embalmers to prevent the loss of the vital essences from the body.
When the steam engine was first made, every object that would follow had its powerful touch. It comes to no shock that this followed through to sex toys as well. The device as such was one of the more terrifying versions of sex toys with its jumpy steam engine and a dildo attached. This was the first time in history that a device was so outright about its usage. It, furthermore, didn’t hide the fact that it was used for genitalia.
However, it was used more as a cure for hysteria in women: hysteria was a cover-up word for sexual tension in women.
Macaura Pulsocon created the first advanced hand-crack based vibrators in the early 1880s. It looked a lot like a torture device, not going to lie. But it was capable of delivering up-to 5,000 vibrations per minute. It did, however, need a lot more effort than the current vibrators that we use. It had to be held in one hand, with one end placed on your body. The crank then had to be manually turned.
Soon after that came the improvisations and changes to this original model including the Blood Circulator.
Polar Club’s Electic Vibrator was the first ever electric vibrator and was marketed as a neck massager. It had an attractive green handle so no more hand cramps trying to crank your orgasm. And of course, as capitalism works, more improvisations were done on this too including Rolling Pin Heat Massager and Hollywood Vibra – Tone.
By the 1940s, there were electric massagers for every part of your body like your feet, neck, head, etc. But how these are in use is still up for discussion.
The 1980s – Today:
Finally, in 1983, a Japanese sex toy company – Vibratex – invented the very iconic toy ‘The Rabbit’ that marked the greatest change in the manufacturing of sex toys. It became the only sex toy that would pleasure the clit as well as provide penetration. You may be wondering why it’s called The Rabbit. Well, the Japanese have a pesky rule wherein they aren’t allowed to make outright sex toys. They went around this by shaping their devices into animals – in this case, a rabbit.
Since then, sex toys haven’t turned back, with anal beads, Hitachi’s Magic Wand and fleshlights gaining huge markets worldwide and helping us have a better sex experience.