10 Shocking Facts About the Vibrator

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10 Shocking Facts About the Vibrator

In the 21st century, sex toys are quite acceptable in the sex industry. There are more sex shops than ever and plenty of outlets to discreetly purchase the toys and tools needed to achieve the ultimate pleasurable experience, either by yourself or with a partner. In the past, having a vibrator had a negative connotation that was related to women either not being able to find a partner to please them or who had a partner that was unable to satisfy them. But no more. Vibrators are not only becoming more acceptable and popular, but are also being considered a tool for bonding between couples.

It’s said that in 2014, one in two women are using vibrators. There is no doubt that the vibrator is one of the best selling sex toys in the industry, with thousands of variations and more to come (insert unintentional pun). “Mother’s little helper” has been around for well over a century, and it’s hard to imagine what many women would do if the vibrator didn’t exist. Well, there was a world without the vibrator, but it was also a very oppressive time for women, which we’ll get into shortly in our upcoming list.

Below are the ten most surprising facts about vibrators, from history to modern day uses that are considered to be unconventional. One of the most amusing myths about the invention of the vibrator included the historical figure Cleopatra filling a hollow gourd with angry bees, thus creating the first vibrator. These shocking facts will include truth, myth, and maybe a little sex appeal as well. All in all, enjoy this ten facts and next time you’re in the market for a vibrator, you’ll have a richer appreciation for the history of that little vibrating tool, because it’s come a long way, baby!

10. Before There Were Vibrators

 

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Before vibrators even existed, women’s hysteria (Latin word for “womb”) must have been rampant around 200 AD to the 1800’s. To treat this hysteria, doctors back then believed that “paroxysm” (also known as an orgasm) could help the uterus release fluid that caused female hysteria. To achieve this paroxysm, Galen of Pergamum prescribed genital massage, which essentially required fingers getting up in there with essential oils. Eventually in 1653, British surgeon Nathanial Highmore realized that it was the orgasm that was helping with female hysteria.

9. Hose It Down

 

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In France, they innovated a device that was essentially a giant douche, or a hose. You could even call it the modern day shower head. The process generally involved shooting water out of a hose at the uterus to keep things in check. It would often take several hours and as you can imagine, was quite pricey. But, doctors had found a very consistent and lucrative business because it was soon realized that their treatments were only temporary and there would need to be repeat visits in order to keep women happy.

8. Only With a Doctor

 

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One of the first vibrators weighed 40 pounds and required at least two people to operate it. Because the female anatomy was still such a mystery, it was advised that treating “female hysteria” was only be done by a doctor in their office. There were early vibrators that were operable with a manual hand crank, but they quickly proved to take too long to achieve paroxysm. Vibrators even came in steam-powered form, anything to help make the man’s job easier.

7. Toasters & Vibrators

 

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Take a look at your toaster and see what brand it is. If Hamilton Beach makes your toaster, then you have a piece of vibrator history in your kitchen! In 1902, Hamilton Beach patented a handheld electric vibrator that was created for home use in treating female hysteria. They found their highest buying customers were unmarried women and widowed wives…interesting how those numbers turned out.

6. Good For Your Health

 

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If you go to Google and do a search on vintage vibrator ads, not only will you be amused, but you will also find that vibrators were practically advertised as miracle devices. From clearing up blemishes, giving you naturally rosy cheeks, smoothing out crow’s feet, and relieving stress, vibrators were devices that were now being marketed to help improve women’s overall health. From images of using the vibrator on the face, neck, and chest, it seemed that this device had multiple uses besides taking care of female hysteria.

5. Recession Proof

 

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Studies have shown that women would prefer to give up their mani-pedis along with a whole list of expendable items than give up their vibrators. Even though they come pricey, vibrators in the sex toy market have not suffered,  and continue to rise in profits each year. Sex toy distributor Adam & Eve reported a 17 percent spike in profits in 2009. The vibrator has proven to be a lucrative and steady-growing industry to invest in.

4. The Vibrator Ban

 

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From the 1880’s until the 1920’s, vibrators were generally well accepted as treatment. In fact, women were encouraged to take care of themselves with vibrators whether it was through a doctor or “self treatment” at home. But as the adult entertainment industry began to gain notoriety, early images from the 1900’s began to utilize the vibrator as a prop, making it clear that paroxysm was really a pleasurable thing rather than something that required a medical professional. From then on, along with alcohol (Prohibition), vibrators were considered to be illegal and were taken off the market.

3. Disguised As Massagers, Tables, & Chairs…Oh My!

 

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There were also variations of the vibrator that involved three vibrating balls on a section of a table where a woman would position her nether regions on the vibrating balls to achieve her paroxysm. This kind of technology didn’t require any sort of insertion, but instead took care of the problem externally. Fast forward in time, after vibrators became illegal, vibrating chairs took wave on the market and became great sellers. Interestingly enough, marketing was directed towards women. Flash forward again to the 1950’s and 1960’s and a long vibrating tool began to take wave, but this time was called a massaging tool for the neck and shoulders…and it should be noted that these devices were phallic in shape.

2. The Rabbit

 

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Remember the vibrator that Charlotte got addicted to on Sex and the City? Well, the Rabbit is a very real vibrator and it is no accident that it is shaped like an actual rabbit. It is illegal to manufacture sex toys in Japan that resemble a penis. So to skirt around the law, the Japanese manufacturers made it look like a cute, fuzzy animal instead. It’s a bit odd that the Rabbit was able to get by with that technicality, but many women all over the world are thankful for it.

1. Vibrators Help Singers

 

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Yes, you read that right, and no, it is not a joke. The most shocking thing on this list is about as far from sex and orgasms as you can get (unless you consider good singing a pleasurable experience). Drama professor David Ley works at the University of Alberta and has made major headlines because of his use of a vibrator to help his students with their singing techniques. Vocal chords depend on the relaxation of the larynx in order to produce a good sound, and because most of his students didn’t like the feeling of fingers, Ley went a different route. He found that hand held vibrators had the same frequency as the human voice (100-120 hertz) and started using them on the necks of his students. The results were astounding, and he has helped over 150 people improve their singing so far.