The History of Vibrators for Sexual Pleasure

Vibrators for sexual pleasure have been all the buzz for decades.  Due to the sensitive nature of the device, however, the history of vibrators has been shrouded in secrecy to some extent.  New findings have uncovered that vibrators are wildly popular.

A recent study conducted by Trojan brand sex health products manufacturer, Church and Dwight Co. Inc., has revealed that around half of all American adults use vibrators for sexual pleasure.  Research in the United Kingdom produced similar statistics.  Usage included both foreplay with a partner and solo masturbation.

The Hush-Hush History of Vibrators 

It’s commonplace for those who use vibrators for sexual pleasure to hide them in underwear drawers or in a box under the bed.  Why?  They are not only considered to be private and personal, but some find them embarrassing too.  It’s not a wonder that sifting out the history of the device is not an easy task.

For decades, it has been believed that using the vibrator for sexual pleasure as opposed to medicinal purposes, was a practice that began in the Victorian Era.  It has been rumored that doctors during that age applied the devices to female patients who were experiencing hysteria or were otherwise overcome with psychological or even physical issues.  From depression and headaches to nervous breakdowns, women were treated with “vibrational therapy”.

Fact or Fantasy?

There is an air of skepticism surrounding the Victorian Era theory that has crept up in recent years.  Although the scene leaves much to the imagination and has been the subject of independent films and books alike, there is no real proof doctors administered the therapy to their patients.

In fact, there are plenty of pictures from the 1800s in magazines and newspapers that show a doctor using a vibrator on a female patient.  But, the device was always on her neck or back.

What is known is that the vibrator was invented in the 1880s by Joseph Mortimer Granville.  They were marketed as back and neck massagers and were popular among women.  For what purpose?  If only the bedroom walls could talk!

Still, many hold to the belief that doctors did indeed employ the use of the vibrator for sexual pleasure in order to bring female patients to an orgasm to cure hysteria which was a word with a broad meaning that included basically any emotionally-based ailment a woman might have.  Some believe the use of similar devices date all the way back to Roman times when they operated by a hand crank.  Prior to the device being in the hands of physicians, it is said that the doctors had to use their fingers to bring their female patients to orgasm which is why it is projected by many that doctors welcomed the time-saving tingle-inducing device.

Regardless of whether the history of the vibrator involved a doctor’s office visit or not, it is for sure that women were using vibrators for pleasure from the time they were invented.  One can’t be certain if the device was most commonly used with or without a partner.  Neither can it be proved how often the device was used because the subject of sex was considered taboo so talk of sex toys was practically non-existent.

Modernization of the Vibrator for Pleasure Purposes

Between 1900 and 1910, massive marketing was conducted to get vibrators into the hands of the common citizens.  Prior to that, they were available but mostly it was physicians who had access to them.  When they did get in the hands of consumers, chances are great that vibrators were used for sexual pleasure by both men and women...just as they are today.

The physical and mental benefits of the vibrator are many.  They include:

  • Decreased in stress and anxiety
  • Increase in mental sharpness
  • Lessening of depression
  • Decrease in headaches
  • Relaxation of muscles
  • Secretion of “feel good” hormones
  • Release of sexual frustration
  • Relief from insomnia

The 19th and 20th centuries brought awareness to the importance of sexual copulation in both males and females.  It was only in the later years that acceptance has come.  In the 1950s, the first modern-day vibrators came on the market.  They were commonly sold in the 1960s with more and more focus being geared towards sexual pleasure.

The More Current History of Vibrators

Now, vibrators for sexual pleasure can be found in every shape, size, and color imaginable.  Some are designed for females.  Some are made with males in mind.  Others are perfect for males and females.  You’ll find plug-in versions, those that run on batteries, purse-size portables, and even devices that charge via usb.  They come with various speed settings too.

Modern vibrators are sold in sex-shops, online, and by mail order.  You can even find small personal-sized ones at drug stores and in the pharmacy section at hypermarket stores.

Vibrators come with all the bells and whistles of other special features too. Glow in the dark concoctions, ribbed devices, and tinkling fringes are among the most-loved.  Water-proof vibrators are available and some even synchronize music to the vibrations.  If you can imagine it, you can probably find a vibrator that does it.

Dildo-shaped vibrators are one of the most widely purchased of all the devices.  They are shaped like a penis and are constructive of rubber, plastic, silicone, latex, or vinyl.  Egg or bullet vibrators are shaped like eggs or bullets are favored for penis or clitoral stimulation although they can be inserted, if desired.  Rabbit vibrators have two prongs that can simultaneously stimulate the vagina and clitoris.  Bendable vibrators can get to hard-to-reach places while pre-programmed and remote-controlled devices are all the rage for the new age.

Many swear by their vibrators.  Some state that because of having one, they aren’t as tempted to have sex with just anyone that could lead to a dangerous situation or exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.  Others have admitted that their relationship was saved by the use of a vibrator because it helps to arouse and satisfy.  Sex therapists have been known to recommend them and at times, medical doctors have too.

If there’s one thing that the first vibrators have in common with those we know today, it is that they have the power to excite to the fullest and heighten sexual performance and pleasure.  From the days of the shrouded past to the wide-spread enjoyment of modern days, the devices deliver good vibrations to all who choose to indulge.