Uniquely, the sex toy industry both grows and showers. It’s worth billions and growing. But getting here wasn’t easy or quick. Sex toys are usually thought of as battery-operated devices with a USB charger or an app, yet they have been around for millennia.
Dancing phallus carved into rocks by Neanderthals in the Swabian Jura region of what is now Germany. Whether they were used for sex toys, fertility rites, or just for amusement, they paved the way for the current sex toy industry. The Greeks began producing counterfeit dongs around 500 BC. Brass or leather packed some. Whatever was made of aged bread. That’s almost as hard to say as it is to grasp. No waste and little cost. The Greeks pioneered olive oil lubrication.
A flourishing industry in China around 1300 AD produced Ben Wahh Balls made of animal semen, cock-rings made of goat eyelashes, and double-sided dildos. Let’s live! The word dildo itself was developed around 1400 in Italy. Dilett o, enjoyment.
French sailors called straw women “dames de voyage” in the 1600s. In “A Winter’s Tale,” dildos are named. Naughty!
Men began labeling frightened or sorrowful women hysterical in the 1800s. Unfortunately, this “medical diagnostic” lasted until the 1950s. Strong vaginal stimulation was used to assist these women to relax. Doctors couldn’t keep up, so they invented vibrating machines to help ladies orgasm. Originally named “manipulators,” we call them vibrators. But it was Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville who invented the first patent, entitled “Granville’s Hammer.”
They were invented to help relieve muscle spasms, according to a study. Not quite a back massager, then. For decades, vibrators were marketed as scalp massagers, weight-loss devices, and pain relievers. They may have worked for some, but clearly for others. To build a prosthetic penis for a close friend in the early 1960s, Ted Marche made one. First strap-on dildo. Inflatable sex dolls are promoted in late 1960s men’s magazines.
A battery-powered massager for “severe backache” was also released by Hitachi, the best vibrator online in Malaysia. Women worldwide began using it for back pain. The Magic Wand was used in body sex classes for a decade by feminist Betty Dodson. After a bad experience buying a vibrator in a department store, Dell Williams launched the first women-only sex boutique in America, Eve’s Garden. To this day, it’s considered the model for modern sex shops, having sold the first non-penised silicone vibrators.
Internet anonymity and ever-evolving technology have ushered in the Golden Age of Sex Toys. In truth, half of all adults regularly use sex toys.
Orgasms are our bet for the future.