More fascinating stuff on the history of the vibrator, this time from Rachel Maines, a visiting scholar in the department of science, technology and society at Cornell University. Her book Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction is all about how vibrators came into being and women getting their rightful oats:
Here's an excerpt from an interview at The Ithacan:
Rachel Maines: The book is about how physicians used to massage women to orgasm to treat them for hysteria, starting, at least as far as I can tell, in the time of Hippocrates, which is 450 B.C. up to the time of Freud, the 1930s. The vibrator was invented in the 1880s in the context of that treatment. It was devised, as far as we can tell, in part because it was used for that purpose.
LT: Was it medicinal then?
RM: Well, if you consider producing an orgasm medicinal, then yeah, I guess you can say it was medicinal. (Laughs.)
LT: How did you get the idea for this?
RM: Well, I was working on, of all subjects, needlework history and I was very surprised to discover ads for vibrators in needlework magazines from the 19-teens — from the 1906 “Women’s Home Companion” and the 1908 “Modern Priscilla,” 1910, things like that. And I thought, boy, that’s really early for an electrical appliance, considering that most people didn’t have electricity in their houses at that point. And it turns out that the vibrator is one of the very first electrical appliances to be introduced into the home.
LT: Would you label this feminist literature? Do you consider yourself a feminist author?
RM: Oh, absolutely. I’m definitely a feminist author, and this is a feminist book, trust me. It’s all about how we wouldn’t have needed this supposed treatment for this supposed hysteria if we didn’t have an androcentric definition for sexuality, in which penetration is considered to be the most important thing, right? That’s what real sex is supposed to be — except that only a minority of women reach orgasm that way. So the rest of them, the other 70 percent, the majority, were very frustrated.
See also: A Brief History Of The Female Orgasm
,History of the Hello Kitty Vibrator
; Put What Where? 2000 Years Of Bizarre Sex Advice
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The Star: There is a face people make when they learn about glass sex toys for the very first time. It's a blend of fascination and concern. It's quite possible that people are imagining (with a grimace) toys that are hollow and prone to shattering. Or maybe they're just wondering why? Well, really, why not?
It's a question best asked in Seattle, Wash.. Yes, the birthplace of grunge music and Starbucks is also a mecca for glassmakers and, as such, is responsible for the popularization of glass sex toys. It's the home of Standard Glass, a company owned by Levi Belber, an artisan who has put his company's glass sex toys in a shops across the continent.
Though it produced only glass art at first, Standard Glass started on sex toys in its second year. "The first dildos were made in 1998," says Belber. "Our original toy was made as a wedding gift for two young ladies in love, and it was a great hit. More prototypes followed."
Yet glass sex toys aren't new. According to Belber, they first appeared in the mainstream media in a 1970s issue of Playboy. Before that, they were an item made by European glassworkers on their lunch breaks for wives or girlfriends.
Thanks to increased media coverage — whether it be in a Vivid porn film, in the pages of Hustler or on HBO — the past decade has seen a rise in the popularity of glass toys worldwide." [Read the full story]
If you're curious about glass sex toys, have a browse of our extensive range of these exotic looking glass and metal dildos. They look gorgeous and they're super eco-friendly too for both you and the environment!
A handy guide to choosing a vibrator excerpted from the book Sex Toys 101 can be read over at iVillage: "The truly amazing variety of vibrator styles, sizes, and materials can be both inspiring and a little daunting. Finding the perfect vibe may require some self-loving homework. Answering these few simple questions can help cut through the information overload and prevent buyer's remorse.". And don't forget to take a peek at Lovehoney's buying guides for vibrators too - with all that great info, you'll be sure to pick the vibrator that suits you best!
The Ithacan: “Would you put down the dildo so we can get to work?” IC Comedy Club President, Marcus Terry said, attempting to regain order at a rehearsal for “The Penis Soliloquies” last Saturday.
“The Penis Soliloquies” is made up of skits and monologues that center around the relationship between men and their penises. Some penis-related issues addressed are size concerns and readjustment techniques.
“The Penis Soliloquies” was first written by the IC Comedy Club three years ago, spoofing the female-oriented “Vagina Monologues.” Rather than focus on serious issues of sexuality, the club decided to make the entire show comedic, with jokes about what many people consider to be inappropriate subjects, like STDs and masturbation." [Read the full story]
The Inquirer: "The US launch of Tomb Raider: Legend has been delayed because a couple of scenes accidentally had a pair of breasts in the background.
Apparently the game contains a chapter set in Tokyo, where several women are dancing in the distance. The animators had initially modeled all the women naked, so they could simply drape different dresses around them later. For the sake of completeness they gave them nipples, as you do.
Once the graphics were meshed over all was well and the game could be launched. However what the designers hadn’t realised is that some people have special software that can remove meshes to see what is behind them." [Read full story]
Just in to Lovehoney - the Toy Joy Groovalicious Vibrator. A bigger sister to our Shagadelic vibe, the Groovalicious is a powerful multispeed vibrator coated in hundreds of fronds that may look a little scary, but are soft to the touch and t-t-tingle like crazy! Get the retro theme going with this fabulously frondy vibe that will certainly get your bits feeling groovalicious!
Sunday Life: A randy thief was left feeling deflated last week after he got six months for stealing a blow-up doll from a sex shop.
There was sniggering in the public gallery of Belfast Magistrates' Court as a prosecutor told how Mark Short (18), stole the inflatable woman from the Private Lines sex shop in Gresham Street.
Short, of Bruslee Way in north Belfast, was one of a gang of youths who entered the seedy sex shop in July 21, 2004 and tried to force open the till to steal cash.
The gang fled without any money.
However, a blow-up doll in the shop must have caught Short's eye, because he returned five days later and stole the kinky sex toy!" [Read the full story]
Toronto Sun: "A recent study on sex toys conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health. They claim it is the "first research study done on sex toys."
However, the startling conclusions they came to from this study was that people who use sex toys are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviour, including the use of recreational drugs for sexual enhancement and non-monogamous sex and also have more sexually transmitted diseases.
Do what? How did they come up such a sweeping and disturbing idea?
For a start, how did the survey work? The researchers say they interviewed 1,114 sexually active people, but how many people did they have to go through before they found those willing to discuss their sex toy use on the phone with a total stranger? …
Dr. Petra Boynton, a U.K. sex and relationship psychologist, felt compelled to comment at length on the results on her blog at drpetra.co.uk.
Her view is that the random study lacks analysis and incorrectly correlates sex toy use with promiscuous behaviour or risky sexual practices.
"In fact, the research simply could have shown that those who're open about sex may admit to a wider range of sexual behaviours. We must be careful not to negatively label participants."
I also feel basing negative findings from surveys that involve intimate and complex issues such as sexual behaviour on a bunch of random telephone calls is open to misuse and misinterpretation.
And, that, to my mind, is irresponsible research." [Read the full story]
DNA India: "For those who’ve never heard terms like the jumpin ‘n’ dancing Rabbit Habit or a designer dildo, let alone have close encounters with them — help comes in the form of Manjeet Birk, who takes pride in being a sexual health educator, giving a hand to women of colour wanting to explore and rediscover their “sexuality.” Toying with the idea of bringing taboo subjects out into the open, Manjeet lends her expertise to women of varied origins and sexual preferences at “Good for Her,” a Toronto-based store celebrating women's sexuality in a unique way.
Tucked away in a discreet cornerstone in the city's downtown area —amazement, shock, bewilderment are some of the emotions that may run through an average South Asian's mind while rummaging through the contents of the store. A wide range of stimulators, vibrators, massagers and such leave little to the imagination. As pink fluffy undergarments peek from a corner of the store and several books on erotica and sexual ecstasy wink in wanton display — magic potions, soothing gels and bath oils and other sensuous tools beg for reckless attention. And, Manjeet gives it to them in abundance." [Read the full story]