People were sexually liberated in the 1960’s, that much is true but you’d be forgiven for thinking that people just didn’t have sex prior to this period in history. Obviously our ancestors were getting it on long before that right or we wouldn’t be here today. Did people not enjoy sex before the swinging sixties? Well, you’d be surprised to learn that historical men and women pretty ahead of us in terms of the achievement of pleasure. Let’s take a look at the history of sex toys:
Blow-up Dolls – 1904
It seems that imitation ladies have been in use since the lonely, home-sick French sailors devised them in the 17th century. It was more of collection of curvy rags and it wasn’t until the invention of vulcanised rubber that a more realistic model could be manufactured. In 1904 a doctor in Paris was making inflatable dolls for discerning gentlemen.
Butt Plugs, 1892
It’s quite something to say that you had a vision involving inserting things into people’s rectums, but that’s just what happened for Frank Young who developed such an object in 1892. They were not marketed until the turn of the century, but his ‘Rectal Dilator’ was a terrifying 4.5 inches. Billed as a cure for piles, the devices were hawked to doctors and even advertised in respected journals. They came with a suspiciously suggestive instruction manual though.
The Vibrator, 1869
The Victorian period was a rollercoaster of industrial advances unlike anything seen on Earth before. But they also had some peculiar ideas when it came to medical treatments. Female hysteria was a recognised illness and it was treated by rubbing a patient’s private parts until they reached orgasm. Doctors complained of boredom and wrist ache which led to George Taylor inventing the first steam-powered vibrator.
Although this version failed to catch on, the next vibrator did much better. J. Granville’s 1880 ‘electrochemical’ design made housewives go mad; even Good Housekeeping started running monthly reviews, such was their popularity! So what happened? Society accepted the ‘massager’ so long as we could tell ourselves it was a medical, rather than sexual aid. However, the game was soon up when they began appearing in early porn films and husbands soon realised what their wives were up to and put a stop to it. For some cutting edge fun, take a look at some very modern Online Sex toys. For more information, visit http://sexcite.co.uk/.
There is evidence to suggest that people were wearing something resembling a condom as early as 1560. Going by a strictly modern definition, the first reliable record of their use doesn’t appear until 1564. Following the Black Death, Late Medieval man was then hit with an epidemic of syphilis. Not surprisingly, people began to seek a way of having sex again without the threat of death. Gabriele Falloppio invented a linen sheath soaked in chemicals and left to dry. It sounds very basic but in a trial that included 1,100 volunteers, Falloppio reported not a single case of the syphillis. What did Europe do to thank him for his life-saving invention? Named part of our reproductive organs after him. How charming – bet you never knew that though did you?