Taking a Tour to History of the Vibrator

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Vibrator seems to be something pretty trendy and modern but it’s not so. In fact, the origin of vibrator can be traced back to the 1800s. Yes, you heard it right. It is a visionary French doctor called Romain Vigouroux, who is hailed as the inventor of vibrator. He was the first one to use it officially in 1878 at Salpetriere hospital (Paris). It’s to note here vibrators were initially used for strictly medical purposes but later on it gained prominence as a sex toy.

The post below offers a sneak-peek into the history of vibrator.

The 1800s

It all started with hysteria. In the 1800s, vulvar massage was the most common treatment for women diagnosed with hysteria. It’s the doctors who used to give the massage till their patients experience a solid orgasm. The massage was mostly given through external stimulation which involved no case of penetration. Interestingly, vulvar massage as a treatment of hysteria had been on run since the times of Hippocrates.

However, as hysteria conditions demanded regular treatments, doctors often complained about of weary hands and tired wrists. Such complaints led to the way of development of   a basic steam-powered vibrator in 1860s. Titled “Manipulator”, the historic vibrator was developed by American physician Mr. George Taylor. After 2 decades, it was British doctor Dr. J. Mortimer, who came up with the ancestor of modern-day vibrator. Dr. Mortimer’s device was a battery-powered electromechanical vibrator. Interestingly the doctor is hailed as the “father of modern electromechanical vibrator”. Apart from hysteria, this vibrator was also used for treating various other medical conditions such as inflammations, constipation, arthritis, tumors and amenorrhea.

Dr. Mortimer’s revolutionary invention was highly appreciated by Edwardian and Victorian upper-class women. Over time, the toy made its way from doctors’ chambers to private den of elite women.

The 1900s

The dawn of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of first ever electronic vibrators for personal use at home. In fact, it soon became the 5th domestic appliance that was electrified for household use- after sewing machines, followed by fans, kettles as well as toasters. Back then, vibrators were mostly marketed as therapeutic devices to be used at home. But the porn and adult industry soon found it’s another major application beyond the medical use. They were advertised in magazines along with other household goodies. Most of these ads cited vibrators as “cure for wrinkles, headache and neuralgia”.

By the 1920s, vibrators started appearing in pornography. And when vibrators were adopted by the adult industry, all these advertisements (mentioned above) disappeared.

The 1960s and onwards

It was the famous sexual revolution of the 1960s that brought vibrators to the fore. Thanks to the revolution, vibrators started getting open recognition as a sex toy for pleasure and not just for medical use. In the year 1966,  a doctor paved the way for 21st century vibrator through his innovative “cordless electronic vibrator”. The product was patented in 1968 and fast made way for further improvements in the model. The

From 1980s & 90s, vibrators became a part of mainstream culture. One of the main factors that leveraged its popularity was a 1998 episode of famous HBO series “Sex and the City”. The episode was the first one in television to show a lead character using a vibrator. Today, you will find vibrators in various shapes and sizes. Some are for G-spot stimulation, some for clit sensation, some for anal fun and so on. You can buy them in battery-powered models or more eco-friendly rechargeable options. There are various adult toy shops today that sell these sex toys. Some major retail giants too like Walmart, Target, Amazon etc. have now got designated sections for vibrators.

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