The History of Sex Toys

The History of Sex Toys


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In recent years we have been clearing customs for the purchase and use of sex toys.
A little thanks to the famous trilogy of 50 Shades and a little thanks to a general change in society, talking about female pleasure and objects of pleasure is becoming easier and easier ... even if it still seems to be taboo for many.

In history, importance has always been given to sexuality and male "potency".

However, few know that these objects date back hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.

The first dildo dates back to the Paleolithic era, approximately 28,000 years ago.
To give you a temporal dimension of the thing: if the invention of the first dildo dates back to 28,000 years ago, the invention of the wheel is instead 7,000 years ago. 21,000 years later.

The first dildo was found by some archaeologists in present-day Baden-Wuttemberg, a region of southern Germany and it is a stone object with a phallic shape that we can even define as "important": 19.2 centimeters by 2.8 centimeters wide. .

Here, of course, we have to take history with all the "maybe" given by time: was it perhaps a simple symbol of fertility? Was it a way to wish the family prosperity? Or was it actually an instrument of sexual pleasure?

Regardless of its use, it remains the oldest representation of a penis found today.
While female symbols are more frequent already in prehistoric times, male ones are very rare.

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But where does the word "dildo" come from?

The dildo is a sexual object whose purpose is, by definition, to give pleasure.
In most cases it takes up the narrow and elongated shape of the penis shaft with an enlarged base that recalls the shape of the testicles.
The name, therefore, could derive from a sort of visual assonance from the word "Dill", which in ancient times meant "cucumber" in English.
The origin of the word is however very controversial.
Some even say that it could come from a distortion of the Italian word "delight", or even from a union of the terms "dil" and "doul" which in Old English meant "erect penis".

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The last hypothesis is the most probable one, also having as reference an American ballad of the 1600s entitled "The waitress complains because she wants a dil doul".
The ballad goes on for another nine or ten stanzas, proving that carnal love has always been something serious and sought after, in spite of today's moralists who want us to believe that sexuality is a modern desire.

In Ancient Greece, women entertained themselves with the olisbos, from the Greek "olisbein" meaning "to slip in, slide inside": an artificial phallus of about 15 centimeters, made of bronze or wood and covered with leather.
Obviously they did not have modern lubricants, but the sources speak of olive oil used for the same purpose.
Clearly the Greeks, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds, had a sexual life that we can deepen and know more and for which the use of sex toys is not strange.
I tell you more: they were a frequent gift in couples. It was not uncommon for men to give away olisbos, the dildo of ancient Greece, to their wives as a substitute for sex during their absence, especially in times of war.
Most of the men served in the military or were engaged in wars: the gift of a dildo was therefore also a stratagem to prevent wives from "hunting" for other partners or lovers.

They were rather widespread objects, not only by the wealthy classes, but throughout the population, men and women alike. Mentioned in the comedies of the time as objects present in every home, representations of dildos and other sexual games made a fine show of themselves on tableware and everyday objects.

Traces of this custom can be found in a comedy entitled "
Lists "e fu written by Aristophanes, a Greek poet born in 450 BC.
In practice, it is the story of Lysistrata, a young and beautiful woman from Athens, who got tired of having her husband enlisted (at the time the Peloponnesian war was raging between Athens and Sparta) and then decides to make an alliance between all women .
He proposes that they all go on a sex strike together to force their husbands to sign the peace and return home permanently. We do not reveal how the story ends, but it is evident that women opposed the war not only for a matter of peace ... but also because they could not do without sex!

Since the Milesi betrayed us, I haven't even seen that eight-fingered leather toy that gave me rest."says one, a sign that the embargo that every war has always brought with it, made us feel the shortage of even non-essential goods.

Hippocrates himself, the first doctor in history enrolled in the Order, prescribed to women unable to have sexual intercourse, the constant use of a dildo as a means of preventing major ailments, first of all hysteria, which arises when a uterus is too dry. because deprived of the natural lubrication generated by pleasure, he runs away in his head, driving her crazy.

Indeed, returning to the field of legend, it is said that in ancient Egypt Queen Cleopatra was the first in history to invent and use a vibrator: an empty gourd filled with buzzing bees.
The insects, finding themselves in a tight space, became frenzied, causing the involuntary "vibration" of the tube.

In China, however, more than an instrument of pleasure it is said that it was used as a "means of control" for the harems of high-ranking men.
Having too many wives
, the man could not satisfy them all in one day.
Sex toys, therefore, were given away by husbands to prevent them from falling into temptation with other men or even starting to show interest of a sexual nature between them.
The Chinese, who knew a lot, had even thought about practicality and ease of use, inventing them one with built-in handle.

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Even traditional Chinese medicine indicated masturbation as a harmless practice for women, but harmful for men as it was believed that, together with the semen, vital energy was dispersed.

In other countries, such as Persia and India, variants of sex toys were instead used to break the hymen before the first marriage to prevent the blood, considered impure, from dirtying the husband.

The dildos definitely returned to vogue with the Renaissance, starting from the sixteenth century. If the shapes remained almost unchanged, as indeed the anatomical part from which they drew inspiration, the materials instead began to evolve: from cold stone, we move on to wood covered with rags, leather or other resistant material, such as the hair of horse manes.

For a long time the dildos were also made of ceramic and glass: very often they were hollow, with a cap at the bottom, so that they could be filled with hot water and thus be more comfortable and exciting.

Approaching the modern era, in the eighteenth century the vibrator was born as a therapeutic tool for the treatment of hysteria.
A strictly female pathology, the word "Hystéra" itself means "uterus", characterized by a series of symptoms ranging from chronic anxiety to abdominal heaviness, irritability, amnesia.
Other cures for hysteria were the use of opium or even marriage: then presupposing frequent and intense sexual activity.

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Another treatment proposed by the doctors was the "pelvic massage": one session could calm the hysteria for days.
Clearly, the excessive demand on the part of women of the time combined with the time required for the practice required an excessive commitment on the part of medical professionals and that is why they tried to introduce an instrument capable of replacing the manual pelvic massage: the Tremoussoir.

Invented in France in 1734, the Treumossoir operated with a spring mechanism and was the first vibrating phallic object designed for external stimulation.

A further technical innovation came in 1883, by M. Granville, who invented the electromagnetic vibrator, but we will have to wait until 1899 for the invention of the first battery-operated vibrator.
But the turning point came in 1902.

1902 was the year that the Hamilton Beach company began advertising the battery-powered stimulator as any household appliance and a woman could purchase it for her own health.

The US TV series thinks once and for all to definitively clear sex toys in the popular imagination Sex and the City: in the 1998 with the appearance of a bunny-shaped vibrator, the famous rabbit! The unusual shape stemmed from the fact that in Japan, where it was created in 1983, it was forbidden to produce objects that looked like a penis.

The latest "gimmick" was the collector's box for Rammstein's album "Liebe ist Fuer Alle Da" which contained not only the band's album, but also dildos modeled after the band's penises.
Definitely a must have for any true or true Rammstein fan.

There are no longer any limits for materials:
silicone remains the great discovery of the nineties, thanks to the fact that it can guarantee maximum hygiene and sterilization by simply boiling the object. But dildos in every material are now widespread: from surgical metal for those allergic to silicone or latex, to borosilicate glass (to be clear, that of kitchen pyrex, which allows you to boil or wash them in a dishwasher without worries), up to a return to the first materials such as wood and stone for lovers of eco-friendly materials.

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Sex toys are therefore objects with an ancient origin, used in many eras and in many countries.
This should give us the peace of mind to experience them as an inheritance received from the past and to be preserved for the future.
Try to imagine the same gesture and the same feelings in the past, present and future.

In short, the pursuit of pleasure has always been there: a real constant in the history of man ... and woman.

The history of sex toys, therefore, crosses human history.
By re-proposing rituals that unite the needs of the people of tens of thousands of years ago with ours and, reminding us that, while changing our daily activities, we always remain the same: human.


Article written in collaboration with L'Ora di Storia that you can find on youtube at this link:

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  • salve articolo molto interessante ma credo che ognuno debba torvare il proprio “dildo” , detto questo sono alla ricerca del “dildo perfetto” per me, provati tanti ma poco soddisfacenti , alcuni meglio ma ancora non ho trovato il “sacro graal dei dildo” . potete aiutarmi ? vedo che avete un buon assortimento e vorrei essere contattato per ricercare con voi quello che piu’ mi aggradi .

    ivan on

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