Sex toys are of paramount importance in self-care and essential tools in rejuvenating desire and exploration in long-term relationships. Let’s be real; sex toys are just fun. You can’t say the words without smiling. As a public service in my self-proclaimed capacity as a sex toy advocate and enthusiast, this article will provide a brief tour through:
The incredibly prominent history of ancient sex toys
The diabolically diagnosed ‘hysteria’ and it’s sinsational treatment options
The celebrated evolution of sex toys
Sex toy care, maintenance & disposal
Creative sex toy DIY projects showcased in Men’s Forums; and
The physical and mental health benefits of self-maintenance
A staggering amount of American women over 18 years of age own a vibrator, 80% to be exact, with the most popular choice being a realistic-looking phallus. See fellas; we do think the peen is pretty. Interestingly, finding statistics of men that own sex toys are incredibly out-dated, although 66% readily come forward to announce they have purchased them.
Access to sex toys has progressed from visiting poorly-maintained buildings ominously glowing under the hum of an Adult Store neon light in the industrial district to majestic Adult Emporiums with vast inventory and inviting greeters as if entering a friend’s home.
Women host sex toy parties imbibing wine and examining varieties of toys and accessories. We swap sex stories (if your girl tells you she didn’t, you are being lied to) and giggle into the night feeling empowered as we unleash our inner goddesses to frolic in delightful deviancy, bonding in sisterhood to justify spending more on toys then we said we would.
Finally, let us not forget the omnipresent internet and convenient digital downloads, and free porn. I love America; let your freak flag fly. How did it come to pass that we can indulge in our sensuality and reveal glimpses of preferred intimate tastes in public venues? Thought you would never ask! Ladies and gentlemen, start your vibrating engines.
Origin Story Of Sex Toys
One of the most ancient known civilizations was the Indus Valley that dates back approximately 8,000 years. The oldest religion is Hinduism, which clocks in at about 4,000 years ago. The oldest known dildo, wait for it - 30,000 years old made of chalk. Another dildo 28,000 years old features a generous, girthy 8 inches of stone that was found in Germany.
Wait what? Stone? Do you have any idea how long it would take to craft a stone penis? It’s not like there was a Harbor Freight on the corner. The patience you would have to have is commendable. It would seriously take me whacking the stone against a rock one time to lose interest.
So, how is it that a dildo is immensely older than civilization and religion? Probably in much the same way that the sports cup came 100 years before the helmet. Priorities. As long as there have been humans roaming the earth, there have been sex toys made from stone, bone, and wood. But the dildo wasn’t the only pleasure tool crafted.
Jade butt plugs, bronze strap ons, double-sided dildos, and Ben Wa balls were all the rage in parts of the Ancient world, mostly Asia. Don’t get excited, ladies; the Ben Wa balls were for the men to insert in their penis for sexual potency and pleasure; the larger version for women was introduced later.
In Ancient Greek culture, old bread or baguettes were fashioned into dildos. Waste naught want naught. The Greeks are infamous for debauchery and remarkable, unbridled kink to enhance the sexual experience of both parties. Many of the ancient sex toys discussed here are for both male and female pleasure.
One thing to note is a sexual repression cloud materialized over women at some point; this will be important later. The cause and timeframe are largely debated and outside the scope of this article but does lead us into womanly fits of hysteria.
Bytches Be Crazy Till 1980
In 1900 BC, Egyptians believed that the uterus was an independent unit that roamed around at will inside the woman. The free-range uterus literally had a mind of its own. When the uterus was out of place, the woman would suffer several ailments from depression to headaches - the list goes on into a catch-all net list of symptoms known as hysteria. However, it wasn’t called hysteria yet.
It was imperative to get that rebellious uterus back to where it belonged, which could be done by placing wonderful scents near the vagina and unpleasant odors by the nose. Unless, of course, that pesky uterus had moved down the body, then the scents were reversed until the uterus returned to its proper station.
The Greeks put their spin on things. A group of women refused to worship a phallus. Clearly, they were seen as certifiably crazy. Melampus, a Greek physician, believed that these women’s uteruses had been poisoned due to the absence of orgasms and therefore suffered from melancholy. He prescribed virile young men to lay with the women, and voila! They were cured.
Melampus made the first connection between the lack of sex and madness. Greek colleagues, such as Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates, backed this theory. So, let me just repeat this to be precise. The free-range roaming uterus would be sad if it could not join with a male phallus regularly, causing it to go search for a phallus and render an otherwise good woman into a complete nutjob.
I don’t entirely disagree. Hippocrates, also a physician, coined the term hysteria in the 5th Century BC and was careful to differentiate it from epilepsy. He decreed that a uterus would emit toxins that could lead to paralysis, among other things, if the womanly canals were not opened regularly so these toxins could evacuate. The struggle becomes real.
Hysteria Can Be Cured - With A What?
Through the centuries, renowned psychiatrists and doctors diagnosed hysteria so often it was as common as a basic cold. There seemed to be epidemics of hysteria inflicting thousands of women in several countries. This is where it gets even more bizarre.
If you have ever had the privilege of watching The Road To Wellville or, better yet, Hysteria, both films illuminate the awkward treatments and beliefs to cure hysteria and are not far from the truth. To cure hysteria, doctors would insert one or two fingers into the vagina and rest the palm of their hand on the clitoris, gently vibrating their palm to stimulate the clitoris to produce a … hysterical paroxysm. A what?
Women didn’t have sexual urges or orgasms. They had hysterical paroxysms. I’m relatively certain the Docs could call it whatever they wanted to as long as one was achieved. Not much has changed in this department.
Not surprisingly, Doctor offices across multiple countries were over capacity with women needing the cure. Similar to a line when Thunder Down Under is in town. Some women were going for the cure 2 to 3 times per week, and it was soon realized this service was obscenely lucrative.
Clitoral stimulation is essential to a woman’s orga- hysterical paroxysm. The art of achieving this requires more from a partner than the obligatory, ‘I’m just so happy to be here’ pump and dump. This may be why so many married women, not just single or widowed, required the cure. There was one little caveat.
The doctors, midwives, nurses, and traveling healers performing the cure so many times a day were developing fatigue and soreness in their hands. Invention is fueled by demand, and the demand was automation. Americans are master capitalists. Can I get an Amen?
In 1869, Dr. George Taylor patented the first steam-powered vibrator. Dr. Taylor cautioned that women should be closely supervised to prevent overindulging themselves. I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.
The Manipulator was groundbreaking, and soon other vibrators followed. By 1902 with the introduction of electricity in the home, vibrators were the 5th home appliance beating the vacuum and iron by a decade. Girl power! A tour through the Good Vibrations: Antique Vibrator Museum should be on every woman’s bucket list.
Ads for ‘personal massagers’ appeared in every womanly magazine, including Needlecraft and Sears & Roebeck. Vibrators became the medical miracle, and no home was complete without one. The men were elated that a cure was so readily accessible so their wives would no longer suffer between doctor’s visits. Then, something happened to end the good vibrations.
Photo Courtesy @CabinetMagazine (Twitter)
Movies Killed The Bedroom Star
Movies were invented in 1890. What does this have to do with vibrators, you may ask? Well, pornography was filmed in 1891, just a short year later, and during the 1920s, vibrators began showing up in stag films. Let’s set the stage.
The devoted husband goes to watch his weekly stag film to relieve stress before coming home. The woman on the screen seductively strips and whips out...his wife’s personal massager! The blood drains from his face, and his fists clench as he realizes that is no medical device! Flashbacks flood his mind, and things click into place, and BOOM, the enlightenment of reality encroaches on his fantasy.
What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the crusted wall of one of those movie houses seeing that go down. I don’t care who you are; that hot mess of a scene would be the best drama on TV. Unfortunately, as word got out, vibrator ads were ripped out of magazines and vibrators became largely inaccessible and hard to find. Until the sexual revolution of the 1970s and the introduction of the Hitachi Magic Wand.
Sex Toy Evolution: Time To Get Our Freak On
The feminist movement paved the way for women to embrace their sensuality and celebrate their sexuality. Hysteria remained on the psychology books as a thing until 1980, when it was repurposed. TV Shows like Sex in the City exalted the use of sex toys and broke the mold of sexual repression. What does have some room for improvement is toy etiquette.
Basic Toy Etiquette
This section is for the benefit of all sex toy sellers out there. When I was still a naive, delicate country bumpkin, I visited the big city with my husband. I had a ‘hold my beer moment’ of liquid courage to visit one of those dimly lit adult stores where the artificial light flatters no one, and anonymous consumers (mostly male) huddle in uniformity around endless dusty shelves of glorious porn and equipment.
The Sketchy Toy Store
My courage escaped me right after I walked through the door and awkwardly bumped into a man leaving with his package. Do you say excuse me? No, you pretend that you saw nothing and no one as he hastily gripped his box and briskly walked out the door. My husband capitalized on the opportunity to take me by the hand on a grandiose expedition of depravity throughout the store with a ballsy strut.
I breathed with relief when our selections were made, and we were standing at the counter. Soon we would be free from the glances of other shoppers that, in my mind, were giving my husband visual high-fives with their not so subtle nods to each other.
The cashier, to my horror, took the toy I had selected out of the package - he was touching it! My skin crawled as I screamed inside. My eyes were as big as saucers when I looked at my husband. He looked back, and the fucker chuckled at me and reassured me this was a common thing.
My face paled as the cashier gave the toy a once over and then put batteries in it, turned it on, and put it on the counter. The vibrations roared through my ears as I stood stunned while the dildo crawled along the countertop not only in front of me but of all the guys in the line that had formed behind me.
I wanted to die as I watched the dildo roll across the counter in miniature convulsions. The cashier nodded, picked up the dildo, took out the batteries, put it back in its container, and then placed it in a black bag for discretion. REALLY?! Now we are concerned with discretion?! Bless the internet.
Make It Stop
I have come a long way since that shy country girl stepped into a sex store. But, there was one more instance that I think deserves mentioning. I am a casual gamer, and in my games, I have met several people. One of which has become a close friend who happens to be a guy. On our FIRST meeting, we went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, which is a pretty big deal.
During the convention, we visited a booth in robotics that had won several awards. Since their specialty was sex toys owned by a woman who had fought the political battle to be in the Women’s Health Robotics section, we wanted to see the new wonders and gadgets.
Now, let’s be clear. I have no problem viewing sex toys with other people at a convention. That fear died after the seedy adult store episode. But, when you are standing with your friend that you just met and a lady is holding a gigantic vibrating dildo in her hand while having a conversation with both of you - can you honestly pay attention to what she is saying while that thing wobbles precariously in her hand?
This battering ram of a device was shaking so violently in her palm that you could hear the tremors in her voice. As for words, all I heard is the wa wa wa wa, like on a Snoopy episode. If you are going to have a conversation, turn off the dildo, put it down, and step away unless you are on Chaturbate, but then no one cares what you are saying anyway.
5 Top Trending Sex Toys: Stocking Stuffers
There are endless types of sex toys offered in today’s world. They even have smart sex toys that remember what you like and can repeat the rhythm. Long-distance relationships are enhanced with blue tooth capability that allows you to control your partner’s toy across the country.
I did read a headline that some of the blue tooth toys get hacked into, and someone takes control of the toy, but someone has yet to explain to me why that is a problem. Less work for me, in my opinion, hack away. During COVID, sex toy sales have skyrocketed. These are the 5 top-selling toys of 2020 so far.
1. Thrụsting Rạbbit Vịbrạting Sụction Vịbrạting Thrụsting Ðịdlọ for Sẹx Womẹn G Sport Rạbbit Vịbertor Vịbrạting Sụcking G Sụcking (https://amzn.to/3lNbvc0)
This little number has multiple vibrations and a sucking mode, and get this - it’s ergonomic to prevent hand fatigue as we learned from history that this is of paramount importance, especially under quarantine.
2. U Shape Remote Control Toys for Women for Couples - Rose Red
Date night will never be the same. The funnest game ever is equipping this and giving your partner the control at your mother-in-law’s house during a visit. Poker face, mastery level.
3. Men Sexy Toys Love Handsfree Blow Job Stroker for Men Stamina Training Soft Silicone Device Men's Adult Toys Auto-Rotating Toys for Men Electric Deep Thrusting Massage Cup Underwear Toys, Tshirt
Hands-free heaven for the gents. Different thrusting to simulate stroking and infused with silicone for a real feel. Small & portable. Man’s new best friend.
4. Smart Phone Long Distance App Bluetooth Control Electric Woman Víbrátór Flamingo Shape Adult Toy Intelligent Waterproof Pussey Vigina Mástùrbàtór, G Spotter Vibrant Stimulation Tool, Tshirt
Long-distance relationships get a whole lot easier when you can feel their love on the inside. Your man will be able to let you know whenever he is thinking about you, no matter where he is or where you are. Challenge accepted.
5. Vịbrạting Aṇạl Bẹạds Bụtt Plụg Bụllẹt Vịbrạtor for Wọmẹn Vịbrạting Aṇạl Wạterprọof Ṣẹx Vịbrạtor Bụllẹt Mạssạger, Sịlicọne Bẹạds
Unclench ladies. Quarantine is a perfect time to try something new. Anal toys are making a comeback, and the coolest thing about them is that they are for both men and women. Live a little.
Sex Toy Care, Maintenance & Disposal
Sex toys are not exactly cheap. Taking the appropriate steps to care for and clean them will extend the shelf life. If you are anything like me, I get attached to my little helpers, and when I have to let them go….it’s emotional. Maintenance will keep you safe from infection and injury, so it is worth noting the below.
Sex Toy Shelf Life
Sex toys don’t exactly have a shelf life, they have a bedroom life, and that wonderful relationship can go on for years if nurtured. Some signs will reveal that their bedroom life is over, and they should be retired. Always inspect your toy if you see:
Abrasions or tears
Not charging correctly
Motor is too loud or struggling
Anything that is not in order
It is time to say goodbye with a ceremony befitting of the good times you have had together.
Sex Toy Storage & Cleaning
It is essential to wash your toys both before and after you have used them and properly store them. Do not merely toss the toys in a drawer. Things to do:
Remove batteries when not in use
Avoid Tupperware or plastic bags (chemicals can transfer to your toy)
Wrap the toy in cloth (most toys come with their own cloth bag) (https://amzn.to/3gq6zsG)
Consider purchasing a locking toybox (https://amzn.to/3mXfRyw)
The cleaning agents you use for your sex toy is dictated mainly by the material that your toy is made out of. Most toys will tell you how you should clean it and sell a specific cleaning product. In most cases, a mild, unscented hand soap will do the trick. There are also several misters and toy cleaners that are safe agents, such as Toylife ( https://amzn.to/3gjMHay). The list below may help you identify the proper cleaning agent:
NEVER submerge batteries in water
Avoid antibacterial soaps as they leave a residue
Soap & Water: Most toys, including Silicone and glass - avoid dishwashers due to warping
Dishwasher Safe: Pyrex & Stainless Steel
Sex Toy Disposal
Most people will discard their toy with their usual trash, but there is a better option. In the interest of a green world and a $10 coupon towards your next toy purchase, Scarlet Girl will recycle your unwanted toys.
DIY: When You Want Something Done Right…
Most men love tools and toys, so when you can combine both of those loves into a homemade sex toy, Wowza, the best orgasm of your life. I came across a men’s forum where men share their ideas of making homemade sex toys.
I sat awestruck and fascinated with the creativity and the innovative ingredients they used. I was incredibly amazed by how openly they discussed what tools to use and how their workshops were laid out. Some even said they had tried another’s idea before and gave his spin on how he did it. I loved how most indicated they had been working with a substance and thought, “that would be nice to stick my dick in,” so they made it!
The most intriguing thing about this is these are men that have the funds to purchase sex toys but rather tap into their handy skills and make them. Men, I applaud you. I found it so infatuating that I brought some of their ideas here if anyone wants to give it a go. I type this as my husband waves his hand furiously in the air to volunteer… genuinely amazing.
Please do make sure that you are safe; I am not responsible for any adverse outcomes.
Take1 Nerf Football (https://amzn.to/3oxuw3Q)
Hollow out a hole and line it with a pair of panties or some other cloth. Insert your member, squeeze the football, and go for a long pass.
If you have a woman in the house, you most likely have an endless supply of scrunchies. Simply wrap one around your beast snugly to serve as a cock ring.
Flatten a towel out on a table and put a latex glove inside it, making sure that some of the glove is hanging out. Roll up the towel with the latex inside. Fold the outside of the latex over the ends. Apply lube, and you are on your way.
Reusable ice packs can give you a completely new experience. Place a latex glove or condom between two reusable gel ice packs and bind it with rubber bands or zip ties.
Health Benefits Of Self-Maintenance
Masturbation is not only fun, but it has several physical and mental benefits. Introducing a healthy schedule of self-maintenance into your daily routine will help you with:
Have a positive effect on your overall mood
Enhance your overall sex life and performance
Relieve menstrual cramps
Understand what you like and what you don’t
Promote self-love & increased self-esteem
Increase muscle tone in your pelvis and anus
May lower risk of prostate cancer
As long as your self-maintenance isn’t getting in the way of your work, there are no side effects, it’s easy, and there is absolutely no reason to not feel comfortable in your skin and increase your quality of life. Get your party on and celebrate yourself.
Conclusion: Now It’s A Party
Sex toys have a long history with an intoxicating flurry of progression that has carried well past 30,000 years and is sure to continue for as long as there is life on earth. As technology breaks barriers of distance and possibility, we are sure to experience heightened sexual encounters, maybe even those of the third kind. Play safe and play often.