The desire for a good old-fashioned orgasm is timeless. Our ancestors, while they were forming clay pots, and making hair combs out of bone, didn’t neglect sexual needs as a life necessity. The oldest dildo found to date was a curved phallic object made from siltstone, approximately from 26000 BC in Germany. Now, we may carry Real Rock dildos at the stores, but rest assured, they are not made of real rock. Allow us to penetrate deep into the past and explore the history of sex toys with you. We found it exhilarating.
So, we know the ancient Europeans were doing it, but many others were as well. Legend has it Cleopatra was said to keep a jar of live bees on her bedside table, tightly sealed of course, for the purpose of pleasuring her lower Mesopotamia. I don’t think we’d recommend that, but since all four of her husbands died, she made it work for herself. Other, less wealthy, Egyptians, also used what they could. There are manuscripts that identify using unripe bananas or camel dung coated with resin. Yes, I said camel DUNG… hard pass!
Not to be outdone, the Greek began promoting olive oil as a lubricant. Admittedly, they first thought that it would prevent pregnancy, but once they experienced that silken texture of lubricant, it became a bedroom staple. Japan contributed the anal beads, and also Ben Wa (kegel) balls, and China gave us the penis ring, believing that one must be worn to produce an heir. The original rings were made from goat eyelids with the lashes still attached! If that’s not nightmare inducing… There are pictures of these out there but we thought we would spare you, you’re welcome. Instead here is a later one made of Jade.
1700’s – 1800’s
But America was built by Puritans and denied the existence or use of sex toys for another few hundred years. But, we’re sure that under covers, in the dark of night, our horny ancestors were still using whatever they could find to get the job done. Finally, in 1869, men figured out that women were capable of having orgasms. The previously held belief was that only men were able to have such a release. Maybe we should have called those our very own dark ages!!
Doctors started prescribing female orgasms to women to prevent hysteria and depression. Men, who had never had to work this hard before, found the prescription tiresome and set to work to invent a sex toy that could get the job done in less time and with less male effort. GE, the same people who make our microwaves, created a steam-powered vibrator that swept the nation in popularity. Our working theory is now we know what may have really caused that Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
And from there, the floodgates were opened, so to speak. Each decade in America brought with it an advance in sex toy technology. The 1920s brought us an electric vibrator to treat deafness, sciatica, and remove wrinkles. Sure… The electric vibrator was illicitly used in stag films (the first porn). Thankfully, these were silent movies and the extremely loud buzzing could not be heard.
40’s – 50’s
In the 1940s, vibrators were finally given interchangeable textured heads, supposedly for giving scalp and body massages, but now women had some options. The 1950s, the housewife era, brought us rumble seats, since women were already using the clothes dryer as a form of stimulation.
60’s – 70’s
The 1960s was when it really got poppin’. The feminist movement brought dildos into the forefront, stating that they could relieve a woman’s dependence on a man. These early dildos were very life-like models of male penises, made out of rubber or oftentimes, glass or crystal. In 1966, the first patent was filed for a cordless vibrator. It was the first time that a patent had been filed actually identifying the object as a sex toy, instead of hiding it in plain sight. It was a couple years before the lunar landing, but we would like to argue that this patent was the first “small step for man, giant leap for mankind.”
The 1970s brought us more dildos, but this time, in all the flesh tones. Prior to 1970, flesh tone was Caucasian only. Later that decade, women began to design sex toys in less realistic shapes, introducing colors like pink, blue, and purple. The 1970s also brought us the Magic Wand, now owned by Vibratex, and it rocked the world as we know it. With 6000 RPM, it is still one of the most powerful toys on the market and has so many delicious uses.
80’s – 90’s
The 1980s brought us adult stores, where the public could easily enter in to buy whatever delight tickled their fancy. Except for Alabama. They kept laws on the books until 1998 that criminalized the sale of sex toys. We wonder what the borders looked like, women in droves going to a neighboring state, to buy their fantasies. Even here in Texas, there is still a law on the books that states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle containing more than three sex toys. Hope they don’t peek inside of our trunks when we get pulled over.
The 1990s brought us the rabbit-style vibrator (thanks, Japan) and the ultimate TV show, Sex and the City. The characters’ frank discussions about sexuality opened the door to normalize sex toys in society. Sex toys gained acceptance and companies worked to develop the latest and greatest items to keep up with demand. And we would like to thank them for a job well done.
If you come into any of out Velvet Box locations, we can show you all the newly developed sex toys. The Womanizer tops our list, as you can tell because we talk about it here, here and here. This toy provides clitoral suction with just the right amount of pressure. Makers of this toy boast that over 80% of women achieve orgasm within five minutes of use. However, users say that you can have multiples in that amount of time. This toy will blow you away!!
And we can’t forget We-Vibe. We-Vibe has an entire line of erotic pleasures, all with extremely deep vibrations, but the crazy part is, there is an app for that! Playtime reaches a whole new level when your partner can operate your sex toy from the bedroom or from 10,000 miles away. So many new ways to play, including playing in public while still being private. You can read about all the different We-Vibe products here.
Even our lubricants are changing with demand, now offering completely vegan and organic brands to keep those harmful chemicals away from your bits and pieces.
We carry several amazing lines of sexual toys, you can see some of our new favorites here, and we hate to leave anyone out. So, come one, come all, into a location nearest you today and see for yourself the strides that these companies are making to please you. You won’t regret it.
Written by Ally Barr
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