Written by Primrose

Once they were called "demon rods",  and recently referred to as "Battery Operated Boyfriends."

sextoysAt one time, they were called "demon rods",  and recently referred to as "B.O.B." or "Battery Operated Boyfriends."   Sex toys held a certain vulgar status.  Simply, it is an object that is meant to give sexual pleasure.  Recently with programs like "Sex and the City" and "50 Shades of Grey", the acceptance of sex toys has become mundane in our culture, as women are becoming more educated as to how and why their bodies work.



Sex Toys In Our Culture

Anything that involves sexuality is often a cultural landmine, sometimes focusing on the pleasure and delight, and other times viewed as perversion.   Regulated by religion and politics, sexuality, and with it, sex toys are currently having a resurgence in the Western world. 

A list of the kinds and varieties of sex toys is extensive. For the gentlemen, there are Penile toys like cock rings,  fifi towel and a penis sleeve.   There are nipple toys such as nipple clamps and suction devices.   And for the ladies, there are a vast  number of vibrators on the current market: bullet vibrators,  the rabbit vibrator and vibrator wands.  However the most well known is the common vibrator. 

For thousands of years, documented in Greek texts which say that female hysteria should be dealt with and often suggests the use of various items to help produce orgasm.  It lore that Cleopatra,  had many sexual aids, including a sphere containing buzzing insects,  the first vibrator.

Female Hysteria Was Treated With Medically Induced Orgasms

A medical document from the 1200's  suggests to  doctors to recommended that nuns and widows use dildoes to relieve hysteria.  Some of the earliest found rods can be dated to the early 1500's in Europe.

Nantucket whaling wives left alone for years, despite their strict Quaker background relied on sexual aids known as "he's-at-homes."  They were often passed from mother to daughter, like any family remedy.  Although discounted for many years, a six-inch plaster penis was found hidden in a chimney of an historic house.   It was housed with a group of nineteenth-century letters and a bottle of laudanum.  

In the Victorian era, many women were diagnosed with the illness hysteria.   Common treatments were a hydrotherapy technique involving shooting a jet of water in the afflicted woman's vagina, and manual stimulation.    Patented in 1870 for use in doctors' offices electric-powered vibrators so women could reach the state of "hysterical paroxysm," otherwise known as orgasm  Recently, the movie, "Hysteria" chronicled the invention of the modern version of the vibrator in the 1880's. 

 Vibrators soon came to be sold in retail catalogs like "Modern Priscilla, Needlecraft and Woman's Home Companion" in 1906, or In 1918 Sears, Roebuck & Company provided a vibrator attachment to be used with home motor that would also drive a churn, a mixer and a sewing machine.   1922 the innovation of portable vibrators were offered in the catalog  ''Such Delightful Companions''.   One advertisement promised, ''All the pleasures of youth will throb within you.''  All in the name of empowering women to perform their own medical treatments.  

Years later, the vibrator became culturally forbidden, and it was surmised as it was used in pornographic films.   This resulted in the euphemism of the Swedish Massager, which is advertised to massage back muscles is simply a vibrator by another name. 

Women's sexual empowerment has come with movies and books.    There has been a boon in erotica publishing houses like Ellora's Cave, Samhain, Double Dragon and Xcite.  Sexual toys have now moved from being hush-hushed items sold via brown paper wrapped packages, or at salacious sex shops, to becoming home parties with all the normalcy of Tupperware and Mary Kay.   Various home party MLMs including Passion Party, Pure Romance, and Athena have come on the market in the last 20 years, offering anything from mundane and simple sex toys to the more erotic and exotic.       Raylene Taskoski, of Pure Romance describes what she does as being a sexual educator and comedienne, bringing levity to a sometimes repressed subject.     She teaches women how their bodies work and has a myriad of products available to enhance their intimacy with themselves or with their partners.   "I sell 'he, she and me' toys."   Anything from a variety of vibrators, C-rings, to lubricants and Lingerie.