Sandra Wilkins

Know about the ancient vibrators and its origin

He does not complain about long working days and is always there for you if you need him. Of course we are talking about the vibrator. If you think of a vibrator, then you think of pleasure. Yet our quivering friend is not originally invented for pleasing the woman. We investigated the history of the vibrator.

The origin of the vibrator lies thousands of years ago in ancient Greece. Historically, the story begins with the term ‘womb fury’, which literally means uterine frenzy. In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates described the female condition Hysteria. Hysteria was characterized by nervousness, fluid retention, insomnia and lack of appetite. According to Hippocrates, this was caused by an irregular flow of blood to the uterus (the hysteria). Today we describe this as ordinary sexual frustration.

Orgasms on doctor’s prescription

According to Hippocrates, the remedy for these “serious psychological symptoms” resulted in a vaginal massage with paroxysm. Yes, you read that correctly: paroxysm. Because everyone knew that women were not able to experience sexual feelings, let alone peroxide; an orgasm! Greek physician Galen proclaimed: “arising from the touch of the genitals that the remedy requires, follow muscle twitches that go hand in hand with pain and pleasure at the same time. From that time on, the woman was freed from all the evil she felt. This massage, however, should only be given by doctors, because masturbation was then still out of the question. You can imagine that many women were walking around with Hysteria, so the doctors had to roll up their sleeves. In some women it took longer before they reached paroxysm. Annoyed doctors complained about the duration of the treatment; moreover, they found that the treatment of this condition lay well below their respectable profession. They got lame hands. So something had to be found on this.

Blow off steam for a moment

Because it is common knowledge that men know what women want the first vibrator was designed by a man. American George Taylor came in 1869 with the first steam-powered vibrator on the market. He baptized her: the Manipulator. The manipulator was a kind of table with a hole for the female pelvis. A vibrating roller, powered by steam power, did the hard work. Not the sexiest image you can think of, but the beginning was made.

Rather than the iron

The evolution of the vibrator within the technological revolution speaks volumes about the priorities of man. At the end of the 19th century, more and more electronic devices appeared in households. First there was the toaster, followed by the sewing machine, the kettle and the fan. And which household appliance appeared fifth on the market? Funny fact: this was 10 years before the invention of the electric iron and the vacuum cleaner!

Around 1900 the vibrator became available to the consumer. In 1920, even more vibrators were sold than toasters. However, the rise of pornography in the 1920s caused the fall of the vibrator in the respectable society. The vibrator played a big role in these films which gave them a bad image. The taboo was born. The vibrator disappeared for almost 40 years from the general street scene. She was still available, but was offered for example as a ‘neck-massage device.

The sexual revolution

The feminist movement of the 60s and 70s brought the vibrator back into the picture. Suddenly the vibrator was more than vibrating medication or a porno-attribute: suddenly she was a political symbol. After this sexual revolution in the 70s there was more open talk about the vibrator, but after the sexual emancipation of the 80s she came out of the taboo. The new generation of vibrators is made from a female perspective. Because we secretly know ourselves the best that we like best.

The vibrator is happily becoming the most normal thing in the world again. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend was said when the vibrator could only be put in the bedside table. Diamonds are fun, but you do not deliver orgasm.The birth of the vibrator is not exciting, horny or glamorous. The electric vibrator was invented to treat hysteria. The name of this ‘disease’ comes from the word ‘uterus’, which means womb. In the 19th century people thought that hysteria in women was linked to sexual frustration.

Orgasm therapy

What is now called an ‘orgasm’ was therefore a treatment against nerve crises, insomnia, bad mood or depression. So it had nothing to do with sex.

The origin of the vibrator is in ancient Greece. As early as the fifth century BC, the female hysteria condition was described by Hippocrates. Hysteria was characterized by nervousness, fluid retention, insomnia and lack of appetite. According to Hippocrates, this was caused by an irregular flow of blood to the uterus, the hysteria.

According to Hippocrates, vaginal massage with paroxysm was the solution to the problem. However, this massage should only be given by a doctor. Problem was that doctors found this remedy very annoying. Bringing women to orgasm sometimes took a long time and not all physicians had the required perseverance and patience. Moreover, it was not profitable for the doctor because they had to serve many patients for a good income. That had to be different.

A powerful water jet did the trick much faster. That is why the basin shower was used in the 19th century. It consisted of a large tube through which water was pushed through with force and was aimed at the clitoris. This was claimed to result in orgasm within 4 minutes. If this treatment was not available, medical staff also advised rickety trains, rocking chairs or horseback riding.

Since, however, it was assumed that 75 percent of the female population was chronically hysterical; a less cumbersome device had to be provided. The solution was provided in 1875. Steam power ensured that the “Manipulator” could be used. This looked like a table with a hole for the female pelvis. A vibrating roller, driven by steam power, did the hard work. But like the basin shower, this device was not suitable for the doctor’s treatment room.