Dildo  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A dildo (or dildoe, a rare alternate spelling) is a sex toy, often explicitly phallic in appearance, intended for bodily interaction during masturbation or sexual intercourse.

Contents

History

Dildos in one form or another have likely been present in society throughout history. Artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic which have previously been described as batons were most likely used for sexual purposes (Marshack 1972: 333; Vasey 1998: 420). However, there appears to be hesitation on the part of archaeologists to label these items as sex toys, as one archaeologist put it "Looking at the size, shape, and — some cases — explicit symbolism of the ice age batons, it seems disingenuous to avoid the most obvious and straightforward interpretation. But it has been avoided." It is conceivable to argue, however, that Paleolithic woman found some measure of comfort in the massive stone batons whilst the men were off hunting woolly mammoth. (Taylor 1996: 128). There have been many references to dildos in the historical and ethnographic literature. Haberlandt (1899: 669), for example, illustrates single and double-ended wooden dildos from late 19th century Zanzibar.

The world's oldest known dildo is a siltstone 20-centimeter phallus from the Upper Palaeolithic period 30,000 years ago that was found in Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm Germany. Findings of the archaeologists show that ancient Egyptians used dildos 2500 years ago. Also these sex toys were used by ancient Greeks. A vase with a woman using a dildo depicted on it was found by scientists. This vase was made in the fifth century B.C. First dildos were made of stone, tar, wood and other materials that could be shaped as penis and that were firm enough to be used as a penetrative sex toys. Chinese women in the 15th century used dildos made of lacquered wood with textured surface. With the invention of modern materials there appeared the possibility to make dildos of any shapes, sizes, colors and textures.

Etymology

The word "dildo" originally referred to the phallus-shaped peg used to lock an oar in position on a dory (small boat). It would be inserted into a hole on the side of the boat, and is very similar in shape and function to the modern toy. It is highly likely the toy takes its name from this sailing tool, which also lends its name to the town of Dildo and the nearby Dildo Island in Newfoundland, Canada. Others suggest the word is a corruption of Italian "diletto" (for "delight"). [1] The term first appeared in English language print when Ben Jonson's 1610 play, The Alchemist, was published in 1616. William Shakespeare used the term once in The Winter's Tale, also believed to be from 1610, but it was not printed until the First Folio of 1623. The phrase "Dil Doul," referring to man's penis, appears in the 17th century folk ballad "The Maids Complaint for want of a Dil Doul".[2] The song was among the many in the library of Samuel Pepys. "Signior Dildo" is a 17th century poem by notorious libertine John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.

Olisbos is a classical term for a dildo, from the Greek ολισβος; a godemiche is a dildo in the shape of a penis with scrotum. In some modern languages, the names for "dildo" can be more descriptive, creative or subtle, such as in Russian (Фаллоимитатор, literally "Phallic imitator"), Spanish (Consolador, literally "consolation/consolator") or Welsh (cala goeg, literally "fake penis").

Dildos in culture

Dildos may be seen in Greek vase art. Some pieces show their use in group sex or in solitary female masturbation. One vessel, of about the 6th century BC, depicts a scene in which a woman bends over to perform oral sex on a man, while another man is about to thrust a dildo into her anus.

They are mentioned several times in Aristophanes' comedy of 411 BC, Lysistrata.

LYSISTRATA
And so, girls, when fucking time comes… not the faintest whiff of it anywhere, right? From the time those Milesians betrayed us, we can’t even find our eight-fingered leather dildos. At least they’d serve as a sort of flesh-replacement for our poor cunts… So, then! Would you like me to find some mechanism by which we could end this war? (tr. George Theodoridis)

Herodas' comic Mime VI, written in the 3rd Century BC, is about a woman anxious to discover from a friend where she recently acquired a dildo.

METRO
I beg you, don't lie,
dear Corrioto: who was the man who stitched for you this bright red dildo?

She eventually discovers the maker to be a certain Kerdon, who hides his trade by the front of being a cobbler, and leaves to seek him out.

In the early 1590s, the playwright Thomas Nashe wrote a poem known as The Choice of Valentines, Nashe's Dildo or The Merrie Ballad of Nashe his Dildo but this was not published at the time, due to its obscenity. The poem describes a visit to a brothel by a man called "Tomalin". However, the prostitute he hires resorts to using a dildo as he finds himself unable to perform sexually.

In Renaissance times, a dildo is prominently featured on an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi. The print is in the collection of the national museum of Stockholm, where it is called, Woman with a Carrot.

Dildos are humorously mentioned in Act IV, scene iv of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. This play and Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist (1610) are typically cited as the first usage of the word in publication (Nashe's Merrie Ballad was not published until 1899.

John Wilmot, the 17th century English libertine, published his poem Signor Dildo in 1673. During the Parliamentary session of that year, objections were raised to the proposed marriage of James, Duke of York, brother of the King and heir to the throne, to Mary of Modena, an Italian Catholic Princess. An address was presented to King Charles on 3 November, foreseeing the dangerous consequences of marriage to a Catholic, and urging him to put a stop to any planned wedding '...to the unspeakable Joy and Comfort of all Your loyal Subjects." Wilmot's response was Signior Dildo (You ladies all of merry England), a mock address anticipating the 'solid' advantages of a Catholic marriage, namely the wholesale importation of Italian dildos, to the unspeakable joy and comfort of all the ladies of England:

You ladies all of merry England
Who have been to kiss the Duchess's hand,
Pray, did you not lately observe in the show
A noble Italian called Signor Dildo? ...
A rabble of pricks who were welcomed before,
Now finding the porter denied them the door,
Maliciously waited his coming below
And inhumanly fell on Signor Dildo ...

This ballad was subsequently added to by other authors, and became so popular that Signor became a term for a dildo. In the epilogue to The Mistaken Husband (1674), by John Dryden, an actress complains:

To act with young boys is loving without men.
What will not poor forsaken women try?
When man's not near, the Signior must supply.

A dildo called Steely Dan III from Yokohama appears in the William S. Burroughs novel The Naked Lunch (1959). The rock band Steely Dan took their name from it.

Description

There is some disagreement about just what precisely defines a dildo. There is general agreement that a nonvibrating device, resembling the penis in shape, size, and overall appearance, is a dildo. Some people include vibrating devices in this definition. Others exclude penis prosthetic aids, also called "extensions." Some include penis-shaped items clearly designed with vaginal penetration in mind even if they are not true approximations of a penis. Some people include devices designed for anal penetration (butt plugs) while others do not. Dildos come in various sizes and can be used by both men and women.

Materials

Early dildos were made of stone, wood, leather, wax or pottery. Of these, leather dildos with a fairly solid filler of cotton rag remain popular with some people. Rubber dildos, usually incorporating a steel spring for stiffness, became available in the 1940s. This was a less than satisfactory arrangement because of the potential for serious injury from cuts from the spring when the rubber finally cracked and came apart.

Later, PVC dildos with a softer PVC filler became popular. Most of the inexpensive dildos sold today are made this way.

PVC and jelly-rubber toys have often been found to be problematic because they contain unsafe phthalates, softeners added to many plastics that are also found in some jewelry, food containers, and other soft rubber toys. Phthalates have been linked to health problems such as cancer and prenatal defects. Products made of PVC or jelly rubber cannot be sterilized. Manufacturers recommend using condoms with these toys if users share them.

In the 1990s, silicone rubber dildos became more popular, a trend that has continued as the prices have lowered. These are easier to clean and do not have the characteristic plastic aroma of PVC. They were expensive when introduced but are now reasonably priced, making them an excellent choice for the first-time user. Silicone holds body heat well, and is an excellent conductor of vibrations, allowing users to hold a vibrator at one end. Silicone is also a robust material (especially when compared to the cheap, unsafe jelly rubber that many dildos are made of) that can be sterilized by boiling or bleaching.

High-end, chrome plated steel dildos are available. Users might prefer steel because of its hardness firmness, durability, electrical conductance (see erotic electrostimulation), and low friction, especially when used in conjunction with lubricant. Because they are heavy, they can be used to exercise vaginal PC muscles. (Betty Dodson's "barbell" is an example.)

A steel dildo may be warmed or cooled in water before use to elicit a range of temperature sensations. It may also retain body heat of the user. Because of its polished nonporous surface, it may be sterilized in boiling water, or in an autoclave.

Glass dildos have similar features to steel ones. Glass toys are solid, not hollow, and usually made of Pyrex or borosilicate glass, although this may vary depending on manufacturer. Like steel, glass toys may be used to apply firmer pressure than silicone can to a female's G-spot (urethral sponge) or male's prostate gland.

Cyberskin is a synthetic material that looks and feels like human skin. Many feel that Cyberskin feels quite realistic. It is a porous material and cannot be sterilized. It often gets sticky after washing (which can be remedied by a dusting of cornstarch) and is much more delicate and prone to rips and tears than silicone dildos. "Packing dildos", which are not designed for penetration, are often made of this material.

Shape

Conventionally, many dildos are shaped like a human penis with varying degrees of detail. Not all, however, are fashioned to reproduce the male anatomy meticulously, and dildos come in a wide variety of shapes. These may resemble goddess figures, or simply be practical creations which stimulate more easily than conventional designs. In Japan, many dildos are created to resemble animals or cartoon characters, like Hello Kitty, so that they may be sold as toys, thus avoiding obscenity laws.

Some dildos have textured surfaces to enhance sexual pleasure.

Uses

Vaginal and/or anal penetration are the obvious uses. Dildos have fetishistic value as well, and some couples use them in other ways, running them over the skin during foreplay for example. If of appropriate sizes, they can be used as gags, for oral penetration for a sort of artificial fellatio. Some people also use specially designed dildos to stimulate the G-spot.

Dildos are used by people of all genders and sexual orientations, alone or with others.

Safety and health

Some larger dildos are intended for visual appeal only and should not be used for penetration.

Dildos can transmit disease between users in the same way as other forms of sexual contact, and should not be shared among users where this is a concern. This is particularly true for dildos made of porous or micro-porous materials, such as most soft synthetics. On the other hand, smooth stainless steel or Pyrex dildos are easier to clean, non-porous, and can be more easily sanitized, either chemically or by boiling. Silicone dildos can also be sterilized via boiling or washing with a diluted bleach solution (10 parts water: 1 part bleach), then rinsed well. This is not meant to say that any unprotected dildo should be used by more than one person without being sanitized. An effective remedy is to use a fresh condom on the dildo.

Some silicone dildos are incompatible with some silicone-based lubricants, so users should avoid combining the two without doing a patch test.

Dildos without a flanged base or other mechanism to control the depth of insertion should not be used anally, because they can be difficult to retrieve without medical assistance.

Variations

A dildo to be inserted in the anus and remain in place for a period of time is called a butt-plug. Dildos used for repeated anal penetration, such as thrusting, are usually referred to as simply "dildos" and must have a flared base to be safe for anal play. There are also double-ended dildos, with different-sized shafts pointing in the same direction, used by women to accomplish both anal and vaginal penetration at once, or for two partners to share a single dildo. In this case, the dildo acts as a sort of "see-saw"; each partner takes an end and receives stimulation.

There are dildos designed to be worn in a harness, sometimes called a strap-on harness or strap-on dildo, or to be worn inside, sometimes with vibrating devices attached externally.

Strap-on dildos may be double-ended, in which case they are meant to be worn by users who want to experience vaginal or anal penetration while also penetrating a partner. They may also be used for anal penetration of men. If the penetration is done by a female partner to a male partner, the act is known as pegging.

Other types of dildos include those designed to be fitted to the face of one party, inflatable dildos, and dildos with suction cups attached to the base (sometimes referred to as a wall mount). Other types of harness mounts for dildos (besides strapping to the groin) include thigh mount, face mount, or furniture mounting straps.

Recent social acceptance and popularity has resulted in the emergence of highly adorned dildos. These are often made of expensive materials and may also be jewelled.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dildo" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools