Vibrator (sex toy)  

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

Vibrators are devices for the body and skin, to stimulate the nerves for a relaxing and pleasurable feeling. Some vibrators are designed to ergonomically stimulate erogenous zones for erotic stimulation.

History

For centuries, doctors had been treating women for a wide variety of illnesses by performing what is now recognized as masturbation. The "pelvic massage" was especially common in the treatment of female hysteria during the Victorian Era, as the point of such manipulation was to cause "hysterical paroxysm" (orgasm) in the patient. However, not only did they regard the "vulvular stimulation" required as having nothing to do with sex, but reportedly found it time-consuming and hard work.

One of the first vibrators was a steam-powered device called the "Manipulator", which was created by American physician George Taylor, M.D. This machine was a rather awkward device, but was still heralded as some relief for the doctors who found themselves suffering from fatigued wrists and hands. Circa 1880, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville patented the first electromechanical vibrator, then, in 1902, the American company Hamilton Beach patented the first electric vibrator available for retail sale, making the vibrator the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified, after the sewing machine, fan, tea kettle, and toaster, and about a decade before the vacuum cleaner and electric iron.

The home versions soon became extremely popular, with advertisements in periodicals such as Needlecraft, Woman's Home Companion, Modern Priscilla, and the Sears, Roebuck catalog. These disappeared in the 1920s, apparently because their appearance in pornography made it no longer tenable for polite society to avoid the sexual connotations of the devices.

The vibrator re-emerged due to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. On June 30, 1966, Jon H. Tavel applied for a patent for the "Cordless Electric Vibrator for Use on the Human Body", ushering in the modern personal vibrator. The patent application referenced an earlier patent dating back to 1938, for a flashlight with a shape that left little doubt as to a possible alternate use. The cordless vibrator was patented on March 28, 1968, and was soon followed by such improvements as multi-speed and one-piece construction, which made it cheaper to manufacture and easier to clean.

Since the 1980s, vibrators and sex toys have become more visible in mainstream public culture, with the opening of new "sex stores", as well as a landmark "vibrator" discussion on the HBO show Sex and the City. Research published in a 2009 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine demonstrates that about 53% of women and about 46% of men in the United States ages 18 to 60 have used a vibrator.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Vibrator (sex toy)" 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.

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