History of the female vibrator

I love history. Specifically the Victorian era. Yes, even the outrageous sexist propaganda! Back then, women were viewed as ‘less evolved’ compared to their male counterparts, and therefore incapable of doing virtually anything independently. Another delightful stereotype of women in the late 19th century was that they were mental (yay!) — if you were female and suffering with anything from severe depression (often post-natal) to mere stress or fatigue, you’d have almost certainly been carted away to a mental asylum and that would be that.

One of the most common and stereotypical ‘female illnesses’ at the time was called Female hysteriathe symptoms were pretty wide-ranging and included faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite in food or sex, and – my personal favourite- : “a tendency to cause trouble” (hahaha).

Anyway, since this was quite a prevalent illness (duh, look at the symptom list), Doctors would carry out a treatment known as ‘Hysterical Paroxysm’ (a fancy word for ‘orgasm’) (do you see where this is going?) which consisted of ‘pelvic massages’ given to the patient, and – as you can guess – this treatment was very popular and successful.

As the demand for such services grew, combined with the fact every woman was different and for some it took hours to reach hysterical paroxysm; poor male Doctors were no longer able to satisfy the ever-increasing population of mentally ill women, and had to come up with an alternative way of treating the illness. A solution was the invention of massage devices (which shortened treatment from hours to minutes!) and by 1870, the first clockwork-driven vibrator was available for physicians. In 1873, the first electromechanical vibrator was developed.

By the 20th century, the spread of home electricity brought the vibrator to the consumer market and was available for women to buy for cheap, and in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

Vibration is Life! Vibrate your body and make it well! You have NO right to be sick!
Vibration is Life! Vibrate your body and make it well! You have NO right to be sick!

And that’s why the vibrator was invented.

Who said nothing good ever came from sexism? Thank God for old-fashioned, stereotypical, women’s mental illness!!

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