Phallic objects have played a significant part in our history – from being used to ward off evil spirits, as a means to boost fertility, and as a sexual aid. Sex toys, along with other products designed for erotic pleasure, are in the midst of a design revolution, and consumer expectations are higher than ever before. Before the days of Sex And The City, people were using dildos and vibrators, but not really talking about it! Here is how it all escalated:
500BC: Sexual aids were used as far back as this, with phalluses carved out of stone, leather, ivory or wood. The first documented dildo was in ancient Greece, and was sold to single women. These were widely discovered among normal personal artefacts like combs and sewing needles. In Germany, a 28,000 year old stone phallus was found recently, and is thought to be the oldest known sex toy ever found, and assumed to have been used by its Ice Age manufacturers.
1200AD: The first ever cock rings were reported to have existed around 1200AD in China. They were apparently made from the eyelids of goats – with the eyelashes intact. They were later made with Jade, and some jade rings are available to this day.
1400AD: In Renaissance Italy, sex toys were coined ‘Diletto’, meaning ‘open wide’, and the Italian for ‘delight’. They were primitive, but functional.
1500s: The first dildo appeared in the UK.
1700s: In 18th Century France, the first vibrator was built, a wind up contraption designed by physicians.
1800s: A steam powered vibrator, the Manipulator, was developed by an American physician named George Taylor. It was used to help treat women with ‘hysteria’. The vibrator was the fifth commercially available electric appliance, after the tea kettle, bread toaster, sewing machine and fan. The first rubber dildo has been traced back to roughly 1850.
1900s: The vibrator became available to consumers as well as doctors, as electricity became more widely available in homes. The development of latex rubber revolutionised the sex toy industry, and more innovative toys were created. Nazi Germany created the sex doll, ‘Project Borghild’, a female plastic sex doll created in 1941 at Germany’s Hygiene Museum, to lessen troops’ temptation of sleeping with prostitutes.
2000’s onwards: Sex toy demand continues to rise, the rampant rabbits market soars, and sex toys have come a long way from ‘marital aids’. The sex toys market was predominantly female-dominated, but things are slowly changing in the current sexual revolution. Male sex toys became more commonplace, from fleshlights, prostate massagers, to devices turn your hand into a personal vibrator, men no longer need to feel embarrassed about sexual liberation as the sex toy market is for everyone. From the eerie invention of the Vajankle, a dildo with your dead lover’s ashes in, to the Je Joue Dua V2 App Controlled GSpot Vibe Purple, which you can control with an app on your phone so your partner can get you off even if they’re across the globe, the Noughties are all about using tech in the most creative sexual ways. Sex toys are of a much higher quality now, and consumers can learn the value of investing in a higher quality toy that will last them more than a few months and end up in a landfill. Many now recharge via USB and don’t require batteries, and you can even buy a 24-karat gold dildo – look how far we’ve come. Scientists believe that in the future, you will be able to use your brain to power sex toys, and I will leave you with that enchanting thought.