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Top 5 Breakthroughs in Sex Toy History

Believe it or not, sex toys are as old as the Stone Age – literally. In fact, archaeologists recently uncovered an 8-inch siltstone phallus tucked away in an ancient German cave that dates all the way back to 28,000 BC.

Sex toys have certainly come a long way since the days of Fred and Wilma. We’ve progressed from siltstone to silicone; bee powered (more on that in a sec) to battery powered and beyond.

And as we get underway in celebrating our own storied past, it just wouldn’t be appropriate to overlook the passion pioneers of yesteryear who have given us all the opportunity to pave a pleasurable path from you to ‘O.’

45 BC—Cleopatra creates a buzz

Rumored to be the first woman to use a vibrator, Cleopatra orders a servant to hollow out a gourd and fill it with bees.

Confined to such a small space, the bees’ frantic movements vibrate the gourd enough to satisfy Egypt’s queen bee.

1880—Things get steamy

With cases of “female hysteria” on the rise in America, the demand for medical pelvic massage skyrockets.

Fatigued by servicing female patients by hand all day, doctors are relieved by George Taylor’s Manipulator—a clunky steam-powered massage apparatus.

1902—It’s electric

Becoming just the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified, Hamilton Beach’s electric vibrator hits store shelves, graces the coveted pages of the Sears Roebuck catalogue and electrifies American consumers.

Image courtesy of www.vibratormuseum.com

1968—Tavel cuts the cord

Encino, California’s Jon H. Tavel marches out of the U.S. Patent Office with a patent for the first Cordless Vibrator for Use on the Human Body.
Requiring two batteries and featuring a rotation cap for adjusting speeds, Tavel’s battery-powered genius is yet to be replaced.

1998—Multiplying like rabbits

After being featured in the Sex and the City episode “The Turtle and the Hare,” the rabbit vibrator, featuring a clitoral stimulator in the shape of rabbit’s ears, ushers in a new age of product innovation, consumer demand, and sexual openness, awareness and health.

Now that you‘re caught up on pleasure’s past, we invite you to join us as we open a new, decade-long chapter of product innovation and sexual empowerment, sure to set the trends for sex toys of the future.

About Donna Turner

Donna is a Volonté contributor and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. Her work has appeared in Psychology Today, Go! Magazine (Australia) and is regularly featured in the San Francisco Herald.

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