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A history of vibration.

February 21, 2010

(Via) A small gallery of early sex toys, none of which seem very appealing.

Apparently, vibrators have been around since 1734, before electricity. The first model was hand-cranked. But vibrators have kept up with technology! This model, from 1885 is steam operated! You can’t see it in the picture, but a steam engine is attached to the device.

Masturbation was taboo in the 19th century, so the earliest vibrators were marketed instead as medical devices for the treatment of women’s “hysteria.” While the author seems to think we’ve come a long way, due to laws against sex toys, many vibrators are sold “for novelty use only.” This allows manufacturers to sell environmentally and personally hazardous sex toys while not allowing consumers access to safety information. But hey, at least we don’t have to hand crank them, right?

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