A Quick and Dirty History of Sex Toys ~ by guest author, Kiersten Hibberd



Sex: it’s everywhere today. It’s on our TVs, billboards, computers, in our books, at stores down the street and even in our minds. You don’t have to go far to find what you’re looking for. It’s hard to think of a time when you couldn’t reach for your favorite toy and beloved website; it’s just that easy.

However, it wasn’t always this easy. There was a stigma against sexual expression even just forty years ago. Toys weren’t as easy to come by and porn was something dirty men watched in public theaters. The world has gone through an immense sexual wakening over the past few decades, but it certainly didn’t start there. We’ve been bumping uglies and thinking about ways to make it more satisfying for far more than just a few decades, in fact, try a few thousand years. So before you enjoy your modern conveniences, let’s jump back and look at the road that was paved for you through sex toy invention.

33,000 BC: A 35,000 year old ivory figurine carved into the shape of a voluptuous woman was found inside of a cave in Germany. This is considered the first form of pornography. The figurine’s over-emphasized breasts and genitals lead scientists to believe that it is the cavemen’s version of porn.

28,000 BC: Carved figurines turned into phallic shaped tools used for sexual pleasure. A one inch wide, eight inch long carved stone object was found buried in a cave in Germany. A-EofStoneScientists believe that this is one of the first true sex toys. Those Germans were really hitting it hard back then! Full article

2300 BC: Middle Eastern literature from the time period was found describing how olive oil was used as a personal lubricant.

1700 BC: Vatsyayana releases the Kama Sutra, a book of sexual positions that is still used today. The book goes beyond sexual positions and even promotes the use of penis extenders to men who are impotent–just like today’s strap on!

800 BC: The Chinese invent our friend the cock ring. But they opt for goats eyelids instead of using silicone, metal or leather.

500 BC: Greek women begin having modern day Adam and Eve sex toy parties by giving their women neighbors Olisbos (the ancient term for dildo) when their husbands went off to war.

500 AD: Not to be outdone, the Japanese came up with Ben Wa Balls. A-BBWBThese vaginal balls were originally used for men’s pleasure, but it didn’t take long for women to realize that they were pleasurable for them as well.

1800s AD: The first steam-powered vibrator is created in 1869. Originally, designed to cure women of “hysteria”, this machine had to be operated by two doctors and resulted in lots of “curing”/pleasurable side effects.

1900s AD: With the discovery of electricity came the invention of electric vibrators. These were immediately marketed to women and sold along side other household goods in the Sears and Roebuck catalog.A-E.S-R

1994 AD: The first fleshlight was created, the first manufactured masturbatory toy for men.

In the last twenty years, engineers and scientists have been able to perfect all of these toys, making them safer, more ergonomic and far more pleasurable. Just think of how far we’ve come and how much farther we can go!

 — Kiersten is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics on relationships and intimacy.