Chronicle

The history of devices designed for sexual stimulation of women is tied closely with societal perceptions of female sexuality.

Stonage DildoObjects that would today be considered sex toys were already being manufactured in the Stone Age. However, it remains unclear whether or not they were actually used as sex toys.

CleopatraCleopatra was supposedly the first women to have had a device built which was designed exclusively for sexual stimulation. Many women born after her were denied the pleasure of their sexuality due to changing sexual morals.

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According to lore, Cleopatra was the first women to have a device designed for sexual stimulation built for her. In those times, it was typical for women to take an indulgent approach to their own sexuality. This slowly changed over the coming centuries. The previously dominant view of sex and sexuality as source of pleasure became increasingly subdued by restrictive sexual morality. This new dogma reduced female sexuality to nothing more than a method of reproduction.

Hysteria and OrgasmMany women developed psychosomatic illnesses because of sexual repression. At the end of the 19th century in London, the prevalence of female hysteria was around 70 percent.

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Until late into the 19th century, even modern medicine remained convinced that female sexuality was exclusively reproductive in nature and that, unlike male sexuality, it had nothing to do with lust or desire. Accordingly, society remained ignorant of the sensual opportunities offered by the clitoris.

Clitoral massage for treatment of HysteriaThe most reliable form of treatment for the diagnosis of female hysteria was a clitoral massage performed by doctors. According the dominant opinion at the time, women did not experience lust and could therefore not have a classically gratifying orgasm.

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However, doctors actually used the potential offered by the clitoris as therapy without ever even knowing it. At the end of the 19th century, numerous women were diagnosed with a medical condition called ‘female hysteria.’ The only known reliable treatment for this ‘sickness’ was a clitoral massage. The feeling of physical relief that women would experience while undergoing this treatment became known as a ‘hysterical paroxysm’.

First electric Vibrators sold at retailersDoctors did not regard the constant clitoral massages as a ‘respectable’ treatment. Additionally, many doctors also suffered from tendonitis of the hand as a result of having to constantly perform these massages. As it turns out, it was a doctor who eventually invented the first vibrator.

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It turns out that was good for the patients was beneficial for the doctors as well. The treatment of female hysteria was very lucrative as patients had to repeatedly come in for clitoral massages. However, many doctors considered themselves above the task of providing these massages. The nature of the treatment and the frequency with which it was prescribed also led many doctors to develop ailments such as tendonitis. The invention of the vibrator toward the end of the 19th century helped considerably to alleviate some of these problems.

Comeback of the Vibrator in the 1960sUntil the 1920s, even the most conservative department stores carried vibrators. Yet after the insight that women were capable of experiencing sexual pleasure began to spread, they suddenly disappeared.

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However, it would still take decades for society to recognize that sexuality could be a source of pleasure for women. When this insight finally began to spread, the vibrator lost its status as a therapeutic device and suddenly became regarded as something objectionable. As a result, vibrators disappeared from the shelves of upstanding department stores.

The Comeback of the Vibrator as a Lifestyle ToolThe vibrator experienced its comeback amidst the social movements of the 1960s. It represented a mechanical alternative to sexual gratification – one free from male involvement.

The first Sex machinesDuring the 1970s, some manufacturers came out with devices designed to closely mimic the man’s role during sex – namely, by providing intense vaginal penetration. However, these devices resembled male fantasies more than anything else and never had any real commercial success.

The SybianWith the appearance of the Sybian in the mid-1980s, a device came on the market which could offer both vaginal and clitoral stimulation in a way that had never been seen before.

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Because of its position on the female body, the clitoris was in fact much easier to stimulate. In recognition of this, many manufacturers began to develop devices intended exclusively for clitoral stimulation. For a long period of time, no device offered simultaneous stimulation of both vagina and clitoris. Only with the introduction of the Sybian in the 1980s did a sex toy finally come on the market which could offer intensive stimulation of the both vagina and the clitoris.

The Femstar, The ultimate Sex toyThe Femstar perfects the technique which was pioneered by the Sybian. The result is a device that has been tailored to the female anatomy and which allows for the highest possible degree of sexual satisfaction.