Words by Jackei Sullen
In a world where we have the option of splurging on $450 anal beads made of pearl, and access to peculiar contraptions such as the Heeldo; a strap-on dildo that attaches to the heel and gives the necessary assistance to those who wish to foot fuck themselves (and possibly someone else in the process if they've been granted the gift of being quite the contortionist) - It has the potential to comes off as a bit shocking once discovered that the development of sex toys wasn't necessarily ecstasy-filled excursions that most may think. To be blunt, some of the more primitive designs were fucking terrifying and if they were used in porn, it'd be the exact type of smut that Leatherface and his entire clan would fap to. But, I'll let you all be the judge of that.
The Orgasm Inducing Insects of Cleopatra (54 BC):
Naturally, when you think of sex toys that were once in the possession of Cleopatra, nothing less than immaculate dicks made of solid gold, embedded with rare gems containing secrets of the universe and powered by the forces of Ra himself is to be expected - sadly, that's extremely far from the case.
According to legend, the Nubian pharaoh was indeed the original inventor of the first vibrator known to man. Since the Egyptians didn't have the luxury of purchasing an 8-pack of D batteries from the nearest Walmart, you're probably wondering how and what the fuck she used to create a vibrator; the answer would be bees.
Supposedly, Cleo was a bit on the determined side when it came to having a good time and it somehow led to her instructing the royal servants to fill a hollowed-out gourd full of pollen-loving drones. Once trapped inside, their buzzing collectively caused it to vibrate - voila - instant jizz-fest.
Here's the thing; I struggle to believe that a woman whose beauty literally destroyed empires, couldn't find a single decent lay in all of Egypt so inserting hundreds of venomous insects in her snatch was her only option. And if that weren't enough, a majority of the drawings from that era depict the men of ancient Egypt as possible descendants of the man from Nantucket, so what gives? Maybe it was just one of those days.
The First Steam Powered Vibrator (1869) :
The Victorians won my heart years ago, in relation to the innovators they were when it came to torture devices, and are slowly becoming my favorite era involving the subject of intimacy. Maybe because I feel there's a distinct correlation between the two, who knows?
Sex toys of the 1800's were rarely considered sources of pleasure, and more so thought of as medical devices thanks to the non-existent ailment known as Hysteria. Often referred to as “the widow's disease”, the condition was believed to be the outcome of high concentrations of "female semen" that accumulated in women, who, for one reason or another, didn't have the pleasure of sexual release during intercourse.
Initially, treatments consisted of doctors finger-banging their female patients until they achieved orgasm, but due to the burden of fatigued fingers from profuse rubbing, it led to the birth of what I like to imagine as the number one pick that ironic hipsters and steampunks associate with sexual gratification -The Manipulator; a steam-powered vibrator.
From a doctor's point of view, having a job description that includes looking at vaginas all day and fingering women for a decent salary has the makings of being a pretty sweet gig (of course, this would vary from patient to patient). Overall, I just lack the ability to associate steamed-powered objects near my twat as something I'd consider hot (no pun intended). In its place, I think of 3rd-degree burns and the sex toy from hell that Freddy Krueger's wife uses to get herself off with while he's away on long business trips.
Believe it or not, the instrument in question was actually an upgrade. Before its existence, there was only the hand-cranked vibrator which allowed women to received mind-blowing orgasms from a metal object that crudely resembled an egg beater.
It's presumed that if frequent users weren't all that attentive when it came to maintenance, the consequences included rust buildup, along with explaining to the children over breakfast what the ear-piercing squeaking noises that came from mommy & daddy's room last night were from. Basically, the option of being discreet wouldn't have been in the cards, but tetanus might've.
Cocks of Stone: The Caveman Era (6,000 - 2000 BC)
Let's face it - during the stone age the closest thing that any women could get to a vibrator was lucking out by ending up with an epileptic caveman as a mate that sometimes experienced seizures during sex. Most likely, the women were grateful for even that much, especially since one of the few sex toys that were recently discovered was said to have doubled as a multipurpose tool and looks like nothing more than a dick-shaped pumice stone at first glance that was guaranteed to cause irreversible damage.
Homo sapiens took forever when it came to learning how to utilize fire or even entertaining the concept of round wheels, yet designing what was essentially the Swiss army knife of prosthetic cocks was a breeze. Right on.
Whole Wheat Dicks with a Side of Virgin Olive Oil (500 BC):
Inadvertently or not, ancient Greeks became the poster children for unconventional sex. Albeit, while they were responsible for the beloved double dildo, there were a few occasions where they completely missed the mark and it invited less favorable sources of pleasure to come into play. Apparently, after women grew tired of getting their rocks off by inserting wood and tar inside themselves, they decided to add to the menu what any of us are able to purchase at the closest Olive Garden available; schlong-shaped bread. This inevitably opened the door for the use of olive oil as a lube.
The two seem to go hand-in-hand anyway and at least the insertion of bread in a different hole from your mouth excludes the wrath of unnecessary carb intake, so why not? Now that we're on the subject, I'm pretty sure that this played a part in the whole "make me a sandwich after sex" craze and potentially where we got the term "yeast infection". At this point, there's just no convincing me otherwise.
Penis Extenders (1700 BC):
Granted, extenders may have been around for quite some time, they gained an immense amount of attention after being brought into the spotlight prior to the Kama Sutra being written. Not only did the book contain a plethora of awesome positions to try out in the bedroom, the suggestion of using enhancers gave men a glimmer of hope in the area of resolving issues with impotence and also for those who had wives with "large vaginas" a.k.a hot dog down a hallway syndrome.
Masturbation Puppets (1700's AD):
Before RealDolls ever even became a part of the sex scene, there was their ugly cousin; masturbation puppets; basically nothing more than a glove made of leather with a face on it. Besides being the cause of chaffed dicks among sailors far away from home, they were essentially designed for a good old fashion jerk off session.This subsequently led to the creation of blow up dolls.
In comparison to the more realistic versions being manufactured, inflatable dolls remain the Jan Bradys' of the sex doll world - yet they remain popular due to their affordability. In terms of quality, they've seemed to have skimped out on smaller details in the department of visual accuracy (unlike their competition), not to mention that even the tiniest prick could pop them.
The Miraculous Hemorrhoid Dissolvers of 1892:
Last but not least, butt plugs. An item that the markets just could not seem to keep in stock for very long - while it would be a glorious revelation that the reason behind it is that so many people in the good old 1800's were really into butt play, the dilators were only ever in demand simply because they were thought to magically cure hemorrhoids.
Obviously, it was a huge sham and once the FDA caught on - as expected - the plugs were eventually removed from the roster as a medical implement for false advertising.
Frankly, there are very few incidents where the suggesting that someone shoves a foreign object up their ass has ever been the answer. Speaking medically of course - not recreationally.
In closing, the next time you bust out your favorite sex toy, remember that latex is a privilege, not a right. With this comes one more reason to be appreciative of the sacrifices that so many sad, worn out genitals have endured to pave the way for limited edition Tony Danza 'Who's the Boss' dildos and foxtail butt plugs that come with an adorable set of matching ears. Don't ask how I know about these things, just know what I do in my time away from work is my prerogative.
Jackei is an aspiring pathologist and a content writer for a plethora of online entertainment blogs. Her pastimes include dabbling in special makeup effects, randomly shouting compliments at strangers in public, and skillfully deep throating flaming batons (she practices the art of fire breathing/swallowing).
Feel free to stalk her on twitter as much as your little hearts desire: @Jackei_Sullen