What Was The First Vibrator? A Stimulating, Interactive History Of The Sex Toy

You know them and you probably love them — but do you know where vibrators come from? Obviously there's no Sex Toy Stork that drops them off, so most of us found our first vibrators online, in a sex toy shop, or in the form of a "back massager" sold at Sharper Image. But the vibrator has a long and fascinating history, filled with hysteria, weight-loss gimmicks, and even court cases. 

In order to learn more about my beloved buzzing friends, I dug into the vibrator's history and spoke to Dr. Rachel Maines, author of The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” Vibrators and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. Dr. Maines was very helpful in helping sort out fact from fiction — there's a lot of vibrator history misinformation floating around there out on the Internet — and she also told me what might be my new favorite joke, straight from the Women's Liberation movement of the 1970s: "Why did God Invent men? She realized that vibrators couldn't dance."

Not yet, that is. With the speed at which the technology of the vibrator is improving — especially in the realm of couples toys, innovative motors, and body-safe materials — we don't have to pit men against our vibrators anymore. In fact, if they're worth sleeping with in the first place, chances are they're also fans.

Check out our interactive timeline to learn how our beloved vibrators came to be. 

A Stimulating History of The Vibrator

Image: Damn Foster/Bustle

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