The History of Vibrators and Female Hysteria
Some of the many issues that we treat at our women’s wellness center are associated with female vitality. The natural vitality of women is affected by a variety of factors, and we use a variety of treatments to help our patients. Unfortunately, many women experience decreased sexual function, and one of the treatments we offer can actually be taken home for use. We sell JimmyJane® empowerment tools to help increase the sexual response in women. Most women have probably never encountered female pleasure tools in the doctor’s office, but our health and wellness center takes an integrative approach to healthcare.
Until recently, the only place to buy female pleasure tools were at seedy sex shops with back entrances and video booths. Many women probably never even tried a sex toy as an effort to avoid going to these businesses. However, the use of vibrators has increased in both popularity and social acceptance, and now you can buy a vibrator in a drug store or a catalog. Did you know that vibrators were commonly used by doctors as a treatment for female psychological problems in the 1800s? Today we would like to learn more about the interesting history of the vibrator.
Vibrators for Female Hysteria
Historically, Western men apparently believed that women lacked sexual desire and did not experience sexual pleasure. Sex was simply for male pleasure and to make babies. Women were also conditioned to believe that a true lady fulfilled her wifely duties by having sex with her husband. Therefore, enjoying sexual acts was not encouraged or expected of women.
At the same time, doctor offices were flooded with women complaining of symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, and feelings of heaviness in their lower abdomens. Doctors diagnosed such women with a condition called “hysteria,” which is derived from the Greek word for uterus. In modern times, we would refer to these women as sexually frustrated, but people did not believe that women had sexual desire back then.
As a treatment for hysteria, doctors treated their patients in-office by massaging their genitals until they reached “hysterical paroxysm.” Apparently, doctor offices were flooded with hysterical women, and their hands and wrists became sore from administering so many treatments. In the late 1860s, a doctor invented a steam-powered vibrating device called the “Manipulator” to treat women. This cumbersome machine was basically a table with a cut out for a vibrating device.
The Invention of Electricity
After electricity was invented and used in homes and businesses, electric appliances became commonplace in middle class homes. In 1880, English doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville invented an electrically powered vibrating device. Women no longer needed a doctor for relief, and vibrators were popular until the movie industry developed. As soon as vibrators were featured in pornographic films in the 1920s, vibrators were no longer considered socially acceptable. In fact, vibrators did not gain popularity again until the 1990s.
If you are interested in our natural vitality treatments and women’s empowerment tools, contact our women’s wellness center today.