Although many people believe that the vibrator was invented by those doctors and midwives who practiced genital massage on women to cure them of female hysteria, this is not entirely true.

The first: the story of the dildos

Dildos have existed since prehistoric times. The first dildos were made of stone, wood, bone, ivory… and any material could be shaped like a penis and held steady to be used as a sex toy. Objects from the Upper Paleolithic (30,000 years ago) have been found for which no other use than sexual pleasure has been found. Dildos are also believed to have been used in sexual rituals and for deflowering young virgins.

Dildos in Ancient Cultures

The use of dildos is widely documented in all ancient pre-Romanic cultures on the European continent and beyond.

modern vibrator

Several paintings from ancient Egypt, around 3000 BC show dildos being used in various ways, both solo and in group practices. Dildos were used in modern day Pakistan and India in rituals to worship the goddess Shiva and one can also see the use of engraved dildos as paintings and art in ancient Greek vases. Some of these artistic pieces show their use in group sex or in female solo masturbation.

The seconds: the mechanical vibrators

The first mechanical vibrator was invented in the 19th century as a mechanism to comfortably massage certain muscles and areas of the body. Dr Joseph Granville invented the electric vibrator in 1883 which was nothing more than a device to massage the neck, improve blood circulation and reduce recovery times in sprains and small muscle injuries. Another prominent inventor who released similar vibrators was the American James Baker. These vibrators soon began to be used as a sex toy by those more curious users, especially to stimulate the female erogenous zones.

Hitachi Magic Wand: the forerunner

Known as the “Cadillac of Vibrators”, Hitachi’s Magic Wand first appeared on the North American market in the 1970s, and its design made it the most famous vibrator in the world (and still is today). With the Hitachi, vibrators and sex toys of all kinds became popular, perfecting the designs to the synthetic silicone-coated vibrators and dildos we can find today. At that time, dildos were only sold as a medical aid and with the purpose of helping heterosexual couples improve their sex lives.

Vibrators today

Over time vibrators have become immensely popular to help anyone enhance their sexual experiences and enjoy a fuller sexuality. The sex toy industry moves an average of $15 billion every year, so this is a very important market to consider.