Site Loader

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 11.0px Avenir; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Avenir; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 15.0px}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Avenir; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}
p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Avenir; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 16.0px}
p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Avenir; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}
span.s1 {font-kerning: none}

After this the next significant development in the vibrator timeline was in the Victorian era. The development here came not from an interest in pursuing understanding of female sexuality and liberation but masturbating women as a scientific cure for hysteria and or infidelity.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

It was commonplace in centuries before the Victorian age for women to be diagnosed with an ailment called ‘female hysteria’. Female hysteria; an illness not discredited until 1952- was categorised in 1653 by called Alemarianus Petrus Forestus, published a medical compendium titled Observationem et Curationem Medicinalium ac Chirurgicarum Opera Omnia, with a chapter on the diseases of women. 

Hysteria when translated from the Latin literally means: ‘womb disease’ and is also referred to in Forestus’ medical journal as praefocatio matricis or “suffocation of the mother,” In the treatment of Hysteria Forestus the physician advised as follows:

“When these symptoms indicate, we think it necessary to ask a midwife to assist, so that she can massage the genitalia with one finger inside, using oil of lilies, musk root, crocus, or something similar. And in this way the afflicted woman can be aroused to the paroxysm. This kind of stimulation with the finger is recommended by Galen and Avicenna, among others, most especially for widows, those who live chaste lives, and female religious, as Gradus Ferrari da Gradi proposes; it is less often recommended for very young women, public women, or married women, for whom it is a better remedy to engage in intercourse with their spouses.”
 As Forestus suggests here, in the Western medical tradition the treatment for this ‘condition’ was at the time to masturbate women to relieve them from their allegedly chronic and common hysteria by a physician or midwife. This treatment (unsurprisingly) turned out to be very popular and more and more woman found themselves hysterical in need of the doctors help. (Rachel P.Maines, The Technology of Orgasm, 2001). 
The treatment of this ‘illness’ led to Victorian doctors oversubscribed with women in need of orgasms, and tired of having to masturbate hysterical women with their hands alone, developed a machine to do it for them. This machine was regarded as a necessary medical instrument, it was a wholly un-erotic beast and more closely resembled an ominous torture device than something that would simulate pleasure. In 1869 there was the invention of: The Steam-Powered, Coal-Fired Manipulator which consisted of a motorized padded table with a hole and throbbing ball in the middle. After this throughout the next half a century there were development of other such hand held devices but still all makes as medical cures. (Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm, 2007)
This was a step forward in understanding female anatomy and pleasure however, female sexuality throughout history has been in the western world enigmatic to men and their response has been to medicalise and control it. And in the Victorian era it was something to be hidden and performed from behind a curtain (In the Next Room, Sarah Ruhl).  
Not at all similar to the vast range of vibrators, available in a multitude of colours, shapes, sizes and textures that we have today but at the time a huge leap forwards to female sex toys. This kind of device in these times was only available as a medical aid not socially acceptable as a recreational device, female sexuality if still only available from the male perspective.
Similarly, half way across the world in Nantucket the first commercialisation of vibrator products were being had- not as a DIY medical relief for hysteria but sex toys were being provided to the wives of whalers who would have to go out to sea for months at a time. In these small communities these products were normalised to satisfy lonely wives in their husband’s absence and prevent women straying while their husbands were away, they were dubbed ‘He’s at Homes’. These products were made to resemble a real life penis, carved out of wood then painted pink and purple at the head and to replicate veins and tone of a caucasian penis. The vibrator gained acceptance as a tool for female pleasure for women to use at home but still in relation to men, on one hand it resembles the emancipation from a female’s pleasure to be dependent on a male and a freedom to express sexual desire.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Myrtle!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out