Sex Toys

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Human sexuality, Human sexual behavior Pages: 15 (3714 words) Published: November 17, 2014


Sex Toys 101: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Kaira Klingler
University of Alabama

Abstract
“Although few people speak about them, sex toys are incredibly common in the United States. Recent studies show that in the United States nearly half of all men and over half of heterosexual women have previously used a vibrator” says Emily Stabile, the author of “Getting the Government in Bed” (2013). Also, many American citizens tend to not have a clue about the types of sex toys, what they are made of, and the history behind them. It is an important topic to understand, however, because so many people in our country as well as internationally use them daily for different reasons. These reasons can include personal pleasure, pleasure between couples or multiples, adding diversity to sexual intercourse, or providing assistance to sexually active people with disabilities or elders. Although not many researchers conduct studies about sex toys, there have been a select few that have studied what ethnicities and ages are using sex toys throughout the United States. This paper will examine research studies, information, and statistics that will further approve the idea that sex toys are a positive enhancement in the lives of many, however, without being precautious they may have negative consequences.

Sex Toys 101: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
As an introduction to sex toys, it is necessary to understand the history behind the first sex toys and why ancient decades began creating things such as dildos and vibrators. According to The Book of Kink: Sex Beyond the Missionary, published in 2011 it implies that dildos have a significant history dating back to over 30,000 years ago. The first sex aid was found in Ulm, Germany. It was a stone that was eight inches long and one and half wide. Also around this time in France, a dildo was found that had a double-ended baton on it. Throughout history, “dildos themselves were made of anything from unripe bananas to resin-coated camel dung” (Christina).

On the other hand, vibrators were meant for medical purposes, whereas dildos were initially created for pleasure. In an article from Psychology Today, Michael Castleman (2013) explains that “[Doctors] were interested in a labor-saving device to spare their hands the fatigue they developed giving handjobs to a steady stream of 19th century ladies who suffered from “hysteria,” a vaguely defined ailment easily recognizable today as sexual frustration.” Hysteria has been dated back as far as the 13th century. However, it was not until 1734 in France that the first vibrator, ‘Tremoussoir', was invented. In 1869, the first steam-powered vibrator known as the “Manipulator” was created by George Taylor, an American physician. An interesting and yet controversial point is that in the “…17th century, dildos were less of an option [to cure hysteria] because the arbiters of decency had succeeded in demonizing masturbation as “self-abuse” (Castleman, 2013). What suddenly turned dildos into a self-abusing object? History proves that back 30,000 years ago dildos were created for pleasure and orgasm and suddenly it turned into taboo. While doctors were treating hysteria they would rub and stimulate the clitoris causing them to reach orgasm; however, they were not allowed to call it such. Instead, “they called them “paroxysms” because everyone knew that women were incapable of sexual feelings, so they could not possibly experience orgasm” (Castleman, 2013). Clearly back hundreds of centuries ago, women were capable of sexual feelings, otherwise they would not be creating penis looking objects out of wood and various types of metal to stimulate themselves. By the late nineteenth century, once electricity hit America an English physician by the name of Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville patented the first electromechanical vibrator. This vibrator was a huge success and was even seen in ads like the department store Sears with other electric...

References: Bailey, J., Farquhar, C., Owen, C., et. al. (2003). Sexual Behaviour of Lesbians and Bisexual Women. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 79, 147-150.
Christina, E. (2011). The Book of Kink: Sex Beyond The Missionary. New York, New York: Penguin.
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Kaufman, M., Odette, F., Silverberg, C., (2003)
Seale, A. (2013). Diverting Dildos. Alternatives Journal, 39(5), 40-41.
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