Vibrator Info Page

What makes vibrators so popular?

Pleasure! Vibrators are by far the most popular sex toy, especially for women, because they provide so much pleasure. Many women experience very intense orgasms using their little buzzing friend.

A woman’s sexual response is more complex than a man’s. Most women need more/longer stimulation than a man in order to reach an orgasm. Also, many women have difficulty experiencing an orgasm during intercourse with a partner. Additionally, vibrators help women explore their bodies to find what feels good to them, as everyone’s body reacts differently to sexual stimulation. Many women’s first orgasm occurs when using a vibrator.

Where can I see or buy antique vibrators?

The Bakken Library and Museum of Electricity in Life in Minneapolis, Minnesota, houses a collection of early electric medical devices that includes some examples of vibrators and massagers. The Antique Vibrator and Quack Medical Museum is a private collection that can be viewed online. Antique vibrators are often on sale on eBay, and may be available through antique dealers who trade in small appliances.

Were vibrators always used for sexual purposes?

The first vibrators were used to stimulate women to orgasm for “health” purposes. This was an accepted use through the 1920s, when vibrators began to become associated with pornography and explicit sexuality. They continued to be sold to women as “health and beauty” aids through the ’40s and ’50s. During the sexual revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, they began to be treated with more frankness as sexual aids.

As unbelievable as it may seem now, physicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries often massaged the genitals of female patients to bring them to orgasm. Today they would be litigated out of their licenses, but at the time, this was a widely accepted practice for the treatment of “hysteria,” nervous tension, and miscellaneous gynecological complaints. However, it was tedious for the doctors, who apparently had little or no sexual interest in their clients. The vibrator was invented as a labor-saving mechanical device that allowed doctors to quickly and efficiently bring patients to climax without tiring out their fingers.

Through the early part of the 20th century, vibrators were used by physicians to stimulate women’s genitals, and were also used to stimulate men, either genitally or through rectal attachments. The practice lost favor with physicians, but vibrating devices continued to be sold to the public for their personal use, sexual or otherwise. In her history of vibrators, The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, Rachel Maines refers to the sexual use of vibrators as being “camouflaged” by their purported health and therapeutic applications. Eventually the camouflage began to wear thin, and for a while vibrators became taboo. In time and with more relaxed attitudes toward sexuality prevailing, vibrators have come into their own as instruments of pure pleasure for both women and men.

Who invented vibrators?

George Taylor’s steam powered vibrators were perhaps the first patented mechanical vibrating devices made to stimulate female patients for relief of female hysteria and other “medical” problems. The first electromechanical vibrator was designed in 1880 by a British physician, Joseph Mortimer Granville. Although his model more closely resembled what we think of as a vibrator, Granville did not support the use of vibrating devices for inducing female orgasm. He intended it to be used to massage male skeletal muscles. However, the technology proved to be completely adaptable, as the millions of women who have used massagers know.

Aren’t all vibrators the same?

Not in any way! Half the fun of shopping for vibrators is the wide variety of options available. Vibrators vary greatly in speed and intensity of vibration, from a gentle hum to a merciless throb. Some vibrators have multiple speeds and settings, and the material that they are made out of will also affect the sensation produced. Hard plastic, acrylic, and silicone vibrators tend to transmit vibrations most strongly, while jelly, rubber, and synthetic-flesh materials such as UltraSkin and UR3 dampen the vibrations. Battery-powered vibrators generally produce less power than their plug-in electrical counterparts, which doesn’t mean one kind is better than another. Your needs will also vary depending on which erogenous zone you are stimulating, not mention your mood, your current body chemistry, maybe even the position of the moon. Keeping a variety of vibrators handy ensures that your needs of the moment are always met!