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Today's Sex Toys: The Vibrator
May 25, 2012

The vibrator has a rich history in American culture, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. If you've thought that the little buzzer is hiding in our culture's dark corners, that is far from true. Self sexual gratification is becoming as commonplace as cable television, and you may soon even see basic models on the shelves of your local drug store.

The vibrator was created as a medical device used to treat a condition called female hysteria in the mid 1800s . Prior to its creation, doctors used manual stimulation to the vaginal region to treat physical and psychological disturbances in women. Although a common and simple procedure, doctors sought out ways to simplify the task.

The search to find an easier way to treat female hysteria led to the creation of a steam powered vibrator in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, Hamilton Beach, the maker of many modern household appliances, patented an early version of today's modern vibrator. Now women no longer had to see a doctor to treat symptoms of female hysteria, they could treat it at home themselves.

By the 1920's, the household health appliance took on its more current persona as a sex toy when it appeared in pornography. At the same time, the condition of female hysteria was losing credibility. Now no longer seen as a medical device, and fueled by a sexual revolution, the vibrator returned to mainstream society in the late 1960s as a cordless device. Not until recently were its merits as a medical device reconsidered.

Today's vibrators have seen many improvements since first becoming cordless. They now can be found in a variety of shapes, and materials. Unlike the original vibrators, today's models are not limited to vaginal stimulation. These toys can also be used to provide vibration to the clitoris, anus and any other sensitive body parts such as nipples. Both women and men are able to choose from a large variety of designs to fit their sexual needs.

Some vibrator designs include:

Rabbit: A dual vibrator used to stimulate the clitoris and penetrate the vagina
G Spot: Shaped Vibator angled to reach the Gspot inside of the vagina
Clitoral: Wand like vibrator designed for external use
Anal: Slender vibrator with an angled end to prevent it from becoming enlodged.
Butterfly: Hands-free clitoral vibrator in the shape of a butterfly worn on the body
Egg: Hands-free vibrator in the shape on a egg that is inserted into the vagina

In addition to innovations in designs, vibrators have also made improvements in their selection of materials. Vibrators are now being made out of plastic, silicone, rubber, and synthetic materials known as jelly. These materials vary in their appeal to people. Some are popular because they can be sanitized, while others are drawn to materials that are smooth and flesh-like.

Other vibrator innovations include waterproof vibrators, rechargeable vibrators, glow in the dark vibrators, sound activated vibrators and remote control vibrators.

With all the options available, it is easy to not know what to buy. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a vibrator is not a one size fits all object. It's important to know your body and what you find pleasurable when choosing a vibrator design.

Although the vibrator may never return to its former glory as a cure all medical device for females, recent studies have supported claims of its health merits. Most doctors will agree, that as long as you find one that is not too powerful, and it is used in moderation, a vibrator is a healthy toy to have. While it may not make the cover of Woman's Home Journal again, the vibrator doesn't seem to be going away.


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