Humans have been shamelessly self-stimulating since the dawn of mankind, and while we may only be a few steps above Bonobo monkeys, we still take the cake for species most focused on physical pleasure. While we have been making huge strides in nuclear science, flown to the moon, and (insert awesome technical achievement here) our sex toys have come a long way too.
Acquaint yourself with the first dildo known to mankind. Our Neanderthal ancestors were apparently stuffing their orifices with phallic rocks in the Ice Ages. This 8-inch long dildo was found in the Hohle Fels Cave in Ulm, Germany and dates back 28,000 years.
Enter the Olisbos:
As civilization grew, and Greek wives began to feel the woes of war, they started to invent alternative ways to satisfy themselves while their husbands were out chopping off each other’s heads off in battle. The olisbos (derived from the word “to glide”) was generally made out of horn or wood and covered in leather. It was promoted to combat any wanton whims that wives may have during extended periods of loneliness. And to make it extra slippery, women often used olive oil as lubrication. It gives you a new appreciation for Mediterranean food, doesn’t it?
Penis extenders made of wood, leather, buffalo horn, copper, silver, ivory and gold were commonly used in 300 A.D. in India and the East to assist in pleasuring sexual partners when the man was not able to keep it hard. These extenders made several different cameos in historic documents, including the famed Kama Sutra.
A whacky tradition started by Japanese Shinto priests in the 8th century, kokigami was an early form of role play where the male packages his penis into an animal shaped paper sculpture and acts out sexual fantasies inspired by the animals spirit. Apparently, the tradition is still being kept alive today… an excerpt from Kokigami: The Intimate Art of the Little Paper Costume recommends this exercise for the squid package:
“Outstretched arms and fingers imitate the tentacles in a waving pulsating motion. With the hips held back, move slowly towards your partner making gentle sucking sounds. Hold arms together and leap quickly back if disturbed.”
Circa 1200 a.d. the Chinese began to make cock rings to increase hardness of erections. The first model of the ring was made from the eyelids of goats, the eyelashes reportedly added extra stimulation during sex. Thankfully the Chinese moved on to start carving the rings out of jade and ivory.
The term dildo appeared around 1400 a.d. in Renaissance Italy and is believed to stem from the Italian word diletto, or “to delight”. These toys were sold in marketplaces and were still made of wood and covered in leather. Ample amounts of oil were used to lubricate these toys.
Kinky Sex Toys:
In the 18th century Sadism was officially coined from the bizarre writings of Marquis de Sade, who was sent to prison for holding a prostitute in captivity and sexually abusing her. In prison, Sade described tortures such as being bound hand and foot, suspended between trees, set upon by dogs, and using sex toys such as nipple clips, whips, restraint devices, and was especially fond of being flogged by broom sticks. Broom sales to brothels reportedly increased after this.
Victorian Steam Power: Revolutionizing Steamboats, Automobiles, and…. Vibrators?
The Victorian era brought about steam power, which in turn brought about the invention of what may have been the most intimidating, noisiest sex toy in the history of mankind. Literally, like a train blasting into the vag. During this period, doctors could diagnose women with “female hysteria”, which was a condition caused by the back-up of female-semen into the bloodstream. If the woman didn’t have a husband to help cure them of this condition, the doctor would prescribe these massive vibrators to alleviate the woman’s symptoms.
Rubber Saves the Day
Sex toys were revolutionized when rubber was vulcanized in 1841. This lead to the production of modern day toys such as buttplugs, ball gags, dildos, strap-ons, the latex catsuit Halle Berry wore in the Batman movie, and all of the wonderful accessories of the modern day bedroom. So next time you’re enjoying a sweet, sweet “O” from your sex toy of choice, take a moment to remember all of the screwball prototypes that came before it. Or don’t.