Okay, so, I thought the title was clever, seeing as masturbation helps one achieve a form of nirvana. Eh? Eh? Guess it’s only funny if you are a late-80’s grunge fan…
Not too long ago, I rambled on about sex dolls, a standard of the male masturbatory toolkit. I felt it only fair that we give equal time to self-pleasuring devices of the ladies.
So… let’s talk vibrators.
We begin, as before, with a history lesson. A sexy history lesson.
It’s a warm summer’s eve in ancient Greece (it’s so much fun when I get to start off this way). But the πλανήτης aren’t the only things a wanderin’ tonight. With the menfolk off fighting Sparta again, the women of Athens are plagued with an itch they just can’t scratch.
Or can they?
The men of ancient Greece used to gift their womens with phallic objects made of stone, wood, or leather. And in the land where olive oil runs like water (all praise to Athena, yo), lubrication was never in short supply. So when the men marched off to fight neighboring nations (or city-states), the ladies curled up with little wooden Lysander. So the men slept easier, knowing their wives’ uteruses weren’t straying, and the women slept easier because… well, because they were relaxed.
The Greeks, bless ’em, were a lot of fun in terms of sexual history. While they might not have been the first to make dildos (there are finds that suggest phallic masturbatory aids have been around since the Ice Age), they were the first to mention them in literature and to portray images of them in their art.
[You know, one day, I think we’re going to do a post on art and sexuality… I’ve got a wealth of good material from my art history days.]
Continuing on, while dildos are all fine and dandy, you are going to find that, these days, most of these toys also tend to require batteries. Vibration is considered a necessity in the formula for a perfect lady love stick.
The first of these electro-phallic wonders was created in 1869 by a British physician named George Taylor. But this wasn’t like the Hello Kitty cutesy contraptions littering the sock drawers of ladies’ dormitories the world over. Instead, this was a steam powered monstrosity known as the Manipulator:
With all the sex appeal of a gutted train engine, we can safely assume this was not something women were ordering out of their Sears and Roebuck catalogs with their pocket money.
In fact, this hell device wasn’t created with the idea of female pleasure in mind. Instead, it was created as a medical tool to aid in the treatment of female “hysteria.” While billed as a form of madness, this “hysteria” really boiled down to a deep, intense need for a lady to orgasm. In those days, sexual repression had been perfected into an art form.
This forced repression began early on in the schools for young women where the matrons would glove the hands of their pupils at night in their dormitories to prevent them from masturbating. Anyone caught caving in to their carnal desires would have the further embarrassment of having their hands strapped to their beds while they slept.
Such insanity continued into their adult years. People didn’t talk about sex. “Sexual communication” between partners was nonexistent. In fact, it really didn’t matter if the lady got off at all. Sex wasn’t about pleasure- it was about baby makin’. Period.
Naturally, these women were carnally frustrated. This frustration came to be known as “hysteria.” According to the 2nd century anatomist Galen, hysteria was caused by the retention of “female semen,” which could get into the blood and corrupt it. So clearly, it had to be periodically let loose through “paroxysm” (…an orgasm).
And how did the doctors have to do that? Why, by massaging the female genitals, of course. But all that vigorous and distasteful rubbing was tiring for the poor doctors (who had never built up their forearm muscles properly because of all that repressed carnal energy). Thus, the vibrator was born.
From there, the vibrator quickly became an item one could purchase for the home. Looking slightly less like a robotic torture device, these home vibrators were offered up as cures for headaches, wrinkles, and neuralgia. Such as this delightfully named gizmo:
“The Victor was manufactured by Keystone Electric of Philadelphia in 1903. The left side was a vibrator, the speed of which was controlled by the lever in the middle of the console, the one over the (unlabeled) mother-of-pearl speed indicators. The right side was a pneumatic attachment, which, like a vacuum cleaner, could either inhale or exhale. It could, as it were, either blow or suck, depending on the user’s requirements.”
Anyway, from here, as society started to loosen up a little in regards to sex, vibrators became more and more popular. In 1998, when the rabbit vibe made an appearance on the (bafflingly) popular Sex and the City, demand for the electric abomination skyrocketed.
What? I hate rabbits (and certainly don’t want one near my lady bits… have I ever mentioned that “lady bits” sounds like a salad topping?).
These days, vibrators come in all shapes and sizes.
Seriously. From the muppet fetish pieces to those at home on Glornak 7 to so-called “body massagers” that aren’t fooling anyone (hehe, body massage), to vibrating apps for your iPhone, there’s a trembling toy for everyone.
Vibrators are exceptionally useful in the sex therapy business, recommended to women who have trouble getting off during sex (you hear that, Sofia?) because vibrators are more powerful than manual stimulation and are easy to use.
There’s a lot of speculation/worry that frequent use of vibrators can deaden the genital tissue to the less powerful sensation of manual stimulation. This has never been verified, for the record. It is true that, when using a vibrator, a woman using a setting that is too intense can experience numbness in the clitoris, though this usually means she’s pressing the vibrator too hard on the sensitive nub (remember, for best results, you need to actually move the fucking thing around). If ladies are having issues, they need to dial down the setting on their little friend. Not because it can damage the clitoris (it can’t do anything serious), but because those women aren’t getting the pleasure they should out of their devices.
Now, I’ve been among the throng who have made jokes about the vibrate setting on my cell phone (particularly when said device goes off while sitting in my lap). Still… when it comes to non-traditional means of getting your vibe on, there are a multitude of options.
Your cell phone, while seemingly convenient, probably isn’t the best option. This is because you can’t get a lasting, sustained vibe out of your average cell phone. And spotty vibration is just frustrating (both for you and the person trying to call you).
A classic is the ol’ washer or dryer. Hop on a humming clothes cleaning machine and ride that puppy out to orgasm. Of course, it’s not exactly easy to get in a satisfactory position (not unless you are super flexible, in which case you should probably just go to the local bar, do the splits, and take your pick of the men who will be lining up to fold you into erotic pretzels). And if you live in an apartment building, you better hope it’s not “laundry night” for anyone else… manus turbare interruptus is an unpleasant situation.
There’s also driving/riding a bike down a bumpy road… but this proves dangerous, as you still have to steer. Still, it’s doable.
But, for female gamers, there’s yet another solution (gamer girls, come on, you know what I’m talking about). Since the advent of the rumble feature on controllers, lady geeks have had an easily accessible means of getting their rocks off. Of course, that rumbling vibration has proven to be just as intermittent as the cell phone’s. Plus, it’s hard to angle that controller just right and manage to play the damn game at the same time.
However, I hear there’s a new product that can help. Rez is a Japanese PS2 game that comes with a trance vibrator accessory. The game itself is a music shooter, where you fly down neon corridors shooting space/machine beings in time to techno music, like Tron on ecstasy. A stoner’s delight, right? Add in the pulsing trance vibrator, though, and you have every gamer girl’s fantasy. As you move through the levels, the vibration gets more and more intense.
A female gamer described the sensations she had while her boyfriend played the game, and she, well, gave the trance vibrator a cozy home:
“Pretty soon the levels and the images onscreen were just a faint blur to me. I knocked off my glasses and leaned back. I was in a daze. From far away, it seemed, I could hear Justin saying things like, “I made it to the next level!” and “This is cool!” but I was lost in my own little trance vibrating world.”
Like this girl, I just don’t see what other purpose this trance vibrator device could have. I mean, hell, the thing comes with a “protective glove” you can take off and wash.
Sounds like another bullet point on the Pro list of “Why Sam Should Buy A PS2.”
Of course, I have never tried any of the above methods of vibratory experimentation. And I certainly haven’t tried all of them.
Video game, anyone?