History of Sex Toys

Sex Toys have been used for thousands of years and are as old as human desires. But where did they come from?

One of the oldest sex toys, ben-wa balls have been in use for over 1000 years and have roots in the Asian culture. However, the delightful sex toys we all know as the dildo came about thanks to the ancient Greeks.  More specifically, it originated from Miletus, a port city that now exists in what is now modern day Turkey. Across the Mediterranean, Miletan traders were selling the highly sexual Greeks an item called the olisbos - doesn’t sound very sexy does it?  Well, it's what we know as the dildo.

In modern times, couples use dildos together to enhance their sex lives.  However, in ancient times, olisbos were the sexual safe haven for lonesome ladies looking to satisfy their sexual desires - and it's documented.  A third century BC Greek literary fragment contains a story about Metro, a young woman whose husband is away. In need of some sexual gratification Metro visits her friend Coritto to borrow her dildo only to find that Coritto has let another lonesome woman borrow it. Metro leaves greatly disappointed. Isn’t nice to know that we can get sex toys anytime with a few mouse clicks?

It was during the Renaissance era that olsibo became “dildo” from either the Latin “dilatare”, which translates to open wide or the Italian term for delight, diletto. Regardless of where exactly the term originated what could be more sex positive than “open wide with delight”?

Unfortunately for the Renaissance era Italians, the dildos they used were far from delightful. Italian sex toys were made of leather or wood and needed to be generously lubricated with olive oil for comfortable use.

Thank You Industrial Revolution

Fast forward to 1869, smack dab in the middle of the Industrial Age.  It's then that American doctor George Taylor invented the first vibrating sex toy, which was actually a massive steam-powered thing. Even though his vibrator was way too large for discreet use, it was a step in the right direction.  The man really deserves his own national holiday.  

By 1882, a rather clever Brit had developed the first electromechanical vibrator.  It was used only  by doctors to treat “female hysteria” as  part of their “therapy”. It wasn't long before advertisements offering vibrators for self treatment at home began appearing. In a 1921, an advertisement in Hearst magazine encouraged men to buy their wives vibrators for Christmas gifts to keep them "young and pretty" and free from the curse of hysteria.

The vibrator soon became so popular and prevalent that it was the fifth household appliance to be electrified after the sewing machine, toaster, tea kettle and fan. At the time, even the Sears catalog carried vibrators that they promoted as “Mother’s Little Helper”! It was during the “Roaring Twenties” that the vibrator’s true identity as a sex toy or sexual stimulant came to light. However, once early adult movies let the cat out of the bag and vibrators were no were no longer advertised openly.

Fortunately today, any consenting adult can buy a sex toy or vibrator when ever they want. Our own founder, Phil Harvey, litigated with the Federal Government for three years to prove that the First Amendment protects a person's right to sell adult products. Thanks to Phil, Adam and Eve is able to offer you a huge array of sex toys, adult movies and novelties for your private enjoyment.

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