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From Kendal Tate at

Sex toys date back 30,000 years, before the invention of the wheel. They have evolved not only in style and material, but also in the demographic of who uses them and their ease of accessibility. Throughout the ages different types of sex toys became popular and then were updated as technology advanced.

The first sex toys, dildos, were discovered in Upper Paleolithic art, and leave no question as to what the intentions were. The Greeks also showcased dildos in paintings, but they did not classify people into sexual categories, such as homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, or straight, and many of these people used dildos.

There are several art museums, the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Sex Museum in Amsterdam, with displays of sexual toys that are just as important as art. Sexual stone carvings of nude women portray them with enhanced breasts, hips, and buttocks. They may have been fertility goddesses or porn.

Between the 4th and 6th centuries, penis extenders, Kama Sutra, and Ben Wa balls were introduced. The Chinese used mirrors as a type of sex toy. They liked to watch.

During the Middle Ages, sex was referred to as “The Devil’s Work,” and whispers of sexual deeds or toys could be punishable by death. During this era, men and women dressed in clothing that covered them from the neck to the feet. Women caught wearing sexy lingerie could be severely punished. The Roman Catholic Church persecuted those who were openly sexual by placing them in shackles or burning them at the stake.

In Italy, from the 14th century to the 16th century, dildos were called diletto, meaning delight. When these dildos, made of wood, ivory, leather, or stone were used, olive oil was the preferred lubricant.

In the 1600s, the Chinese invented the cock ring and clitoral stimulator, made of ivory. These rings were made to look like dragons. In 1791, Justine, published by the Marquis de Sade, wrote of sex toys being used in “sexual power plays” with whips, nipple clamps, and devices for restraint.

In 1869, Dr. George Taylor invented the first vibrator, which was a steam-powered apparatus. This apparatus was a large piece of equipment used to treat the illness called “female hysteria.” Women during this time were not considered sexual, so this was a disease. In 1882, the first electromagnetic vibrator was created. This was smaller than the steam-powered device and was a battery-powered massager. The physician using this could change the vibratory sensations.

Motion pictures were invented in the 1890s. Soon afterward, filmmakers began making movies about women using vibrators and dildos, or the creation of pornography.

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