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No Man Needs To Feel Threatened By A Vibrator

A vibrator doesn’t replace a partner.

05/04/2017 1:50 PM AEST | Updated 05/04/2017 2:08 PM AEST
Sadeugra

Last year I saw a client who was very upset when he 'caught' his wife in their bedroom having fun with a vibrator. He didn't even know she owned one: why would she need one when she had him? Vibrators are for people who don't have a partner, he said.

I'm always amazed how many couples seem to find it so difficult to talk about sex; they don't even know if their partner masturbates. A vibrator doesn't replace a partner. Women should be allowed to experience pleasure, to enjoy things that feel good, and no man needs to feel threatened by a vibrator.

The first vibrator was accidentally invented in 1883 by Dr Joseph Mortimer Granville to treat women who were diagnosed with 'hysteria'. This so-called disorder was diagnosed when women exhibited symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, fluid retention, insomnia and erotic fantasies. Medical practitioners believed that this display of mental and emotional distress was an indication of a woman's need for sexual release.

Doctors or midwives applied vegetable oil to women's genitals and massaged them with one or two fingers inside and with the heel of the hand pressing against the clitoris. With this type of massage, women had orgasms and experienced sudden, dramatic relief from 'hysteria'. But doctors didn't call women's climaxes orgasms; they called them 'paroxysms' because "it was well known that women were incapable of having sexual feelings".

The first vibrator was accidentally invented in 1883 by Dr Joseph Mortimer Granville to treat women who were diagnosed with "hysteria".

However, the 'hysteria' treatment had a downside for the doctors -- they had tired, sore and cramped hands from all that massaging. That's why it was a godsend when Dr Granville invented an electric vibrator, not as a sexual device, but to relieve the physicians from their muscle aches. Initially it was called "Granville's hammer". By the early 19th century, physician-assisted paroxysm was a financial windfall for many doctors. It was one of the few conditions doctors could treat successfully and many grateful women returned regularly for additional treatments.

Around the1900s several companies started manufacturing dozens of different vibrator designs for home use. They were marketed as home appliances that would help women maintain a youthful glow and calm demeanour. These ads were very popular in the 1910s and '20s, and appeared in almost every respectable women's magazine.

Later in the 1920s, however, vibrators began to appear in pornography, revealing them to the general public as a sex toy and giving them a kind of social stigma. Because of this, clever marketing gurus began marketing vibrators as anything but sex toys — as nail buffers, back scratchers or vacuum attachments. In this way, vibrators were still available, but under the radar. Most doctors stopped using the vibrators, except some chiropractors, who concentrated on the muscles, not the genitalia.

In the late 1960s, sex educator Betty Dodson, known as "the masturbation queen", started to use the Hitachi 'Magic Wand', a mains-powered vibrating massager that was designed to relieve tension and relax sore muscles. She popularised its use as a vibrator and masturbation aid for women during the sex-positive movement. It was used extremely effectively as a clitoral vibrator, helping to bring a woman to orgasm. At this time most women had no idea what an orgasm was because only about 20 per cent of women are able to climax by intercourse alone – most need clitoral stimulation.

Later in the 1920s, however, vibrators began to appear in pornography, revealing them to the general public as a sex toy and giving them a kind of social stigma.

Dodson wrote her first book, Sex For One – The Joy of Self-Loving, and it became a worldwide success. She gave classes to instruct women in self-pleasure techniques. Her sessions were known as Bodysex workshops and featured 15 naked women, sitting in a circle, each using a Magic Wand simultaneously to masturbate. She is still conducting workshops in her apartment in Manhattan at age 88.

Academics researched the use of the Magic Wand for treatment of chronic anorgasmia, a sexual dysfunction in which a woman can't achieve an orgasm. The US's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published an article in 1979 which found that the self-administered Magic Wand was the best method to reach orgasm. They called it the Betty Dodson method, and many sex therapists recommended the device to their clients. Cosmopolitan magazine reported it to be one of the greatest gadgets of all time and the most recognisable sex toy on Earth.

These days vibrators are part of most couple's lives and bought in unprecedented numbers. The most popular vibrators sold in Australia are made by the Swedish company LELO and French brand Je Joue. Both companies have an extensive selection of vibrators for men, women and couples, and their products are phthalates free, which means the toys are hypoallergenic and body safe.

So if you've never thought of adding a vibrator to your lovemaking repertoire, why not give it a try? Couples who have a playful attitude towards sex will overall have a more satisfying sexual relationship -- half of vibrator owners use them in partner sex.

And, of course, they are great for solo sex!


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