Pop culture makes it appear that sex didn’t actually become fun until the 1960s, but we know that our ancestors were engaging in it long before that. And as it turns out, they were light-years ahead of us in the pleasurable sex department, thanks to inventions like the following. Read on and have fun learning about the ancient origins of your favorite sex toys.
Pornography (Origin: 33,000 B.C.) Archaeologists uncovered a prehistoric statue that was carved from mammoth tusk and featured a female torso with exaggerated sexual parts. Estimates put it at being over 35,000 years old, which means it may even have preceded religion.
The Dildo (Origin: 23,000 B.C.) The dildo may well be most durable invention, as only fire, weapons, clothing and beads seem to have been around longer. The oldest known dildo – an eight inch stone beast discovered in Germany – dates back 26,000 years, but archaeologists advise that there’s no reason to assume there aren’t older models out there.
Lube (Ancient Greece) It’s no surprise that the Greeks were into lube, given its reputation for assisting in areas that don’t naturally lubricate. By 350 B.C., olive oil was big business and in Aristotle’s History of the Animals he makes a passing reference to it, suggesting that wetter sex made pregnancy less likely.
Penis Enlargement (Third Century A.D.) The author of the Kama Sutra introduced an ‘Apadravyas’ made of gold, ivory, silver or wood to enhance the length or thickness of a man’s penis. That means that before the invention of porcelain, the introduction of the number zero, or the fall of Rome, our ancestors had founded the strap-on.
Geisha Balls (A.D. 500) All we know about Geisha Balls (or Ben Wa balls) is that they were introduced in the Orient sometime around A.D. 500 to pleasure men. When women caught on to the benefits of the device, their popularity went through the roof when used to increase pleasure during sex, or facilitate some good old-fashioned self-pleasure.
The Penis Ring (A.D. 1200) As part of ancient Chinese nobility, men were expected to sexually service their wife, mistresses and concubines on a regular basis and if there wasn’t an heir, it was a good bet that some unknown prince was going to surface. To aid performance during stressful circumstances, they fashioned penis rings from the eyelids of a goat, with the eyelashes still intact, to help the impregnation process for hours on end.
Condoms (Around 1560) By modern definition, the first reliable record of condoms for contraceptive use doesn’t appear until the 1560s when they were created for a way for people to have sex without the threat of death from syphilis. The first successful version was a linen sheath soaked in chemicals and left to dry and it worked quite well.
The Vibrator (1869) During the Victorian period, female hysteria was a recognized illness, and was treated by a doctor rubbing the patient’s private parts until she reached orgasm. This led to the invention of the first steam-powered vibrator, followed by an electrochemical design that drove women mad. The ‘massager’ was accepted by society so long as it was referred to a medical, rather than sexual aid.
Butt Plugs (1892) Developed in 1892, the original ‘Rectal Dilator’ was 4-½” of pain designed to go in anal orifices. Originally touted as a medical device, the suggestive instruction manual included with each order was a contradiction and for the next 40 years they were banned for “false advertising”.
Blow Up Dolls (1904): These lady-like substitutes are chronicled as far back as the seventeenth century, when French sailors compiled a collection of curvaceous rags to resemble a woman. But it wasn’t until converted rubber was patented that the more familiar model came about.
Pretty interesting…right? Now come on in and see the newest versions of your favorite toys. You won’t believe the technology!