Did you know the vibrator was initially created by doctors to relieve women’s “hysteria” during the Victorian era? A great place to start learning about the history of the vibrator is the entertaining 2011 British film, “Hysteria.”

“Hysteria” is the true story of pioneering physician, Mortimer Granville, who was employed in 1880 by another doctor, Dr. Dalrymple. Dr. Dalrymple discovered a way to relieve female patients’ physical symptoms and other frustrations, labeled “hysteria,” with pelvic massages that led to orgasms. He hired Dr. Granville to perform these massages on his female patients, but the constant massaging led to a carpal injury and he was unable to continue using his hand. However, a creative inventor friend developed a power operated feather duster that Dr. Granville cleverly transformed into a vibrator, which later made him a wealthy and famous man.

Until the 20th century, men throughout Europe and America didn’t believe that women experienced sexual enjoyment. The common belief was that women were merely receptacles for their own sexual release, and didn’t feel any pleasure of their own. So women bought into that myth, and accepted they had no choice but to put up with sex to satisfy their husbands.

As a result, their sexual repression led to a wide variety of distressing physical and emotional symptoms. They complained to doctors about headaches, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, and sexual fantasies. Doctors labeled women’s distress as “hysteria,” which is the Greek word for Uterus.

Today, their medical treatment for hysteria would be considered shocking, even illegal, but back then it was widely accepted throughout society. Doctors would apply vegetable oil to women’s genitals, and then insert their fingers inside while pressing the heel of their hand against the clitoris. These massages led to orgasms, and women finally experienced relief from their hysteria.

By the early 19th century, doctor-assisted orgasm as a treatment for hysteria became common in both Europe and the United States. However, eventually the majority of doctors developed painful, cramped fingers and hands from the constant massaging of women’s genitals. Doctors complained they were developing chronic hand fatigue.

So, doctors began searching for a dependable mechanical substitute to replace their hands. They experimented with water-driven objects and steam-driven dildos. But they turned out to be messy, unreliable and cumbersome.

This is the period in history when Dr. Joseph Granville stepped in, and patented his electromechanical vibrator. He developed both a plug-in vibrator and later a battery powered model, which were immediate hits with both women and doctors.

Vibrators have come a long way since Dr. Granville’s battery operated feather duster. Today, an estimated one-third of women own at least one vibrator. Leading adult toy companies have taken the classic vibrator to the next level with dozens of models of all shapes and sizes, many loaded with the most advanced cutting-edge features designed to satisfy every sexual desire.

ComenPlay.ca is proud to carry the widest selection of the highest quality vibrators on the market.