History of sex toys.

Updated: Jul 29

If you’re an avid collector or just like to look at sex toys in a shop, vibrators and dildos are well known to you. While the toys we use are almost always similar in look and shape, with many functions, they haven’t always been around to solve our self-pleasure and masturbation concerns. Vibrators and dildos have an interesting history and backstory on their creation.

Way before we had fancy silicone dildos, ancient Greeks used totally different materials to get to the same goal we do. Greeks didn’t really show any taboo about sex or sex toys historically, and seem to have loved to get their orgasms on. 

According to historians, the Greek people used bread dipped in olive oil to please themselves sexually. Our common sense brains now tell us this most likely lead to urinary tract infections or yeast infections, but hey, whatever gets the job done! 

Double ended and leather dildos appear to be referenced in art, bit even with the sexual openness of the Greek culture, there were strict rules on who could use a dildo on whom. Masculine control is indeed a very old idealism.

Even before the Greeks, penis shaped rocks that are believed to be dildos have been found. However, as one may guess, vibrators are a much more recent invention, considering they need some kind of power source. Vibrators were originally created by doctors to treat women suffering from “hysteria”.

The practice of stimulating a woman to orgasm to treat “problems” caused by sexual deprivation (men not meeting the needs of women) began centuries before, but was perfected by the Victorian era. 

The tremoussoir as called by the Victorians,  made it to the United States in the late 1700’s. Vibrators were still considered strictly medical devices, though, and “hysterical” women were advised to try home treatments, like riding a horse, or marrying someone very sexually active.

Starting in 1899, battery-operated vibrators were sold as as home appliances. These products were marketed as something to enhance beauty. Some advertisements claimed they would give women “perpetual youth”.  

Good vibes this way, right? 

The sexual revolution in the mid 90’s led to the invention of the iconic Hitachi Magic Wand. The Hitachi is still alive and thriving, and marketed as a personal massager. It’s considered one of the best selling vibrators around. 

The silicone dildo we love today was invented by a gentleman named Gosnell Duncan. A long stride forward from the Greek bread dildos, silicone was more body safe, with no smell or taste.

People clearly can’t get enough of sex toys.  By 2023, the sex toy industry is projected to be worth 35.5 billion dollars

In many ways, penis shaped sex toys have remained very much the same throughout time, at least in terms of shape and intended use. We doubt they’re going downhill any time soon. Looking for your next toy? Check out V For Vibes for a massive selection of body - safe toys, designed for your pleasure. We don’t currently sell breadsticks.