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Women’s Hysteria & The Vibrator

 

Even though the vibrator is a common device, many people are unaware of the intriguing origination story.

Did you know that the vibrator was created by the medical community to produce “Hysterical Paroxysms”, which are known today as an orgasm, to hysterical women?

The etymology of the word hysteria originates from the ancient Greek term used for uterus, “hyster”, which blames the uterus as the primary source of producing unstable or erratic emotions in women. Hysteria, which is a concept used to describe women’s behavior, has been talked about long before modern time.

There has been evidence as far back as the writings of Plato discussing hysterics of women and their wombs. The typical symptoms of hysteria were similar to what women with chronic arousal may experience: anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness, erotic fantasy, sensations of heaviness in the abdomen, lower pelvic edema, and vaginal lubrication.

 

By the late ninetieth century, over three fourths of women attending physician’s offices were experiencing symptoms of hysteria and receiving treatment.

During treatment, physicians would stimulate a women with their hands! However, due to the high demand for treatment, the mechanical vibrator was created to alleviate physicians fatigue and treat more women during a working day.

 

The vibrator eventually made its way out of the physicians office and into the home as a personal device.

 

Source:

Maines, R. (1999). The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md.

 

 

 

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