A Brief History of the Greatest Sex Toy — the Dildo

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The History and Evolution Of Dildos

Dildos are arguably one of the best penis-shaped sex aids on the market. They are also one of the most popular ones! Around 70% of people in the United States have one.

But how did dildos come to be so popular, and when did that even happen? Let’s dig into the brief history of dildos!

It All Started in the Ancient Times

Dildos have a long history. They aren’t something that came out of nowhere post sexual revolution.

Distinctly penis-shaped, smooth objects from the Stone Age (that also have specific penis-like features) are still baffling scientists worldwide. Were they sex aids? Did they have some other purpose that we can’t figure out yet? We don’t know, which is why the scientific community isn’t willing to simply call them Stone Age Dildos.

And we get that. But if they are unsure about the Stone Age, they must know about ancient civilizations. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians were all about that dildo use!

Ancient Greek Punishments

In ancient Greece, dildos had more than one purpose. People used them as sexual aids, of course. However, women also used them to spite their husbands or to teach them a lesson. Every time a Greek husband messed up, his wife would cut him off, sexually, and withhold sex. In the meantime, she’d get her pleasure from a dildo, easing it in with some olive oil. Talk about effective punishment!

Ancient Greeks didn’t have a monopoly on dildo use. Although debauchery was their middle name, Greeks weren’t nearly as kinky as ancient Chinese who were so attached to their sex toys that they took them to their graves! Literally!

Ancient Chinese Were All About Those Multi-Purpose Toys

The ancient Chinese also thought of dildos as spiritual tools. The belief that sexual pleasure could balance yin and yang was quite popular (and it still is), so ancient Chinese were no strangers to some one-on-one time with their toys.

Then Came the Dark Age for Dildos

Ancient civilizations used dildos freely and willingly, but mid-millennia Europeans weren’t as open-minded. Europe wasn’t as dildo-friendly in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Unfortunately, the availability and use of dildos were heavily controlled back then.

Having a dildo and using it for sexual pleasure was scandalous in the 1600s. Despite the efforts of sexual revolutionaries such as John Wilmot (who had a sex club in 1680), the authorities were quite good at finding and destroying all sex toys.

That, of course, did nothing to deter people from getting their fair share of sexual pleasure. Many women made themselves toys and even had their rudimentary sex shops.

At the same time, the other side of the world was far more relaxed when it came to sexual pleasure. The high society in Japan embraced the benefits of sex toys with open arms. However, in the 1700s, the government banned sex toys, erotica, and all forms of sexual debauchery. That left the people in Japan with little choice, which is how an extensive black market of sex toys was born.

How Technology Influenced the Evolution of Dildos

Most people know about the steam-powered dildos used on “hysteric” women in the 19th century. Before making them machine-operated, doctors used to stimulate women by hand. Thankfully, both that practice and the steam vibrating devices invented to “calm women down” went out of practice.

Back then, dildos were medical aids meant to calm women down and help them relax. The power of the female orgasm was grandiose (although used in a sexist way). Still, as a society, we did benefit from it, given that we now have a modern dildo for women (and men) that’s used adequately — for recreational pleasure, not “taming rowdy women.”

The evolution of dildos had many pivotal points. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, many men were vocally against these toys because they thought it would perform better than them.

Well, they weren’t wrong, but they did deter the evolution of dildos a bit. Funnily enough, men had no problem with vibrating dildos because they didn’t see them as sexual aids but medical ones.

So it wasn’t until the 60s and 70s that the dildo got a long-awaited makeover. The sexual revolution brought us the silicone dildo, which was more body-safe, easier to clean, and cheaper to manufacture than its rubber cousins.

Not long after that, dildos strayed from the usual realistic image. Thanks to Betty Dodson and Dell Williams, we now have colorful silicone dildos that don’t look like penis-shaped objects.

The evolution, availability, and popularity of dildos snowballed from there on, and today, dildos are among the most popular sex toys on the market.

The High-Tech Dildos of Today (and Tomorrow)

Just like all sex toys, dildos are still evolving and will continue to do so. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have dildos that are quite different from those that were popular during the sexual revolution.

High-tech dildos that people can design themselves or ones that look nothing like a penis at all are no longer novelty items. Today, we can purchase orchid-shaped dildos or ones that look so elegant they could double as jewelry.

But technology didn’t only change the appearance of the dildo; it also changed the way they work. Dildo machines or self-thrusting dildos are common today, and toys that you can control via an app on your phone are taking over the market.

Of course, that didn’t diminish the undeniable popularity of the simple, trusty, traditional dildo. People are as crazy about them today as they were in ancient times!