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Saturday, 24 November 2012

The History of Sex Toys: who made the first dildo?

oldest sex toy
In the history of sex toys we will start our quest during the earlier Paleolithic era. Archaeologists have found figurines from this period in caves, some of which have been understood as fertility goddesses, but others have suggested that these instruments served other purposes. The devices in the photo are approximately 26,000 years old!  They were discovered in a cave by a team from Tübingen University in Germany, and measured approximately 20 cm and are made of polished stone. It is very clear that the artifacts themselves are deliberate representations of male genitals, or what may be called 'dildos' today, the figures are clearly shaped like a male penis. The shape is so evocative that scholars like Prof. Nicholas Conrad, have suggested that these life-size replicas may have been used as a type of prehistoric adult toy given the fact that they are highly polished and rounded at the end.

Over 2400 years ago the Greeks also created dildos, and mentioned them as being made of wood or leather; in fact there was a play from that era that begins with the female asking her friend to lend her a dildo for personal use. We know that these devices were in fact used with lubrication, and that around 350 BC Olive Oil was the lube of choice.

In 300 A.D., the kama sutra, a book of Indian erotic poetry, gave numerous tips on sexual positions, and also suggested crafting sex toys, shaped like penises, from wood, buffalo horn, copper, silver, ivory, or gold.

In China around the same time, inventors created a ball like device that was meant to be inserted inside the vagina to increase sexual pleasure, commonly known as Ben Wah balls. Some even have bells inside and were designed to ring as they moved around.

During the medieval period, around 1200, we see the invention of the first penis ring. Strangely enough, it involved taking the eyelids of goats, which were flexible, and tying them around a man's erection.  Gross!  You can click this link to see a video of a modern penis ring.

Around 1400, in Italy, we read of the first use of the word dildo; most likely came from the Latin word 'dilatere' which means to open wide, either that or from the Italian word 'diletto', which means to delight. Like those from Greece and those found in India, the Italians made theirs would or leather, and were lubricated with olive oil.

In late 1700s, we see the invention of bondage, with brothels in Europe who specialized in whips and other types of punishment that prostitutes dished out to men who willingly submitted to them. The Marquis de Sade, for whom 'sadism' gets its name, wrote a good deal about the practice, which he himself seemed to have perfected.  There are a number of instruments used in the practice of bondage, usually involving restraints and flagellation devices like whips. Ouch!

history of sex toys
The first vibrator made its debut in 1869, was driven by steam, and was used to treat an illness known at that time as hysteria. The first electronic one came along near 1890, and with the invention of the motion picture pictures around the same time, there are early examples of women using them on film, but it wasn't until the early 1900s that many of these devices became available to people for home use.

Around the middle of the 1900s, there is a surge of industrial production of lubricants, condoms, diaphragms, and yes, sex toys.

They soon began to take on more life like forms, and even focused on certain aspects of the female anatomy like the G spot. At the same time, and especially now in the 21st century, there's an emphasis upon making sex toys that mimic the female anatomy as well, so that men can also enjoy sex toys in the privacy of their own home.
history of sex toys
If you would like to see some examples of what modern-day sex toys look like, visit our adult store online at


  1. Rachel P. Maines (1999). The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual SatisfactionJohns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore. ISBN 978-0-8018-6646-3.
  4. Marlow Stern (April 27, 2012). "'Hysteria' and the Long, Strange History of the Vibrator"The Daily Beast.


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  5. ohh wow! I thought that sex toys comes in the early 1900s and I was wrong. This is great to know the history of our sex toys. self pleasure tips men

  6. Nice blog about sex toys thanks for sharingBuy sex toys