We invite you to explore the human history of sensual enhancement with the MyPleasure Sex Toy Timeline. We've done our research and uncovered a variety of techniques our ancestors discovered for enhancing their sexual experiences. This timeline takes you from the earliest natural methods to products made possible with modern day technology. We're sure you'll learn at least a few new scintillating sex facts here.
Venus of Willendorf
sexual prehistoric stone carvings of women. These faceless, nude sculptures boasted greatly oversized breasts, hips, buttocks and vaginal lips. Most experts consider them fertility goddesses, but they may have also served as the porn of their day.
|Egyptian art depicts female
dancers gyrating nearly naked, carrying a sculpture of an oversized erect penis to honor the god
Osiris. Possibly an agricultural fertility ritual, although one has to wonder ...
|Invention of the olisbos, an early
version of the dildo, in the Greek port of Miletus.
Traders sold these olisbos around the Mediterranean as sexual refuges for lonely ladies.
|First mention of olive oil as a
sexual accessory. Originally it was touted for contraception,
but couples have used vegetable oils as lubricants ever
|Invention of penis extenders, now
known as prosthetic penis attachments or PPAs. These cylindrical devices, which fit over men's erections to
make them look larger, were first mentioned in the classic Indian sex manual, the Kama Sutra, which
suggested crafting them from wood, leather, buffalo horn, copper, silver, ivory or gold.
Golden Ben Wa Balls
|Invention of Ben Wa balls.
Originally they were a single ball used to increase men's pleasure during intercourse. Some were
solid, others hollow with clappers that made a ringing sound as they rolled around in the vagina.
Eventually they were paired and used by women to increase the strength of their pelvic floor muscles,
much like Kegel exercises are used today.
|Introduction of mirrors as sexual accessories.
Lady Wu Chao, consort to the Chinese Emperor Tai Tsung, ordered sheets of reflecting glass arranged
around their bed. When other courtiers insisted that the mirrors were a bad omen, the Emperor ordered
them removed. When Wu Chao seized control of the throne after Tai Tsung's death, she reinstalled the
mirrors to enhance trysts with her subsequent lovers.
Up All Night
|Invention of the proto-cock ring.
The first documented rings were made in China from the eyelids of goats with eyelashes intact. The
flexible eyelids were tied around men's erections, and the hardened lashes were said to increase the
pleasure of intercourse.
|Coining of the term "dildo."
In Renaissance Italy, the Greek olisbo became "dildo," possibly from the Latin dilatare, to
open wide, or perhaps from the Italian diletto, to delight. Renaissance Italian dildos were made of
wood or leather and required liberal lubrication with olive oil for comfortable use.
|Invention of the
modern cock ring and
clitoral stimulator. Chinese men slipped
ivory rings over their erections to help maintain them. The rings were ornately carved, usually depicting
dragons. Over time, the carved dragons' tongues extended to form a nub that would rub against the
woman's clitoris and enhance her pleasure during intercourse.
|European health spas installed
gravity-fed systems that sent powerful jets of water into bathing pools, much like the jets used in
today's jacuzzis. While not specifically developed for female genital massage, surviving accounts
hint that some women spent considerable time leaning into water-jet spouts.
|Appearance of modern BDSM.
European brothels began specializing in flagellation and other SM-style "punishments" that
dominant prostitutes meted out to willingly submissive men.
|Publication of Justine by the Marquis de Sade,
from whom the term "sadism" is derived. His controversial writings helped popularize BDSM and the many adult toys used in sexual power play, such as riding crops, whips, nipple clips and restraint devices.
("Masochism" comes from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who wrote a novel about male sexual
|The vulcanization of rubber,
which made it stronger and more elastic. This would later lead other inventors to develop rubber
condoms, dildos and other sex toys.
|Debut of the first vibrator. Developed by an American physician, George Taylor, M.D., it was a large, cumbersome, steam-powered apparatus.
Taylor recommended it for treatment of an illness known at the time as "female hysteria."
Hysteria, from the Greek for "suffering uterus," involved anxiety, irritability, sexual fantasies,
"pelvic heaviness" and "excessive" vaginal lubrication -- in other words, sexual arousal.
However, since it was the Victorian era, women were not considered to be at all sexual and it was
therefore deemed a disease. Physicians of that era treated hysteria by massaging sufferers' vulvas until
they experienced dramatic relief through "paroxysm" (orgasm). Unfortunately, hysteria was a
recurrent condition and repeated treatment was often necessary. Taylor touted his steam-driven
massage device as speeding treatment while reducing physician fatigue.
|Debut of the first electromechanical
vibrator. Forerunner of today's vibrators, these vibrators were smaller and less cumbersome than
Taylor's steam-powered device. The original electromechanical vibe was a battery-powered massager
designed by British physician Joseph Mortimer Granville. It featured attachments similar to those
in today's vibrator kits, which allowed the physician treating hysteria to vary the vibratory
sensations the device produced. However, Granville was firmly opposed to using his device as a
treatment for female hysteria and considered it useful only for massage of men's skeletal muscles
to treat injuries caused by overexertion.
|Invention of the motion picture.
Almost immediately after movies appeared, early filmmakers began producing pornography, some of
which featured women playing with vibrators and dildos, including strap-ons.
|Publication of America's first
advertisement for a home electric vibrator, the
Vibratile, in McClure's magazine -- as a cure for headache, wrinkles, and "neuralgia," or nerve pain, a
term that included hysteria.
|Popularization of the home vibrator.
As electricity became widely available around the U.S., plug-in home vibrators were one of the first
electrified home appliances. Marketed to women as health and relaxation aids, vibrator advertising
copy was filled with double-entendres, for example, "all the pleasure of youth ... will throb within
you." They were advertised in many consumer magazines, including Needlecraft, Home Needlework
Journal and Woman's Home Companion, and even sold in the Sears & Roebuck catalogue as an "aid
every woman appreciates."
|The Penis Stiffener wins a U.S.
patent. This device, the first American PPA, was developed by Louis Hawley. It was a hollow,
metal cylinder. It had a wide opening at one end for insertion of the penis and a small
opening at the other to allow sperm into the vagina. It was designed for use by men with erection
|The first vibrator advertisement
aimed at men. Published in a 1921 issue of Heart's magazine, it exhorted men to buy vibrators for
their wives as Christmas gifts to keep them "young and pretty" and free from the scourge of hysteria.
of strip-tease. Dancers slowly
peeled down to nipple covers (pasties) and crotch covers (G-strings) and incorporated many props
into their acts, among them: fans, furs, capes, and feather boas. Many of their costume pieces were
eventually incorporated into sexual accessories.
|Introduction of KY Jelly.
Originally marketed to physicians to improve women's comfort during pelvic exams, KY went over
the counter as a sexual lubricant in 1980. Since then, many other lubricants have been introduced.
|Vibrators appear more prominently in porn -- not
as "massagers," but as masturbation aids. One movie, The Widow's Delight, showed a
well-dressed matron at her front door bidding good night to her equally dashing suitor. After rejecting
a kiss, she races off to her bedroom, where she strips down to her underwear, grabs her vibrator and
finishes off her evening.
|Vibrator advertisements disappear
from magazines and catalogues. As more pornographic films showed women using vibrators for sexual
self-stimulation, it became impossible for manufacturers to defend the polite fiction that they were
simply innocent "massagers." Self-appointed guardians of rectitude branded them immoral,
quickly, vibrators virtually disappeared.
|Development of latex rubber.
Lighter, softer, and more pliable then vulcanized rubber, latex revolutionized contraception, allowing
production of better condoms and
diaphragms. It also led to the
development of latex sex toys.
|Debut of the Polaroid-Land
camera and the birth of amateur erotic photography. The Polaroid produced black-and-white photographs
in just one minute without a third-party developer and allowed anyone to become an erotic photographer.
|AMA declares that hysteria is not really
an ailment. Since the vibrator would no longer used as a medical device, it had be acknowledged for
its real purpose.
|Debut of Playboy magazine.
Although it was attacked as "pornography," the early issues were extremely tame by today's standards.
It did, however, pave the way for X-rated media as we know it today.
|Re-emergence of the vibrator. You just can't keep
a good sex toy down.
|Debut of the waterbed. Inventor
Charles P. Hall designed it for sleep comfort, but waterbeds quickly came to be considered sex
enhancing. Hugh Hefner installed one in his bedroom at the Playboy mansion. Many hotels added
them to their honeymoon suites.
|Debut of the home video camera. Forget Polaroids;
with a camcorder, anyone could produce porn videos in the privacy of their own home.
|Alabama follows Georgia's lead
and implements a law outlawing sex toys punishable by heavy fines and even jail time. Within a few
years the law was overturned, despite the state's argument that women do not have a "fundamental
or constitutional right" to items used for sexual pleasure.
Rabbit vibrator makes an
appearance on HBO's multi-award winning show, "Sex and the City®"
as the once timid character Charlotte's new best friend. After the episode aired, demand for the toy skyrocketed.
MyPleasure.com. Finally, high-quality sexual enhancement products
and sexual health information became available to anyone with Internet access.
|MyPleasure introduces PureBliss, an ergonomically
designed personal massager. The first in their own line of sensual enhancement products.
Called the Sublime Collection, this new product line will meet MyPleasure's highest standards
and is sure to change the world of sex toys forever. Updated in 2006 with a new and improved design
and more exciting features, this toy is more popular than ever!