We may believe that vibrators are a recent invention. Yes, vibrators as we know them today, with batteries and remote control, are relatively new and influenced by technological advances. However, sex toys have been around for tens of thousands of years, with the oldest discovered dildo dating back over 28,000 years.
Sex toys have taken many forms over time and have been made from a wide range of materials. It might seem difficult to imagine, but the pleasure was brought by what was available at the moment - whether it was stone, wood, bronze, or even bread.
Even if the history of sex toys is not clear and has not been well documented over time, there is clear evidence that these have been around for tens of thousands of years and have undergone various transformations throughout time.
Besides that, mankind has always been fascinated by the genital organs, which he carved in stone, made from wood, and drew, sometimes for purely admiring purposes, and on other occasions as objects people worshiped for fertility.
The Story of The Oldest Sex Toy Discovered
Archaeologists discovered an intriguing stone sculpture in the Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm in the Swabian Jura, Germany, in 2005. The sculpture, which represented a phallus 20 cm long and 3 cm thick, is thought to be the first representation of male sexuality, dating back over 28,000 years.
Initially, it was thought that this phallus was used to knap, or split, flints, but the fact that it was highly polished and made of siltstone led to the conclusion that it was actually used as a sex toy.
This is the oldest dildo that has been found, but that does not necessarily mean that it is the earliest one, given the frequency with which archaeologists and researchers from around the globe have discovered representations of the phallus, some of which were thought to be decorative objects or symbols of fertility.
Some cultures in Asia still make idols out of stone or wood that resemble the phallus, all in the name of fertility, as is the instance of the Phra Nang Cave in Thailand.
The First Sex Toy Made for Men's Pleasure
Men and women have used and been attracted to sex toys since very early times.
Ben Wall Balls, the precursors of the anal beads we use today, but which were originally used in the vagina, first appeared in Japan in 500 BC. By strengthening the pelvic floor, this sex object was used to make the sex act more intense for men.
Once the ball was inserted, there would still be space in the woman's vagina for a man's penis. Then, as the ball moves during a sexual act, both participants get more aroused and aware of their bodies.
This sex object changed over time from being a single ball with a weight within to two balls joined together by a thread.
The First Documented Use of Sex Toys
Although we are unsure of the exact date that sex toys originally appeared, we do know that they have been used for a very long time and will continue to serve a purpose. Nevertheless, even works you wouldn't expect, like the Old Testament, have references to sex toys. God chastises the people of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16:17 because they took the "gold and silver" and "made male idols and engaged in prostitution with them."
However, the first documented use of a sex toy dates back to 300 BC in ancient Greece, a sexually active culture.
During that time, what we now describe as "dildo" was known as "olisbos" and was made of stone, leather, or even wood. The hub of olisbos production and trade was Miletus, or what is now known as Balat in Turkey.
In the writings of Herodas, the word "olisbos" first appears in the context of a conversation between two ladies named Metro and Coritto.
The 2000 Year Old Wooden Dildo
The oldest Roman sex object ever found dates back 2000 years. The relic was discovered in 1992 in a ditch in the Roman Fort of Vindolanda in northern England, close to Hadrian's Wall, which previously served as the Roman Empire's northwest border.
The phallus-shaped wood was thought to have been a darning tool at first, but since then, the researchers' theories have changed.
Confusion occurred among the researchers when the 16 cm long phallus was discovered alongside garments and shoes. A closer examination, however, reveals that it was a sex toy that was intended to stimulate the clitoris rather than necessarily be used for penetration.
These kinds of finds—phalluses built of stone or wood—are relatively uncommon since, in the majority of cases, they were made of organic materials that degraded over time.
What About The Bread Dildo
Ancient Greek inscriptions claim that warriors made dildos out of bread to give to their spouses while they were gone fighting. Yet, it's still unclear to experts whether these inscriptions were intended as jokes or if it was a typical practice.
Leather was the material most frequently utilized to create dildos. Bronze and ivory were other materials used, but they were less widely available than other organic materials. Anyone could manufacture a discrete sex toy out of bread, which could be disposed of right after usage.
The evolution of sex toys throughout history is impressive. From dildos made of stone, wood, or even bread, the world has advanced to actual technical inventions that can stimulate numerous erogenous zones in both men and women and that, in most cases, can be controlled remotely.
There is something for everyone, from cock rings and rabbit vibrators to clit sucking vibrators. There are sex toys for couples as well. Even if they are shrouded in taboo, sex toys continue to evolve to satisfy various demands, heighten pleasure, but also to build far stronger bonds between partners.
The materials used today have also evolved significantly, with silicone serving as the primary material. There are also safety tests and measurements to verify the effectiveness of specific sex toys.
Currently, there is a real industry dedicated to these vibrating devices that are meant to bring pleasure into the lives of users, which is understandable given the long history that connects people with sex toys.
Regardless of how we feel about them, sex toys have always been a part of people's lives. From wooden or stone phalluses and balls with weights inside to items that signify technological advancement through each unique vibration pattern remote-controlled, people have long been driven to methods to improve their sex life.