The Evolution of the Vibrator - A Short History

Dongs (or Dildos) are non-vibrating and have been around since women have had a sex drive – they are depicted in ancient art, and history shows that they were created and adored by women in many cultures – from Greece to China, India and beyond!

Vibrators on the other hand, are a relatively new addition to the family.  Vibrators can open a whole new world of fun for you and your sex life.

The vibration is created by a motor with an attached spinning weight. As the weight spins, it causes a vibration (speed wobble) due the imbalance. Manufactured since around 1900, battery operated vibrators were only the fifth household appliance to be electrified, ten years before the vacuum cleaner, frying pan and iron. By 1917 there were more vibrators in American homes than toasters. Conservative estimates calculate that vibrators have been responsible for billions of orgasms! Millions of vibrators are sold annually and you’ll find one in almost every household in the western world. Women around the world vote vibrators as the one appliance that they could not do without.

As the popularity of vibrators increased exponentially in the 20th century following the emergence of feminism in the 1960’s designers and manufacturers began to look at ways to improve the original simple hard plastic bullet shaped vibrator. Vibrators evolved both in material and functionality. In the 1980’s vibrators were revolutionized with the introduction of a vibrator which had a rotating shaft and a clitoral stimulator, simultaneously achieving both vaginal and clitoral stimulation. The ‘Karma’ was one of the very first such vibrators. 

More vibrators along this line were produced including the ‘Pearl Bird’ which saw the introduction of pearls into the shaft to enhance vaginal sensation and pleasure. It has been suggested that this was based upon the practice of beading or pearling by the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) while in jail. Beading involved implanting pearls under the skin of the shaft of the penis providing stimulation both for wearer and their partner.

Original ‘Pearl Birds’ featured the ‘head’ of the shaft in the shape of woman’s head with skull cap looking suspiciously like a penis. The woman was in fact a ‘Pearl Diver’ as the original Pearl Birds were manufactured in Japan and cultural taboos prevented manufacturing in the shape of a penis. There are no such taboos in China, so today many of the Pearl Vibrators are penis shaped. The clitoral stimulator attached to such vibrators is usually in the shape of an animal. The original ‘Karma’ had a beaver attached, but many other animals including dolphins, rabbits, butterflies and various birds are now used.

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