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origins and history

Of ancient origin, sexual "accessories" are still evolving, but not without resistance.



The Provocative and Gripping Tale of Sex Toys

By Walter Raymond


Various archaeological findings have been interpreted as representations of male sex organs. However, and despite their phallic appearance, uncertainty persists about their possible functionality, which leads to ambiguity among researchers. Leading academics believe that they are simple elements used as tools or in religious rituals. Others see them as the oldest gadgets created by humanity to enhance sexual pleasure.

Erotic sculpture from Jeju Loveland in South Korea

The controversial stone of desire
The earliest testimony is the Hohle Fels Phallus, a stone object dating from 28,000 BC. It was found during an archaeological excavation in Germany. It was rebuilt from 14 fragments that created an object of phallic appearance, 20 cm high by 3 in diameter. It has been identified as the oldest sexual supplement and also as a lytic tool for very different tasks.

The Olisbo de Dolní Věstonice (27.000 B.C.), found in the Czech Republic, has also caused controversy. Some scholars find it a surprising sexual element or a stylized female representation. Our next archaeological reference comes from much later (13,000 B.C.), and corresponds to what is supposed to be a double phallus. Found inside a cave in Gorges D'enfer , France, it is L-shaped, 9.5 centimeters wide and 11.5 high.

The Misadventures of Lysistrata
In Ancient Greece, in Aristophanes’ famous comedy Lysistrata, the central character exclaims: "And not even a spark remains of our lovers, because since the Milesians betrayed us, I have not seen a single eight fingers long leather olisbo to bring us some relief." Lysistrata was referring to the intimate sadness that affected Athenian women due to the absence of their husbands who went to war.

Phallus double echelle echelle by Gorges d'Enfer

The term olisbo refers to sexual supplements of phallic appearance. They could be made of leather or wood and included testicular shapes. It is known that they were lubricated with fine oils before use.

The surprising Granville treatment
The emergence of vibrators is much more recent. In 1880, British physician Joseph Mortimer Granville created a mechanical device to treat "hysteria," an alleged female disease characterized by a heightened irritability, among other uncomfortable symptoms. 

Erotic sculpture from Jeju Loveland in South Korea

The treatment of choice was a pelvic massage with genital stimulation to get the patient to achieve “hysteric paroxysm," a state later identified as the female orgasm. Granville invented a mechanical device that facilitated this treatment and was known at the time as the "Granville hammer."

The third member
Lawyer Sandra Lutsgarten, sexologist, and a member of the Argentina Society of Human Sexuality states that, despite advances in sexuality and individual liberties, there is still some reluctance to accept the use of complements or sex toys as an added element in a couple´s relationship. She also contends that, for certain sexual dysfunctions, supplements can help in a comprehensive treatment to obtain a positive result.

Sandra Lutsgarten, sexologist and lawyer ■

More on this topic

Cinnamon: The Spice that Stimulates, Excites and Cures 
Its aphrodisiac and medicinal uses come to us from ancient cultures.

Asian Flower, therapy based on the powerful jasmine
The essential oils of this flower relax and unlock inhibitions. 

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