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Everybody knows what sex toys are, but have you ever wondered how long they've been used? How they got their start? Even if you haven't, be prepared to be amazed. Adult sex toys have a very long history, dating back to some of the earliest civilizations on earth.
Perhaps the most common of modern sex toys, dildos are also the oldest. In fact, the very first dildo known to history dates back over thirty thousand years! That places it in the Paleolithic Era, the era in which prehistoric man first created and used stone tools like arrowheads and hammers. Incredible, right? This places adult sex toys in the same category as weapons and beads – some of the very earliest man-made items known to science.
These prehistoric dildos didn't look like much. They were vaguely penis-shaped and, given the materials available at the time, made out of bone or rock. Sounds a bit painful, right? Let's be glad we live in modern times, when the best sex toys are available to purchase anytime of the day or night!
The ancient Greeks also used dildos, made out of more varied materials. Ancient Greek art shows many different sexual scenes, and many of these include dildos. In fact, even lesbian scenes nearly always include a dildo of some kind. Greek dildos were made from several different materials, including leather, finished wood and glass. Oddest of all, ancient Greek life – for some women, at least – included a sex toy made from bread! We can't even imagine the mess and potential health risks of this particular adult sex toys, but we have to give the Greeks points for creativity!
You don't have to go on an archaeological dig to find really old sex toys... or at least to find people writing about them! During the 1600's, two written works mentioned dildos - "The Alchemist" by Benjamin Jonson in 1610, and the Bard himself, Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" in 1623. Given that both of these famous playwrights lived in England, it's a safe bet that women were warming up those chilly British nights with some exciting sex toys!
Today, it's easy to see how far we've come in a relatively short amount of time. Just fifty years ago, sex toys were something to be embarrassed about and hidden away. Today, you can find incredible selections online, making it easy to select the best sex toys for you and your preferences.
Today's dildos come in every shape and size imaginable, from joke dildos that no human being could ever fit inside their body to tiny ones designed for on-the-go stimulation. The variety of materials to choose from is massive, with everything from glass and vinyl to wood and silicone available with just a quick search. You can choose from a sex toys that's uber-realistic – right down to the veins – or one that's smooth and sleek. When it comes to color, you can pick from every real-life skin color under the sun, or something fun and funky like purple or polka-dot! The choice is yours! Dildos also come with or without pleasure enhancements like curves, vibrating inserts, realistic heads, ribbing, smooth bumps, clitoral stimulators and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
You already know just how essential a good lube is to any sex toy experience. Without lube, things can be more painful than pleasurable, and you can even hurt yourself! Lube is essential, and it turns out that people have known this for centuries!
Historians agree that ancient civilizations used different forms of lubrication, both during sex and when using adult sex toys. In 350 B.C., the earliest written account of lube finds ancient Greeks (they knew their stuff, right?) using olive oil to lubricate leather sex toys. Given the natural texture of leather, we can only imagine how uncomfortable the use of those sex toys must have been until somebody came up with that bright idea!
Vegetable-based oils have been used through the centuries to make things nice and slick. In the modern age, three major inventions paved the way for the incredible variety of sex toy lubricants you can find today. In 1904, KY Jelly was introduced to the public as the very first commercially marketed lubricant. Certainly, back then, they didn't shout the sexual possibilities from the rooftops, but consumers were hooked all the same!
Shortly after KY came on the market, Crisco vegetable shortening was invented as a less expensive alternative to lard. However, sexually aware shoppers soon discovered that this kitchen staple made an incredible (and longer-lasting) alternative to the relatively thin KY. When Vaseline was invented as a drugstore remedy in 1933, the same thing happened, with customers buying the thick white stuff both as a medicine-chest must-have and a bedroom treat.
Another scientific discovery – the invention of a material called silicone in 1899 – set up a long and fascinating future for the sex toy industry. Not only are many top-selling sex toys made from silicone, but silicone-based lubricants are the favorite of many for that impossible to duplicate, oh-so-slick sensation!
While you may imagine these sex toys to be more modern inventions, in fact they've been around since at least the age of the Kama Sutra. Written in the 3rd century A.D., this world-famous sex manual is one of the most popular and well-known books in the entire world. While it contains much more than sex positions, it's perhaps best known for its graphic depictions of some traditional and some VERY creative sex positions.
Another little goodie hidden away in the Kama Sutra is the use of penis extenders. These sex toys are described as a way to intensify a partner's pleasure, and were made (it seems) from whatever happened to be on hand. Precious materials like gold and silver were used, as well as more commonplace materials like wood. Ivory was even used occasionally.
Essentially the first form of strap-on dildos, these penis extenders surely made some of those insane Kama Sutra positions much easier to maintain!
Commonly known as cock rings, penis rings are a sex toy designed to help a man maintain an erection longer, achieve a harder erection and, according to many, experience a much more intense orgasm during sex or solo play.
Today's cock rings are typically made of stretchy materials like silicone or some type of plastic. Back in ancient China, however, where the cock ring was first used, the materials available were somewhat limited.
Ancient Chinese emperors had very busy and stressful lives. In addition to the constant threat of being killed – by an assassin or in battle – they often had many concubines and mistresses in addition to a wife. This might sound like a dream come true for some guys, but the pressure of creating heirs was serious business when you might die at any moment. We're guessing that, at least part of the time, sex became more of a chore than a pleasure.
For this reason, it makes perfect sense that cock rings came out of ancient China. They would allow an emperor to get and stay hard far more easily than he probably could on his own, given all his worries. They would also allow him to have sex with more women in the same night (or day), increasing his chances for an heir.
Back to those materials. Today, hard and stretchy cock rings come in every color you can imagine, from basic black to neon pink. They can be smooth or textured, and offer many different options. In reality, they're one of the most basic sex toys for men, offering a quick and easy way to enhance virtually any sexual encounter. While stretchy cock rings are more common, hard-core metal and stiff leather ones also exist, offering sex toys for every taste and kinky pleasure preference imaginable.
Sure, cock rings are great. But how would you like a goat's eyelid wrapped around your penis? That's exactly what those poor Chinese emperors had to deal with! In some cases, the eyelashes were left on the ring. Whether that was for aesthetics or pleasure is anybody's guess, but one thing is certain – it makes for a pretty disturbing mental image!
You may think of condoms as a necessary part of your sex life, not a fun accessory. However, they do have their place in the world of adult fetish toys. Not only that, but they have a long and very interesting history!
Although historians are fairly certain that this form of birth control was around far longer than concrete records indicate, their first documented appearance came during and just after the Black Death. This very dark period of Medieval history centers on the bubonic plague, a horrifying disease which wiped out entire villages and left large cities swimming in dead bodies.
As if the plague wasn't enough, on its heels came a widespread breakout of syphilis, an STD which can lead to insanity if left untreated. Needless to say, people were very nervous regarding sex. It was at this time that an Italian doctor invented the very first documented penis sheath, or condom. Crafted from linen soaked in chemicals and left to dry, the sheath was placed over the penis and held in place with a ribbon. As prehistoric as this condom sounds, it was pronounced effective at the time for the prevention of syphilis.
As time went on, condoms were created in methods which increasingly focused on pleasure instead of solely pregnancy and disease prevention. Intestines, bladders and leather were popular for a while, and lambskin condoms can still be purchased today for those severely allergic.
The vast majority of today's condoms are latex. However, polyurethane is an available alternative for those allergic to latex. For those allergic to both, lambskin condoms can still be purchased, although their effectiveness is in question.
As far as condoms as sex toys, a quick search will tell you that they can, indeed, enhance both partnered and solo sexual experiences. A variety of textures, colors and flavors add both fun and sensation to sex play.
Right next to dildos in the race for "favorite" sex toys, vibrators have been giving women (and men!) a buzz since the late 1860's. Back then, vibrators were invented and marketed as a cure for many female conditions, most amusingly "hysteria." They were also used off-label for a variety of other ailments, including arthritis and, strangely, tumors.
The 1920s saw the vibrator's first appearances in pornography. Prior to this, they had been marketed in womens' magazines as health and beauty aids. Surely, women were using them behind the scenes for other purposes, but everything was kept hush-hush. Once the devices were seen in porn, however, the open secret was out – vibrators were sex toys! Sadly, this meant that they immediately went under the radar, seen as something embarrassing to own.
This unfortunate stigma persisted until the swinging 60's, when sexuality was in a revolution and sex toys followed suit. They grew in popularity with each passing year. Thankfully, so did their acceptance. Today, we can think of dozens of examples of vibrators cited in books, movies and music, and nobody has to feel embarrassed for owning a vibrator – or any fetish sex toy!
Today's vibrators have come a long way from the medical-looking devices of olden times. Vibrators are one of the most versatile adult sex toys, ranging from vibrating dildos to tiny vibrators designed to be worn while out in public! The choice is yours, and once you start looking for the best sex toys for you, you won't believe just how many choices that entails!
Of course, sex toys bring more orgasms, which is an awesome thing. However, their benefits go far beyond straight pleasure. Read on for some incredible benefits of sex toys you may never have realized!
Stronger Relationships: Sex toys are great if you're single, but when used in relationships, they have several benefits. Couples who have been together for a while and have lost the excitement they once enjoyed in the bedroom can recreate that intense rush by introducing something new to sex play. This renewed excitement often leads to a stronger emotional connection. Even if your relationship is going as strong as ever, sharing new experiences is always a great way to deepen the bond!
Improved Mood: Science has proven numerous times that orgasms don't just feel good – they do good things for your mental health. An orgasm is the ultimate relaxant – think of how amazingly chill you feel after one! Obviously, the more you can have, the more relaxed you will feel. People who climax on a regular basis tend to be more relaxed overall in life. Don't pressure yourself to have tons of orgasms – this can cause the very stress you're trying to avoid – but let yourself have them as often as possible.
Health Benefits: Studies are showing that the better a person's mental health, the better their physical health. This mind-body connection was perfectly understood by several ancient cultures, but got lost along the way somehow once miracle drugs like anti-depressants, antibiotics and others were invented. There is nothing wrong with medication, but a heavy reliance on pills shifted the cultural opinion away from the mind-body connection.
Thankfully, that connection is now being studied, tested and acknowledged more than any other time in the modern era. Sex toys are a wonderful way to improve your mental health and, if we follow the mind-body connection idea, these benefits can spill over into your physical health. People who climax regularly are believed to live longer than their low-frequency counterparts. This may directly correlate to stress levels – it has been suggested that stress is as bad or worse for the body than smoking, so anything that promotes relaxation most likely promotes good health. Now that's a "doctor's order" we can get on board with!
Now that you know the amazing history and benefits of sex toys, we're sure you're ready to begin or add to your collection. Next, you'll find our amazing directory of sex toy online shops. We've cherry-picked the best of the best for you, so don't be shy – we know you're just a few minutes away from the very best sex toys!
This Sex Toy Directory includes links to the most popular and top ranking online adult stores where you can find and buy the best sex toys around! Here they are: