The history of vibrators: (1) orgasms as medical therapy for hysteria

 

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

 

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

 

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

 

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

 

But he is a Doctor! Medical massage to orgasmVibrators replaced power douches and doctor’s finger stimulation as treatment for female hysteria

Pelvic Massage

By the mid to late 19th century, hysteria (or sometimes female hysteria) came to refer to what is today generally considered to be sexual dysfunction. Typical treatment was massage of the patient’s genitalia by the physician and, later, by vibrators or water sprays to cause orgasm.

Female Hysteria

Female hysteria is a common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today rarely recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

“Hysterical Paroxysm” (orgasm).

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

Vibrators, water jets …,  the technology of orgasm

for centuries, troubled — or troubling — women were diagnosed with “hysteria.” the classic treatment for this vague malady was inducement of the “hysteric paroxysm” — known to us contemporary types as the orgasm. according to Rachel maines’s wryly hilarious history, the first mechanical vibrators were labor-saving devices for doctors tired of inducing orgasm in their patients manually. who knew? this book is clearly her dissertation & primarily intended for academics, but i found it mind-blowing & frequently quite amusing. i frequently recommend it to friends & colleagues looking for a quick, smart, engaging read.  Permalink


The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
| Buy at Amazon.com

Maines is a good historian, and she recounts the historical medicalization of female orgasm, terming its inducement “the job nobody wanted.” For hundreds of years, physicians or midwives were paid to stimulate manually the clitoris of women suffering from “hysteria” and thereby to bring about a therapeutic paroxism. Since this was a time-consuming task, doctors turned to hydrotherapy and then to electric powered vibrators to shorten the time necessary to induce such relief on each patient. HMOs would be proud. 1

Vibrators and clitoral massage by physicians are not popular topics to win tenure at US Universities

It’s a pity this book got the author sacked :(, August 16, 1999

For her pains (the book took 20 years to research and write), according to Wired magazine, the author was apparently promptly sacked from the faculty of Clarkson U on publication. :( A great pity and another blow for academic freedom on subjects around sexuality. Permalink

 

Summary

  • Physicians manually masturbating women as a therapy for hysteria. The advent of the vibrator turned the physician’s hard one hour chore into a 5-10 minute automatic treatment.
  • This type of treatment has been prominent for 2000 years, as we will show in part #2 of this post
  • This treatment presumed that penile penetration by the husband was not satisfactory enough, certainly a taboo topic.
  • Dr Rachel P. Maines always had serious problems when presenting her academic speeches. Induction of orgasm with vibrators as an academic topic?
  • Before vibrators, water therapy (with water pressured by gravity) performed the same tasks.
  • Also the androcentric model of sex considered only penile penetration and vaginal orgasms as normative. This is why the non-penetrative procedure could stay under the radar for so long.

 

Human-Stupidity Analysis

  • Somehow sexual repression found an unconscious back-door. At least women from privileged classes could get their medically prescribed “Hysterical Paroxysm” on a weekly basis.
  • Strangely, physician induced female orgasms were never considered prostitution. Nobody considered the doctors “sex slaves” due to the social status of physicians.
  • This of course begs the question, why masturbation was not a favored skill that would be taught in school, to avoid hysteria.
  • What about the men? Don’t they need orgasms? What happens to sexually frustrated men? They are losers, so nobody cares?
  • These questions are quite serious, now that the US army prevents their soldiers from procuring prostitutes for years on end. But then put a few female soldiers in the midst of testosterone crazed killing machines deprived of any other outlet.
  • Anyone does research about soldiers needing orgasms? or “losers” and other celibates in civil life needing orgasms?
What about male orgasms and sexual satisfaction?

Most of the debates among clinicians have been over proper methods of  treatment, including the production of orgasm. If marriage and intercourse   failed to cure hysterical women, some doctors, at least, were convinced   that responsibility for producing the necessary therapeutic effect  rested with them. It is interesting that though marriage and intercourse  were sometimes recommended for hysterical males, I have found no accounts   of therapeutic massage of the male genitalia by physicians.

Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical

In 1859, it was believed that a quarter of women suffered from hysteria. Many required constant care from physicians – pelvic massage, water massage, bed rest, and expensive spa treatments — in order to “manage” their symptoms. Hysteria was considered a legitimate disease by the medical community and was studied the world over by preeminent psychologists, including Freud.

How did this disease, which purportedly affected so many women and was studied extensively by some of the greatest medical minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is now the focus of two new Hollywood movies, manage to disappear?[…]

Hysteria was once the domain of upper class women, those who had the means to undertake costly medical treatments, but the invention of the home vibrator had dramatically reduced the cost of the “cure” so practitioners were less invested in promoting hysteria as a disease. And as greater awareness of the disease led to more middle and lower class women diagnosed with hysteria, the disorder simply began to fall out of fashion. In 1952 the American Psychiatrist Association removed hysteria from its list of recognized diseases. Now, no one has it.

Above quote from Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical, where we also found several of the historical pictures.

all quotes from The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

for centuries, troubled — or troubling — women were diagnosed with “hysteria.” the classic treatment for this vague malady was inducement of the “hysteric paroxysm” — known to us contemporary types as the orgasm. according to Rachel maines’s wryly hilarious history, the first mechanical vibrators were labor-saving devices for doctors tired of inducing orgasm in their patients manually. who knew? this book is clearly her dissertation & primarily intended for academics, but i found it mind-blowing & frequently quite amusing. i frequently recommend it to friends & colleagues looking for a quick, smart, engaging read.  Permalink


The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
| Buy at Amazon.com

Maines is a good historian, and she recounts the historical medicalization of female orgasm, terming its inducement “the job nobody wanted.” For hundreds of years, physicians or midwives were paid to stimulate manually the clitoris of women suffering from “hysteria” and thereby to bring about a therapeutic paroxism. Since this was a time-consuming task, doctors turned to hydrotherapy and then to electric powered vibrators to shorten the time necessary to induce such relief on each patient. HMOs would be proud. 1

Vibrators and clitoral massage by physicians are not popular topics to win tenure at US Universities

It’s a pity this book got the author sacked :(, August 16, 1999

For her pains (the book took 20 years to research and write), according to Wired magazine, the author was apparently promptly sacked from the faculty of Clarkson U on publication. :( A great pity and another blow for academic freedom on subjects around sexuality. Permalink

 

Summary

  • Physicians manually masturbating women as a therapy for hysteria. The advent of the vibrator turned the physician’s hard one hour chore into a 5-10 minute automatic treatment.
  • This type of treatment has been prominent for 2000 years, as we will show in part #2 of this post
  • This treatment presumed that penile penetration by the husband was not satisfactory enough, certainly a taboo topic.
  • Dr Rachel P. Maines always had serious problems when presenting her academic speeches. Induction of orgasm with vibrators as an academic topic?
  • Before vibrators, water therapy (with water pressured by gravity) performed the same tasks.
  • Also the androcentric model of sex considered only penile penetration and vaginal orgasms as normative. This is why the non-penetrative procedure could stay under the radar for so long.

 

Human-Stupidity Analysis

  • Somehow sexual repression found an unconscious back-door. At least women from privileged classes could get their medically prescribed “Hysterical Paroxysm” on a weekly basis.
  • Strangely, physician induced female orgasms were never considered prostitution. Nobody considered the doctors “sex slaves” due to the social status of physicians.
  • This of course begs the question, why masturbation was not a favored skill that would be taught in school, to avoid hysteria.
  • What about the men? Don’t they need orgasms? What happens to sexually frustrated men? They are losers, so nobody cares?
  • These questions are quite serious, now that the US army prevents their soldiers from procuring prostitutes for years on end. But then put a few female soldiers in the midst of testosterone crazed killing machines deprived of any other outlet.
  • Anyone does research about soldiers needing orgasms? or “losers” and other celibates in civil life needing orgasms?
What about male orgasms and sexual satisfaction?

Most of the debates among clinicians have been over proper methods of  treatment, including the production of orgasm. If marriage and intercourse   failed to cure hysterical women, some doctors, at least, were convinced   that responsibility for producing the necessary therapeutic effect  rested with them. It is interesting that though marriage and intercourse  were sometimes recommended for hysterical males, I have found no accounts   of therapeutic massage of the male genitalia by physicians.

Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical

In 1859, it was believed that a quarter of women suffered from hysteria. Many required constant care from physicians – pelvic massage, water massage, bed rest, and expensive spa treatments — in order to “manage” their symptoms. Hysteria was considered a legitimate disease by the medical community and was studied the world over by preeminent psychologists, including Freud.

How did this disease, which purportedly affected so many women and was studied extensively by some of the greatest medical minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is now the focus of two new Hollywood movies, manage to disappear?[…]

Hysteria was once the domain of upper class women, those who had the means to undertake costly medical treatments, but the invention of the home vibrator had dramatically reduced the cost of the “cure” so practitioners were less invested in promoting hysteria as a disease. And as greater awareness of the disease led to more middle and lower class women diagnosed with hysteria, the disorder simply began to fall out of fashion. In 1952 the American Psychiatrist Association removed hysteria from its list of recognized diseases. Now, no one has it.

Above quote from Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical, where we also found several of the historical pictures.

all quotes from The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

 

for centuries, troubled — or troubling — women were diagnosed with “hysteria.” the classic treatment for this vague malady was inducement of the “hysteric paroxysm” — known to us contemporary types as the orgasm. according to Rachel maines’s wryly hilarious history, the first mechanical vibrators were labor-saving devices for doctors tired of inducing orgasm in their patients manually. who knew? this book is clearly her dissertation & primarily intended for academics, but i found it mind-blowing & frequently quite amusing. i frequently recommend it to friends & colleagues looking for a quick, smart, engaging read.  Permalink


The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
| Buy at Amazon.com

Maines is a good historian, and she recounts the historical medicalization of female orgasm, terming its inducement “the job nobody wanted.” For hundreds of years, physicians or midwives were paid to stimulate manually the clitoris of women suffering from “hysteria” and thereby to bring about a therapeutic paroxism. Since this was a time-consuming task, doctors turned to hydrotherapy and then to electric powered vibrators to shorten the time necessary to induce such relief on each patient. HMOs would be proud. 1

Vibrators and clitoral massage by physicians are not popular topics to win tenure at US Universities

It’s a pity this book got the author sacked :(, August 16, 1999

For her pains (the book took 20 years to research and write), according to Wired magazine, the author was apparently promptly sacked from the faculty of Clarkson U on publication. :( A great pity and another blow for academic freedom on subjects around sexuality. Permalink

 

Summary

  • Physicians manually masturbating women as a therapy for hysteria. The advent of the vibrator turned the physician’s hard one hour chore into a 5-10 minute automatic treatment.
  • This type of treatment has been prominent for 2000 years, as we will show in part #2 of this post
  • This treatment presumed that penile penetration by the husband was not satisfactory enough, certainly a taboo topic.
  • Dr Rachel P. Maines always had serious problems when presenting her academic speeches. Induction of orgasm with vibrators as an academic topic?
  • Before vibrators, water therapy (with water pressured by gravity) performed the same tasks.
  • Also the androcentric model of sex considered only penile penetration and vaginal orgasms as normative. This is why the non-penetrative procedure could stay under the radar for so long.

 

Human-Stupidity Analysis

  • Somehow sexual repression found an unconscious back-door. At least women from privileged classes could get their medically prescribed “Hysterical Paroxysm” on a weekly basis.
  • Strangely, physician induced female orgasms were never considered prostitution. Nobody considered the doctors “sex slaves” due to the social status of physicians.
  • This of course begs the question, why masturbation was not a favored skill that would be taught in school, to avoid hysteria.
  • What about the men? Don’t they need orgasms? What happens to sexually frustrated men? They are losers, so nobody cares?
  • These questions are quite serious, now that the US army prevents their soldiers from procuring prostitutes for years on end. But then put a few female soldiers in the midst of testosterone crazed killing machines deprived of any other outlet.
  • Anyone does research about soldiers needing orgasms? or “losers” and other celibates in civil life needing orgasms?
What about male orgasms and sexual satisfaction?

Most of the debates among clinicians have been over proper methods of  treatment, including the production of orgasm. If marriage and intercourse   failed to cure hysterical women, some doctors, at least, were convinced   that responsibility for producing the necessary therapeutic effect  rested with them. It is interesting that though marriage and intercourse  were sometimes recommended for hysterical males, I have found no accounts   of therapeutic massage of the male genitalia by physicians.

Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical

In 1859, it was believed that a quarter of women suffered from hysteria. Many required constant care from physicians – pelvic massage, water massage, bed rest, and expensive spa treatments — in order to “manage” their symptoms. Hysteria was considered a legitimate disease by the medical community and was studied the world over by preeminent psychologists, including Freud.

How did this disease, which purportedly affected so many women and was studied extensively by some of the greatest medical minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is now the focus of two new Hollywood movies, manage to disappear?[…]

Hysteria was once the domain of upper class women, those who had the means to undertake costly medical treatments, but the invention of the home vibrator had dramatically reduced the cost of the “cure” so practitioners were less invested in promoting hysteria as a disease. And as greater awareness of the disease led to more middle and lower class women diagnosed with hysteria, the disorder simply began to fall out of fashion. In 1952 the American Psychiatrist Association removed hysteria from its list of recognized diseases. Now, no one has it.

Above quote from Vibrators Cured Hysteria but We Are Still Hysterical, where we also found several of the historical pictures.

all quotes from The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

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Honest Research, Truth, Sincerity is our maxim. We hate politally correct falsification, falsification, repression of the truth, academic dishonesty and censorship.

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