Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Very Odd Question

 
Google image - cute hey? A 'Come hither look'

From reading some blogs lately, I feel the need to distract your minds a little to less burdensome thoughts.  We have sold our house and as a result I am packing (slowly, I have two months).  Although I've carted off a lot of stuff to our local charities, I have been stumped by a find of a box of 12 'Dolphin' vibrators, occupying most of one shelf in my study. These date from the days when in another life twenty years ago, I sold sex toys and sexy lingerie at private all-girl parties in people's homes. These particular ones were the 'creme de la creme', possessing a dual motor which stimulated on the outside and the inside (if you get my drift) at the same time, but with individual and varying speed settings. Ours didn't look like the ones in this pic - ours had a little dolphin in front. The ladies were in heaven and we battled to keep up with demand.  However, all good things come to an end and I think these remaining needed minor repairs (usually a de-greasing, ex factory, which my husband used to attend to). So they will work. I can't think of a good place that would appreciate such a donation. What about an old-age home? Got any better ideas?  By the way, the movie 'Hysteria', starring Maggie Gyllenhall, is the true story of how the vibrators were first designed in the 1890s - intended to cure the female condition known as 'hysteria'. Brilliant film, hilarious and informative.

7 comments:

  1. You never know what you might find when you start to pack up. Does every one on your gift-giving list already have one?

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    1. Well, yes. All my friends gave me parties in those days - and all got one (still working as far as I know).

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  2. Dilemmas! What to do? Are these units battery operated? If not ...meaning that they run on house current (plug into the wall) and they are 20 years old, you may want to just pitch them! You know what they say about using electrical devices in damp areas! Shocking to say the least.

    I must say fiftyodd, you did have an interesting side line going.

    There is an absolutely fascinating book on the subject of vibrators and hysteria.

    The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology) by Rachel Maines

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Technology-Orgasm-Hysteria-Satisfaction/dp/0801859417/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1395816161&sr=1-1

    It seems that hysteria was a cottage industry back in the late 19th century and early 20th. Medical descriptions of hysteria go back to the Greeks. In the 19th century it was thought that the womb retained various humours and aethers that caused swelling and nervous distress, erotic dreams, vertigo, general malaise, and impure thoughts. An external massage was applied by a physician (who often hired midwives to perform the task) which would result in a paroxysm and a flushing of the humours and aethers away. Because all manipulations were chastely external, there were no ill connotations to this practice.

    The cause of the problem was men and society. Proper women endured sex only for children and to perform their marital obligations. The notion is immortalized in the 1912 journal of Lady Hillingdon:

    "When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, open my legs and think of England."

    A proper gentleman at the time of course was driven by the dark and base needs of the male animal and while he had the right to exercise his marital prerogative, being a gentleman he tried to effect his congress in most expeditious manner thus sparing his poor wife any extended unpleasantries from this most unfortunate coupling. Men of a lesser caliber simply brutalized their wives and rolled over and went to sleep. Quite simply the order of the day was slam, bam, thank you ma'am.

    Well it seems that perhaps that women were not quite as asexual as was popularly believed and these slammings and bammings were leaving the poor ladies in a state of unrequited arousal which then manifested itself in the symptoms of hysteria. For a few dollars, they could have the hysteria relieved by a paroxysm brought on by a proper medically administered external massage. With the advent of electricity, an electrically operated vibrator could reduce the time require for the massage to a few minutes. With the popularity of electricity within the home, vibrators were then used by the woman to induce her own paroxysms.

    Of course, what really was going on was that the clitoris was stimulated to orgasm. Something that the husbands should have been doing all along. Were the doctors of the day that naive? Or did they just see a tidy profit and figured what the hell.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria

    The book was excellent, well written, well researched, and illustrated with some fairly arcane curative devices such as a steam operated vibrating table.

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    1. I have to say the movie deals most excellently with all these points - the young doctor in the story who joins a thriving practice to take over these 'arduous' duties (the ladies queue up down the street!), eventually has to have his arm strapped up to alleviate his muscle cramps. NB - Our vibrators run on three medium-sized batteries (which remain in the fresh air, attached in their own container by a long wire to the 'main event'. You have to buy the batteries, they don't come with the device.

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  3. I was in such a swoon over the subject material that I forgot to congratulate you on the sale of your house, that has to be a big worry off your mind. Good luck with the move.

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    1. Yes well, money in the bank and I'll believe it. It was so quick....

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  4. In my five years of blogging, this is a first. They'd sell quickly with an ad in Craig's List or whatever your comparable is there; however, I like your idea of donating them the the old folks home. :)

    And the history lesson from Sextant - what a nice addition to your post. :)

    Congratulations on the sale of the house!

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