It has long formed some cheeky chat that it was the prudish Victorians who invented the vibrator.

As the story goes, frustrated Victorian women would go to their doctors complaining of feeling angry, having a headache or suffering from an emotional disorder, and the doctor would “manipulate” their clitoris to cure them with an orgasm, or “hysterical paroxysm”. In all fairness, an orgasm generally sorts me out too.

The story goes on that the doctors were so busy masturbating their female clients that one bright GP invented a vibrating device to take all the strain out of the job and speed things up.

Therefore, as the conversation goes, the vibrator was born.

However, although it makes a good conversation piece, it is sadly a little wide of the mark.

The GP in question, a Dr Mortimer Granville, did invent the vibrating machine, but not for distressed ladies, but to help with pain relief, just as massage does today.

In fact, the Victorian medical profession knew all about the female orgasm and was a primary reason for why they thought masturbation was so bad. Although a few doctors thought masturbation could help with period pain, many thought it was highly dangerous to health.

Their view was not based on some kind of anti-sex crusade or the promotion of anti-pleasure for women, it was because of how important they thought the orgasm was.

Many marriage guides of the times declared that a woman with a satisfying sex life was more likely to become pregnant. Those so-called “prudish” Victorians believed that a woman’s orgasm was just as important as man’s when it came to conception.

A period book entitled “The Art To Begetting Handsome Children”, published in 1860, contained detailed guides and advice on foreplay.

“A Guide To Marriage”, which was published in 1865, and was directed at young newlyweds just starting their sex lives, stated: “All love between the sexes is based upon passion”.

Just from these two books, we can see that sexual pleasure was not something frowned upon the Victorians, but actually sought after and encouraged.

The idea of Victorian women being brought to orgasm by the doctors just is not true. The Victorians had sex toys, sex chairs, condoms and contraceptives, just as we do today. They made them from rubber, wood, ivory, leather and sometimes even from silver. They were delicately crafted, some inlaid with flowers and others hidden inside ordinary objects, such as a walking cane.

Whereas we can say the Victorians invented the vibrator, it was not as we think of, neither its purpose. They were probably the least sexy of apparatus, being large, noisy and operating in a pounding way. Perfect to massaging muscular injuries but not something you want near your delicate bits.

So we can debunk two stories here. The Victorians did not invent the sex toy vibrator and they were not the sexual prudes that we all think they were.

About Bunnhoo

Bunnyhoo is an online boutique for luxury sex toys. You can see our 21st Century vibrators by clicking here.