The History of Sex Toys: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

From wooden dildos to high-tech vibrators, sex toys have come a long way over the centuries. Despite their taboo image in contemporary society, sex toys have been around for thousands of years, serving as aids for sexual pleasure and even as medical devices. In this article, we'll explore the fascinating history of sex toys, from ancient times to modern day.

Ancient Times

The use of sex toys can be traced back to ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. In ancient Greece, men often used olisbos, a type of smooth, phallic-shaped stone, for sexual pleasure. In Rome, women used a similar object called a fascinum, made of leather, ivory, or bone. Ancient Egyptians also used sex toys, as evidenced by the carved wooden dildos that have been discovered in tombs.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the use of sex toys declined as Europe became increasingly conservative and religious. However, there were exceptions. The French philosopher and writer Marquis de Sade is famous for his libertine lifestyle and sexual exploits, which included the use of various sex toys.

Victorian Era

In the Victorian era, attitudes towards sex and sexuality became even more repressed, but sex toys still existed. During this time, doctors developed vibrators as medical devices, specifically to treat "hysteria" in women. Hysteria was a medical condition that was believed to affect only women and caused symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and sexual desire. Doctors of the time believed that the cause of hysteria was an overabundance of "uterine fluid," which could be relieved through "pelvic massage" - in other words, masturbation. The vibrator was invented as a tool to facilitate this massage and relieve hysteria.

20th Century

In the early 20th century, sex toys began to be produced and marketed for pleasure purposes. The first commercially available dildo was the German-made "dildo" in the early 1900s. Around this time, vibrators also began to be marketed as consumer products, with brands such as the Hitachi Magic Wand becoming popular in the 1970s.

21st Century

In the 21st century, sex toys have moved beyond their taboo image and become widely accepted as aids for sexual pleasure and even health. With advancements in technology, sex toys have become more sophisticated and diverse. Today, there are sex toys designed for every preference and interest, from basic dildos and vibrators to BDSM gear and high-tech sex robots.


The history of sex toys is a testament to the human desire for sexual pleasure and satisfaction. Despite societal taboos and repression over the centuries, people have always found ways to explore their sexuality through various means, including the use of sex toys. From ancient civilizations to modern-day society, sex toys have come a long way and continue to evolve. As our understanding of sexuality and sexual pleasure grows, so too will our use of sex toys to enhance our experiences.