Vibrators are devices intended to vibrate against the body (including insertion in a body cavity), thereby stimulating the nerves and giving a pleasurable and possibly erotic feeling.
Vibrators for body stimulation
The electrically powered vibrator was invented in the 1880s by doctors, who had been ostensibly treating women for "female hysteria" for centuries by performing what we would recognise as masturbation. At the time, however, not only did doctors regard the "vulvular stimulation" required as having nothing to do with sex, they reportedly found it time-consuming and hard work. The vibrator got the job done more quickly and without such efforts, and as such was extremely popular with doctors. Home versions began to appear soon after and became equally popular, with adverts in places like Needlecraft, Woman's Home Companion, Modern Priscilla and the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog. These disappeared in the 1920s, apparently because their appearance in pornography made it no longer tenable for polite society to avoid the sexual connotations of the devices.
In their more common guise as "body massagers", millions of vibrators have been sold to both men and women. Some of the purchasers never use their purchases for anything other than relief from muscular tension or aches and pains. However, many people who purchase vibrators marketed as "body massagers" — and, presumably, most people who purchase vibrators marketed as adult toys — use them to attain sexual release, primarily in masturbation, a form of autoeroticism. Vibrators often allow people to achieve orgasm faster and easier and are often said to provide stronger orgasms than those produced by hand stimulation alone. They are often recommended by sex therapists for women who have difficulty reaching orgasm by other means. Couples also use them sometimes as an enhancement to the pleasure of one or both partners.
The sale of vibrators and similar "novelty items" is forbidden in several states in the southern United States. In the state of Texas, the sale of devices for sexual stimulation such as vibrators and dildos is technically illegal, but many stores will sell such items provided that the customer sign a statement that the device will be used only for educational purposes.
Types of erotic vibrators
An enormous range of vibrators exist, falling into several broad categories:
- Clitoral—Often sold as "back massagers", these are powerful vibrators such as the Hitachi Magic Wand or the Acuvibe.
- Dildo-shaped—Approximately penis shaped, can be made of plastic, silicone or latex.
- Waterproof—Can be used under water.
- Rabbit vibrator, 'Jackrabbit' or 'Rampant Rabbit'—Two pronged for stimulation of both the vagina and the clitoris.
- G-spot vibrator—Similar to the traditional vibrator but with a curve and often a soft jelly like coating. The curve makes it easier to use to stimulate the g-spot or prostate.
- Egg shaped vibrator—which can be used for stimulation of the clitoris or insertion into the vagina
- Pocket rocket or "Sagi Goldberg"—Shaped like a cylinder, one of its ends has some vibrating bulges. It is meant to stimulate the clitoris or nipples, not for vaginal insertion.
- "Undercover" vibrators—Vibrators discreetly shaped as every-day objects, such as lipstick tubes, cell phones, or art pieces.
- Anal vibrators—Vibrators designed for anal use have either a flared base or a long handle to grip, to prevent them from slipping inside and getting lost.
- 'Butterfly'—vibrator strapped around legs and waist for hands free clitoral stimulation during sexual intercourse
- Vibrating Cockring—vibrator (usually cordless) inserted in or attached to a cock ring, usually for stimulation of the clitoris
- The Cone—a soft, silicone-shaped vibrator for women or men. Based on the design of a wooden S&M chair, the cone proved to be such a comfortable and stimulating shape that it is now available as a sex toy
Most vibrators use internal batteries, but some of them have a power cord and must be plugged into a wall power socket to work.