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Old 08-19-2019, 11:12 AM
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Victorian Vibrators


In his Dec 7, 2007 overview of Rachel Maines' The Technology of Orgasm, Cecil repeats Maines' speculation that Victorian-era physicians and their subordinates used vibrators to induce orgasm as a hysteria treatment. The casual reader would probably take the column as confirmation that the practice was commonly accepted and widespread. However, per a blog entry by Kate Lister (which I am enclosing in spoiler space below as it is markedly NSFW), Maines has subsequently walked back this line of thinking, underscoring that it was most assuredly a hypothesis, albeit one that has proven tenaciously provocative.

The full story, as Lister unpacks it, is fascinating. I'm not sure if it should impact the column as it sits or not, as Cecil was assiduously circumspect in his reading of Maines.

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Old 08-19-2019, 12:26 PM
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So, is the name of the link to imply that any women who used these so-called "vibrators" were whores, which would further imply that any women who use vibrators now are also whores?
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:30 PM
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I think it's meant to imply that it's a column that talks a lot about sex, and salacious terminology attracts readers' interest.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:30 PM
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So, is the name of the link to imply that any women who used these so-called "vibrators" were whores, which would further imply that any women who use vibrators now are also whores?
wut
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:53 PM
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So, is the name of the link to imply that any women who used these so-called "vibrators" were whores, which would further imply that any women who use vibrators now are also whores?
Per the blog's "About" page:

"Whores of Yore is a sex-positive, inter-disciplinary, research project and archive, dedicated to exploring the history of human sexuality and challenging shame and stigma."

By extension, get over the stigma of being associated with "whores" if you like orgasms. It's not a big deal, nor should it be.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:04 PM
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Wait til you get to the bit about farting orgasms.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:03 PM
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Wait til you get to the bit about farting orgasms.
Hey, don't be shaming my fetish!
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:16 PM
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Wait til you get to the bit about farting orgasms.
I am blocked from that link at work: Is it about farting that happens during orgasms, or about orgasms triggered by farting?
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:25 PM
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I am blocked from that link at work: Is it about farting that happens during orgasms, or about orgasms triggered by farting?
From the article: "They also had some very strange ideas about orgasm and masturbation damaging health and causing hysteria. There was also such a thing as a ‘hysterical paroxysm’, which is described as some kind of giggly, gassy meltdown that can last for hours."

Though the author does go on to say "I’m sorry, but a farting, giggling fit that lasts an afternoon, may be a lot of fun, but it is not an orgasm."

Last edited by GreysonCarlisle; 08-19-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:29 PM
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They had Taco Bell back then?
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:39 PM
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They had Taco Bell back then?
Think outside the bun.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:13 PM
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There's even been a Tony-nominated play on the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the...Vibrator_Play)
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:30 PM
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The discussion is about the invention of massage devices in the Victorian Era. Which ended 1901. I've always thought that if doctors were using electric massage as 'vibrators', it would have been around the time of 'Married Love' by Mary Stopes, 1918, continuing through the 1930's and ending with disapproval in the 1970's (That is, there were still doctors doing it in the early '70s).
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:47 AM
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Doctors administering therapeutic orgasm to women in the 1930s?

That, I think, we would have heard about by now.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:45 PM
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Doctors administering therapeutic orgasm to women in the 1930s?

That, I think, we would have heard about by now.
Well, Mary Stopes was making the point that orgasm was necessary for women's health on medical grounds, and that book was reported to be one of the most influential books of the early 20th century: given that doctors were getting into trouble for administrating orgasm to women as late as the 70's, I'd be surprised if it wasn't happening in the 30's, when there were generally accepted grounds for doing so.

But I wasn't there.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:55 PM
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https://www.straightdope.com/columns...rgasm-therapy/
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:01 PM
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TubaDiva, that is the column referenced in the OP. As noted, the author whom Cecil cites has qualified her initial hypotheses, and the other link in the OP (by a qualified academic) presents further evidence to the contrary.
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