We might think that vibrators are a recent invention. While modern vibrators with batteries and remote control are relatively new, sex toys have existed for tens of thousands of years, with the oldest discovered dildo dating back over 28,000 years.
Sex toys have taken various forms throughout history, crafted from materials such as stone, wood, bronze, and even bread. Pleasure was derived from whatever materials were available at the time.
Although the history of sex toys is not precisely documented, clear evidence indicates their existence for tens of thousands of years, undergoing various transformations over time.
In addition, human fascination with genital organs is evident in carvings in stone, crafted from wood, and drawings—sometimes for admiration, and on other occasions, as objects of worship for fertility.
The Story of The Oldest Sex Toy Discovered
In 2005, archaeologists made a fascinating find in the Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm in the Swabian Jura, Germany. The discovery was an intriguing stone sculpture representing a phallus, measuring 20 cm in length and 3 cm in thickness, dating back over 28,000 years.
Initially believed to be used for knapping flints, further examination revealed that the highly polished, siltstone phallus was likely used as a sex toy.
While this is the oldest discovered dildo, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the earliest, considering the frequent discovery of phallus representations worldwide. Some were thought to be decorative objects or symbols of fertility.
Certain Asian cultures still create phallus-shaped idols from stone or wood, as seen in the Phra Nang Cave in Thailand, continuing the tradition in the name of fertility.
The First Sex Toy Made for Men's Pleasure
Men and women have embraced sex toys since ancient times.
The Ben Wall Balls, considered precursors to today's anal beads, initially emerged in Japan around 500 BC. Originally designed for vaginal use, they aimed to enhance the intensity of the sexual experience for men by strengthening the pelvic floor.
Inserted into the vagina, the ball left space for a man's penis. As it moved during sexual activity, both partners experienced heightened arousal and increased body awareness.
Over time, this sex object evolved from a single ball with internal weight to two balls connected by a thread.
The First Documented Use of Sex Toys
While the exact origin of sex toys remains uncertain, their historical use spans a considerable period and continues to serve various purposes. Surprisingly, even unexpected sources like the Old Testament reference sex toys. In Ezekiel 16:17, God reproaches the people of Jerusalem for crafting "male idols" from "gold and silver" and engaging in prostitution with them.
However, the first documented use of a sex toy traces back to 300 BC in ancient Greece, known for its sexually active culture.
During this era, the equivalent of what we now term "dildo" was called "olisbos" and crafted from materials like stone, leather, or wood. The hub for olisbos production and trade was Miletus, present-day Balat in Turkey.
In the writings of Herodas, the term "olisbos" first appears in a conversation between two women named Metro and Coritto.
The 2000-Year-Old Wooden Dildo
The oldest Roman sex object ever unearthed dates back 2000 years. Discovered in 1992 in a ditch at the Roman Fort of Vindolanda in northern England, near Hadrian's Wall, which once marked the northwest border of the Roman Empire.
The phallus-shaped wood was initially thought to be a darning tool, but subsequent research has revised this theory.
Initial confusion arose among researchers when the 16 cm long phallus was found alongside garments and shoes. Upon closer examination, it became evident that it was a sex toy designed for clitoral stimulation rather than necessarily intended for penetration.
Finds of this nature—phalluses constructed from stone or wood—are relatively rare because, in most instances, they were crafted from organic materials that degraded over time.
What About The Bread Dildo
Ancient Greek inscriptions suggest that warriors fashioned dildos out of bread to give to their spouses while they were away at war. However, it remains unclear to experts whether these inscriptions were intended as jokes or if it was a common practice.
Leather was the most commonly used material for crafting dildos. While bronze and ivory were also utilized, they were less prevalent than other organic materials. Crafting a discreet sex toy out of bread was accessible to anyone, and it could be easily disposed of after use.
The evolution of sex toys throughout history is impressive. Numerous professional and high-quality sex toy manufacturers have emerged, with China boasting the largest number of sex toy factories, accounting for 75% of the world's annual output. From dildos made of stone, wood, or even bread, the world has advanced to actual technical inventions that can stimulate numerous erogenous zones in both men and women, and in most cases, can be controlled remotely.
There is something for everyone, from cock rings and rabbit vibrators to clit sucking vibrators. There are also sex toys for couples. Despite being shrouded in taboo, sex toys continue to evolve to satisfy various demands, heighten pleasure, and build stronger bonds between partners.
The materials used today have also evolved significantly, with silicone serving as the primary material. There are now safety tests and measurements to verify the effectiveness of specific sex toys.
Currently, there is a real industry dedicated to these vibrating devices meant to bring pleasure into the lives of users, which is understandable given the long history that connects people with sex toys.
Regardless of how we feel about them, sex toys have always been a part of people's lives. From wooden or stone phalluses and balls with weights inside to items that signify technological advancement through each unique vibration pattern, remote-controlled, people have long been driven to methods to improve their sex life.