Monday, September 3, 2007

The Vibrator in History

Okay, maybe that was a crude title, but it's basically what the world premiere of an independent film is all about.

Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm premiered at the Walter Reade Theater last month . An independently funded documentary, the film opens with a little history less on how the vibrator came to be.

Seems that as far back as Hippocrates, phyicians were diagnosing women with a condition they called hysteria. Now hysteria had a wide range of symptoms, ranging from anxiety and nervousness to feeling cranky and not being able to sleep. And it apparently brought about erotic fantasies and a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic region. Hmmm, sounds like a case of the hornies to me, but that's not part of this film, so back to the topic at hand,

Well, smart doctors that they were way back in the time of yor, they figured out a treatment, named vulval and clitoral massage to achieve what they labeled hysterical paroxysm - in other words, orgasm.

Okay, I can't resist -- what it boils down to is these gals were horny, they went to the doctor, got off and felt GOOD. Of course, they did have to have regular treatment. After all hysteria is not a laughing matter.

Now according to this film, by the end of the 19th century this was still a valid diagnosis and I guess women were still going to see their friendly doc for "treatment". But at the turn of the century vibrators were invented to "make the doc's job a bit easier". Man, those must have been some busy doctors. I wonder if they put in for disability or suffered carpal tunnel syndrome from all the "hysteria" treatments?

Now the film goes on to tell all about vibrators and their use and their place in our society, and it is a serious documentary. But I can't help getting a chuckle out of the fact that vibrators didn't come about to help women at all, but to make the doctors' job easier. Or that a gal who was horny was labeled as sufferin with hysteria.

How ironic that something intended to "ease the burden" of men turned out to be a gal's best friend. You just have to love irony, eh?

7 comments:

Rena Marks said...

Typical, very typical. Reminds me of women suffering for years over the dreaded pap smear until a man decides that a prostate exam is "uncomfortable." What happens? Oh, a blood test is developed to test for prostate cancer so MEN don't have to have the humiliated poke. Still, I guess we as women should be grateful that we were allowed to keep the vibrator. I think I'll go buy a new one in celebration...

LA Day said...

LOL!
I'm with you Rena.

Sahara Kelly said...

It's all true!! With the advent of electricity and electric vibrating devices, physicians found they could manipulate (!) their patients and get more per day, thus earning more cash!!

What's always puzzled me is that obviously none of these doctors recognized an orgasm when they saw one!!! Makes you wonder how their wives felt about sex, doesn't it?

Susan Edwards said...

Oh, I think the doctors knew it was an orgasm. It's just that women weren't supposed to have orgasms or enjoy sex at all. Doctors probably viewed these women as aberrant for needing such treatment. It wouldn't due at all for women to discover that other women were having orgasms. they might have deduced that it was normal.

Susan Edwards said...

uh, due=do
three days away from the computer and I forget how to spell.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I love the image that is in this post!

Bob M.

Susan Edwards said...

Glad you like that image, Bob. That's Syneca. She loves to post her butt on the blog. She's very proud of it.