A Recent History of the Vibrator, 1960s - Present

A Recent History of the Vibrator, 1960s - Present

Today, we’re talking vibrators. If you’re in the market for one, the variety and range available means you’re spoilt for choice. Here at Flirt, we’ve got an assortment of vibrators to cover all needs and budgets. Try online for quick and easy delivery, or if you prefer a bricks and mortar store, check out our sex shop Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Bathurst and beyond.


We’ve come a long way from the creation of the “modern” vibrator in the late 1800s. A popular theory was that the vibrator was initially invented to relieve “female hysteria” in the Victoria era. However, this idea around medical masturbation is almost certainly a myth. Historian Helen King found no evidence that doctors ever used this masturbation technique for hysteria treatment in ancient or classical times.


The sex toy industry has made leaps and bounds since the 19th and early 20th century though. Gone are the days when women had to pretend that they were buying massagers “for the body”. Thanks to the sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, women were granted more agency when it came to female pleasure and exploration.  We’re going to take a look at the decades since then, and how emerging technologies have played a pivotal role in shaping the sex toy industry.


1960s

This was a time when the birth control pill became widely available and attitudes towards premarital sex became more relaxed. This in turn allowed many people to speak more positively and openly about masturbation. However, with brands only being allowed to allude to the act and not directly mention masturbation, vibrators were still often sold as “neck and body massagers”, although I’m pretty sure we all know what they were actually being used for.


1970s

Affectionately referred to as the Decade of Decadence, the 1970s for many was the height of the sexual revolution. Founded in 1977 in San Francisco by sex therapist and educator joani Blank was Good Vibrations - the first sex-positive and women-friendly store in the US. Prior to this and as mentioned above, magic wands were sold as “body massagers”. But as times were moving along, stores like Good Vibrations were able to market the magic wand to women as an effective way of stimulating the clitoris. The OG love wand was dubbed the “Cadillac of vibrators”, and it still remains one of the most powerful vibrating personal massagers on the market.


1980s

As more and more women began to create their own sex toy companies, the 1980s saw a rise in variety for vibrators. Although this was the decade that the ever popular animal vibrators were first invented, women also saw the need for gadgets that focused solely on clitoral stimulation, such as the Fukuoku fingertip massager.


1990s

You can’t mention sex in the 1990s without mentioning HBO’s hugely successful show, Sex and the City. The Rabbit vibrator rose to fame and gained notoriety in part thanks to the show. Featuring in the season one episode “The Turtle and the Hare”, Charlotte becomes addicted to using the Rabbit after the girls introduce her to it. We don’t blame her!


2000s

The dawn of the new millennium began to see a sex-tech revolution, with many brands pushing to fuse sexuality and pleasure with minimalist design and modern technology. Vibrators being released around this time were more thoughtfully designed and sleeker than their predecessors, with a rise in the use of soft materials like silicone taking the market by storm.


2010s

This decade saw the dawn of rechargeable vibrators and sex toys, with advancements in technology bringing unbounded pleasure to women the world over. Companies like Dame began setting their sights on state-of-the-art, cutting-edge products. Dame designed Eva -  the most successful crowdfunded sex toy in history. With their first crowdfunding campaign amassing huge support and raising 17 times more money than their target, this demonstrated that there was consumer demand for products that are intuitive and discreet - a tool that every woman should have in her arsenal.


2020s

We now have products such as the Womanizer, with world first Pleasure Air technology that uses air suction to bring women to orgasm. Who’d have thought, stimulation without even touching the clit! Although there are now more products on the market than ever before and there’s a progressive open-mindedness towards all things sex in Western society, we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of liberation and changing attitudes towards sex and sex toys.


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