Health and Wellness ED Guide to Dildos Part 1: History of Dildos
The Evolution of Dildos Throughout History
Featuring Cloud 9 Pro Sensual Realistic Silicone Dildos
Sex Ed with Kylie Jensen
Hi, I’m Kylie, and today we are going to dive into our Guide to Dildos and Pleasurable Penetration, with Part 1: The History of Dildos. Today’s topics is brought to by: Cloud 9’s New Pro Sensual Realistic Silicone Dildos.
Join me in this series as we explore the fascinating history of dildos, its variety of uses, the different types including materials, as well as how to choose and use a dildo for your own sexual pleasure in the following Guide to Dildos and Pleasurable Penetration.
The Popularity of Dildos
While vibrators may be the most popular type of sex toys ever invented, dildos are a close second and have even a longer history dating back to the caveman days around 30,000 years ago.[i]
Today, we still enjoy dildos as a sexual aid for self-pleasure as well as couple play. While you may think dildos were designed more for women, they are enjoyed by a wide variety of adults regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Basically, anyone with a butt or a vagina can enjoy sexual penetration with a dildo.
What is a Dildo?
A dildo is any type of sex toy that is specifically designed for penetration purposes, both vaginal and anal. Most dildos feature a tapered head for easy penetration and a shaft. Some dildos have a curved shaft for G-spot or P-spot pleasure, while others are straight and long for deeper penetration. Dildos come in many different styles from whimsical to realistic shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of materials. Some dildos include vibrating bullet as well for added stimulation.
History of Dildos
Source: Getty Images
As mentioned above, dildos have been around for a long, long time. Ever since humans invented stone tools, they have also been fashioning phallic objects as well. The earliest known sex toy ever found dates back 28,000 years ago. This phallus artifact, caved out of siltstone, is a 7.8 inch stone dildo called a “bâton de commandement” and was found in a cave in Germany.[ii] Another chalk phallus, from a Neolithic hedge in Dorechster, England dates back to 2,500 B.C. during the Bronze Age.[iii] While archeologists speculate that some of these artifacts may have been used as fertility symbols to help crops grow, or even magical items to ward off evil spirits, others believe the intended use for these objects are quite obvious and indeed were used for a sexual purpose.[iv]
Many “ice age batons” were carved from stone, bone or antler horn (Sweden 4,000 to 6,000 BC)[v], however, a variety of the first dildos were made from a wide assortment of materials including tar, wood, breadsticks[vi], un-ripe bananas, plantains, gourds and even dried camel dung coated in resin[vii]. Throughout history other materials such as lacquered wood (China 15th century), glass dildos (1590s), as well as double dildos made of wood (19th century Zanzibar),[viii] cast bronze (Ancient China), and “eight-fingered leather dildos”[ix] (411 BC) were fashioned for sexual purposes. Julius Caesar is said to have given Queen Cleopatra “an elaborately carved, gold inlaid penis sculpture,”[x] perhaps for sexual fulfillment for when he was away from her. In ancient China, hollow cast bronze dildos that released liquid—an ancient form of the “squirting” dildo—have been discovered. These were used to service wealthy men’s numerous wives in order to “prevent them from resorting to lesbianism” [xi].
It appears our ancient ancestors were no less imaginative than we are today and created dildos, (also called "olisbos"[xii] from Ancient Greek meaning to slip, glide) in all manner of shapes, sizes and materials designed for sexual pleasure. The ancient Greeks even used leather and animal intestine over carved dildos for “a more natural feel” [xiii], texture and enhanced comfort, while ancient Italians made their dildos from leather and used olive oil as a lubricant[xiv].
During the Renaissance, dildos (or “fascinum” in Latin, “godemiche” in French and "diletto" from the Italian meaning "delight") were even more elaborate and used as a “fashion” accessory. In “Ornamentalism: The Art of Renaissance Accessories”[xv] dildos were described as being made of sewn velvet, thick congealed glass called “dildo glasses”, and were used to “renew a maid after childbirth”. Lesbians also used dildos (or strap-ons) for the purposes of cross-dressing, urinating while standing, female marriage and anal sex.
Lavish gold and silver dildos and those intricately engraved with ivory were mentioned in the epic story "Arabian Nights" (1886)[xvi]. In “the Sappho-an” cheap dildos could be made from carrots, parsnips and candles.
Freud called dildos a “fetish”, or, a substitute for a penis. However, the dildo was seen not only as a prosthetic body part, or appendage representing a penis, but an object of “pleasurable functions” in it own right and esteemed for their artistic designs. In “Seigneur Dildoe” dildos are described as a new and exciting luxury commodity and fashionable accessory, while the strap-on with a braided belt was called a “fantastic new French Fashion…” despite it being worn beneath clothing.
Source: Museum of London
Many of these designer dildos were fashioned from fine materials like silk, satin and velvet then filled with bran or wax as well as leather, horn, wood or glass. Some even sported merkins or “pubic wigs”. A few where very elaborate including an ivory dildo in the museum of London that is hollowed out and has a spring mechanism used to simulate ejaculation. Some society members even displayed their dildos as objects d’art.
During the industrial revolution in the 20th century, which provided many new technological advances, a new material was invented: Rubber[xvii]. The first rubber dildos have been traced back to the 1850s and they were being used in stag films by the 1930s and 40s. Various derivatives of rubber are still used today to make dildos in the form synthetic rubber such as Elastomers, PVC, Latex, TPE/TPR, Vinyl, and Jelly Rubber. In 1943 Silicone was first invented, but it wasn’t used in sex toy manufacturing until around 1975, when Gosnell Duncan created the first silicone dildos and sold them to a feminist sex toy shop in Manhattan called Eve's Garden[xviii].
These days dildos come in many shapes and sizes as well as materials. Luckily for us, cow dung no longer plays a part in the manufacturing of dildos. However, you may prefer it over some of the other chemical components that used to go into sex toys including carcinogenic phthalates and other funky chemicals. Not only are these materials possibly toxic to the body, they are also porous, which means they have microscopic holes that can harbour bacteria and STUs, which can’t be sterilized or disinfected. Silicone is the only soft sex toy material that is completely body safe and can be sterilized.
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I hope you enjoyed our Guide to Dildos and Pleasurable Penetration today! Until next time, this is Sex Ed with Kylie Jensen.
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[xv] Ornamentalism: The Art of Renaissance Accessories Paperback – Jun 13 2016
by Bella Mirabella