Why can’t we buy vibrators from the Sears catalogue anymore?
I consider myself something of an expert on pleasure. I enjoy and indulge the flesh without guilt, shame or needless analysis. After all, what's to think about? If it feels good, do it.
In my late 20s, on a whim, I purchased my first vibrator.
I really hadn't given them much thought. I had sex when I wanted, how I wanted and with whomever I wanted. There was rarely a need for self-gratification. When the need arose, I did it the old-fashioned way - well, mostly.
Let me put it to you this way: I did not leave my house for three days.
I reached orgasm in seconds. In all, and I confess this honestly, I came about 75 times in a span of 48 hours.
By day three, exhaustion and numbness began to interfere with my mission. Day three yielded a mere 15 mind-bending, face-twitching, leg-cramping orgasms.
Thus began my relationship with vibrators.
So many women believe we are undeserving of pleasure, love, happiness or contentment. We discount any thoughts of pleasing ourselves (sexually or otherwise) and instead mask our misery, moving through life as unrealized, sexually dissatisfied, sensually retarded women.
Perhaps we use the single-working-mother mask, citing exhaustion from work and raising a child/children alone as an excuse to bypass self-gratification.
Or maybe we don the housewife mask, making do with housework, dinner preparation, child-rearing and three minutes of missionary with the husband.
Maybe we prefer the ambitious-career-gal persona. Heaven knows, we don't have time to please ourselves if we're busy climbing the corporate ladder!
Pleasing others distracts us from our own need for pleasure. In most instances, it is also a way of validating, excusing and/or ignoring our own dissatisfaction.
Woman to woman: if you are reading this article and you don't possess this wonderful device, you are unnecessarily depriving yourself.
Perhaps a little history will pique your interest.
The (electric) vibrator was invented by Kelsey Stinner in the 1880s to treat what was then referred to by doctors as "congestion of the genitalia" and "female hysteria."
Since pre-Victorian times, doctors had "treated" women for these "illnesses" by massaging their vaginal area. The physician performing this treatment sought to achieve "hysterical paroxysm," which translates today as orgasm.
After several years of treating women with "vulvar stimulation" (which they professed was not the least bit sexual), they confessed to finding it both time-consuming and hard on the hands.
The electrically powered vibrator was patented by Hamilton Beach in 1902. It soon became a bestselling item in catalogues like Sears Roebuck's and was advertised in magazines like Women's Day and Needlecraft. "Vibration therapy" was a popular attraction at many American and European resorts. Hedonism, anyone?
Imagine, this device was the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified (after the sewing machine, toaster, kettle and fan), a decade before the electric iron and the bloody vacuum cleaner!
Despite its history of acceptance, even reverence, it's no longer socially acceptable to purchase one in a department store. It's been relegated to the shelves of sex shops - places some women aren't keen on frequenting.
By degrading its value to women, society has also managed to degrade the women who use them.
If I can say one thing to any woman who has contemplated a vibrator, it would be this: I recommend the rabbit.