Vibrators are a classic, staple sex toy of choice for many and yet, despite just how intimate you become with your favourite toy, it is surprising just how little people know. Even us here at Sexy Emporium! Here are 10 surprising and fun facts about vibrators to get you started on your deep dive into sex (toy) education.
The Vibrator predates the electric iron and electric vacuum cleaner.
The first device created was called a ‘percuteur’ by British physician Joseph Mortimer Granville around the early 1880s. He believed that vibration powered the human nervous system and that his device could treat pain such as: headaches, irritability, indigestion and constipation. It was designed in a manner that would be akin to that of a modern-day Magic Wand vibrator.
It was originally designed to be only for men.
Granville believed only men had a use for his invention and refused to treat female patients because he did “not want to be hoodwinked by the vagaries of the hysterical state” – yeah, we don’t even want to begin to discuss what this means either. The only mildly sexual use his 'percuteur’ was believed to treat was male sexual dysfunction.
Not all vibrators are for vaginas.
Linking in with our previous fact, to this day not all vibrators are designed for vaginas – they never were! They were originally designed for a hoard of reasons and were most prolifically used as back massagers (see: Hitachi Magic Wand) before being adapted for female masturbation. Nowadays, you can get vibrators designed specifically for a variety of erogenous zones. Rocks Off, in particularly, have a great selection of toys for all: their Hand Solo is designed for penises, their TEAZER and BUBBLES are designed for anal play and the Bad Boy is designed for prostate massaging!
The global vibrator market is valued at over £4.3 billion.
In 2019, it was estimated to be worth $6.42 billion (roughly £4.3 billion) while the global sex toy market as a whole, in 2020, was estimated at $33.64 billion (roughly £25.6 billion). With the increase of sexual acceptance and the decrease of ‘taboo perceptions’, these numbers are set to only rise.
Married couples are twice as likely to use a vibrator.
A survey by Adam & Eve found that 50% of married women use vibrators compared to just the 29% of single women that a study by the Journal of Sexual Medicine. One reason believed for the difference is that the study of single women also likely included those who have never had any sexual relations who, despite perceptions, are more likely to have never used any type of sex toy before.
Phallic Toys (including vibrators) are banned in several countries.
Before travelling, we recommend checking your allowed your sex toy in the country because there are still countries in the world where they are illegal. Some of these countries include: India, Malaysia, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Even particular areas of a country can be illegal – this is the case in the state of Alabama in the United States of America.
However, in Alabama, you can buy vibrators in a drive-thru window.
In Alabama, the law has an exception stating sex toys needed for unspecified “medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement” (because we all know coppas that whip out a dildo, right?) purposes are allowed. One woman, Sherri Williams, found this loophole and set up her store in Alabama that requires customers to fill out an anonymous form with questions relating to this law and once this is complete, it is completely legal for them to shop in her 7,200 square-foot store – or to pick something up from the drive-thru window.
In Japan, you can visit a ‘Vibrator Bar’.
The Japanese law states that it is illegal to make phallic sex toys, a law that lead to the creation of the world-famous Rabbit design, and yet the country has a vibrator bar called “The Vibe Bar Wild One”. It does not allow you to test anything but you can see and hold over 330 vibrators from around the world. For a ¥3,000 (£19.20) cover charge, you get 90 minutes of access to peruse the collection and two tickets for drinks however, all male visitors must be accompanied by one woman in order to be admitted.
The World’s Most Expensive Vibrator costs over £950,000.
This toy is known as the ‘Pearl Royale’ and is also the most expensive sex toy overall in the world. It costs $1.3 million which is equal to £989,423.50. They are only made to order by their creator, Australian jeweller Colin Burn, and includes white gold platinum and is bejewelled with pink and white diamonds.
Vibrator users are significantly more likely to have had invasive exams (particularly gynaecological-related ones) in the past year.
Those who use vibrators frequently have been revealed to be more proactive in caring for their sexual health and with having more positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm. For women, this made them more likely to have had gynaecological exams or have performed a self-examination. In men (no matter the sexuality), they were also more likely to have conducted sexual health behaviours, such as a testicular self-exam, and scored higher on four of the five domains of sexual function (erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function and sexual desire).
Not only are vibrators fun for everyone involved, they’re also scientifically linked to better sexual health for both you and your partner. What’s not to love?