Sex toys come in all shapes and sizes, in a wide variety of designs that have been carefully thought out in order to create the most pleasurable moments. But who came up with this magnificent idea and how long have sexual aids been around?

We have often wondered this ourselves, so we have taken a brief look into the history of the sex toy. Whilst it may not be something that you can discuss with family over dinner, it is satisfying to know that the idea of self pleasure has been popular for a very long time and for many, many different people.

Who invented the sex toy?

An American physician called George Taylor invented a steam powered toy in 1869, calling it the Manipulator. This was followed in 1880 by Dr Joseph Granville, who designed an electro-mechanical vibrator. If you look even further back, the Egyptians and the Greeks were said to make penis shaped objects out of wood and stone. Whilst none of these sound particularly pleasurable, they paved the way for what we now see as fun, playful sex toys.

What was their purpose?

Surprisingly, some of these sex toys were not toys at all and had no purpose for pleasure. The Egyptian and Greek variety were intended to offer pleasure when husbands were away, but the later dildos were designed to be a cure for a condition called hysteria. This was a condition that many women were diagnosed with, including symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia and erotic fantasies. The treatment for this included relieving sexual frustration, which is where the newly designed dildo came in.

When did the sex toy change for the better?

As the 20th century progressed, sexual aids gradually changed from health care tools to toys used for pleasure. They were not referred to as sex toys however, known more as home care aids. By the 1960s people were much more open about their sexuality, with many finally accepting the idea of female masturbation. Along with technical advances that saw the vibrator being perfected and higher quality materials being used, sex toys were slowly introduced into specialist high-street stores and were available by mail order. 

And thank goodness they are readily available online too! Click here to browse our wide range of sex toys today.