Thursday, July 08, 2010

When Your "Personal Massager" Was Your Doctor

We read hundreds of books during graduate school, but none stuck with us quite as much as Rachel Maines' The Technology of Orgasm: 'Hysteria,' the Vibrator and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (2001). We recently flipped through it again, and had a nice chuckle at the thought of 'hysterical' (read: sexually unsatisfied) women achieving great 'relief' from physician-administered 'vibration treatment.' As Maines details, physicians didn't particularly like to offer this very popular therapy (knowing, presumably, the very carnal source of their patients' relief), so it was with much joy that they began recommending handheld 'personal massagers' upon their appearance in the early 1910s. Below are two images and an excerpt from a 1908 physician's manual on vibration therapy, or what Maines cheekily calls 'the job nobody wanted.'



Original Mischief said...

oh my! and the doctor's didn't want to do it? lol

Wildfell Hall Vintage said...

oh I could def' do with some lesser hyperactivity of the nerves...and my vaso-motors are all off too!

Jessica / Lola Vintage Clothing said...

OMG. I never knew it was even something that was "administered".
Oh, and "the job nobody wanted"?
Doubt it! This is great, Gina!