A woman from the early 1800s will certainly not be turning in her grave after a Victorian-era vibrator was handed into a Nelson charity shop.
Anton Drazevic, the chief executive of the ReUse shop, said they had no clue what the object was when it first arrived, but soon found out it was used for something special.
“We believe that this was invented for doctors of their day because their hands were getting quite sore from manually relieving ladies' 'hysteria', so this device was developed for them,” he told Stuff.
Back then, a woman was diagnosed with 'hysteria' when the doctors couldn’t peg her symptoms to any other disease. To cure their symptoms (and the doctor’s tired hands), one author believes Victorian doctors would bring women to orgasm.
In her book ‘The Technology of Orgasm’, Rachel Maines writes that the device was created since doctors didn’t like performing “pelvic massage treatments”.
The device “reduced the time it took physicians to produce results from up to an hour to about ten minutes. Like many husbands, doctors were reluctant to inconvenience themselves in performing what was, after all, a routine chore.”
However, this is up for debate. Apparently, bringing women to that point was frowned upon at the time, so it would be a tough sell to believe that doctors would treat patients by doing so.
“In a historical period in which orgasm was seen as debilitating, then therapeutic masturbation would not be regarded as a great idea,” British classicist Helen King said. However, she does admit that it “could well have been used that way” by women in their homes or by more innovative doctors.
Instead, the consensus seems to be that it was used like a massage gun is today: to relieve aching muscles.
Whatever it was used for, there are a couple of angry ghosts floating around: A male with a tight hamstring, and a woman with a lazy husband.
Main image credit: Stuff/Nelson Mail