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It may surprise you to learn that products designed for sexual intimacy were popular well before Sex and the City or Fifty Shades of Grey. In fact, the global phenomenon that is today’s sex toys actually originated in the civilisations of ancient history. It is fascinating to discover just how sex toys have developed through the centuries, from primitive and humble beginnings to the technological wonders of a sexually progressive 21st century.
The first historically documented sex toy is an 8 inch stone phallus, what we would now call a dildo, which dates back to 23,000 BC. It was found in Germany in 2004. Around 500 BC, Greek women showed an early positive attitude towards sex toys by gifting wooden or leather dildos to friends whose partners had gone off to war, or who had sadly already lost their men in battle.
Ben Wa or Love Balls (now commonly known as ‘jiggle balls’) were the next sex toy to make an appearance in history – in the Orient, around 500 AD. These silvery metal balls were actually first used to give sexual pleasure to men, although women soon followed suit. Further into the medieval era, a plant called the ‘Cantonese Groin’ was soaked in hot water and women used the hardened, enlarged form of the plant for penetrative sexual pleasure.
Love rings didn’t appear on the sex toys scene until 1200 AD, where they were crafted from animal parts to help Chinese nobility of the Jin and Song dynasties to sexually pleasure their partners. These penis rings were soon considered a status symbol, with increasingly rare and exotic materials selected to form the love ring…….