Vibrators Had a Long History as Medical Quackery before Their Use as Sex Toys

By the 1930s, vibrators were just another household electric appliance that could soothe your pains at the end of a long day. And then…. In the contemporary moment of sex-positive feminism, praises for the orgasmic capacity of the vibrator abound. “They’re all-encompassing, a blanket of electricity, that’ll course through your veins, producing orgasms you didn’t[…]

Spells, Charms, Erotic Dolls: Love Magic in the Ancient Mediterranean

Erotic spells were a popular form of magic in ancient Greece and Rome. Ancient spells were often violent, brutal and without any sense of caution or remorse. It was a well-kept secret among historians during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the practice of magic was widespread in the ancient Mediterranean. Historians wanted[…]

The Story of the Condom, from Early Civilizations to Today

How a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally today. By Dr. Fahd Khan, Dr. Saheel Mukhtar, Dr. Ian K. Dickinson, and Dr. Seshadri SriprasadDepartment of UrologyDarent Valley Hospital Abstract Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history,[…]

Neanderthal Bones: Signs of Their Sex Lives

Lately, much news from the field of paleoarchaeology and anthropology has centered on Neanderthal bedfellows. By Dr. Anna GoldfieldArchaeologist In a cave tucked into the limestone hills of the Asturias region of Spain, there lie the remains of a group of 13 Neanderthals that date to between 50,600 and 47,300 years ago. The site is[…]

Sex Education with Andreas Vesalius in the Early Modern World

Looking beyond an initial impression to dissect what is happening beyond the surface in particular historical contexts. On the first day of my class, ‘Witches, Workers, & Wives,’ I showed students an image from Book 5 of Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (On the fabric of the human body in seven books).At first glance, my students[…]

From Reproducers to ‘Flutters’ to ‘Sluts’: A History of Attitudes to Women’s Pleasure in Australia

Historically, pleasure was not the only, or even the main, expectation from sex for women in a patriarchal society. In our contemporary world, the idea that sex is pleasurable is rarely questioned: pleasure is a key way of understanding what sex is and what it means. Yet this was not always so. Historically, pleasure was[…]

Sex and the Sisterhood: How Prostitution Worked for Women in 19th-Century Melbourne

Rubbish excavated from brothels sheds light on sex workers’ lives in the 19th century. Despite the dangers, prostitution offered an independent living free of male control. Sex work was one of the major ways poor women could earn a reasonable income in the 19th century. Especially unmarried women with babies. But we don’t hear people[…]

The History and Psychology of Human Sexuality

As important as sexuality is to being human, it is often viewed as a taboo topic for personal or scientific inquiry. By Dr. Don Lucas and Dr. Jennifer FoxLucas: Professor of PsychologyFox: Assistant Professor of PsychologyNorthwest Vista College Abstract Sexuality is one of the fundamental drives behind everyone’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It defines the[…]