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Vintage Vibrator Museum

Believe it or not, sex toys weren’t invented by “Sex and the City.” In fact, the first evidence of sex toys dates back 30,000 years, and there are records and depictions of sex toy use in ancient Greece and Rome. There’s nothing quite that antique in Babeland’s Vintage Vibrator Museum, but you’ll find plenty of examples from the early 1900s.

The first mechanical vibrators showed up in Britain and the U.S. during the late 19th-century, where they were used to treat hysteria (literally, “womb disease”), which was considered the most common “disorder” amongst women; It’s symptoms were mental and emotional distress, thought to be brought on by the womb’s revolt against sexual deprivation. By some estimates, as many as three-quarters of all women suffered from this “hysteria,” and, in fact, mention of the ailment can be found as early as 4 BC. No, they didn’t call them sex toys back then, nor did any of the devices even remotely resemble a bunny rabbit.

At the Vintage Vibrator Museum you can browse images of old vibrators (the museum’s founder, Rachel Venning (also the co-founder of Babeland) found her first antique vibrator at a flea market!) and read about the history of sex toys. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive curatorial effort, they say, but rather “a resource for folks curious about antique vibrators, their place in history and how they have shaped the cultural landscape around sex.” And for the design nerds out there, you might find yourself longing for some of the awesome vintage styles from back in the day when vibrators didn’t need to be cute and sparkly to get the job done. But that’s definitely the only thing we’re nostalgic about when it comes to 1900′s sex.

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