Since the 19th century, women have used technology as a way to experience sexual pleasure. Mechanical, hydraulics, steam, and electricity have all powered the personal massagers that appeared in the appliance section of department stores and catalogues. Changes in technology create changes in vibrator materials, power-sources and design; vibrators reflect an eras technology as well as its pop-culture. This is as true today as the past; current vibrators reflect the digital age. Although the appliances photographed are now antiques, they were once an example of that eras technology.
This project would not have been possible without the generous cooperation of the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Hand Crank
The Super Dol
The Polar Cub
The Electronic Coronet Beauty Patter
The Infra-Red Heat
The Scientific Massage Modality
The New Life
Intimate Appliances: The Beauty Patter
Intimate Appliances: The Polar Cub
Intimate Appliances: The New Life
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SPEakOp (SPE Opinion) is a series of think-pieces.