Monday, January 5, 2009

The History of the Dildo

My Dearest Readers,
Some time ago, before my days of publication, I wrote Mistress of Pleasure (then known as An Improper Education) and entered it into a few unpubbed contests. I found that although many were enthusiastic about my story, what with talk of sex, humor and all, there were a few skeptics who simply did not believe that a dildo existed in 1830. Excuse me while I laugh (hahahaha). I am here to give those certain few a most needed and proper education on DILDOS. What you see above is the oldest dildo to have ever been found by the scientific community. (Can you imagine discovering such a thing in a cave? What would your fellow scientific colleagues dub you as? Brilliant doesn't come to mind...) This particular dildo is 28,000 years old and was found in a cave by German scientists near Ulm. It is made of siltstone, measures 20 cm long and was lovingly polished to perfection. It is believed to have been used for rituals and mutual dildofication (indeed, I just made that word up). So yes, dildos have been around as long as men have had their cocks hanging from their nether region. Which is a very, very long time. And the fascination for dildos has not since waned.

The term dildo comes from the Latin word DILATARE, which means to "open wide." The very first appearance of the word dildo in the English dictionary is said to have appeared in 1598. So what on earth did they call it prior to the invention of the English word? That is indeed a mystery for the use of it predates the word itself.


Above, you see a Roman version of what would have been paraded on special occasions. The Romans, mind you, were overly obsessed with the cock. They displayed it on their door bells (certainly gives the whole term "pulling the cock" a new meaning), used it for rituals, paraded it throughout the streets, and so on and so forth. Although the dildos used by the Romans were made out of polished stone or wood. Ouch and ouch. And although it was used for pleasure, it was more associated with the deflowering of virgins. The reality was that women were more or less forced to worship the thing, whether they wanted to or not. Ceremonies were conducted around the dildo. In Rome, brides were not deflowered by their husbands, rather a statue with a huge cock (Priapus). And this was done in public for all to see. March 17th marked the feast of when a six foot high wooden dildo would be drawn through the streets to celebrate the fertility god Liber. They would chant to it (I would have loved to have been there...) and a virgin would "crown it" with a wreath.

In the book SEXY ORIGINS AND INTIMATE THINGS by Charles Panati (I highly recommend this book) he says, "In a Greek play from the third century B.C., one woman complains to another that she's tired of her friends' borrowing her beautiful new "scarlet leather-covered dildo" before she's had a chance to pleasure herself with it." To this I say, why the bloody hell were you borrowing it in the first place and how did they know about it? Ehm.

India, known for the Kama Sutra wasn't by any means immune. Were there were men, there were dildos. And were there were women, there were dildos being used for both pleasure and ritual purposes. As you can see by the sketch above, all sorts of contraptions were used and attached to make insertion of the dildo easier and I'm certain more fun. Arabic and Polynesian women used dildos, as well. But they didn't use stone or wood. They turned to a different and more natural form of nature found in one's garden. An unripened, firm banana. What they did with the banana once its use was seen to isn't something that has been recorded.

In Uganda, up until the 19th century, the deflowering of virgins through artificial means was critical. Hymen blood was viewed as being "evil" and so before a husband would bed his wife, he would pay a "priest-like figure" to do it. One who could endure the evils of the hymen. It was up to this priest to decide whether he should use the dildo or his own cock on the bride. I'm certain there wasn't anything pious about his "choices." The dildo was also used throughout Europe to cure what was known as "hysteria" among women. Meaning "hysterical" women not being properly orgasmed and as a result of it were understandably frustrated. The doctor would use a dildo to masturbate his patient and "relieve" the hysteria or send off the patient with a dildo with strict instruction to use it on a regular basis. Doctors.

Needless to say, I could go on. But fortunately for you, I won't. The whole point of this post was to say yes, dildos have been around for a very, very, VERY long time and that yes, they have been used for everything from pleasure to ceremony to God knows what else. Happy New Year and go find yourself a dildo!
Cheers and much love,
Delilah Marvelle

13 comments:

Antoinette said...

I have been reading your posts for about four months now , and i have to say thati find them very interesting and worth knowing about. I'm a big believe in knowing your history , I think for you to go forward in life you must at one point look back .whether it be about the fall of the Berlin wall or the first Dildo lol.

Thank you Delilah for doing what you do :)

Always a reader and a writer ,
Antoinette

Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Antoinette (I absolutely ADORE your name!),
I am so thrilled to hear my posts are being read by someone, LOL. And I am *so* with you on the whole history comment. We cannot move forward without knowing what is attached to our back. Thank YOU for posting!!!

Eliza Knight said...

Wonderful post Delilah!!! I find myself very improperly educated, lol

I had heard of the doctors masturbating their patients to ward of hysteria, but had no idea dildos had been around that long! Wow!

Nicola O. said...

You don't run across dildo scenes in genre romance very often, much less historicals in which the actual *word* "dildo" is used!

The only other one I can think of at the moment is a Bertrice Small harem story where, IIRC, the heroine was exhorted to "use the ivory!" under threat of having the soles of her feet beaten (it was a long time ago, but I was a tender young thing and it made QUITE an impression, LOL).

joanieponytail said...

My high school psychology teacher told us that back in days of yore, hysteria was believed to be caused by the uterus (hyster) moving out of position. Back then ('70's) he did not explain how the doctor anchored it back into place.
"Doctor's orders, honey." lol

Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Joanieponytail,
Loved your post!!! Yeah, whenever women fell into "hysterics" it was blamed on something "vaginal" being out of place, lol. Boy oh boy (or should I say, girl or girl, lol) have we come a long way...
Thanks for the post!
Much love,
Delilah

Lynne Sears Williams said...

Love your site, enjoyed the lesson on why women loved their doctors, so as to be relieved of hysteria. Absolutely true; great research. The *evolution* of the dildo was news to me but I'm grateful to have all the facts. Very much -- oh! oh! ohhhhh! -- gasp! happy to hear about it! Thanks for the posts, I will return. In just a little - gasp!- while!

Rebecca Byfield said...

They may have been designed by men but they've been enjoyed by women for a very long time.

Marius said...

A dildo on prescription? That's nothing. In Denmark disabled people can get a "sex worker" on prescription!

Rach said...

If only there were a school taught by romance novelists. Now THAT would be an education!! In fact, think of the convention possibilities! Hmmm ...

Fun aside, this really is interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Jovon Tucker said...

I'm speechless after reading this. I am going to do some more research myself. Wood? Splinters! LOL. Thanks for the post....I can see why it's the most popular!

Jovon Tucker
Book2Buzz

Ryan Boyles said...

Dear Delilah, I can’t believe the Romans used to praise and pray around a dildo, and knowing that they even offer ceremonies makes me think that ancient Romans are crazy.

-Ryan| sex toys Philippines

jowdjbrown said...

They would chant to it (I would have loved to have been there...) and a virgin would "crown it" with a wreath.dongs Malaysia