Monday, October 1, 2012

Hysteria and the vibrator




My dearest Reader,
In celebration of the recent release of the movie HYSTERIA on DVD, I thought it'd be fun to give you sneak peek behind the history of the movie.  Watch this outrageously funny little clip and then we'll chat about the history of the vibrator.  And even better, I am offering YOU a chance to win the DVD Hysteria.  How?  Read on.



Since the 1700's, doctors all across Europe were frantically treating a female condition known as "hysteria."  It was a diagnosis created by medical men that covered all sort of outrageous symptoms from asthma, muscle spasms, headaches, depression, faintness, loss of appetite and my favorite, "a tendency to cause trouble."  What was the cause of "Hysteria" in women?  Not having been properly pleasured, of course!  Meaning...lack of orgasm. 

Among the most tedious manners of treating this condition in women was for the doctor to "manually" go in and finger the clitoris to induce what was known as "hysterical paroxysm."  That's right. Male doctors were fingering their patients into climax in the name of medical science.  Whilst we women of the modern age snicker at the thought of these dirty old male doctors fingering us in the name of a medical condition "they" created, here's the scary part.  They actually thought it was a real condition and therefore treated it as such.  There is no documentation of any of these women taking doctors to court for "inappropriate" fingering, or any other documented complaints.  The people of the time also didn't perceive at it as a sexual procedure, which tells you, the women were probably rather pleased to be getting off at all given many men back in the day didn't have the slightest idea as to where the clitoris was even located.  It required a doctor.  Though I do wonder how many 'fake' doctors opened up offices all around London.  *_*    

The truth is, many of the doctors saw it as a tedious chore.  They had to finger women all morning and all afternoon, day after day.  Which created sore wrists and sore fingers.  (I kid you not.  Kind of like carpal tunnel).  Though dildos were prescribed to patients, and were used on said patients since the 1700's, it still required a lot of work.  Pleasuring women day in and day out in their offices was incredibly exhausting.  So...when late-Victorian technology offered mechanical solutions, you had better believe doctors jumped at it (making women even all the more happier, I'm sure). 

One of the first vibrators was a "steam-powered device" called the "Manipulator."  And of all things it was created by an American physician named George Taylor.  It was hard to handle and created other wrist issues for doctors, lending doctors to look into creating something more efficient.
Step in Doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville (whom the movie Hysteria is based off) in the 1880's.  Dr. Granville created what was known as the first "electromechanical vibrator".  Before you knew it,
his device and many other large massagers became the fashion in many medical offices, that provided quicker and assured "paroxysms" to the large quantity of women walking through their doors day in and day out.   Eventually, more compact vibrators were created and sold directly to the public.  In the early 1900's, countless ads started appearing in female catalogs.

And there you have it.  Because men were shitty in bed, women had to go to their doctors.  Heh.
SO....for a chance to win a copy of the DVD Hysteria, answer the following question:  If you were living in 1880, would YOU go to your doctor for treatment?  Why?  Or why not?  The more creative the answer, the better your chances of winning.  Winners will be announced by Oct.28th and posted here on the blog.  US entries only.

Until next time,
Cheers and much love,
Delilah Marvelle






17 comments:

Phyllis Lamken said...

Hopefully, even in 1880, I would have been married to an earthy guy who could give me pleasure. Remember there was Victoria Woodhull who argued for a woman's right to pleasure.

Gina Fluharty said...

I'd have to have multiple doctors. Standing appointments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2PM so I could go home and have a fabulous nap before getting up and writing into the night.

Estela NW said...

My 1880s self would definitely be diagnosed with a massive case of "tendencytocausetrouble-itis".... so of course I would have had to have a doctor treat my "illness"regularly. And if the doctor looked like Hugh Dancy (who plays Doctor Joseph Mortimer Granville in the movie.... heller?!.... I don't think I would be cured anytime soon ;o)

ellaquinnauthor said...

LOL. If hadn't married a man like my husband, or one of my heroes who always know how to sate a lady, I'd come down with a malidy so difficult to diagnose that it would take regular visits to several doctors and unending treatments. The bills, of course, would be directed to my lazy, only interested in his pleasure husband.

Tammy J. Palmer said...

When I was pregnant with my daughter I went to a very attractive gynecologist. When it was time to deliver he arrived late. I guess five in the morning was too early for him--he wanted to shower first. Fortunately, the nurses did an excellent job helping my baby into the world. I'm thinking he might have been of more use in the treatment of hysteria.

Lexi H said...

Ha! This had me laughing out loud, the things you find... *shaking head*. Love it. Thanks for sharing =)

( no need to enter me for the drawing, I honestly can't tell you what this movie is about or anything...I am so out of the loop)

The Cardboard Crafter said...

My 1880's self would MARRY the DOCTOR so that I could have regular treatments by a professional at any hour needed. (They knew about hand-washing in the medical profession by the 1880's, right? ;)

Lisa Hendrix said...

Fascinating stuff.

Did you know Megan Chance wrote a terrific book about a woman whose husband takes her to a doctor for such treatment because she's "restless."

It's called An Inconvenient Wife and it's still available from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inconvenient-wife-megan-chance/1100297274 (among others)

krazymama_98 said...

I would most assuredly go to the doctor. My husband says I have "a tendency to cause trouble."
Now, in the movie, the poor doctor had to use all manner of methods to find relief for his poor arm, wrist and hand. My husband would be looking for just that. haha
Husband & I enjoyed the movie very much. We both wondered at the reactions of the doctors.
Why is it different now? That men get excited fingering a woman. When she is getting off. They get excited too. So why didnt the doctors. I wonder at that. haha. Anyway, we really liked the movie. Drove an hour to see it. And it was worth it.
lisakhutson (at ) cox.

krazymama_98 said...

Always love Bit o Muslin....but this one was a lot of fun, Thanks Delilah!

Jeanne M said...

Hi Delilah -

Being a woman of "more mature years" (okay I'm ancient) I no longer worry about orgasms I'm more concerned about just waking up in the morning!

Fortunately in my past more youth years I never lacked of having an orgasm (okay dear I'll let dear Delilah know it was only because you were so wonderful (and considerate)!

Did you know the "younguns" of today can actually go to "Search" and find wonderful sites like "The Ultimate Female Master Orgasm", "How to Make a Girl Orgasm" and "Mind Blowing Orgasms". (Here my husband laughing in the backgorund and mumbling something idiot young people).

Actually the best way at my age (and my husbands) is today all I have to do is read one of your books! I do so love your "heros"!

Rach said...

If I were alive in 1880 (a fantasy in its own right) and there was a doctor that looked like Hugh Dancy, you'd better believe I'd be hysterical. I'd never eat an apple again.

And Holy Rabbit, how did I miss hearing about this movie till now?! Guess I need to come up for air more often. ;)

Ariana said...

If I lived in the 1800's and I indulged the fantasy of being a more independent woman of the day, I would hope that I could see this for the business opportunity for what it is. You mentioned the question of just how many "fake" doctors must have specialized in this area. I would get a whole load of them. Just go out and find some attractive men of lower station and tell them they can have a job in the medical field in a doctor's office that specializes in women's health. Those who are used to performing manual labor all day meet women that are in dire need of some manual labor.

And viola! An all male brothel for the ladies disguised as a doctor's office.

But to answer your question, yes. If I had married a clueless man that refused to satisfy me I would frequent the doctor. Hopefully though, in this fantasy version of the 1800's where I can open up my own all-male brothel I can also marry a man who is open minded enough to learn how to do some operating in our own bedroom.

Delilah Marvelle said...

Hello, hello my fellow Hysteria ladies :) It's time to announce the winner of that DVD. I couldn't decide which answer was best (as they were all fabulous and heeeelarious!) so I put names in a hat and picked. And the winner is...Ariana! Congrats!!! Will you please email me at Delilah@DelilahMarvelle.com -- thank you everyone who entered and if you haven't seen the movie yet...do it. You won't regret it :)

Dani Layne said...

I know the contest is over I just have to add my thoughts.

Seeing as men did not know much about the female body I would say my illness was 'Chronic Sardanapalian Cramps'. Theses kind of cramps have a tendency to happen in the nether regions and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour, and occasionally longer.

The doctor would have to treat me wherever and whenever I start to have the slightest spasm... thighs, mons pubis, labia majora (and minora), and the little clitorius just manages to cramp up continuously :), but lets not forget the vaninal opening and its canal … I could have a lot of fun with this. ;)

One last thought

I think that sometimes the finger muscles would not be strong (big) enough to help relieve my symptoms ;)

Cutie B said...

Delilah!! Yet again you entertain us with your zany history facts and I LOVE it!! You totally rock!

Ryan Boyles said...

If I lived during the 80’s I would still go to a doctor for my regular checkups.

-Ryan| sex toys Philippines