Excuse me while I totally geek out for a minute ...
OK, so do you know the expression "I read this in Modern Jackass Magazine?" It's what you say as a disclaimer when you're saying something that you're pretty sure is true, but there's a possibility that at least part of it is completely misguided. So with that disclaimer, I'm saying the following -- just because I was thinking it when I read this post earlier today anyway.
I think that the use of sex toys to combat hysteria in women, at least in the 19th-C & early 20th-C versions (which is the historical wave that Freud came in on) was about making women have orgasms, because hysteria was related more to women unconsciously not accepting their place in society. So like a woman would be required to be a housewife and mother, take orders from her husband, etc. (and were still in many ways literally, legally their husband's property), and they'd behave all properly on the outside but then meanwhile get these crazy physical ticks, like "hysterical blindness" or paralysis or losing control of a limb. So one thing they'd do is try to reconnect women with their "femininity" in ways that fell into 2 categories. One, they'd basically make them go into enforced bed rest (if you've read Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall Paper," it's all about a woman who goes crazy because they try to treat her postpartum depression by basically locking her in a room and not allowing her to do anything.) They literally thought that not enough blood was going to the women's uteruses. The other was that they'd draw them out sexually, like hysteria and frigidity were connected, but the idea was that they could get women in touch with their desire to please their man, be a good mom, etc. by kind of introducing orgasm into their lives, and that would solve the hysteria problem because women would be happier with their roles.
I love the fact that we basically don't have hysteria anymore. The closest thing in gender terms is probably eating disorders and the body dysmorphia that can come with it, which can be related to women's sense of their societal roles, pressure to be successful, beautiful, and sexual. And there are other conditions with similar symptoms, like the other kind of body dysmorphia where you feel like your hand doesn't belong to you and similar stuff. But what was so clearly to those older folks a specific condition, hysteria, just doesn't exist any more. Was it a bullshit disease to begin with, or did people stop getting it because society changed? I think it's a little of both.
Anyway, reading about the "wandering uterus" problem in the first post made me think about all the different ways that "uteruses" can "wander" and how many of those a dildo is useful for. I love how what looks to us (or at least to me) to be a really simple equation: lonely wife + dildo = wife won't cheat on husband (and a wandering uterus is one that maybe get impregnated by someone else) is instead kind of medicalized and overcomplicated in the Greek version: wife with no sperm in uterus + dildo = nonwandering uterus because the elements have been balanced and so the uterus won't go floating off into a sea of elemental imbalance. And then the 19th/early-20th century version is like "her uterus is wandering! Jim, can you get that orgasmatron and see if you can't just get it back on task.'