Finding a detailed history of sex toys has proved extremely difficult. In fact, there are many different beliefs about where adult toys originated. One thing is certain, they have been around for thousands of years.
In many parts of the Middle East, the earliest sex toys were fashioned out of dried camel dung. This was coated with a hard resin, presumably to block the order and prevent the 'dildo' from crumbling and breaking up.
The first actual documented use of a 'dildo' or sex toy originates from Ancient Greece. These toys were made out of leather; wood or stone and were sold by local merchants to single females, (or so the evidence would have us believe). These toys were called 'olisbos'.
Following those, we move to Renaissance Italy, where toys were then known as 'diletto'. This, in Italian, means delight. The Italians would use olive oil as a lubricant, but even with this, the diletto was still harsh and uncomfortable. Despite this, the dildo continued to evolve and gain popularity.
The first rubber dildos were introduced around 1850 during the Victorian times. These dildos were increasingly more pleasant and indeed comfortable for the user than their predecessors.
Also during the Victorian times, the first vibrator was introduced to the world. Unfortunately, it was not actually designed for pleasure, but to treat women with what was then known as 'hysteria'.
This term comes from the Greek word 'hystera' which, translated, means uterus. This was because physicians believed that psychiatric disorders in women were a direct result from disturbances from within the uterus. These women were not seen as sexual beings in any way and their hysteria was relieved by a physician massaging their clitoris with a phallic shaped vibrating apparatus, thus bringing them to orgasm, and releasing any pent up pressure that may be causing the hysteria.
By the early 20th century, dildos and vibrators were appearing in women's magazines and erotic movies. This, by far increased their popularity as devices to relieve anxiety and sexual tension in females.
In the 1940's, advertising for such products hit a major slump, and sales of marital aids as they were then know, began to decline. This was until the 1980's, when women were becoming much more aware of their sexuality and thanks to Jacqueline Gold and others like her around the world, it became much easier for women to get their hands on what they actually wanted.
With vibrator sales on the increase annually, and more men and women than ever before, readily admitting that they use sex toys, the vibrator has certainly come a long way, since it's beginnings a a camel dropping!