Ancient Greece Documents from Ancient Greece show that dildos, called an olisbos, were sold by merchants. Fashioned from stone, leather, or in some cases wood, the olisbos became a tool bought primarily by single women ~ or so the cultural evidence would have us believe. To call into question such a conclusion is only natural, as the same general impression (that dildo ownership is the domain of single women) persists today. But we now know that dildos are enjoyed by people of both sexes, from all walks of life.
Italy We next turn to Renaissance Italy, where olisbos became diletto, from the Italian for delight. Even with a liberal amount of olive oil as lubricant (no joke!), the diletto was not as comfortable as today's models. But as evidenced by today's booming adult toy industry, the dildo continued to evolve and grow in popularity.
Victorian Era It was around the mid-nineteenth century when the world was first introduced to the rubber dildo. Rubber dildos of the day were much more comfortable and "life-like" than anything introduced previously. It was also during the Victorian Era when the world was first introduced to the vibrator, 1880s to be exact. At the time, genital stimulation was prescribed to treat a condition known as "hysteria" and patients were treated right in the doctor's office. This term is derived from the Greek hystera, meaning "uterus," and reflects the ancient and patently false notion that psychiatric disorders in women spring from disturbances in the uterus, a women's revolt against sexual deprivation. A woman's display of mental or emotional distress was a clear indication of her need for sexual release. Hysteria, for maybe an obvious reason, was the most common health complaint among women of the day. Doctors massaged women to orgasm in hopes of purging them of their hysteria. The vibrator was invented as a way to get the job done more quickly, therefore allowing the doctor time to see more patients. Also around this time, vibrators grew in popularity by being marketed as massagers, to those who wanted to be discreet. By the early twentieth century vibrators began to appear in early erotic cinema. Their popularity was stunted in the 1940s, when the advertisement of such products experienced a steady decline.
Today Vibrators are status implements for most young educated women who consider themselves wise in the ways of the world. Vibes are just a part of the urban landscape and a good boyfriend is one who sensitively buys you one for Valentine's Day. The vibrator is quite possibly the most potent symbol there is of women's sexual agency. The possession of a vibrator tells the world (or at least yourself!) that not only are you comfortable with your own female sexuality, but that you are able to give yourself sexual satisfaction that you aren't waiting for a man to decide to send you into paroxysms of ecstasy.
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So....get on your way." Dr Seuss