From weird to wild: A brief history of sex toys

Did you know that sex toys date back over 28,000 years? Ancient phalluses were made from stone, bronze, camel dung, and bread… Yes you heard me bread! While it may be strange to think of your ancestors using sex toys, there is a very high chance that they certainly did.

From the bizarre, strange and straight-up inventive toys — Here’s short history of sex toys through the ages. Some may leave you scratching your head, but hey they got the job done right? And to us… that’s all that really matters!

World’s oldest dildo

Michael Latz via Getty Images

German archaeologists were tickled pink when they discovered what is known as the world’s oldest dildo in a cave in Baden-Wuertemberg in southern Germany in 2005 . The ancient stone phallus cocks… I mean clocks in at around 28,000 years old and it is presumably identified as one of the earliest sex toys on Earth! Archaeologists worked to rebuild the phallus from 14 stone fragments with the ancient toy measuring around 20 centimeters (eight inches) long and three centimeters wide. While many of these dildo appearing objects may have been used ceremonially, or for religious purposes, it’s pretty safe to assume that they were also used in a sexual context. 

Ancient China

Bronze phallus, from Tomb 1, Dayun Mountain, Xuyi, Jiangsu. Western Han period (206 BCE-9 CE), 2nd century BCE. Nanjing Museum.

Some research suggests that the Ancient Chinese were certainly kinky folx — known to be inserting phallus-like objects into both the living, and the dead. 

The 2,000 year old tombs of China’s Han Dynasty contained an ancient sex toy collection including bronze and jade dildos. Jade was thought to ward off evil spirits, these phallic-like objects were used to plug orpheuses of the body, so that the ‘chi’ could be preserved for the deceased in the afterlife. 

For the living in Ancient China, there were custom-made dildos and other inventive toys made to stimulate pleasure. 

Ancient Greece

The Greek’s sexual practices bring a whole new meaning to ‘let’s get this bread’. One of their recorded sexual practices involves the practice of olisbokollix, or simply using a loaf of bread as a dildo. The images of breadsticks used as dildos have circulated and been around for some time, although it is not clear whether or not they were used for religious purposes or for pleasure.

1930s and 1940s

Courtesy of the Antique Vibrator Museum

The Andis Vibrator was popular throughout the 1930s and was advertised for men and women. The toy was advertised as a beauty tool to promote circulation in the body, face, and scalp. After further inspection, with the many add-ons that accompanied the device, it is thought that women’s faces were not the only body part being stimulated with this device. 

Courtesy of the Antique Vibrator Museum

This Hollywood Vibra-Tone, courtesy of the Antique Vibrator Museum, was also known as a “spot reducer” in the 1940s, because the manufacturers claim that by applying vibrations to “problem areas” it could help you lose weight. This model would become the basis of the famous ‘Magic Wand’. 


In the 1970s it was said that ‘masturbation is liberation’, it was around this time that people began to speak more positively about masturbation. In the late 60s and throughout the 70s, artist and sexual educator, Betty Dobson, began teaching women-only masturbation workshops. Dobson suggested that masturbation was one way that women could take back their own autonomy and work towards liberation. 

This is the time period when vibrator became publicly known as ‘sex-aids’. Up until then, they were marketed as ‘personal massagers’ to avoid laws like Texas’ Obscene Device Law that prohibited the use of sex aids. 

Dobson personally suggested the Hitachi Magic Wand to the women who joined her groups. The Hitachi Magic Wand became one of the most popular and recognized sex toys of all time. 

1980s to present

Image courtesy of Enby

This clitoral sucker, the Baci by Lora DiCarlo sold by Enby, delivers two types of clitoral stimulation simultaneously. The device uses microrobotics to create the sensation of lips and tongue stroking and sucking, and makes it a toy with the latest cutting edge technology.

There is no doubt that the sex toy industry has exploded since the times of 28,000-year-old stone phalluses. From anal beads to clitoral sucking devices, technology has certainly improved the lives of many people allowing them to explore and enhance their own sexual pleasure. 

Well.. was that ever wild! After all that talk of toys are you thinking of maybe adding one to your collections? Or trying one for the first time? You should join us for Sex Toy Trivia! Tune into this 70s themed game show event and play two rounds of online trivia, and other mini-games and opportunities to WIN Sex Toys! We hope to see you there on February 11 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Peace, love, and happiness Folx!

*Please fill out this Google Form to RSVP and you will receive the event link through your Mtroyal email account. Only Mtroyal addresses will work with the Google Meet link. Have questions? Reach out to Sarah!