Masturbation Machines Throughout History

Masturbation has been with us throughout human history, and because of human ingenuity, sex toys have a long history as well. We have already written a bit about the history of sex toys, although the oldest were simple dildo-like objects. It might be surprising to find out that the idea of vibrating sex toys might have been around for longer than you think.


    ‘Not-Quite’ Masturbation Machines

    Current masturbation machines and vibrators need a motor and electricity to run, but there were some old-world solutions to producing sensations, without doing it manually.

    Starting long ago, during the lifetime of Cleopatra, there is an apocryphal tale that she made the first vibrator, by filling a gourd with bees and using those vibrations for pleasure. Unfortunately there appears to be no truth to the matter, but it makes for a good story!

    In the Victorian era, people thought that the newly-discovered electricity was the cure to everything, and of course it was not long before people thought of using it on delicate areas. There was a boom for ‘electropathic belts’ which had a small loop for the penis, and would pass electricity through it to ‘improve vigor’. As you might expect, it did not work and could cause sores instead. But electric machines for sexual uses would go on to great things.

    The History of Masturbation Machines

    We have another blog with an in-depth look at the history of sex toys, but in this post we will look at a brief outline of the history of vibrators.

    Back in the late 19th century, some vibrating devices were made to massage and ‘help circulation’ such as the Pulsocon, a hand-cranked device. Around the same time, a steam-powered device called The Manipulator was patented, and was not at all discreet.

    From the 1940s there were many different ‘massagers’, sold as a means of massaging muscles to relax, or the head to promote hair growth. It was not until the 1970s that the now-famous Magic Wand gained popularity (sometimes called ‘the Hitachi’ after the company that first filed the patent), with the knowledge that it could be more than a sports massager.

    What the Future May Bring

    Finally, it is time to look at what masturbation machines will look like in the future. Some of which might already be in the works.

    One of the trends that is already happening, is more gender neutral sex toys. Not only do they cater to a wider audience (as everyone can use them), but they also allow more freedom and exploration of the body.

    Smart sex toys are also being made, these could either learn your preferences to provide better stimulation, or allow couples to be intimate even if they are far from each other. These specifically are sometimes called ‘teledildonics’ using ‘tele’ meaning ‘at a distance’ and the dildo part is fairly self-explanatory.

    Of course, we cannot talk about the future of sex toys without mentioning Virtual Reality. With VR you could interact with others, or play games connected to sex toys, to feel what you are seeing. For those who might have heard of the TENGA VR suit, we hate to break it to you but it was an April Fool’s by another company.

    And finally, something you can see in sci-fi movies: sex robots. Some companies are making realistic sex dolls, and including some basic computers to make them more realistic. If AI is developed enough in the future, they could be virtually indistinguishable from humans.


    Masturbation machines have a long history, but a long time ago people were too reserved for them to be openly sexual, so they were designed for ‘vigor’ or ‘massages’, and it is only recently that a more openly sexual society has allowed the proliferation and leaps in ingenuity in technologically advanced sex toys.

    TENGA is of course also thinking of new ways to improve masturbation. From the Smart Vibe Ring (SVR) to having vibrators directly in the body of the product of the FLIP 0 EV Series. We also have optional products such as the Vacuum Controller that can control the suction of the TENGA CUPs, to the TENGA VGR (currently not available in the USA), which combines spinning sensations with vacuum suction.

    So what is next to come? Be sure to check out our brand site to see the latest releases from TENGA.

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