#34-18 A History of Vibrators

One of the first electrical appliances ever marketed

In 1999, historian of technology Rachel Maines published The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. By 2011, this history had spawned a documentary, a play, and a feature film. Program features a humorous but scientific talk by Maines, followed by excerpts from a press conference about Hysteria.

Host(s): Mary O’Grady and Frieda Werden
Featured Speakers/Guests: Dr. Rachel Maines; Maggie Gyllenhaal, Canadian film columnist Johanna Schneller, and Tanya Wexler, director of Hysteria.

Credits: Recording and update in 2011 by Frieda Werden; original edit and narration from 2000, Mary O’Grady.

Comments: This is re-released from the WINGS Archives.


Content Warning

This program is about vibrators, but is historical, medical and mechanical rather than titillating. No words banned on US radio are included. Note that a 2018 article claims to debunk some of Maines’s research: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/09/victorian-vibrators-orgasms-doctors/569446/