The Technology of Orgasm: ''Hysteria,'' the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction

The Technology of Orgasm: ''Hysteria,'' the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction

5.0 2
by Rachel P. Maines
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801866464

ISBN-13: 9780801866463

Pub. Date: 03/28/2001

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

From the time of Hippocrates until the 1920s, massaging female patients to orgasm was a staple of medical practice among Western physicians in the treatment of "hysteria," an ailment once considered both common and chronic in women. Doctors loathed this time-consuming procedure and for centuries relied on midwives. Later, they substituted the efficiency of

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Overview

From the time of Hippocrates until the 1920s, massaging female patients to orgasm was a staple of medical practice among Western physicians in the treatment of "hysteria," an ailment once considered both common and chronic in women. Doctors loathed this time-consuming procedure and for centuries relied on midwives. Later, they substituted the efficiency of mechanical devices, including the electric vibrator, invented in the 1880s. In The Technology of Orgasm, Rachel Maines offers readers a stimulating, surprising, and often humorous account of hysteria and its treatment throughout the ages, focusing on the development, use, and fall into disrepute of the vibrator as a legitimate medical device.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801866463
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Series:
Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology, #24
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
771,643
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Contents:



Preface

Acknowledgments



Chapter 1 THE JOB NOBODY WANTED

The Androcentric Model of Sexuality

Hysteria as a Disease Paradigm

The Evolution of the Technology

Chapter 2 FEMALE SEXUALITY AS HYSTERICAL PATHOLOGY

Hysteria in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Hysteria in Renaissance Medicine

The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

The Freudian Revolution and Its Aftermath

Chapter 3 "MY GOD, WHAT DOES SHE WANT?"

Physicians and the Female Orgasm

Masturbation

"Frigidity" and Anorgasmia

Female Orgasm in the Post-Freudian World

What Ought to Be, and What We'd Like to Believe

Chapter 4 "INVITING THE JUICES DOWNWARD"

Hydropathy and Hydrotherapy

Electrotherapeutics

Mechanical Massagers and Vibrators

Instrumental Prestige in the Vibratory Operating Room

Consumer Purchase of Vibrators after 1900

Chapter 5 REVISING THE ANDROCENTRIC MODEL

Orgasmic Treatment in the Practice of Western Medicine

The Androcentric Model in Heterosexual Relationships

The Vibrator as Technology and Totem



Notes

Notes on Sources

Index

Johns Hopkins University Press

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The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
When Sexual Dissatisfaction was a Disease I had no idea that the vibrator came out of such a history! In this exhaustively researched, superbly organized, and succinct volume, you too can learn about how this tool came to be, and so much more. For centuries, the treatment for hysteria by physicians subscribed to the idea that "she just needs to get laid..." which isn't entirely wrong, but they went about prescribing a totally androcentric solution. It sheds light on how the attitudes towards women's bodies became attitudes towards women as a group, and how those are then institutionalized in medicine. This book is really good, and sure to be enjoyed by fellow feminists, sex nerds, and historians. If your interest is particularly in the history of medicine, you have to go read Sander Gilman. I have noticed that several of his books are getting reprinted, which means you can continue exploration with Sexuality: An Illustrated History, Face of Madness: Hugh W. Diamond and the Origin of Psychiatric Photography, or Seeing the Insane.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago