Bringing a woman to orgasm in a doctor’s office, circa 1900. So wrote Jeanette Winterson, in her London Times review of Rachel P. Maines’ astounding book, “The Technology of Orgasm: ‘Hysteria,’ the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction.” Her 1999 book won the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Prize, and got her fired from her job at Clarkson University. Such is its powerful message, received in diametrically opposite fashion by women and men.
“This fascinating and exquisitely referenced true story reads like twisted science fiction.” – Library Journal
“The vibrator was developed to perfect and automate a function that doctors had long performed for their female patients: the relief of physical, emotional, and sexual tension through external pelvic massage, culminating in orgasm.” – Natalie Angier, New York Times
“Meticulously documents what amounts to a secret history of female sexual arousal… I don’t believe it would be an exaggeration to say that Maines’ argument contributes to the great tradition of brilliant, scientifically-based debunking begun by the likes of Galileo.” – Annalee Newitz, New York Press
I started reading this book an hour ago, and had to tear myself away, it’s SO good: funny, instructive, and amazing. This one I’m taking my time with. It’s good for a man to take his time, don’t you think? From Maines’ preface:
“I have had numerous opportunities to observe the effects of my findings in audiences large and small. Groups consisting only of women simply laugh and ask questions. In mixed groups the women look uncomfortable and ask little, though they laugh just the same; they are aware that it is a major breach of etiquette to mention in mixed company the relative inefficiency of penetration as a means of producing female orgasm. The men are divided into laughter and blank stares: the former, I gather, are those for whom my research confirms that women are as sexual as they had always hoped, and the latter are those for whom it confirms that women are as sexual as they had always feared.”
Oh, a few related thoughts: the Hitachi Magic Wand is the default BEST vibrator available today. Why you know you want it: the amazon.com page that sells it states, in bold type, “Must be 18 years of age or older to buy.” What’s up with that? The women who run Good Vibrations love this baby, and that’s good enough for me. I’ve purchased this vibrator for several girlfriends over the years: it really is the gift that keeps on giving.