The vibrator family tree

Approximately 4,000 years ago the ancient Egyptians observed (and wrote down) that on a regular basis adult women would become more sensitive and cease putting up with men's crap. The early Egyptians suspected this had something to do with the corresponding cramps and therefore the womb, but were a little fuzzy on the details of what caused the situation. The ancient Greeks picked up this bit of hard-won wisdom from their Egyptian neighbours and named the condition hysteria after their term for the womb, hystera.
Birthplace of civilization and men not understanding women

According to some controversial (and probably fictional) sources, European doctors in the 19th and 20th centuries treated women suffering from hysteria by manually bringing them to orgasm. The treatment was allegedly popular and doctors eventually suffered from hand cramps.

Whether the tid-bit about doctors treating women for hysteria by bringing them to orgasm is true or not, it is true that the first mechanical personal massagers were developed by French and English doctors in the 19th century. Vibrators were used to massage patients and treat them for anything from muscle pain to constipation. In the 1960s the sexual revolution was a rising force and the concept of an electric vibrator had a growing appeal for... less medical reasons. Patents were soon filed, both for vibrators which would be a more convenient shape for sexual stimulation, and for cordless massagers which could run on batteries. The modern vibrator was born!
There was much rejoicing!

As the popularity of vibrators grew (over half of women surveyed in Canada and the United States own vibrators), companies began experimenting with different forms, sizes, and sensations. It became more common for massagers to offer multiple speeds and adjustable pulsing patterns. Some toys were meant to be used during penetration, others focused on clitoral stimulation. These days the vibrator family tree is quite diverse, so let's take a look at some of the available options.

Traditional vibrators

The first group on the list is what a lot of people typically think of when they hear the term "vibrator". These are toys which are usually meant to be used to penetrate, like a dildo, but also have the option of adding a little buzz to the experience. A traditional vibrator is a classic, capable of providing good vaginal penetration and stimulation while also providing the extra oomph of a vibrating toy. These toys are typically solid, no-frills vibrators that are especially well suited for people who want that pleasantly full feeling while enjoying their Me Time.
A classic that never goes out of style

Wands and massagers

One highly popular style of vibrator is the wand. A wand, or personal massager, is typically a high-powered device which can be run across the genitals (or sore muscles) with the aim of stimulating a whole region of the body. The wand style of vibrator was popularized by Hitachi as early as 1968 (thank you, Hitachi!) and in recent years there have been a number of evolutions in the design. Classic wands tended to have just one or two speeds - typically High and Teeth Rattling - which gave them a well deserved reputation as a powerful pleasure toy. Modern variations, like the We-Vibe Wand, tend to offer more control over the intensity and pattern of the vibrations, but they are still powerful and many people find them highly enjoyable.

A powerful classic


G-spot stimulation

G-spot stimulation toys, as the name implies, are intended to provide an extra special tingle to a lady's G-spot. These toys come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some are relatively small and look a bit like eggs with either a cord extending to a control panel or feature a remote control. Other G-spot toys are close cousins to the traditional vibrators mentioned above, though often with extra curves, ridges, or bumps to offer additional vaginal sensations.

The We-Vibe Rave - People rave over it!

Clitoral focus

Many ladies report they have trouble reaching climax without direct clitoral stimulation. Fortunately there is a whole branch of the vibrator family tree dedicated to various types of devices for making the bean button tingle. Clitoral vibrators can come in all sorts of shapes and styles. Some are smooth and long, making them easier to hold and rub back and forth over the clit. Others are shaped more like bulbs or the head of a personal massager. Still others are small and discreet, able to be disguised as a tube of lipstick. Whatever the style, these toys place all their magical focus on the clit!

My mother said I'm not allowed to tell you what this one is called

Suction toys

There is a special group of clitoral vibrators that have come along in recent years and quickly gained popularity. These are called suction toys and are better known by the popular brand names: Satisfyer and Womanizer

These toys have a little "mouth" at one end which slides over the clit. When the toy is powered on it delivers a massaging or sucking motion. Suction toys are usually adjustable to provide more or less intense sensations. To say that women generally find this type of toy pleasurable would be a massive understatement! The variety of suction toys continues to expand and there are all sorts of different handle designs and sizes to choose from.

You haven't been kissed until you have been kissed by this toy!

Dual stimulation

So far we have talked about classic, penetrative vibrators and toys which focus exciting sensations on the clitoris. But what if you want the best of both worlds? For you enterprising people there are dual stimulation toys which deliver amazing sensations both internally and across the head of the clit. Sounds amazing, right? Right!

Dual stimulation toys generally look like a classic vibrator or dildo, but with an extra little arm rising up out of the base of the device. The little arm, which often looks like a smooth thumb, a butterfly, or a rabbit, teases the clitoris while the body of the toy slides into the vagina. The combination is often mind blowing!

Just to be clear, this is a vibrator and not an alien hand

Remotely controlled toys

A popular approach for couples looking to play together is to get a remotely controlled vibrator. This family of toys, popularized by the We-Vibe collection of devices, allows one person to use or wear the vibrator while the other partner uses a remote or smartphone to control the pattern and speed of the buzzing.

The remotely controlled toys are great for connecting lovers when one is out of town or when a couple is going on a date to a noisy location. There is something sexy about sharing a secret and letting one person control another's pleasure without direct touching. Remote toys can come in all forms, though they are often small and focus on clitoral stimulation, making them easier to use (or hide) in a variety of locations.

An excellent companion for any date night

 

And everything else

While I have tried to cover the main groups of vibrators, the truth is that just about anything can be a buzzy sex toy if a small motor is attached to it. Some cock rings are equipped with small vibrators, there are vibes that are designed to sit snugly inside a pair of panties, there are butt plugs with vibrators built into them, and little finger extensions that buzz. Everything can be a vibrator with a little imagination and engineering.
Oh jeez! I mean, technically, yes, but please don't turn this into a vibrator.

 
The beauty of all this diversity in the type and shapes and styles of vibrators is there is something for everyone. The variety in adult buzzy toys reflects the variety in us, in people, in what turns us on. People come in all types and we are lucky enough these days to live in a world where there are toys to match us in all our diverse ways and turn-ons. I highly recommend shopping around and trying an array of different toy types. You never know what you might fall in love with until you try it!