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The Technology of Orgasm

"Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction

Rachel P. Maines

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Winner of the Herbert Feis Prize from the American Historical Association

Winner of the AFGAGMAS Biennial Book Award

Winner of the Science Award from the American Foundation for Gender and Genital Medicine

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 theā€¦

Winner of the Herbert Feis Prize from the American Historical Association

Winner of the AFGAGMAS Biennial Book Award

Winner of the Science Award from the American Foundation for Gender and Genital Medicine

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.

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The Technology of Orgasm

Rachel P. Maines

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Reviews

Reviews

Thorough, original, and surprising.

Full of wonderful descriptions of the 'job nobody wanted,' including photographs of early vibrators and vaginal electrodes.

Feminist scholarship exactly as it should be: a work that not only illuminates an astonishing bit of herstory, but does so with a neat balance of anger, wit and humor... A wonderful book.

Exhaustively researched... decidedly offbeat.

Here's a provocative history with a chip on its shoulder and a buzz under its skirt... Exhumes startling facts from the underground sexual history of the early twentieth century.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
208
ISBN
9780801866463
Illustration Description
26 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. THE JOB NOBODY WANTED
Chapter 2. FEMALE SEXUALITY AS HYSTERICAL PATHOLOGY
Chapter 3. "MY GOD, WHAT DOES SHE WANT?"
Chapter 4. "INVITING THE JUICES DOWNWARD"
Chapter 5

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. THE JOB NOBODY WANTED
Chapter 2. FEMALE SEXUALITY AS HYSTERICAL PATHOLOGY
Chapter 3. "MY GOD, WHAT DOES SHE WANT?"
Chapter 4. "INVITING THE JUICES DOWNWARD"
Chapter 5. REVISING THE ANDROCENTRIC MODEL
Notes
Notes on Sources
Index

Author Bio
Rachel P. Maines
Featured Contributor

Rachel P. Maines, Ph.D.

Rachel P. Maines is a visiting scholar in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University and author of The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction, also published by Johns Hopkins.