Sex is just like any other aspect of our lives. It is subject to the general advancement of knowledge, fashion and changes in our society. Because of that when you look back even only a few years it is easy to wonder what we were all thinking.
There’s a difference between primitive sex toys made in stone by Neolithic man and those crafted in the purest and crudest bright orange plastic by 1970s technicians. When you don’t have the technology to produce anything better then it’s understandable that your sex toys are a bit crude but in the 20th century! OK so not as many sex toys were sold, material sciences weren’t quite as advanced as they are now and therefore the money simply wasn’t there to develop toys until the past couple of decades but some were pretty horrid.
Between a smooth vibrator, cock shaped dildo and “Chinese Love Eggs” the choice of sex toys was not what you’d call extensive. Thank goodness we have moved on since then.
One of the legendary sex aid that I remember from my childhood is Spanish Fly. Made traditionally from the dried, crushed bodies of insects this particular sexual enhancer has a very dark side. Its active ingredient is a group of chemicals called Cantharides which are actually banned in the US because they are potentially fatal. While the chemicals are used to encourage animals to mate their primary effect on animal physiology seems primarily to be to inflame the urinary tract – feeling like I’ve got a bladder infection is not something that usually makes me want to have sex. In some cases these Cantharides can cause kidney failure and death. Nice.
It puts a whole different complexion on the sly winks and surreptitious nudges about Spanish Fly when I was growing up.
First published in 1972 “The Joy Of Sex” famously featured a hairy man and almost equally hairy woman – sorry that sounded cruel, I simply meant that shaving and waxing were not the done thing at the time. It was a book more influential than many people at the time would want you to believe enlightening couple to the possibilities of sex beyond the missionary position. In some respects it was probably a bit of a scurrilous revolution in the suburbs as very respectable middle managers suddenly became a lot less boring.
Of course if you were in to swinging in the 1970s then none of this would have come as a huge shock to you. Swinging was another one of those topics that solicited sniggers and formed the basis of a string of stand-up comedian’s jokes. Even then in the “Golden Age of Swinging” only a tiny minority of the population took part, but that’s enough for popular culture and the tabloid press to enjoy as a bit of salacious titiliation.
And after a 20 year lull where swinging seemed to drop off the radar it’s back with a vengeance. Now you can swing, go dogging, have a polyamorous relationship or any of the above, somehow it doesn’t have the mystique …