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The Technology Of Orgasm

The Technology Of Orgasm

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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 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.

  • 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.
  • Publisher: ‎ Johns Hopkins University Press; Revised ed. edition (June 15, 2001)
  • Paperback: ‎ 208 pages
  • Dimensions: ‎ 5.5 x 0.47 x 8.5 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎ 8.8 ounces

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