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-----Original Message----- From: Lesley Hall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: 21 August 2011 02:40 To: History of Sexuality Subject: Re: FW: "Hysteria" and EWL promo ---- >By the time I left high school in the US in the late 1950s, it was pretty much recognized >by both males and females that the "relief devices" seen in magazine ads then were in fact >some kind of sex tool, although full understanding (and appreciation) varied. I wonder if this was very much a phenomenon of the 50s and later (I remember first encountering these cylindrical devices in the windows of shops in the Times Square area of New York, c. 1970 - they were at that time well under the radar in the UK, to the best of my knowledge, though I think the first Ann Summers sex shop geared towards women customers opened c. 1971). I did check Kinsey's chapter on women and masturbation in the Human Female volume, ages ago, and he apparently found the use of any kind of mechanical device statistically insignificant, and if there were any instances they are well-concealed within the 'other methods' right at the bottom of his tabulation of the various auto-erotic techniques women employed. I would also suggest that the UK and USA have been divided not merely by a common tongue, but by differing medical cultures, and different development of the availability and dissemination of consumer electricals (we can note from novels and memoirs that UK visitors to the USA were often astonished by the prevalence of refrigerators, etc). One can't read across both to produce some unified theory of practices in Anglo-Saxon cultures of the C19th and C20th. Lesley Hall email@example.com www.lesleyahall.net lesleyahall.blogspot.com