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History Behind Dildos

A dildo is defined as a sex toy, usually phallic in appearance and made of solid materials, designed for sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth. More often than not, a dildo assumes the shape and size of a typical human penis, but some can be shorter, longer, or thicker than average, or may even be of a different phallic shape entirely; there are also dildos made for specific types of penetration, such as vaginal or anal. They are often used as tools for masturbation or sexual pleasure, and can be enjoyed by oneself or with partners. People of all genders and orientations use dildos for a variety of purposes.


In the days of antiquity, a sufficiently firm enough material, such as polished wood or ivory, could allow any roughly phallic object to be used as a dildo. Additionally, certain foods like zucchinis and bananas have served, and are occasionally still called upon, to act as a dildo in place of an actual sex toy while also marking such uses as a kind of food play; there are written records of bread sticks being prepared for use as dildos during the Greco-Roman periods, as well as accounts within the Babylonian Talmud suggesting they were used for medicinal purposes.

Modern dildos are now required to be made using body-safe materials, such as platinum-treated silicone, although others such as acrylic or glass have been used. Some are given textured surfaces to enhance specific areas of pleasure.


It is mostly commonplace for dildos to be fashioned in the shape of a human penis, although there are many dildos in production that take on the appearance of an animal phallus, instead; more common still are the various sex toys that are smooth and lacking of any distinctive features beyond a simple phallic shape for ease of penetration.

Not all dildos are made to emulate the male shape, however, and some are created in a wide plethora of fanciful and exotic forms. In Japan, many dildos are depicted as cartoon characters or animals so that they may be sold as conventional toys to bypass their strict obscenity laws. Some dildos are given macrophallic proportions, such as toys that are over twelve inches long.


Nearly every dildo is made with the intention of vaginal, oral, or anal penetration and stimulation, for use as a masturbatory aid by oneself or with a sexual partner. They also have value as fetish objects and can be used in other ways, often during foreplay or as a gesture of dominance and submission. If the dildo is of an appropriate size, they can be used as gags or to simulate fellatio.

Dildos that are designed for anal insertion that remain in place afterward are usually referred to as a butt plug, and are classified differently than toys that are made for repeated penetration. In both cases, toys designed for anal play are usually constructed with a large base to avoid accidental complete insertion into the rectum, which may require medical intervention to remove.

Some dildos are also double-ended, with certain kinds being made with shafts of different sizes for simultaneous vaginal and anal penetration, and others designed for two partners to share at once.

Certain kinds of dildos are specifically designed to be worn with a harness, in which case they are called a strap-on dildo, or it can be worn inside the vagina, where it is called a strapless dildo. Sometimes they may be accompanied by vibrating devices. Some of these types of dildos may be double-ended and are meant to be worn by users wanting to experience penetration while also penetrating a partner themselves. They may also be used for anally penetrating men; in the event a female uses a strap-on dildo to penetrate a male, the act is known as pegging.

Other kinds of dildos include those designed to be fitted to the face of one participant, inflatable dildos, and dildos with suction cups at the base. There are also different types of harness mounts for dildos, including those for the thighs, face, or for attaching a dildo against a piece of furniture.

One light purple silicone dildo and one dark silicone dildo from Tantus


The exact etymology of the term “dildo” was long considered unclear, but the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary concluded in 2018 that the word originates from nonsense syllables common in early-modern popular ballads, which eventually came to be used as a coy euphemism for the object itself. The phrase “Dil Doul”, which refers to a man’s penis, appears in the 17th-century folk ballad “The Maids Complaint for want of a Dil Doul”. One of the first mentions of the word in English came about in Thomas Nashe’s poem, The Choise of Valentines (circa 1593), where a dildo made of glass is also described.

Other theories that circulated include that the word dildo actually referred to the phallus-shaped pegs that are used to lock an oar in position on a small boat; it would be inserted into a hole on the side of the boat, and appears very much like the modern toys in question. This sailing implement also lends its name to the town of Dildo and the nearby Dildo Island in Newfoundland, Canada. Another theory speculates that the word is a corruption of the Italian diletto, meaning “delight”.

In one form or another, dildos have been a fixture of human history and culture. Artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic period have been hypothesized as having a sexual function or purpose, although few archaeologists consider these items to be sex toys in spite of the most obvious and straightforward interpretations.

The first dildos were fashioned from stone, tar, wood, bones, ivory, limestone, teeth, and other materials that were firm enough to be shaped into phallic objects and used for penetration. Prehistoric double-headed dildos have been found which date anywhere from between 13 to 19,000 years old, and a 20-centimeter siltstone phallus from the Upper Paleolithic period 30,000 years ago, found near Ulm, Germany, may have had use in sexual functions.

Paintings from Ancient Egypt dating to around 3000 BCE feature dildos being used for a variety of purposes. In the Middle Ages, a plant called the “Cantonese groin” was soaked in hot water to enlarge and harden it for use as a dildo. In Italy during the 15th century, dildos were made of leather, wood, or stone. Chinese women during this same period would use dildos made of lacquered wood and have textured surfaces applied, and were sometimes buried with toys. They also feature prominently in 17th and 18th century Japanese shunga, or erotic novels, where women are depicted buying dildos made of water buffalo horns with great enthusiasm.

Dildos have been used for purposes beyond the achievement of sexual pleasure. Examples from the Eurasia Ice Age and the Roman era are theorized to have been used for rituals of defloration, or the sacrifice of virginity, and there are accounts of people in Pakistan around 4000 BCE having used dildos to worship the god Shiva.

Dildos can be seen in some examples of ancient Greek vase art, with some pieces showing their use in group sex or solitary female masturbation. One such vessel depicts a scene where a woman bends over to perform oral sex on a man, while another man is about to thrust a dildo into her anus. They are also mentioned numerous times in Aristophanes’ comedy, Lysistrata. Greek dildos were often created out of leather and stuffed with wool to offer varying degrees of thickness and firmness, lubricated with olive oil, and were used for both non-sexual and sexual practices; the Greeks were also among the first groups of people to use the term “toy” in reference to a dildo.

In the early 1590s, the English playwright Thomas Nashe wrote a poem titled The Choise of Valentines, or The Merrie Ballad of Nashe his Dildo; on account of its latent obscenity, the poem hardly went into print, but it circulated nevertheless and made Nashe a figure of notoriety. It describes a man named Tomalin’s visit to a brothel in search of his sweetheart, Francis, who has become a prostitute, as the only way he can see her is to hire her, however she resorts to using a glass dildo when he finds himself unable to perform to her satisfaction. The toys are also mentioned humorously as part of Act IV of Shakespeare’s play, The Winter’s Tale, as well as Ben Johnson’s play The Alchemist (1610), and are typically mentioned as the first use of the word “dildo” in printed works, as Nashe’s The Choise of Valentines did not go published until 1899.

A 20th century example can be found in the William S. Burroughs novel The Naked Lunch (1959) named “Steely Dan III From Yokohama”, a name that the American rock band Steely Dan would directly take from as inspiration for their own.


Dildos have remained, and continue to be, an ostensible component of the human sexual experience, and the latest advancements in technology have opened the way to an endless amount of creativity and originality in and out of the bedroom, or wherever you prefer to do it. They are an important device for sexual expression and can always be relied upon to offer you pleasure where it counts, when it counts.

The both of us at Elevate Your Kinky strive to offer you only the best quality dildos through the most distinguished vendors and distributors. Through this philosophy, we highly recommend to everyone, from amateurs to porn stars alike, the colorful and varied collection of Mr. Hankey’s Sex Toys. Whether you’re searching for something realistic or a little on the spectacular side, they’re sure to have a dildo that matches your kink inch for inch!

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