A dildo is an object usually designed for sexual penetration of the vagina, mouth, or anus, and is usually solid and phallic in shape. Penis prosthetic aids, known as "extensions", are not considered dildos. Some include penis-shaped items clearly designed for vaginal penetration, even if they are not true approximations of a penis. An anal dildo is intended for repeated anal penetration, to be distinguished from a butt plug which is flanged with the intent of remaining in place. People of all genders and sexual orientations use these devices for masturbation or other sexual activity.
Rubber dildos, usually incorporating a steel spring for stiffness, became available in the 1940s. This arrangement was unsatisfactory because of the potential for injury from cuts by the spring if the rubber cracked and came apart. Later, PVC dildos with a softer PVC filler became popular. Most of the inexpensive dildos sold in the 2000s are made this way.
Silicone rubber dildos became popular in the 1990s. Initially expensive, the cost of silicone dildos has dropped over time. Silicone is resistant to accidental damage, non-porous, and can be sterilized easily, making silicone dildos more durable and sanitary than dildos made of other soft materials. Silicone dildos conduct vibration well, and can be used in combination with a vibrator.
High-end, chrome plated steel dildos are also popular in the BDSM scene. Some users prefer them because of their hardness, firmness, durability, electrical conductance (see erotic electrostimulation), and low friction, especially when used with lubricant. Because they are heavy, they can be used to exercise vaginal PC muscles. A steel dildo may be warmed or cooled in water to elicit a range of temperature sensations. It may also retain the user's body heat. Its polished nonporous surface allows sterilization in boiling water or an autoclave.
Glass and steel dildos have similar features. In most cases, glass toys are solid, and made of Pyrex or other types of borosilicate glass (Schott-Duranglas and Simax), although their construction can vary depending on the manufacturer. Like steel, glass toys may be used to apply firmer pressure than silicone can to a person's G-spot (urethral sponge) or prostate gland. Unlike other types of toys, glass sex toys can also be personalized with inscriptions.
Cyberskin is a synthetic material that feels more like human skin. It is porous and cannot be sterilized. It often becomes sticky after washing (which can be remedied by a dusting of cornstarch) and is more delicate and more prone to rips and tears than silicone dildos. "Packing dildos", which are not designed for penetration, are often made of this material.
Phallus-shaped vegetables and fruits, such as bananas or zucchini or other food items, such as hot dogs or other types of sausages, have been used as dildos in a form of food play. Any object of sufficient firmness and shape can be used like a dildo.
Conventionally, many dildos are shaped like a human penis with varying degrees of detail, while others are made to resemble the phallus of animals. Not all, however, are fashioned to reproduce the male anatomy meticulously, and dildos come in a wide variety of shapes. They may resemble figures, or simply be practical creations which stimulate more easily than conventional designs. In Japan, many dildos are created to resemble animals or cartoon characters, such as Hello Kitty, so that they may be sold as conventional toys, thus avoiding obscenity laws. Some dildos have textured surfaces to enhance sexual pleasure, and others have macrophallic dimensions including over a dozen inches long.
One research, which used 33 dildos of various sizes found that the average length women chose (for their partner) was around 6,3 inches long and with a girth of 4,8 inches. That said, some women may prefer different sizes then the aforementioned, and the 3D printing of dildos gives the option of personalization (allowing to shape and size the dildo to the exact specific dimension that the user wants). Starting in 2012, 3D models of dildos became available for printing by individuals. The advantage of printing at home was not only personalization but also discretion. This, however, did not take off at that time, in part due to the porosity issue of the materials used (which is mainly a problem if no condom is used over the dildo). Some websites have continued to exist however. Besides printing it at home, it is also possible to print it off at a fablab, makerspace, or 3D printing marketplace. All of these avoid needing to purchase a personal 3d printer for printing off 3D models.
Most dildos are intended for vaginal or anal penetration and stimulation, for masturbation on oneself or by a sexual partner. Dildos have fetishistic value as well, and may be used in other ways, such as touching one's own or another's skin in various places, often during foreplay or as an act of dominance and submission. If of appropriate sizes, they can be used as gags, for oral penetration for a sort of artificial fellatio. Dildos, particularly specially designed ones, may be used to stimulate the G-spot area.
A dildo designed for anal insertion that then remains in place is usually referred to as a butt plug. A dildo intended for repeated anal penetration (thrusting) is typically referred to as an anal dildo or simply "dildo". Anal dildos and butt plugs generally have a large base to avoid accidental complete insertion into the rectum, which may require medical removal. Some women use double-ended dildos, with different-sized shafts pointing in the same direction, for simultaneous vaginal and anal penetration, or for two partners to share a single dildo. In the latter case, the dildo acts as a sort of "see-saw," where each partner takes an end and receives stimulation.
Some dildos are designed to be worn in a harness, sometimes called a strap-on harness or strap-on dildo, or to be worn inside the vagina (then called strapless dildo or "strapless strap-on dildo"), sometimes with externally-attached vibrating devices. Strap-on dildos may be double-ended, meant to be worn by users who want to experience vaginal or anal penetration while also penetrating a partner. They may also be used for anally penetrating men. If a female penetrates a male, the act is known as pegging.
Other types of dildos include those designed to be fitted to the face of one party, inflatable dildos, and dildos with suction cups attached to the base (sometimes referred to as a wall mount). Other types of harness mounts for dildos (besides strapping to the groin) include thigh mount, face mount, or furniture mounting straps.
The etymology of the word dildo was long considered unclear, but the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary concluded in 2018 that the word originates in nonsense syllables common in early-modern popular ballads (not dissimilar to the still-familiar nursery rhyme phrase "hey diddle diddle"), which came to be used as a coy euphemism for dildos. The phrase "Dil Doul", referring to a man's penis, appears in the seventeenth-century folk ballad "The Maids Complaint for want of a Dil Doul". The song was among the many in the library of Samuel Pepys.
Other theories that have previously circulated include that the word dildo originally referred to the phallus-shaped peg used to lock an oar in position on a dory (small boat). It would be inserted into a hole on the side of the boat, and is very similar in shape to the modern toy. The sex toy might take its name from this sailing tool, which also lends its name to the town of Dildo and the nearby Dildo Island in Newfoundland, Canada. Others suggest the word is a corruption of Italian diletto "delight".
According to the OED, one of the word's first appearances in English was in Thomas Nashe's The Choise of Valentines or the Merie Ballad of Nash his Dildo (c. 1593), in the sentence "Curse Eunuke dilldo, senceless, counterfet, Who sooth maie fill, but neuer can begett" ('curse dildo, that eunuch, lacking feelings, and counterfeit, who can certainly fill [a vagina], but can never beget [children]').
An olisbos (pl. olisboi) is a classical term for a dildo, from Greek ὄλισβος, i.e. a dildo that was usually made of leather. A godemiché is a dildo in the shape of a penis with scrotum.
Dildos were not just used for sexual pleasure. Examples from the Eurasia Ice Age (40,000-10,000 BCE) and Roman era are speculated to have been used for defloration rituals. This is not the only example of dildos being used for ritual ceremonies, as people in 4000 BCE Pakistan used them to worship the god Shiva.
Many references to dildos exist in the historical and ethnographic literature. Haberlandt, for example, illustrates single and double-ended wooden dildos from late 19th century Zanzibar. With the invention of modern materials, making dildos of different shapes, sizes, colors and textures became more practical.
Dildos may be seen in some examples of ancient Greek vase art. Some pieces show their use in group sex or in solitary female masturbation. One vessel, of about the sixth century BCE, depicts a scene in which a woman bends over to perform oral sex on a man, while another man is about to thrust a dildo into her anus.
In the early 1590s, the English playwright Thomas Nashe wrote a poem known as The Choise of Valentines, Nashe's Dildo or The Merrie Ballad of Nashe his Dildo. This was not printed at the time, due to its obscenity but it was still widely circulated and made Nashe's name notorious. The poem describes a visit to a brothel by a man called "Tomalin"; he is searching for his sweetheart, Francis, who has become a prostitute. The only way he can see her is to hire her. However, she resorts to using a glass dildo as he finds himself unable to perform sexually to her satisfaction. 041b061a72