When I First got to know about Hysteria

hysteria /hɪˈstɪərɪə/

“An old-fashioned term for a psychological disorder characterized by the conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization) or a change in self-awareness (such as a fugue state or selective amnesia).”—Google Dictionary

Sigmund Freud considered hysteria to be an exclusively female disease. Over 4000 years of history, this disease was thought of from two perspectives: scientific and demonological (the study of demons or beliefs about demons, especially the methods used to summon and control them.). People cured it with herbs, sex or sexual abstinence, purified with fire for its association with sorcery and finally, clinically studied it as a disease and treated with innovative therapies. The 20th century saw a decline of hysteria amongst occidental patients (both women and men).

Is Hysteria really gone?

In 2011, when the movie starring Maggie Gyllenhaal “Hysteria” was released, the world again started talking about hysteria and why vibrators were invented initially. If you haven't watched the movie, you must be wondering why I mentioned vibrators and hysteria in the same breadth? Everyone knows why they were made, so why do you need a movie for that?  Whenever somebody mentions vibrators we all think of it as a tool of pleasure for women and no wonder, an estimated one-third of adult American women now own at least one. It is for women, the clitoral stimulation with vibrators producing simulation leading to orgasms reliably even in women who have difficulty experiencing them in other ways (do you know 30 percent of women don't reach the point where they can have an orgasm. whereas 75 percent of men always do) and it has also been reported that women experienced gradual change in their sexual life (both solo and with their partners) after using vibrators.

About two centuries ago when vibrators were invented ‘pleasure for women’ was the furthest thing in the mind of the doctors who invented them. In the 19th Century, for them it was a labour saving device for men, you know right fingering and clitoral stimulation made men super tired. 😉

The history of sex toys and women’s sexual desire is absurd, as men thought, women had no sexual desire of their own and they are only there to fulfil their fantasies and erotic needs. In the 19th century, women were suffering from “Hysteria” commonly termed as “Sexual Frustration”.

This led to frustration in their day-to-day life. They complained to doctors of anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness, erotic fantasies, feelings of heaviness in the lower abdomen, and wetness between the legs. This syndrome became known as “hysteria,” from the Greek term for the uterus.

Later, doctors began to believe that even women have a libido and their erotic needs were also important. They advised them the use of dildos for their satisfaction. For widows, single and unhappily married women, doctors advised horseback riding, which, for some, provided enough clitoral stimulation to trigger orgasm. But riding provided women little relief, and by the 17th century, dildos were less of an option because the arbiters of decency had succeeded in demonizing masturbation as “self-abuse.”

Even in today’s world, there are men who think women have zero erotic needs and they will do exactly how they are asked to do. They use them as if they are sex machines, but as soon as women start telling their partners what they want, sex is seen as taboo.

Sex is a natural need, It is not a gender-centric need. Women have it too and they can satisfy that need whenever they need to, exactly the same way men can. Women, don’t judge men for not having periods, so why do men judge women if she talks about sex openly? Why do men think that women are ‘available’ if she starts talking about sex?

Sexual frustration is not limited to your bedroom. It walks out of your house with you every day in different forms. How long are we going to refrain from discussing it with our partners? Dildos anyone?


  Written By: Nandini Sharma 

Nandini brings with her the spunk and the youth needed in the team. Her inquisitiveness and ideas are what fuels Tickle.Life


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