On Han Dynasty Strap-ons: My First Time Talking about Sex in Public

Good morning, readers! Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’m not answering questions or trying to start conversations. And that’s because I was busy for the past week preparing for being part of a panel at a local steampunk convention!

Now, to be fair, I was only doing half of the panel. My partner was the primary presenter, as the panel was on writing steampunk erotica. The topic was more about what sorts of things go into writing good smut than just general sex stuff. So, why have me around for it? Well, because it’s a great excuse to point out that a lot of the ‘modern’ sex trends are not only fairly standard, but a LOT older than you might think.

ice-age-300x247
This thing is over 28,000 years old!

Like this ‘Ice Age Baton’ that was found in a cave in Germany and being studied at the University of Tubigen. I mean, it’s made of stone and dried camel dung, but seeing how we still have problems having body-safe sex toys now-a-days I think it can be forgiven that they didn’t know better.

Han-Dynasty Strap-on
Image owned by Yizheng Museum

And then there’s this beauty. Sure, it’s only 2,000 years old, but it’s still pretty well-made to still keep its shape. It’s believed that this was used as a strap-on, meaning that if you wanted to have your Victorian smut feature one, you don’t have to worry if they’d been invented yet. Maybe not with the belt-straps and things we have now, but the idea was well before the United Kingdom was even established, let alone the Victorian era.

I didn’t only get to talk about prehistoric dildos and ancient egyptian bee-powered vibrators (those were, sadly, only rumored to have happened). I also pulled some interesting depictions of sex toys from less ancient history. Like this inventive means of curing hysteria in the beginnings of the steam industrial age.

Steam Powered Sex machine
I mean, this can’t be safe, right?

It’s amazing: sexual repression of a large population along with the innovations of science will lead to people finding REALLY interesting ways to get off. Sure, it was to cure ‘hysteria’ in women by inducing orgasm, but that doesn’t mean you had to hook it up to a miniature train engine, right?

Overall, it was a fun talk, and after the initial start of “So, people have been thinking about making sex better long before recorded history” that had me stuttering a little bit, I managed to find a groove. The room wasn’t packed since it was a ‘late night’ panel, but those there seemed to have fun and a few laughed at the jokes about pistons, but I think it went well. Hopefully this is just the first of many times I’ll get to talk about how awesome sex and sex toys are.

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