What is Vibration?
Everyone knows what vibration feels like, but what is it? Technically, vibration is a mechanical phenomenon where oscillations occur around an equilibrium point. Vibration can be measured by its frequency, amplitude, direction and power.
The History of Hysteria and Vibration
For over two thousand years, hysteria referred to a medical condition that affected woman and was believed to be caused by disturbances of the uterus. By the mid-19th century medical doctors treated hysteria by manually massaging the patient’s genitalia to orgasm. In the late 19th century, the first vibrators were invented to aid doctors in the treatment of hysteria.
In 1902, Hamilton Beach patented the first electric vibrator. The popular Hamilton Beach vibrators were advertised in mainstream media and sold in mainstream retail locations. In the 1920’s, negative perceptions about sexuality resulted in the product being pulled from the market. In the 1960’s, a battery-powered vibrator was patented and marketed as a purely sexual device and sold in adult stores.
How do Vibrators Work?
Vibrators work by stimulating the many nerve endings in our genitals. The clitoris contains more than 8,000 nerve endings. The penis has about 4,000. The stimulation to nerves helps increase blood flow, arousal and eventually orgasm.
Different People Prefer Different Vibration
The concept of vibration seems simple since everyone has thousands of nerves in their erogenous zones, but different products work for different people and people’s preferences change over time. Gender and location of vibration on the body play a role in this, but other factors are important as well, including:
Age – Vibration preferences change as people age.
Prior Vibrator Use – There are many examples of people’s preferences in vibrators evolving. Some sex toy reviewers will initially dislike a product, then a few years later come back and profess preference for that very product.
Length of Vibrator Use – Vibration can cause nerve stimulation, but prolonged use can also cause partial or complete anesthesia of nerves. Using a vibrator set to the same speed for a long period will eventually cause numbness, the opposite of what is desired.
Body Mass – Body mass affects vibration dampening and nerve stimulation.
Medical History – Vasectomies and other procedures may change preferences.
Generally, people like more power (to a point) in their vibrators. The majority of the best reviewed and highest recommended vibrators are the most powerful, but the frequency of vibration is also important.
Similarities in Vibrators
A quick look online will inform anyone that there are tens of thousands of different vibrators available. They come in many different sizes, colors, packaging and pricing. But, these products all offer very similar stimulation.
Virtually all available battery-powered vibrators use a single class of rotary-vibrating motors, which provides very similar range of operation; somewhere between 80 and 130Hz with fixed amplitude and low power. These products all operate in a very small range of vibration (about 10%) compared to what your body can feel and enjoy.
Because people tend to like more vibration power, users tend to use rotary motor based products at their maximum power setting. With a typical rotary-motor based product, the output of power climbs rapidly and falls off quickly with very minimal ability to adjust the frequency.
Similarly, most plug-in vibrators like the Magic Wand run at a single speed (i.e. 110 Hz), but offer more power with multiple settings, they provide very limited range of vibration..
While both of these products can be relatively effective at triggering pleasure, they operate in a very small area of vibration compared to what people can feel and enjoy.
Another issue with vibrators is when you first start using one it feels very good, but over time that sensation decreases due to numbness. Indeed, the medical community uses vibrators to cause numbness before certain procedures; vibration anesthesia. Vibration numbness is a major problem with vibrator usage with existing products. A way to make the numbness go away and feel sensation again is to jump to a different frequency of vibration. Unfortunately, rotary-based products cannot operate over a broad range with any level of power.
Revel Body’s Approach
At Revel Body, we are focused on developing new vibration technologies for sex toys and pleasure products, because we think that vibrators should complete on vibration. We have worked to increase the sensation available in sex toys and remove issues commonly found in sex toys.