Screencap via Times Machine, May 19, 1973.

Plucked from the archives of the august New York Times: This 1973 advertisement for a “personal vibrator,” which is stuffed with what’s either retrospectively funny double entendre—or deliberate wink-wink insinuation.

Every time you look at it, a new gem pops out.

Screencap via Times Machine, May 19, 1973.


It massages you “delightfully all over.” Contours “especially designed to concentrate helpful, penetrating massage right where you need it, when you need it, the way ordinary massagers can’t.” “Delightfully feminine.” “INVIGORATING! STIMULATING! RELAXING!” And at a mere $8.95. “What a small price to pay for years of invigorating, stimulating, relaxing pleasure.” Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back, ladies!

“You’ll be amazed at how regular toning sessions in the privacy of your own home can become a delightful part of your life.” No doubt.

It’s hard to say how, precisely, this would have been read. A Guardian history cites the landmark Hite Report, first published in 1976, which said that only 1 percent of women had used a vibrator. But come on—“delightfully all over”? Hard to believe they’re talking quite so elliptically about somebody’s lower back.