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Evolution of the Rabbit Vibrator

22 May 2014 2 comments

Not long back at a black tie social event two young ladies introduced themselves to me. After confirming that I was the owner of adultshop.com one of the ladies proudly pronounced she had a rabbit vibrator and she was addicted to it. The other lady, not wanting to be out done, was quick to announce that she had a dolphin vibrator and a rabbit vibrator...and the rabbit vibrator made her squirt when she orgasmed. To my amazement this conversation took place in the first minute of us meeting. I remember thinking that this type of introduction never happened to me when I was a civil engineer.

I Love My RabbitI Love My Rabbit

The rabbit vibrator has been described by many users as the holy grail of sex toys and rightfully so. There are hundreds of iterations of the famous rabbit. And millions are sold annually worldwide. So why are they so popular? Can they really replace a man?

Pre the 1970's the only vibrators available to the Western world were battery operated plastic missile style or realistic rubber and latex vibrators (that smelt like noxious chemicals). With the vibrations only at the base of the toy and minimal functionality they didn't really address a woman's physiology. A large percentage of females achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation meaning the sex toys at the time were seriously lacking in design. A Japanese sex toy manufacturer, realising the failures of sex toys, is attributed with inventing the first dual action vibrator with a clitoral stimulator in the 1970's. A company called Vibratex first released the Japanese manufactured Rabbit Pearl to the rest of the world back in 1983. And so began the quest to develop the best sex toys ever.

Why call it a rabbit vibrator? Obviously it has rabbit shaped ears but the real reason is the Japanese laws that prohibit the manufacture of vibrators. The devices were shaped to look like animals and came in bright colors so as to trick the no-sex-toys-allowed rule. Whilst rabbit vibrators have always been the most popular the Japanese manufacturers also produced dolphin, koala, butterfly, turtle and other animal shaped vibrators. The rabbit is a lucky charm in Japan and a rabbit's foot is often considered a lucky charm elsewhere. There are a lot of sexual connotations with the use of the term rabbit so it's quite appropriate as the name of the best selling sex toy.

In 1998 the Rabbit Pearl vibrator famously appeared in the HBO series Sex and the City in the episode titled 'The Turtle and The Hare'. The appearance of a sex toy in a popular mainstream TV show was a first and it certainly caused a stir. It helped to increase the popularity of not only the Rabbit Pearl but the credibility and legitimacy of sex toys in general. All of a sudden it was totally cool to own and use sex toys. And it was something to even boast about to one's friends. Given the episode showed Charlotte and the girls visiting the Pleasure Chest in New York (an up-market adult store), where they had a demo of the Rabbit Pearl, this I believe also made it more acceptable to visit adult stores. For years there has been a distasteful stereotype attached to those who entered adult stores (aka sex shops). Sex and the City however featured three professional women in their thirties who are comfortable at the Pleasure Chest (although the rather prudish Charlotte did appear to have some reservations). I believe this scene alone helped change the perception of the type of people who shop in adult stores. Hooray for HBO!

I watched 'The Turtle and The Hare' episode again recently to see what all the fuss was about. I did have a chuckle at the sight of the newly sexually liberated Charlotte making up all sorts of excuses not to go out with the girls at night because she wanted to stay in for some solo loving with her rabbit. Of course she was soon 'rescued' by the girls who confiscated the rabbit (temporarily I assume). Charlotte was single at the time so her view was the rabbit was essential to her sex life. There are women today who are in relationships who still swear their rabbit is a 'must have' item in their top bedside drawer.

It turns out that I have a lot in common with Eva Longoria the star of another TV hit series Desperate Housewives. In 2005 she increased the 'must have' factor of the rabbit vibrator by mentioning her love for the toy in a US woman's magazine. "I give rabbit vibrators to all my girlfriends." she had said. "They scream when they unwrap it. The best gift I can give them is an orgasm." I also often give rabbit vibrators to friends for presents.

A few years ago a well known Perth restaurateur called me requesting sixteen rabbit vibrators – a Xmas present for each of his female staff. At the time I was concerned that it might be viewed as sexual harassment however he told me later that his staff were overjoyed with their gifts.

The accolades for the rabbit continued in 2006 when Oprah Winfrey gave the Rabbit Habit (also produced by Vibratex) her official stamp of approval when it was billed in O, the Oprah Magazine, as the "Rolls Royce of sex toys." Oprah is very powerful and her opinion matters to a lot of women worldwide. Endorsements and praise like hers has helped ensure the rabbit vibrator remains the top selling sex toy today.

Lelo is today considered the number one brand of premium innovative sex toys. They're beautifully crafted from medical grade silicone; they're rechargeable; their packaging is superb and they're now a bench mark for pleasure. Last month Selfridges (similar to David Jones here in Australia) on Oxford St in London began stocking a range of Lelo products. The adoption of this progressive attitude by a world leading retailer (actually voted the world's best in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph newspaper) sends a strong message that Lelo products belong in the mainstream.

In 2011 the Dolce and Gabbana flagship boutique in Milan were applauded by Italian women for deciding to stock Lelo products. It makes sense considering women are now choosing to carry their 'intimate' toys in their handbags. The Italian designers decided to add some extra pleasure to clothes and handbag shopping.

This year is the 31st birthday of the rabbit vibrator. My guess is that it'll continue to be the world's best selling sex toy for years to come. What will be interesting to see is how quickly other mainstream retailers make pleasure their business.

My personal favourite, and adultshop.com's best selling, rabbit vibrator is the Lelo Ina 2. I don't believe they'll ever replace a guy in the bedroom but they'll continue to be an excellent alternative. AND for couples they'll continue to make for great foreplay!

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

P.S. For a little more information about the Lelo Ina 2, check out this episode from the Mia & Pia show.

channy 22 May 2014 at 7:43 pm
I finally got my first rabbit which was the limited edition one and I have to say it was mind blowing as I've never owned one and it was nothing like ever felt before but then after hearing about girls raving about the lelo soraya I had to try it for myself and OMG it was the best toy I have ever owned it really hits the Gspot as its curved which gives me such a intense orgasm as well as clitoral I love that it has a handle for partner play which is always fun...But I don't think I can go back to using anything else but my lelo soraya it has definetly got me coming back for more =)
zzslowly 25 May 2014 at 8:58 am
I was 52 when my second marriage ended. I believed I would never have sex with a man again, so I went to the local adult shop and the very kind woman who worked there convinced me to buy a rabbit. She told me it would feel very odd at first but to practice, which I did. Previously I had climaxed just twice in my life, but with the rabbit, I now climax every time, and have just recently started to gush. I have had 3 lovers over that period, still non-orgasmic. Sex with a man is different, not better, not worse, just different. Touching, kissing, being held, oral sex - all outside the realm of the rabbit.
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