Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy by Hallie Lieberman

Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy

Once only whispered about in clandestine corners, vibrators have become just another accessory for the suburban soccer mom, showing up in all manner of pop culture, from sitcoms to talk shows to the pages of glossy women’s magazines. But how did these once-taboo toys become so socially acceptable? The journey of the devices to the cultural mainstream is a surprisingly stim...

Title:Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy
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Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy Reviews

  • Kristine

    The author Is an affirming, honest, fun, warm-blooded lass, who had also been a private contractor salesperson with Forbidden Fruit (similar to Pure Romance passion parties, but naughtier), before performing a significant amount of research on the history of sex toys and select number of retail purveyors & manufacturers throughout the U.S. (extra big kudos to Gosnell Duncan, the Marches, and the Pleasure Chest).

  • Cat

    Well, this was certainly an interesting read. The history was enlightening, I never would have guessed so much was illegal until so recently. Worth a read.

  • Robyn

    This was a complete delight to read. It was funny, honest, and interesting even when tackling the potentially more dry topics of business law and tax evasion (yes, they are relevant to the history of sex toys!). It's an account that covers in detail and with sensitivity different strands of feminism and the impact of the American government on LGBT businesses and sex education. Highly recommend.

  • Betty

    The first person to receive a PhD in the history of sex toys, Hallie Lieberman has written a fascinating book that tells you everything you wanted to know on the subject, and more. For example, did you know that until as recently as 2008, it was illegal to sell sex toys in Texas? Obscenity laws there (and elsewhere) set the stage for decades-worth of headaches and careful maneuvering for anyone involved in selling them. Regardless of the specific topic—whether it's about manufacturing, advertisi

    The first person to receive a PhD in the history of sex toys, Hallie Lieberman has written a fascinating book that tells you everything you wanted to know on the subject, and more. For example, did you know that until as recently as 2008, it was illegal to sell sex toys in Texas? Obscenity laws there (and elsewhere) set the stage for decades-worth of headaches and careful maneuvering for anyone involved in selling them. Regardless of the specific topic—whether it's about manufacturing, advertising, or selling—there is always a story to tell on how things were done, and how they evolved over the years.

    If you enjoy learning the history of how commonplace items came to be, this is an interesting read.

    I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Pegasus Books via Netgalley.

  • Susie Dumond

    The history of sex toys, written by the first person to earn a PhD in sex toy history. That's enough of a reason to check out Buzz! Lieberman has written a fantastic overview of sex toy history, especially in the U.S., along with the role sex toys have played in feminist movements, LGBTQ culture, and societal conversations around sexuality. I really enjoyed how she opened the book by explaining her interest in sex toys and the complications presented by obscenity laws. Overall, the book is very

    The history of sex toys, written by the first person to earn a PhD in sex toy history. That's enough of a reason to check out Buzz! Lieberman has written a fantastic overview of sex toy history, especially in the U.S., along with the role sex toys have played in feminist movements, LGBTQ culture, and societal conversations around sexuality. I really enjoyed how she opened the book by explaining her interest in sex toys and the complications presented by obscenity laws. Overall, the book is very readable and engaging throughout.

    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

  • Michael

    What a great and enjoyable book to read.

    The time line ran smoothly through the history of the toys. Each chapter had just enough to keep you interested.

    Even the cover had a fun feeling texture.

    Would recommend and pass this book along.

    Look forward to another from Hallie

  • Karen
  • Ann

    It was a fascinating read. I never had any idea that the sex toy industry was so interesting. It is so relevant with the story about the casting couch. A very empowering book for women. A must read for all women.

  • Cat

    Well, this was certainly an interesting read. The history was enlightening, I never would have guessed so much was illegal until so recently. Worth a read.

    I received an advance copy of this from the publisher but it no way influenced my opinion.

  • Mandy Weeks

    In the vein of Mary Roach's Bonk, a brilliant microhistory of the sex toy that ultimately tells the story of our changing sexual mores and evolving cultural values.

    Once only whispered about in clandestine corners, vibrators have become just another accessory for the suburban soccer mom. But how did these once-taboo toys become so socially acceptable? The journey of the devices to the cultural mainstream is a surprisingly stimulating one.

    In Buzz, Hallie Lieberman provides a riveting history that

    In the vein of Mary Roach's Bonk, a brilliant microhistory of the sex toy that ultimately tells the story of our changing sexual mores and evolving cultural values.

    Once only whispered about in clandestine corners, vibrators have become just another accessory for the suburban soccer mom. But how did these once-taboo toys become so socially acceptable? The journey of the devices to the cultural mainstream is a surprisingly stimulating one.

    In Buzz, Hallie Lieberman provides a riveting history that tells the story of sex toys from ancient phalluses to 21st century vibrating rabbits. She focuses on the period from the 1950s through the present, when sex toys evolved from symbols of female emancipation to tools in the fight against HIV/AIDS to consumerist marital aids and finally to mainstays of today's pop culture. Lieberman's history is populated by vivid and fascinating characters, including Ted Marche, an entrepreneurial ventriloquist and dildo maker; Duane Coleglazier, the gay ice cream truck driver who founded the first boutique sex-toy store; Dell Williams, ex-communist advertising maven who created the feminist sex toy store; Betty Dodson, whose workshops helped 1960s women discover vibrators; and Gosnell Duncan, a paraplegic engineer who invented the silicone dildo. And these personal dramas are all set against a backdrop of changing American attitudes toward sexuality, feminism, LGBTQ issues, and more.

    Both educational and titillating, Buzz will make readers think quite differently about those secret items hiding in bedside drawers across the nation.

    16 pages of color images

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