“Hysteria” and your local London Drugs? What a movie will stimulate…
Ok, I know, it’s a Thanksgiving morning and I am once again writing on women’s sexual health. You may want to ask why, but are just really scared to go down that path. In most cases, I would have to agree that that would be wise :-). I too would not go there. However, you must remember that I am a buyer and that this category is one of the ones I manage (I really don’t manage per se – Karen is the brains behind this one) and it is a very important category to London Drugs and should be important to all drug stores.
The reason for the post this AM is due to something I was watching on TV the other night. I caught a program that was reviewing movies etc that were playing at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). One of the movies that was being discussed was the movie “Hysteria”, which is a fact based account of the invention or creation of the female vibrator.
So, once again, why write about this? Thanksgiving morning vibrator talk just seems a little “off”.
I write because I am thrilled that this movie is being released in wide distribution soon, and that it has been well received at the TIFF. Still does not answer why, I know… I am getting there. The reason this excites me (I know – sorry), is because it makes it that much easier for Karen (Our Buyer of Sexual Health) and Myself to continue to pursue this category at London Drugs. I have written in other posts that London Drugs was the first major retailer in North America to carry the first “mainstream” vibrators, the Durex called “Play”, many years ago, and that this was a very gutsy move for a mainstream drug store. (For more readings on my site, search “sexual health” on my blog)
Although we have a very forward thinking ownership and executive team that backed us and continues to back us when we go into these categories, we also have a clientele and we have many employees that are not so comfortable about this area of women’s health. Many are just not comfortable with the topic in general, and for sure not comfortable with it being available in “their” London Drugs.
A movie like this, just makes it so much easier for us as retailers to continue to do the right thing and make these products more accessible to the general public in an environment that is a little more comfortable to shop in than your local sex store. This should not be a category that has any “issues” attached to it as it all about a woman’s sexual health.
As London Drugs, we have a tonne of new stuff coming over the next couple of weeks that I cant wait to show you and talk about online. Karen has really gone after this category hard (I know, but it’s really not my fault. There are only so many ways to describe things. Sorry again J).
So let’s tie the movie better to LD. What is hysteria and how can LD help out?
I had to pull this right from Wikpedia as I really could not rewrite this one ( I did try). This will give you and idea of what was classed as hysteria in the late 19th century and this will allow us to get to why the vibrator was invented;
“Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.
Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).”
Ok, so, if a woman was diagnosed with hysteria at this time (I don’t believe the medical community recognizes this condition any longer), they would have to do this; they would go to their doctor, and they be would be digitally stimulated to orgasm so that the symptoms of hysteria would be relieved. This was great for the Doctor in terms of the amount of visits he would get to bill for as this was a condition that would not subside, but it was a very time consuming procedure (you have no idea how tough this was to write). Midwives starter to relieve some of this pressure (again, I know) from doctors and started to perform these procedures at the woman’s homes.
What started to become apparent, was that there was a potential need to “automate” this procedure. The invention of the first vibrators comes about in the early 1870’s and the first truly commercial model in the States in the early 1900’s. Below is an example of a Sears ad in 1918.
This post was not meant to give the history of, or the reasons for, or to promote a movie. It was written to make sure we continue to talk about this category in the open, without prejudice, and without embarrassment. This category will continue to grow in the mainstream retail, and for sure at London Drugs.
As a pharmacy, we believe that drug stores should own these categories as we have the health professionals to manage any questions that may be stimulated by standing at shelf looking at the offerings available. And believe me, we will have some very nice and amazingly attractive products coming soon. Stay tuned as I continue to post over the next few weeks, some of the new stuff as it arrives.
Ciao for now @kootenayborn.