By Amara Purlle


When we think of historically significant inventions and feats of human achievement that lead to our collective burgeoning, we probably think of the telephone, the automobile, or the DVD player. Enter the Rabbit. No one really thought a device built solely for instant self-gratification could build an empire, but it has, a few times over. And they say sex doesn’t sell.

The winning formula to the Rabbit’s unwavering foothold in global success appears simple: deep, satisfying penetration + simultaneous and near perfect clitoral stimulation. Prior to anything going viral, there was still good old fashioned word of mouth. So it wasn’t long before everyone told two friends and Girls Night Out took a backseat. It would go on to become Sex and the City’s most memorable guest star after Miranda gives Jack Rabbits to her friends and normally uptight Episcopalian Charlotte disappears with it, not to resurface for weeks.

We want to honor its contribution to fulfilling sex lives everywhere (both real and imagined) by digging into the Rabbit’s history, cultural impact, and why it created a demand for what we knew we always needed. (Warning, puns ahead.)

 

Animal Style: Rabbit’s Japanese Origins

It’s not really a secret that as reserved as Japanese culture may appear to some, any visit to a sex shop in Akihabara would prove that reputation doesn’t exactly hold. The idea for the Rabbit originated in Japan around the early 1980s, when prudence and conservatism were the orders of the day.

It was against the law to manufacture sex toys, especially if they resembled anything phallic. Someone at Vibratex brilliantly sidestepped that legislative encroachment by designing a dual action vibrator in the shape of a cute critter with dynamic colors.

Rabbit was joined by the Beaver, the Kangaroo, and the Turtle (RIP). But the Rabbit was the one that took off, its popularity rocketing so much it hopped across the pond ready for its big climax. I mean, close-up.

 

Coming to America

The U.S. was introduced to the Rabbit in the early 1980s via notorious Seattle sex shop Babeland. They stocked and re-stocked the shelves with Rabbits so often that it led to a second location opening in New York around 1997. New York was also home to adult boutique mainstay The Pleasure Chest, visited by the team behind Sex and the City in 1998. HBO reps inquired about the Rabbit during their visit and Vibratex very smartly allowed the SATC writers to create an entire episode around this majestic mechanism.

The show was approaching the end of its first season and already averaging about 4 million viewers each week, which meant the Rabbit was in prime position for Extreme Product Marketing stardom. The writers must have known they would be ushering in a mini movement of newfound liberation, exploration, and ultimately, empowerment. Sex and the City got women talking about sex more openly and in more open forums for the first time since The Joy of Sex was published in 1972. That particular episode, “The Turtle and the Hare” (S1E9), got women talking about the best ways to be your own bedroom cheerleader.

Explosive horizontal fun was now very much focused on the self-administered. Dual action vibration in a single device well and truly spawned the Rabbit revolution.

 

The Buzzing of Time

While many vibrator designs have since been a sort of homage to the Rabbit, its blueprint to achieving TV-famous orgasms has well and truly left an indelible mark. But what made the Rabbit so revolutionary? The first vibrator was developed around the late 1870s by Joseph Mortimer Granville. Doctors then decided to draw the line at carpal tunnel after consistently giving manual orgasms to women for “hysterical paroxysm” and other such ailments.
Granville’s electromechanical contraption pre-dated the steam-powered vibrator invented by American physician George Taylor. One required a 40-pound battery, and the other required coal shoveled into it. Convenient AND practical! The first cordless vibrator wasn’t patented until 1968, and underwent various iterations until the Rabbit debuted. Having a clitoral stimulator attached to the shaft was the game changer.
There are now 16 broad categories of vibrators for achieving virtually every type of orgasm imaginable. Hooray for fearless and tenacious ingenuity that keeps us in mind.

 

Rogering the Rabbit

The peculiar thing about the Rabbit is just how many waves of success it has ridden. Each time we thought we’d reached peak Rabbit, a famous actress or an Oprah would crown it all over again. It wasn’t just good for Vibratex. Online shopping was steadily flowing when Old Bunny Ears over here turned it into a Hoover Dam waiting to burst. The SATC seal of approval was just the kickstart.

Back across the pond, UK-based online store Ann Summers reportedly sold over a million rabbits in its first year alone. And British writer Marcelle Perks took it upon herself to author “The User’s Guide to the Rabbit”. At 124 pages, it was the first DIY publication to focus on making the most out of what O magazine called “the Rolls Royce of sex toys”.

Perks gave particular focus toward creative enhancement of Rabbit-brand blended orgasms, encouraged using the device for nipple play, incorporating it with a partner, and getting from zero to zengasm in no time. The Rabbit just kept right on having its moment while everyone with a Rabbit was busy creating theirs.

 

A Pet, Not a Threat

What a time to be alive...around 1900 when vibrators were advertised in American magazines alongside household appliances. And then here came puritanical outcry following the release of pornographic films featuring vibrators in the 1920s. What a time to be a total killjoy. Doctors stopped recommending them due to now lude connotations and sales dropped. Growing understanding of a completely normal female function? Can’t have that!

The good news is it’s now later and the adult novelty industry is now a $15B behemoth, according to prestigious and not-fake financial magazine Forbes. That the industry continues to thrive so healthily reflects how much we advocate for ourselves and our sex lives by creating supportive networks and communities in which to educate and learn from each other.

Rabbit has, in the end, contributed to normalizing women’s sexuality again. There’s still some work to do, and always more to learn, but at its essence it serves the concept of self-care in a much needed and very profound way. It’s really nothing to get hysterical about.

 

Hop to It!


We recommend carving out some time for that all-important self-care with a B Wild Bunny from our Classic, or Deluxe lines. Both are made from super safe non-porous silicone and feature dual-action goodness so great you’ll be thanking us and your lucky stars for days to come.




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