Ancient Gadgets for Men … and a New One for (Maybe) Women?

Debbie says:

Lest you were in danger of thinking that the fabulous women at Feminist Law Professors have no sense of humor, they pointed me at this post at The Art of Manliness.

The ten worst products for men ever created. This has to be a highly contested category, but they found some remarkable contenders.

penis cooler

This, my friends, is a “penis cooling apparatus designed to prevent wet dreams. A man would attach the device to his penis before he went to bed. When an erection occurred during the night, levers opened to allow cold water to flow through tubes around the genitalia. This cooled “the organ of generation, so that the erection subsides and no discharge occurs.” Basically, it was like taking a cold shower, but without the shower.”

I find it especially amusing when paired with the “prostate warmer,” a device marketed (I kid you not) to “stimulate the abdominal brain” about 90 years ago.

Other charmers include a chest hair toupee and an electric belt. Read the whole thing. It’s good for giggles, and if you’re inclined to think about it seriously, it’s also worth thinking about a) what we do to ourselves in the name of whatever is “normal” in our time, and b) how we want technology to change experience. (My spam filter is full of very different gadgets and pharmaceuticals for men, but the principle hasn’t changed.)

On a related note, the law professors posted this morning about a cell phone that tracks women’s menstrual cycles (they got it from Phosita(R). I can see how that might be useful to a woman trying to get pregnant, and at the same time all I can think of is the way that when watches started having the date as well as the time, the college boys I knew immediately started to use them to make sharp-edged comments about their girlfriends’ moods.

men, masculinity, gadgets, technology, cell phones, fertility, body image, Body Impolitic