There were all sorts of reasons not to go to the doctor back in the old days, back when their bags were full of mercury vials and hacksaws. And when the often puritanical patients had problems "down there" they were probably even more hesitant.
Thankfully, the world of quack medicine has always been around to sell them do-it-yourself devices to cure everything from impotence to constipation. And as horrible as you think these devices were, trust us, they were worse.
#8. Violet Ray Generators
Are you fascinated by the works of Nikola Tesla? Do you often find yourself wondering how you can cram one of Tesla's most famous inventions in your ass?
Violet Ray Generators were a hugely popular turn of the century device of medical quackery that claimed to be the one and only sci-fi-inspired contraption that could cure damn-near any aliment you threw at it. With the aid of a number of assorted tubes designed for various body parts one could potentially cure warts, toothaches, obesity, pimples, insomnia, jaundice, deafness, or dandruff, all by simply pulling out the recommended attachment from what is apparently Hellraiser's briefcase.
For the most part, the usage of a generator simply required the user to switch it on and awkwardly rub a purple-glowing glass tube all over a portion of the body while resisting the urge to pretend they were engaged in foreplay with an alien.
But when one came down with a case of constipation, enlargement of the prostate, or impotence there was no other choice but to pop one of those glass tubes in your asshole and hope to God you don't sneeze or cough. Oh, and if you miss the old-school medical techniques like this, you can still buy these antique devices on ebay.
#7. Lawson's Vaginal Washer
In the pre-douche era, a time of great Victorian craftsmanship and artistry, one man sought out to take on the problem of feminine hygiene. This man, having never seen an actual vagina up close, invented Lawson's vaginal washer.
There's only one picture of the vaginal washer available. This is an egg beater. Same principles apply.
Seriously, everything that needs to be said about Victorian-era understanding of female genitalia is right there in this spinning brass machine with a cartoonish crank on the side. Oh, yes, those blades up there would whirl around when you cranked it. You know, to clean the vagina.
There is a nozzle on the back where you can attach something to shoot in water or a bottle of some chemical with a name like Dr. Hallsworth's Medicated Lady Parts Solvent. The line starts over here, ladies!
#6. Spermatorrhea Ring
Victorian era folks tended to believe that masturbation and nocturnal emissions could have devastating effects on the body, including blindness and retardation. Now, we understand that such old wives tales have a way of surviving, even among educated people. But what we don't understand is why they didn't demand more proof of the "masturbation will destroy you" thing before putting strapping anti-boner spikes to their dongs.
That's right, to combat the growing problem of unnecessary erections many inventors worked feverishly to devise contraptions that could effectively neutralize wang swelling. The Spermatorrhea Ring was comprised of a flexible metal band that comfortably accommodates an average sized penis.
Also there are spikes.
So when, say, a particularly foxy lady strolled past and the male mind rejoiced at the prospect of a chance sexual encounter, his penis would swell and draw ever closer to the spikes along the border of the ring. So it gave you enough time to run your hand through a meat grinder, or perhaps saw off a foot in an attempt to distract your brain with something -- anything -- that will make your boner just go away before it was impaled by spikes.
#5. Rectal Dilators
So with a product like Dr. Young's Rectal Dilators, we have to ask the question of whether there ever was an actual "Dr. Young" involved or if that's just part of the brand name, like Wendy's. Would people insert something like that into their ass unless a "doctor" told them to?
If there was a "Doctor Young," he apparently believed the body's nervous system to be an intricate interconnection of roads that allow organs to function in concert--and he was very right about that. What he wasn't right about was his apparent belief that all of these intricate interconnections of roads lead directly to your asshole, and that all illnesses could be solved by cramming different objects in there.
Use this on your butt. Or, alternately, to kill a werewolf.
That's if he believed it at all; our hypothetical Dr. Young may have just been doing it for the challenge. If you can convince somebody that inserting an ass-cork will make their bad-breath go away, you deserve every fucking dollar you get out of it.
Dr. Young also sold two, uh, custom sized dilators on very opposite ends of the "that's just gross" spectrum. The first is a 5 inch long, inch and a half thick behemoth, and the other is--and we apologize for letting you know of this-- "infant size."