I've always heard that if there's some new technology, the first industry to figure it out will be the porn industry. They've had the digital game on lock from webcams to virtual reality, but based on this treasure trove of dildos and butt plugs dating back to ancient China, it looks like the world has always flourished when it comes to new ways of getting your rocks off.
These items were reportedly a part of a number of excavations from 1995 through 2011, dating back to the Han dynasty (206 BCE through 220 CE). These were said to have been found amongst the cream of the crop, a.k.a. in some 2000 plus-year-old tombs of the aristocrats from that era.
While butt plugs are used more for sexual pleasure these days, the purpose of these jade plugs were a bit unique; they were said to "seal the body and keep in vital essences that can leak out during life and death," according to Fan Zhang, who is curating an exhibit with these finds. Basically, they don't want your chi leaking out in death, so the plug keeps it safely inside of you.
The bronze dildos? Oh, those were just used for sex.
"Useable bronze dildos are still relatively rare finds, though far from unheard of, and they are occasionally found in elite tombs," Zhang explained. "They were all definitely made for use, and we can speculate based on their various bases how they were worn. They’re all bespoke, and the ones we have here might have been laced into place with leather or silk thongs, though it’s not clear if they were designed for men or women—they’re not heavy at all—though the phallus without the ring form was likely for a man since it was found in a king’s tomb."
So, for those of you who think dildo play is some wild, newfangled perversion, you're playing yourself. These instruments have been doing the job for eons.