When you think iconic vibrators, you have to think of the Magic Wand. Often colloquially referred to as “The Hitachi,” the toy has a storied history going back to the late ’60s and is known to be symbolic of the sex-positive feminist movement of the ’70s. While I only knew of the Hitachi as an uggo hunk of plastic often found in friends’ moms’ bathroom drawers, I was shocked to discover that the Hitachi actually had a pretty badass feminist backstory and was way more than just a silly “””sports massager”””.
As Lynn Comella, author of Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure, explains over email, “perhaps more than any other vibrator, the Magic Wand — formerly known as the Hitachi Magic Wand — has achieved a kind of iconic status as a symbol of female sexual liberation, with a fan base and popularity that has spanned generations.”
Here, a few key players in the popularity of the Magic Wand over its nearly 50 year history explain the fascinating backstory behind the little appliance that could. Read on, and don’t be surprised if you run out and buy a wand just out of respect for the history immediately afterwards.