hysterical paroxysm

hysterical paroxysm

An obsolete 19th-century term for a female orgasm, when such was regarded as abnormal.
References in periodicals archive ?
Inducing a "hysterical paroxysm" to provide temporary "wellness" got a lot easier with the invention of the electromechanical vibrator in 1883 (same year as the toaster), creating a lucrative doctors' clientele of returning patients.
Since no penetration occurred, physicians did not recognize the treatment as being sexual in nature, nor did they realize that their patients derived sexual gratification from their "hysterical paroxysm." Maines does point out that occasionally, one or two physicians would publicly express concern about "whether to draw this harmful fluid out of the uterus by exciting and rubbing the private parts," but they seem to have been vastly outnumbered by their massage-happy colleagues.
Joseph Mortimer Granville's invention of the electromechanical vibrator as a purely medical device in 1880 made these spasms--dubbed, in the medical lexicon, "hysterical paroxysms"--easier for physicians to achieve.