As to Gottlieb’s contention “ No Cartland heroine ever came into contact with a hardened rod,” we should be aware that the sentence should end with the words, “that we know of.” I‘ve never read Cartland’s novels, but if they are romances we should know that while Cartland’s characters are portrayed as virginal, if they find their man they won’t remain virginal. Not if they want him to stick around.
We also assume the hardened rod must be human. A peak under the hood of history in polite society reminds us that women, especially married women, were often treated for hysteria with mechanical hardened rods, hand cranked by their physicians.
Gottlieb’s assertion also assumes that the hand-held vibrator mysteriously appeared in women’s bedrooms suddenly, during the sixties when women got pushy and didn’t need romance novels any more.