The Relax-A-Cizor is on display in the current special exhibition “The Eroticism of Things. Collections on the history of sexuality” from 3 May 2018 to 1 October 2018.
One of the first bestsellers among fitness products in the 1950s and 1960s, the Relax-A-Cizor designed by William J. Browner sold over 400,000 copies. Its popularity was due to its ease of use and the manufacturer’s promise to lose weight overnight.
This device was not only used for weight reduction but also for erotic stimulation and was part of the collection of sexual scientist Alfred Kinsey. At least two electrodes were applied to so-called “problem areas” of the body and the intensity of the treatment was manually controlled by a rotary knob. The treatment took 30 – 60 minutes.
Unfortunately, the “miracle cure” Relax-A-Cizor brought a multitude of health problems and dangers instead of the desired weight reduction. The enormous intensity of the electrical impulses led to muscle shocks, unconsciousness, difficulty swallowing, cramps and vomiting. Even miscarriages and paralysis were side effects of the device, which is why the product was banned by the US government. As a result, Hollywood-based Relaxacizor Inc. went bankrupt.