Latest sex gizmos turn gameplay into foreplay
Welcome to the next generation of sex toys.
Take the Limon, a sleek lemon-shaped vibrator that could be sold at the gift shop of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Released this month by Minna Life, it is billed as a "couples' vibrator" that can record and customise intensity levels.
Or consider RealTouch, a USB-connected sex toy said to have been designed by a former Nasa engineer that promises "interactive sex" with another person over the internet. For the pleasure seeker, stimulation is rendered in a series of 1's and 0's.
A similar but more reciprocal-minded device comes from LovePalz, a Taiwan company that bills itself as offering "the world's best interactive toys for internet love". Unlike RealTouch, it is wireless, which has its obvious advantages, and comes with hubristic-sounding names that may be a tad hard to live up to: Zeus (for him) and Hera (for her). It features something called responsive "air pump" technology.
Big-name corporations have also joined the hi-tech sex party. Durex, the condom manufacturer, is experimenting with a novelty product called Fundawear, a pair of his/her underpants with vibrating nodes that can be remotely activated by an iPhone.
But while the hi-tech gizmos get the most attention, it's really the person-to-person technologies that just extend our sexual reach that remain the most popular (see apps like Grindr and Tinder).
"People don't want technology to inhibit the sexual experience," said Lux Alptraum, the owner of Fleshbot, an online bible for sex culture. "It's not going to work unless it's seamless feeling. At the end of the day, actual people want to be in an actual room having actual sex.
"The act itself hasn't changed, at least not yet."