Category Archives: Body Dysmorphia

Speed Dating with Surgical Masks

In 1998, an Orthodox Rabbi and his wife invented a new form of dating technology for young Jewish singles to meet and find a partner. Dubbed speed dating, Rabbi Yaacov Deyo was well beyond his time, as this formalized matchmaking process is still in use today. A Japanese dating service has recently adopted the model with a tiny twist; the participants wear surgical masks during the three-minute dating sessions, focusing on one’s personality rather than looks.

The facemasks, more often worn to avoid catching disease, proved a big success among the participants, who found they were more ‘outgoing’ with them on. “Since I wasn’t judged by my appearance, I think I was able to be more outgoing with women,” said 28-year-old Yasumasu Kishi. Dating services are hot topic in Japan, as Japanese millennials raised in the digital society dread face-to-face encounters, while simultaneously long working hours have effect on the Japanese remaining unmarried. Therefore konkatsu, –active “marriage seeking activity”– is considered a virtuous option.

According to a national survey conducted by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2014, the marriage rate has plunged by 50 percent over the last 40 years, from 10,1 per thousand in 1975 to 5,1 per thousand in 2014. Since 2009, similar events take place for otako –which roughly translates to geeks. During the marriage hunt sessions, participants wear masks that depict popular characters from anime or manga, turning it to a kind of masked ball for geeks.

Source: Reuters

Wake Up with an Orgasm

If an orgasm won’t get you up in the morning, nothing will. This is the basic premise of the Little Rooster S, the vibrator-alarm clock hybrid for women that takes intimate technology to a whole new level. Never before was snoozing that much fun.

The original Little Rooster was first introduced in 2011, but ran out of stock after garnering a great amount of media attention. Therefore the company behind the contraption is back with an updated model that is currently available for pre-order. Priced at £69.00, “You wake slowly. Sensually. Pleasurably.” The small plastic device is to be worn inside the underwear, but outside the body. The user can adjust the alarm clock by choosing for 30 “snorgasm” power levels –of which 27 are silent– for precision pleasure. The device will begin to vibrate at the specified time, and gradually increases to the user’s selected level of intensity. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

The everyday vibrator-alarm isn’t for solely morning purposes. “I wore it during romantic dinners, set to go off during dessert as we sat watching the sun set over the beach,” one customer said. “I think the waiters must have thought I hadn’t had a creme brûlée in months!” Moreover, sex trainer Charlotte Rose says she believes this could help women suffering from certain sexual issues. “This looks like a great little device for women who may be suffering from low libido due to natural events such as menopause.”

A similar device for both men and women was introduced in 2015, called the Dream Rooster, but after an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign, the erotic dream simulator never came about.

Source: Daily Mail

Tampons 2.0

Each month women experience the shedding of their uterine lining. During this period of 3 to 5 days on the average, it has been said that women feel more sensitive and aroused. That’s where San Francisco start-up The Flex Company comes in. This company has designed an alternative tampon that enables couples to have “mess-free period sex” when the monthly cycle hits.

The Flex menstrual disc is similar in design to the Mooncup, and fits against the cervix, creating a soft barrier that temporarily collects menstrual fluid. Made with a medical-grade polymer, the material uses body heat to warm up and adapt to the wearer’s natural shape. As the disc is disposable, it can be worn –during sex– for up to 12 hours, although is not a form of contraception. Women (or anyone having a period) can buy the product for about $20 per cycle, or subscribe to a quarterly box, which reduces the price to $15 a month.

According the company, Flex is the first product innovation in feminine hygiene in nearly a century. “Flex is a revolutionary device that is changing the way women think about their menstruation […] Unlike other feminine hygiene products, Flex conforms to any woman’s body making it the most comfortable product on the market.” Gynecologist Jane van Dis says the product is hypoallergenic, free of BPA plastic and doesn’t carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Menstrual products are subject to regulations from the Federal Drug Administration. However, as currently there is no category for menstrual discs, this means these devices would be regulated as menstrual cups. Therefore Flex submitted itself to the FDA as such and recently acquired its competitor Softcup to corner the market on menstrual discs. If one thing is for sure, the company surely succeeds in giving new meaning to the notion of 1 girl, 1 cup. Period.

Sources: TechCrunch, Dezeen, Mashable

The First Sex Toy for Trans Men

Over the last decade the sex toy industry gain more mainstream acceptance, thereby growing into a $15 billion market segment, with the expectation to surpass the $50 billion by 2020. Unfortunately this market fails to provide for gender-transitioning men, therefore trans activist and entrepreneur Buck Angel has created a sex toy designed specifically for the female-to-male (FTM) trans community.

The so-called Buck Off is a masturbation aid made for people who have transitioned or are currently transitioning. The shape of the toy is designed to be more comfortable for those experiencing the effects of testosterone as part of their transition, including the enlarging of their genitals. While the Buck Off resembles other masturbation sleeves in its basic design, this model is shorter and wider than other sleeves and can create suction. This allows the overcoming of gender dysphoria, which might arise in using other toys.

The device, which is distributed by male sex toy manufacturer Perfect Fit presents a radical entry into the sex toy industry, broadening the horizons beyond strap-ons and slings. Made from Perfect Fit’s ultra-soft SilaSkin™ the Buck-off is said to be “so pleasurable to touch it is addictive.” Steve Callow, Perfect Fit CEO responded, “Our philosophy has always been to make products to enhance the sexual experience, and Buck believes this toy will help transmen explore their bodies and be more confident in their sexuality. That’s all we needed to hear, and we are proud to be associated with Buck on this project.”

Angel believes that his product can help validate trans male identities, and has high hopes for his tool becoming an educational aid to help trans men connect with their bodies. The Buck Off has only been available for purchase for two weeks, but satisfied customers are already voicing their gratitude.

Source: Vice

A Robotic Rectal Teaching Assistant

Keeping in mind the second most common cancer in men is prostatic adenocarcinoma, it should come as no surprise that men are not lining up to volunteer for medical training purposes, as the first step of a doctor’s diagnosis is inserting the index finger into the anus. Therefore, a group of scientists at Imperial College London developed a robotic rectum that helps train doctors and nurses to perform rectal examinations by accurately recreating the feel of a rectum, while providing computer feedback on their examination technique.

The Rectal Teaching Assistant (RTA) was presented at the Eurohaptics conference earlier this summer and is currently being adapted for gynecological exams, too. The prosthetic contains small robotic arms that apply pressure to the silicone rectum, to recreate the shape and feel of the back passage. At the same time the device is tracking the medical examiner’s finger position in real-time. A computer screen behind the device can display a 3D model of the rectum and prostate, allowing the doctor, with the aid of 3D glasses, to see the anatomy while they perform the examination.

Dr. Fernando Bello from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London said, “Because the examinations occur in the body, the trainer cannot see what the trainee is doing, and vice versa.” Other prosthetic rectums are available, including one from the US with pressure sensors, named Patrick. However according to Bello, none of these give such a realistic feel to trainees. Due to the intimate nature of the examination, one could argue the robotic device teaches the medical students a crash course in “professional intimacy”.

Robotic rectums are just the latest implementation of emerging technologies, paving the way to recreate realistic sensations in other fields such as teledildonics. While it might seem creepy at first, it wouldn’t hurt to get to the bottom of it.

Source: Imperial College London