As you may have heard from your socially inept friends, local network of awkward virgins, or possibly after reading your favorite Phoenix news blog that there's a new erotic robot in town.
A Japanese grad student has developed a “kissing box” that transmits movements of the tongue from one device to the other, essentially allowing the user to “make out” with a lover, friend with benefits, or anonymous stranger over the Internet.
There are other teledildonic-esque devices like this out there, but the kissing box is the first that takes a little more of a romantic approach to cybersex.
But at further analysis – basically after watching it in action – sexperts across the country are chiming in to remind us that while this is pretty cool and technologically titillating, flicking a drinking straw with your tongue pales in comparison to swapping spit with a real live human.
Relationship coach Lauren Frances told AOL Weird News that while the kissing box could be used as an educational tool, there's no way it'll become an oral replacement.
“I think the only place this might be popular is in prison or, maybe, space,” she said. “It's like a sex toy. It can be instructional, but it lacks the excitement of a real person.”
And AfterDarkLA's Resident Kissing Expert Jamye Waxman tells us that even though a mechanical kissing machine could deliver the wiggly tongue teasing that many of us love while sucking face, there are some essential elements missing that a robot might never be able to emulate.
“The kissing machine can't compete with the deepest level of attractions, and those involve smell and sight,” Waxman told AfterDarkLA. “A large part of kissing involves smelling our partner, both the pheromones we don't realize their emitting and the actual scents they do, and those are things that really draw us into the kiss.”
We tend to forget that physical attraction often develops for reasons we can't explain – and probably don't even notice! Women emit pheromones and scents throughout their monthly cycles that enhance attraction tenfold, while the ladies tend to feel extra fluttery when surrounded by a man's natural scent.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Who knew beer breath, day-old armpit and leather could smell so hot?]
And besides, don't you want to squeeze the pert ass, narrow waist or growing bulge of your partner while you tongue tango? You can't do that with the kissing box.
“It's very hard to be attracted to a box,” Waxman said. “I do love the idea of a kissing machine as basic training before a first kiss, or to practice kissing with someone before you seal the deal, but when it comes to kissing, humans are the way to go.
No matter how many straws you kiss, you can't turn one into a prince.”
Watch the Japanese kissing machine in action HERE.