Arts Brief: Electric Eats

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It’s worth buying the new SaSi sex toy—sold exclusively at Babeland—simply so that you can say the words, “Would you like to see my artificial cunnilingus machine?” A friend came over and looked at mine cautiously as the nubby “tongue” tip moved up and down. I invited her to touch it. “Are you sure you haven’t used it?” she asked. I hadn’t. After touching it and recoiling, she said, “My cat would like this.”

Ever since the Rabbit reared its head on Sex and the City, sex shops in New York have undergone something of a revamp; like everything else, they’ve gone upscale. As Starbucks reinvented buying coffee, so stores like Babeland and companies like Jimmy Jane are making and selling products for the high-income consumer. (Jimmy Jane, based out of San Francisco, makes a set of six luxury vibrators for $1,650.) Buying a sex toy has become a lot like buying an iPod.

The SaSi is the brainchild of a British company called Je Joue (the fancy French name is probably due to the fact that Brits aren’t known for their celebration of sexuality). Duncan Taylor, a member of the team that designed the toy, said that they became interested in “how technology was becoming more involved in peoples’ lives, particularly with women, over the past six years, with everyone being computer literate.”

And as we give more of our lives over to technology, “the next thing will be men’s toys—it’s one of the last frontiers of design that hasn’t been fully explored.” What about cyber sex? Taylor paused. “I don’t like the idea of having sex with robots.”

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