Fashion and function?By Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe
A social design lab in The Netherlands has managed to solve that age old-problem of how to instantaneously broadcast to everyone that you are sexually aroused - specifically, by creating a dress that becomes transparent the moment it senses an increased heart rate. Talk about a dress that leaves little to the imagination! (Thank you, thank you, I'll be blogging here all week.)
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The dress was developed by a team of artists and engineers. Each dress has a microchip which detects changes in heartbeat. An increased heart rate causes the dress - through frankly mindboggling technology - to become transparent. Which is great, because sexily chewing on the straw to your vodka cranberry can only do so much, you know?
The only drawback to the dress - provided, of course, that you are completely fine with broadcasting your arousal before you even have time to mentally process it and/or decide whether or not it's something that you want to act upon or squelch, immediately - is that, as far as I'm aware, there are many feelings in life which cause increased heart rates. Traffic. Anxiety. Embarrassment. An unexpected flight of stairs.
The dress is obviously not intended for ready-to-wear quite yet (it's hard to imagine a situation in which you'd want your dress to suddenly become transparent), but it does make you wonder whether there could ever be an everyday use for this sort of technology. It seems as though the sex toy industry could benefit from it: maybe some sort of item to wear that could sense arousal and send a (subtle, secret?) message to a partner. But the most important thing would be to make whatever the arousal-detecting item is gender neutral, or available to both genders.
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Because the problem with making just a dress transparent - as opposed to, say, a shirt - makes the experiment completely about women. The instant a woman becomes aroused, the dress puts her (and her sexuality) up for public consumption by stripping her of any semblance of modesty, privacy, or even self-control. (Because we do have self-control when it comes to sex, in that we don't strip off our clothes the moment we're turned on - this dress would effectively take that away.) Don't women get enough of the male gaze without the aid of a see-through dress that reveals things you wouldn't tell Freud?
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