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SHOCK OF THE NEW

THE KISSING MACHINE

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The pucker-impaired need look only as far as http://www.thekiss.com to purchase the latest smooching aid, The Kissing Machine ($49.95). Developed by Tomima Edmark, the woman behind the Topsy Tail hair-accessory empire, the battery-powered novelty hooks up to stereo speakers and transforms musical beats into tingly electrical impulses as each partner grasps a metal bar while locking lips.

”Everyone kisses, and there are sex gadgets. So why not a kissing gadget?” says Edmark, a self-proclaimed osculation expert who’s published three books on the subject. (Audio-hardware specialist Ken Plotzker says of the device, whose maximum peak current measures less than 5 milliamps, ”If you’re healthy, this should not cause any damage.”) The gizmo produces a sensation ranging from pleasant buzz to hair-raising zap, depending on one’s taste in music. Better forget about playing Nine Inch Nails.