The latest innovation in long-distance dating is a new machine being developed in Japan, which hopes to effectively transmit the feeling of a French kiss. It’s sort of like Skype…with tongues.

Basically, participants put an apparatus in their mouths and swivel around the sensor with their tongues. This movement is then replicated in the apparatus of the other participant. Hot.

This video explains it best, but fair warning, it’s…pretty gross.

OK, so now that we’re all on the same page as to what this machine does, the question remains: would you ever use it?

We asked some people in long-distance relationships to weigh in.

Amelia McDonnell-Parry, editor of The Frisky, didn’t hesitate with her answer:

“I would sooner die than use this thing. There’s no amount of technical
innovation that could mimic the way it really feels to kiss my boyfriend. Plus, it’s just embarrassing.”

Katherine Garcia, who lives in NYC and whose boyfriend lives in Korea, had this to say:

“It seems the kissing machine was designed to give someone like a celebrity the chance to kiss anyone without being at close proximity…For two people, who enjoy kissing each other while being physically present – this would not sufficiently replace a real kiss and would not be a turn on.”

Steven Vee, who lives in Southern California and dates a girl in NYC, had more practical concerns:

“There’s nothing like the real thing – taste, smell, and unusual sensations (i.e. biting/sucking on lips/tongue). Plus, you never know if that e-kissing device would cost a fortune or not. What happens after a malfunction? Actually, what would happen if it malfunctioned during an e-kissing session? I’d hate to think of the negative possibilities of having an e-kissing device malfunction during a session.”

And Rachel Graham, who lives in New York and has been in a LDR with her boyfriend for 2 years while he attends graduate school in Chicago, was also skeptical:

“Even if the invention succeeded in feeling exactly like being kissed by my boyfriend, I’m not convinced kissing a machine would increase intimacy between us, which is the whole point of using technology in a long distance relationship.”

However, Rachel did give one concession:

“But then again, when I Skype with my boyfriend, I often ‘kiss’ him by putting my mouth really close to the camera and making a kissy noise (and he does it too- sorry Julian). I feel like THAT makes us feel closer, so who knows?”

Who knows, indeed! It’s easy to immediately shriek and say “Ew, no!” when looking at a stranger try to swivel what looks like a straw with his tongue. But for couples who are separated for long, long periods of time (I’m thinking army couples, for instance…), a machine that helps give the imprint of your loved one’s kiss might not seem so bizarre after all….

What do you think? Would you ever try it?