Far be it from me to tell you when or where this happened, but apparently, at some point within the last decade, all of the sex-toy makers in the world got together in a secret, underground, vulva-shaped volcano lair and quietly decided that the one thing a woman wants more than anything in the world is to pay $149 for something that can do exactly what her fingers can, but can also store Power Point presentations and photos from her sister's baby shower. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the invention of the Duet, a high-powered, silicon and metal device that comes with a USB flash drive, which stores up to 8 gigabytes of data.
Released last month by national sex-toy chain Babeland and the San Francisco-based store Good Vibrations, the Duet differs from other vibrators on the market because it's powered by a USB cable instead of a traditional battery. The product was developed by Michael Toplovac and Ti Chang after a year and a half of research and interviews with more than 1,000 women, and the inventors hope that the sleek, high-end model will help revolutionize the sex toy industry. "In terms of the Duet making a splash, it is not about how we can or will do compared to the few other luxury brands, but how do we help lead a movement that elevates this space out the lowbrow place it usually sits,” Topolovac says of the device, which the Daily Beast calls "the iPod of vibrators." “It feels a bit like we have come to realize that women desire high-quality shoes, but the bulk of their options are flip-flops at K-Mart.”
In a few weeks, Toplovac and Chang will release two upgraded versions of the model — a $189, gold-plated model that stores 8 GB of data, and a $349 version that stores 16 GB of data. The inventors hope that the device, with its discreet, ultra-modern design, will help transform society's conception of a sex toy as something sordid and "cartoonish" into a high-end luxury object. (Chang compares the Duet to jewelry, referring to it as "something women buy to splurge on themselves and feel good.") Which is totally cool if you're a high-powered lady executive like Sigourney Weaver's character in Working Girl, and you have the funds to purchase an item that'll get you off and fill out your tax forms at the same time. But the rest of us ladies in the 99 percent can make do with pretending that $12, seven-inch hunk of plastic is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and that showerhead is Jason Segel, thank you very much.