Convenient, on demand human intimacy
Design a sensory interface to a (digital) interaction. Define an existing interaction and focus your sensory experience.
ORAL distills key intimate experiences, such as sex, into accessible gustatory immersion kits. Our carefully engineered kits require no setup, no uncomfortable human interaction, are 100% plant-based and certified organic. At ORAL, we believe everyone deserves an intimate experience as rich and immersive as the real thing — ORAL is affordable and can be found with select retailers or delivered straight to your door.
12 participants tasted a wide panel of flavors, ranging from tapioca gel to pink peppercorns. Each person was given instructions to reflect on the emotions and memories (if any) of the taste and texture, rather than describing the taste itself.
Most literature we found defines four stages of sex; excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution — (1) Foreplay (2) Build-up (2) Orgasm and (4) Afterglow. Using the palette of flavors we had catalogued, we build each stage as a combination of 3–4 of the flavors closest to the sensations attributed to each stage.
ORAL has no technology to hide behind, it is important to finesse every element starting with packaging. With ORAL we wanted to capture the fetishization of the “unboxing” experience. In our design, we pay homage to the attention to detail and minimalism of modern consumer electronic packaging. The packaging was made to strike a balance between something was beautiful and polished while still being believably mass market. For materials, we chose a thick, semi-glossy card stock to build our containers from — the finish had an appropriate rigidity and refinement while not being as precious as acrylic or painted mdf.
ORAL was presented at the sensory design exhibition at CIID in August 2018 to a mixed reception and no critical acclaim.
Critiques on the Present
Oral was a provocation to question the services and products already out there that help automate “basic human necessities” like food and nutrition. Products which make human experiences more convenient but don’t necessarily make our lives all that much better. Yet, there is no denying there is a real need — people do lack time, ability, etc. to “have the real thing.” The rise of these types of products espouses the idea of lynchpinning, the idea that you can make your whole life better if you make some “inconvenient” task better or easier. With the surge of the Artisan/Crafted and Slow-Food movement — we feel society is finding out that is not always true. That there is a value in the real thing that cannot be mocked. ORAL is meant to be an extreme expression of that sort of lynchpinning, while still having real function, real intrigue (though that’s not too hard with sex), and a real sensory experience.
Thoughts on the Future
Of course, there will always be room for further refinement. However, there are two conceptual extensions of ORAL that we did not have the chance to explore.
The first being extensions on intimate experiences. ORAL was not meant to be a sex-focused product but a sensory kit for intimate experiences that could include experiences such as a first date or lovers quarrel. The second being personalized ORAL kits. Kits that would take one person’s unique subjectivity around taste and map that to unique flavor profiles for different types of intimate experiences. Personalized ORAL kits could be sent to friends or lovers to experience a synesthetic blend of each other’s subjective tastes