Mark Harris
TECHNO TURN-OFFS, February 2007

The worst romance gadgets ever
Valentine’s Day: Do high tech gifts and romance go together? Not according to Mark Harris

How careful were you choosing a gadget gift this St Valentine’s Day? If you want to put the geek into gorgeous, you’ll have to do better than some of these…

Kissing Love Tester £4.95
What it does: Hold the plastic heart with someone you fancy, give them a snog and the Love Tester will either play music (full steam ahead) or sound a buzzer (dump them immediately).
What you think it says: You’re fun, wacky and not afraid to kiss a few frogs to find your perfect prince or princess.
What it actually says: If you need a battery-powered heart to tell you whether you’re a good kisser, you’re not.
Break-up potential: 55%

Chocolate Fountain £30
What it does: Fill with chocolate, wait for it to warm up and experience wave upon wave of liquefied glucose pleasure.
What you think it says: You’re a sophisticated lover with gourmet taste and a wild imagination. Five minutes of dabbling fruit on sticks, then you’ll be dipping something else…
What it actually says: You’re a chocoholic with hygiene issues and a comprehensive ignorance of food preparation. Get frisky with the fountain and the next thing you’ll know you’ll be queuing at Casualty with a bag of frozen peas down your pants.
Break-up potential: 68%

Benefon Twig Discovery £from £50 with contract
What it does: Mobile phone with built-in satellite navigation that lets you plot your partner’s location on a colour map, along with the quickest route to get you back together.
What you think it says: No more ‘Where are you?’ calls on the way home or hunting for each other in the wrong bar.
What it actually says: Either you’re a paranoid stalker with control issues, or you reckon your other half is chronically unreliable and unable to read a bus timetable, let alone navigate major urban areas unaccompanied. Plus it’s uglier than Chris Moyles.
Break-up potential: 62%

Peekaboo Pole Dance Game £40
What it does: A chrome-plated, three-part pole that can be erected in seconds (easy now), with a spring-loaded mechanism to fit different ceiling heights. Plus instructional booklet and a ‘saucy’ garter belt.
What you think it says: Your girlfriend is a beautiful creature of boogie, whose full sensuality can blossom only through the medium of exotic dance.
What it actually says: You’d rather be down your local lap dancing establishment, sipping over-priced Appletise and watching bored art students jiggle their way through college.
Break-up potential: 94%

Lifetimer £15
What it does: A multi-functional timepiece that counts how long it’s been since your relationship began or the last time you had sex, plus countdowns to birthdays and holidays.
What you think it says: Not a second goes by without you thinking of your gorgeous partner. Every minute apart feels like a day, and every day like a year.
What it actually says: You’re an obsessive clock-watcher who has to have a shag 4.3 times a week. Or even worse, you’ve programmed the timer to countdown until your biological baby clock alarm rings…
Break-up potential: 88%

Orgasmatron £16
What it does: Eight-pronged head massage gizmo named after the ultimate sex toy, featured in the Woody Allen film ‘Sleeper’.
What you think it says: You’re a sensitive New Age soul aching to fully explore the mysteries of cranial manipulation. Night-long Tantric love can only be a step away.
What it actually says: You have no idea what you’re doing in bed and would rather use bendy copper prongs than the various bits and pieces nature gave you. Or you think your partner has nits.
Break-up potential: 43%

Pimp My Bed £20
What it does: Fourteen extra-bright LEDs that fit beneath your divan of delight, casting a seductive blue glow that can be dimmed at a touch.
What you think it says: You’re recreating the subdued smoulder of a stylish chill out bar in your bedroom. And it’ll hide that pile of dirty laundry in the corner.
What it actually says: You’re DIY crazy but your low-rider VW Golf already has all the halogen lamps and fat tyres it can take. And it actually just makes that pile of dirty laundry look blue.
Break-up potential: 35%

Romancing the phone
• Britons sent 120 million text messages on Valentine’s Day last year – ten times the number of cards sent by post.
• According to a survey by Virgin Mobile, three quarters of people would be happy with a text message instead of a traditional card.
• One in twenty Brits send amorous texts to ex-lovers on February 14

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