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   dildonics in razor design
Tuesday, November 21 2006
I took a bath this afternoon with my newest razor, a Gillette Fusion. It had come free in the mail like an AOL CD, an effort to hook me on its high-tech shaving whizbangitude. I can't say that I'm hooked exactly, but when you face a lifetime of shaving it's always good to get a free razor.
The thing that makes the Gillette Fusion remarkable is the number of blades it has in its shaving head, which is five. There's even a sixth single blade on the flip side to help out with "those hard-to-shave places." Shaving with the Gillette Fusion is a little like dragging a Venetian blind across your face. All those blades doing all that cutting in parallel creates a large amount of friction which adds up to an appreciable drag. You find yourself p-u-l-l-i-n-g on the thing, yet the cutting is distributed over such a wide area that it's not uncomfortable. Before I'd ever seen the Gillette Fusion in the wild, I'd read an article that claimed that the number of blades in modern razors seems to be under the inexorable upward tug of Moore's Law.
Also interesting for me is change to the designs of the handles of these razors. On the edge of the bathtub is my old razor, a more-traditional dual-bladed model. It has a lightweight plastic-cored handle with several rubbery insets featuring frictional treading, presumable so the razor won't somehow slip out of your hand (anyone ever had that happen?). The plastic body features deep cutouts sculpted along its ventral and dorsal surfaces, each punctuated by a gridwork of plastic ribbing presumably added for structural reasons.
In the new Gillette Fusion, the handle design is rather different. It is aluminum-cored with rubber insets, each having shallow ribbing. Being heavier, it makes for a better counterweight for the shaving head, which, with its six blades, is decidedly bulkier than its two-bladed ancestor. The Gillette Fusion has the heft of a genuine tool, whereas the earlier two-bladed model feels like a toiletry.
With both models, though, I wonder to what extent the designs were influenced by the field of dildonics. There are, after all, plenty of people who would like to use a dildo without actually going through the shame (self-imposed or otherwise) of buying one. With this in mind, a savvy designer of ordinary objects could incorporate dildo-design into a part of an ordinary object used for something unrelated. The handle of a razor would be the perfect part to dildoize, catering to a vast potential market of men who like to recreationally shove things up their ass without anyone being the wiser. For this purpose, the Gillette Fusion is clearly superior to its two-bladed predecessor. With all that shiny aluminum and lacking the deeply-sculpted cutouts, it's much easier to keep clean, though all those rubber "anti-slip" inserts are still there to keep the thing from shooting unexpectedly out of your ass.

This evening a little after 5pm Gretchen and I went to the Hurley Mountain Inn so she could rendezvous with a colleague and do a handoff of some documents. Afterwards she and I shared a basket of fries. These were of unusually high-quality, which led us to come up with a theory that the Hurley Montain Inn frier grease is changed at around 5pm every day. The later you order fries past that hour, the crappier they become (though they never get as bad as the fish and chips I had once in London, which tasted like they'd tumbled for a few cycles in a vacuum cleaner bag).
I also had a LaBatt Blue with my fries, and for some reason this gave me a headache that caused me to go to bed at around 7:30pm. I intended it to just be a nap, but I stayed there for the night, missing out on a proper meal Susan the German Translator cooked for us tonight. (She'd be moving out tonight or tomorrow, having found a place all to herself in West Hurley.)


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