What was so bad about that system? you might feel entitled to wonder. Well, apparently it was too subtle for some guys. Opportunities were being missed. Guys would take the object of their desire out for a nice dinner and drinks at an exquisitely overpriced nightclub and then leave their girls with nothing but a kiss on the wrist in spite of them being a surging fount of womanly desires. Now, when his date is wearing the Intimacy 2.0, the sophisticated male knows when the night train is ready to leave the station, even if his companion has spent the whole evening in the ladies' room or playing "Bejeweled" on her cell phone. She doesn't even have to text-message him, "Hey, I'm ready for sex." The 2.0 does her talking for her, by becoming as transparent as a "Law and Order—SVU" plot.
The potential for disaster inherent in a dress that becomes transparent when the wearer gets horny seems to have not occurred to Daan Roosengaarde, the garment's designer, just as it hasn't occurred to him that his name could be spelled with a lot fewer vowels. What if some collegiate vixen, out on a pity date with her second cousin from Cleveland, suddenly spots the hunk of her dreams standing across the dance floor? Her Intimacy dress goes all Glad-Wrap on her, dosing her dork date with more unfounded optimism than anyone since Mitt Romney was certain he would be elected President.
Likewise, if a girl on a particularly boring social outing starts idly indulging in her sexual fantasies, whether they consist of having Shakespeare read to her by Hugh Grant or being power-spanked by Vin Diesel, the result is she's suddenly standing there looking like she left the house just wearing the shower curtain.
A far more useful clothing item would be the "Go Away 2.0" garment, a dress that signals when a woman is absolutely uninterested in you. Men are actually far more adept at reading the signals of attraction than they are of repulsion, so a dress that responded when its owner was thinking thoughts about you like Not until there's a Baskin-Robbins in hell or I'd rather have sex with Barney the friggin' dinosaur by automatically zipping up its cleavage and dropping its hem six inches would benefit both the wearer and yourself.
Or if that proved beyond the scope of fashion engineering, the dress could be decorated with invisible advice that flashed into prominence when triggered by the wearer's personal loathing. Messages like If you want to know how it feels to get shot down quicker than the Iraqi Air Force, talk to me, or Go ahead, make a move. Your friends will laugh about my reaction for so long you'll need to get new friends glowing on the fabric of the Go Away 2.0 ought to be enough to discourage your unwanted attention no matter how handsome drinking has made you think you are.
Of course, designing similar garments for men is out of the question. A pair of pants that became transparent when its owner was aroused would be wasted on the male; you might as well skip the technology and make the trousers out of plastic sheeting in the first place. A shirt that broadcast rejection messages would also be a poor seller among the XY set. Men like to hedge their bets. At best you could unload a few that flash "Talk to Me When the Bar is Closing."
I'm afraid we'll have to wait for "Intimacy 3.0." That's a dress that when you ladies wear it, you appear as an aging frump in a pair of mom jeans to all the men you don't want to meet, but as Kate Upton in a thong bikini to all of the guys you find attractive.
They ought to be able to sell a couple million of those things.