If you've ever been in a long-distance relationship, then you can certainly relate to the old (slightly altered) truism, "Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder." The nights spent cold and alone; the not-quite-satisfying video chats on Skype; the all-too-brief, fleeting weekend visits: It's a hard commitment, to be sure.

Now, however, there is a new gadget called LovePalz, marketed specifically to couples doing the long-distance thing, that is aiming to make the waiting a little less hard.

LovePalz is a two-way, Internet-connected pleasure machine that allows couples in different bedrooms, from anywhere in the world that has Wi-Fi, to simulate coitus. Each partner positions one device -- a "Hera" for the ladies, a "Zeus" for the men -- on his or her erogenous zone and then opens up the LovePalz iPhone app (not yet submitted to or approved by Apple) to connect the device with his or her partner's. (Interestingly, there's a social network aspect to the app: You can add other users and then choose which one you want to connect with; in this case, a higher friend count might not be something you wish to advertise.) Once you've paired with a fellow LovePalz owner, the process begins, and whatever movement one partner makes with his or her hips, that movement is received and recreated on the partner's device, in real-time, accounting for both speed and pressure. With LovePalz, at least, it really is all about the motion in the ocean, not the size of the ship.

A basic rendering of how the LovePalz device works, for both man and woman.

Each LovePalz device is rechargeable, comes with an air pump motor and automatic piston (coincidentally my nickname in college), and is -- sigh -- totally waterproof.

Below, watch the two creators of LovePalz -- who are surprisingly not a couple in a long-distance relationship -- discuss the inspiration for their teledildonic breakthrough, and how the machine gets down and dirty:

Ready to buy? The startup, and its idea to revolutionize the yearning and burning of geographically-distant lovers, was actually rejected by Kickstarter (a Kickstarter representative declined to comment, though LovePalz may have rubbed up against the site's prohibition on "pornographic material"), so the founders have started their own Kickstarter-like site where you can pledge money in return for one of the first Zeuses or Heras.

A Zeus and Hera together will cost $94.95 upon launch. Unfortunately, however, LovePalz is only in the pre-order stage, with the company hoping to start shipping in November. In other words, you're going to have to wait a little while for your very own LovePalz to arrive. If you're in a long-term, long-distance relationship, however, you're probably already pretty good at waiting anyway.

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