CES, the world’s biggest consumer electronic show, doesn’t really know how it feels about sex – or more specifically, adult exhibitors.
Earlier this year, at The Next Web, I wrote about how there were an increasing number of adult exhibitors this year. Still only a handful, but a handful more than previous years.
There’s a good reason there weren’t hoards of adult exhibitors at CES in the past – there used to be (it changed a few years ago, I believe) an adult expo taking place at exactly the same time. Why bother paying loads to exhibit at a mainstream show where you’ll mostly be shunned and get lost among the noise?
However, with VR headsets now only a few dollars, virtual reality and the world of teledildonics are theoretically available to anyone. The attendance of companies like OhMiBod, B.Sensory,and Nuelle. Naughty America had a presence around CES, but not on the show floor. All of this made me think that 2017 could be even bigger for sextech at the show, but that’s apparently not the case.
A spokesperson told SexTechGuide there’s no ‘adult’ category, and as such those companies really aren’t allowed… but some clearly made it onto the floor.
“‘Adult products’ is not an official product category for CES. Some so-called adult products have been shown on the show floor via the exhibits of CES partners (e.g., Trojan was part of the Living in Digital Times exhibit) or awards programs (e.g., The Bird – an eBook vibrator that won an Innovation award as a wearable).”
This is where it gets odd though. CES has no record of Nuelle (Fiera Arouser) ever being present. After a little more prodding, another statement was issued:
“As you may know, the adult entertainment industry left CES in 2000 to create its own show, which is still in existence. At that time our board gave us the direction that we no longer were going to include “adult entertainment” products in our show.
To that end, we do not have an adult entertainment product category at CES and have denied companies wishing to show such products, noting our exhibit contracts include language stating the exhibit display and contents must match the product or service category for which they are floored.”
Indeed, an anonymous company that would fall within the ‘adult’ category, told us that it had been denied space at next year’s show, while others were being “grandfathered in”, though for that to be the case, it would need to have been before the rule change about ‘adult’ categories.
Clearly, whatever the rules of the past, there’s a new harder line approach for upcoming years, according to the company.
“With more than 3,800 exhibitors, every now and then a product has slipped by us, generally because they came in as part of a aggregated exhibit or through an awards program. We are taking measures to ensure products coming into the show fall within our defined categories. For instance we now certify aggregators to ensure that they are bringing products that fit within our [categories].
Of course, sometimes products may stand across multiple categories or may not seem to fit a specific category but the exhibitor wishes to present the product under a specific category designation. In this case, we reserve the right to review the request and make a determination.”
While there is still a dedicated adult show that takes place in Las Vegas, it’s a shame that in 2017, CES won’t be one of the driving factors helping the tech go mainstream. That means you won’t be seeing any AI-equipped robot sex dolls there either.
This article was originally posted on Aug 28, 2016 @ 01:29 and has since been updated.