Robotic massager award farce shows CES still has no idea what to do with sextech

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Robotic massager award farce shows CES still has no idea what to do with sextech

Sex is a part of life. In fact, given how mundane or downright crappy much of life can be, sexual pleasure is a pretty damn good part of life. One worth celebrating. CES, as you’ll have seen from our coverage in the past two years, doesn’t really feel that way.

The organizational body behind the Consumer Electronic Show, the Consumer Technology Association, made the decision to largely eschew adult products back around 2000. A spokeperson previously told us “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.”

That seems pretty clear, except that Naughty America VR, OhMiBod and a smattering of other companies make it onto the floor each year, while others, like Lioness, are declined.

This year, not only is that inconsistency in play again, but the CTA has managed to go one step further and rescind an award due to be handed out to Lora DiCarlo’s Osé Robotic Massager.

The company’s founder Lora Haddock was told two weeks before the show that the product had been disqualified from the robotics and drones innovation award for being “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified”, and thus, in breach of the rules.

The organization, likely realising the optics of such a statement, walked it back and instead said that the disqualification was simply because the device didn’t fit the in the robotics and drones category.

Lora DiCarlo joined a small percentage of other products that were awarded such a coveted honor each year; this feather in our collective cap made years of research and engineering even more worthwhile and further validated our vision for creating innovative, inclusive products that change lives,” Haddock said.

“My team rejoiced and celebrated. A month later our excitement and preparations were cut short when we were unexpectedly informed that the administrators at CES and CTA were rescinding our award and subsequently that we would not be allowed to showcase Osé, or even exhibit at CES 2019.”

With VR porn openly available for anyone that strolls past the Naughty America VR booth at the show, Lora DiCarlo is clearly feeling frustrated at the selective censoring of devices aimed at female pleasure.

“This double standard makes it clear that women’s sexuality is not worthy of innovation. By excluding female-focused Sex Tech, CES and CTA are essentially saying that women’s sexuality and sexual health is not worthy of innovation. Dismissing an innovation in micro-robotics and biomimicry because the technology is in a pleasure product makes a strong statement. It seems the CTA is just fine with “female-oriented” products like breast pumps, Kegel exercisers, and even robotic vacuums – things that also benefit someone else – but something that squarely focuses on women’s sexuality is off the table.”

While the show’s approach to sextech isn’t news to SEXTECHGUIDE readers, it seems like other big publications are finally starting to take notice, with stories appearing in a number of high-profile outlets about the plight of Lora DiCarlo this year.

Whether or not the CTA will ease the stance on sextech devices – or even introduce it as a category of its own – will only be revealed when next year’s show rolls around.

Read Next: ‘Blended orgasm’ toy gets $1.1m grant via US robotics lab partnership

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