A sex toy called Osé from the company Lora DiCarlo won an award at the Consumer Electronics Show. Then the show’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association, took the award away. Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock’s pointed, honest response is one of my favorite press releases of all time.
Obligatory content warning: If it bothers you to read about sex toys and orgasms, skip today’s post.
First, a little background. The Consumer Electronics Show, CES, is an ecstatic, hype-drenched celebration of technology innovation with 180,000 people attending. It’s set in lascivious Las Vegas and surrounded with sexual innuendo, not least the buxom rent-by-the-show babes that some of the smaller exhibitors deploy to entice people into their booths. In fact, the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo used to run right alongside it (I stumbled into it one year by mistake — honest — and felt as if I’d blundered into a brothel.)
The CTA, which runs CES, is a powerful lobbying organization for the tech industry and likes to maintain a “wholesome” image as it presses legislators to relax tech regulations. I’ve run afoul of the CTA and its CEO-seemingly-for-life Gary Shapiro when I said something less than positive about HDTV — these people play for keeps. So it’s no surprise that the CTA isn’t comfortable with internet-connected hands-free sex toys.
Open Letter From Lora DiCarlo: Our Sex Toy Won A CES Robotics Innovation Award Then They Took It Back
Gender-bias at CES is stifling innovation
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Everything we do at Lora DiCarlo is rooted in sex-positivity and inclusion. We don’t hide what we do, and we firmly believe that women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQI folks should be vocally claiming our space in pleasure and tech – both of which are still heavily dominated by male-CEOs and executives. We also believe that society needs to drop the taboo around sex and sexuality – it’s a part of life and health that absolutely should be part of mainstream discourse. No shaming, no embarrassment, just the comfort and freedom to be yourself and enjoy your own body.