LAS VEGAS — Lora DiCarlo’s Osé Robotic Massager was to be one of a handful of honorees this week at Consumer Electronics Show’s robotics and drones Innovation Awards show.
But two week ago, Lora DiCarlo’s founder, Lora Haddock, received word from CES’ organizers that the technology trade show had disqualified the device from the awards program and banned the company’s product from the show.
According to an email supplied by Haddock, CTA officials said that its “strict policy” forbids adult companies from exhibiting on the show floor. Meeting rooms or suites, however, were a possibility to show off their goods at this year’s show, the officials said.
“It’s also important to note that a literal sex doll for men launched on the floor at CES in 2018 and a VR porn company exhibits there every year, allowing men to watch pornography in public as consumers walk by,” Haddock said.
“Clearly CTA has no issue allowing explicit male sexuality and pleasure to be ostentatiously on display,” Haddock said. “Other sex toys have exhibited at CES and some have even won awards, but apparently there is something different, something threatening about Osé, a product created by women to empower women.”
CTA’s decision to pull the award for Lora DiCarlo has some organizations, including the Free Speech Coalition, calling foul. The move could be indicative of a broader problem of sexism in the tech industry and at the annual Las Vegas conference.
Eric Paul Leue, who leads the FSC as executive director, told XBIZ that “CES’ bias against sexual wellness isn’t just unfair and stigmatizing, it’s culturally backwards.”
“The adult industry has helped power many of the innovations that drive tech today, and the pleasure products industry is witnessing a boom in innovation, often led by women and queer people,” Leue said. “CES’ ban on most adult businesses started several years ago, and with each passing year it’s been clear just how myopic a decision that was.
“Their continued fear of sex and sexuality is going to lead them into irrelevance,” Leue said. “Thankfully, for anyone interested in covering our innovative, booming, shame-free industry, ANME is around the corner.”