Once Again, a Vibrator Is a Finalist at Notoriously Puritanical CES

Illustration for article titled Once Again, a Vibrator Is a Finalist at Notoriously Puritanical CES
Screenshot: Lioness.io

A robotic vibrator is a finalist for an award at the notoriously puritanical CES tech trade show, which has screwed up with women’s sex toys in the past.

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The Associated Press reports that the vibrator, created by women-led California start-up Lioness, is up for this year’s Last Gadget Standing award, the trade show’s long-running crowd sourced category. According to Lioness’s website the vibrator tracks and measures your orgasms in an effort to help you improve them, and though I specifically am not sure I feel comfortable with Big Data getting near my sex parts, its inclusion at CES is a big deal.

Last year, the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, disqualified another vibrator, the Osé from the similarly woman-led Lora Dicarlo, after it won an Innovation Honoree Award, claiming it was “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane” and otherwise “not in keeping with CTA’s image.” This was very strange and fairly sexist, considering the CTA has permitted sex tech and sex toys to showcase at CES for years, provided they were made for and/or designed by men. (See: sex robot for men, VR porn, and these sex toys designed by a couple.) And according to tech site CIO, CES has had some trouble with gender diversity over the years, poorly representing women innovators while highlighting some decidedly sexist ads and gadgets.

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After an outcry, CES added a sex tech product category, though that in itself was weird, since, as Gizmodo pointed out at the time, the Osé fit into the already existing categories just fine. Gizmodo reported:

“It’s silly to me for it to have its own separate category, separate from robotics and AI for example,” Liz Klinger, the CEO of Lioness, a women-led company designing smart vibrators, told Gizmodo in response to Lora DiCarlo’s Osé device having its award rescinded. “Some of these products are using robotics and AI to make the product, and there’s innovation there, and it should be evaluated as such.”

Now, the Lioness is in Osé’s shoes. May its robot-sourced orgasms help it win big.

Night blogger, author of GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE.

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DISCUSSION

JaneLucPicard
Jane-Luc Picard

This focus on vaginal orgasm strikes me as generally bad? Like... I love penetration and can achieve vaginal orgasm with a partner, but solo it is not the same and I prefer external only. Are my solo orgasms not good enough? The focus on penetrative sex and penetrative orgasm can be alienating for some.

I guess my robot dildo can’t track other kinds of orgasm because they lack the mechanical element of putting a thing in me to “measure” the “strength” of my “contractions” but that’s not the same as a good vs bad orgasm. As another commenter noted: I don’t want to be a sweaty puddle everytime. Especially weeknights! A short and sweet is often better.

Seems like we still need some work on this, and I don’t mean re robotics.