CES 2019: 'Award-winning' sex toy for women withdrawn from show

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CES, Sex toyImage source, Lora DiCarlo
Image caption,
The Ose robot massager has been banned from CES

A sex toy designed for women has been banned from the technology show CES.

Lora DiCarlo said it had been invited to display its robotic Ose vibrator at CES, after winning an innovation award.

CES organiser the Consumer Technology Association, which granted the award, said it had included the device by mistake and could withdraw any immoral or obscene entry at any time.

Lora DiCarlo chief executive Lora Haddock said the CES and CTA had a history of gender bias.

In a statement to The Next Web, the CTA said: "The product does not fit into any of our existing product categories and should not have been accepted.

"We have apologised to the company for our mistake."

But, in a statement on the Lora DiCarlo website, Ms Haddock cites several examples of other female-oriented products included in the award category the vibrator was in.

"Two robotic vacuum cleaners, one robotic skateboard, four children's toys, one shopping companion robot - looks like all of women's interests are covered, right?" she said.

"Ose clearly fits the robotics and drone category - and CTA's own expert judges agree."

The product had been designed in partnership with a robotics laboratory at Oregon State University and had eight patents pending for "robotics, biomimicry, and engineering feats", Ms Haddock said.

"We firmly believe that women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQI folks should be vocally claiming our space in pleasure and tech," she said.

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Ms Haddock said there was a double-standard at CES when it came to sexual health products targeted at men versus women.

"Men's sexuality is allowed to be explicit, with a literal sex robot in the shape of an unrealistically proportioned woman and VR porn in point of pride along the aisle," she said.

The products she is referring to are the RealDoll sex robot Harmony, which debuted at last year's event, and a room showcasing virtual reality porn off the main conference in 2017.

The VR porn room was reportedly visited more than 1,000 times in its first day of opening.

This year, an unofficial shuttle bus is taking people from the conference site to a legal brothel for a sex-video experience controlled by an Amazon Echo speaker.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Twitter users have reacted to the decision using the hashtag #CESGenderBias.

'Why is CES threatened by empowered women and the products that empower them?" wrote one user.

'CES is literally one big sex toy for men and that's always been OK,' said another.