Sex Toys Can Officially Be Displayed at Next Year’s Consumer Electronics Show

Officials have given sex tech a nod of approval after this year's vibrator controversy

Lora DiCarlo's sex toy won an innovation award that was later revoked
Lora DiCarlo's sex toy won an innovation award that was later revoked

After revoking an award won by a women’s sex toy at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in January, the Consumer Technology Association has softened its stance on sex tech. The CTA has officially sanctioned sex toys and will allow sex tech companies to display their products at next year’s CES, CNN Business reported.

The decision comes after the association faced allegations of sexism and gender bias in response to the controversial decision to revoke the innovation honor originally awarded to the Lora DiCarlo sex toy. The CTA rescinded the award on the grounds that the product didn’t fit into existing product categories, adding that “entries deemed by CTA in their sole discretion to be immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified.”

The CTA eventually relented and reversed the decision, returning the award to the sex tech company in May.

“We’ve been really open about how we didn’t handle it well and we apologized publicly,” Jean Foster, CTA’s senior vice president of marketing, told CNN Business. “It caused us to revisit this and say, we should look at this as a technology.”

Under the new policy, sex tech will be included in the Health and Wellness category at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas. The products must be new or emerging tech in order to compete. The new policy will be under trial for one year, which the CTA said is standard protocol for any new policy.

“Even at CTA, sometimes a technology comes out that we haven’t expected and we haven’t the rules to deal with,” said Karen Chupka, executive vice president at CTA. “This is one of those things that caught us off guard. So that’s why every year we try to go back and see what can we do better.”

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