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Innovation

What's “indecent” at CES?

February 05, 2019

Let’s suppose, hypothetically speaking of course, that a product exhibited at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) could be used to cause severe bodily harm with a weapon to another human.

Furthermore, without much effort, any person could witness the death of another person in a most gruesome manner, including skull crushing or shooting or being eaten alive, complete with blood splatter and disembowelment.

Now let’s contrast that with another product that could, hypothetically still, be used to give a woman an orgasm. Which of those two products is more indecent?

The former was exhibited on the show floor by multiple companies, including VR demonstrations, videos placed on TVs for passersby to see, and by many gaming accessory companies advertising their capabilities in realistically simulating death and destruction.

The latter has frequently been shunned by CES, usually by banning the products from being exhibited. In a well-publicized incident this year, a CES Innovation Award (granted by an independent panel of judges) was rescinded by the show's organizer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), once they deemed an innovative but sexual in nature product “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA's image.”

The product I’m referring to is Ose by the company Lora DiCarlo. To be clear, it is not a sex doll, nor does it look like a penis. Lora Haddock, CEO of Lora DiCarlo, is insinuating on her website in an open letter that the CTA has a gender bias against women and their sexual health.

A double standard

This is somewhat substantiated as last year a demonstration of VR porn (catered specifically to men) was allowed to exhibit in a ballroom (albeit off the beaten path) and there are numerous other cases of sexual-related products more catered toward men that seemed to have snuck through the exhibition qualification process.

To be honest, I did see more than one booth this year at CES demonstrating traditional sex products (vibrators, specifically) but I got the distinct impression those products weren’t the primary focus of those booths (with one exception). I also saw several products aimed at “women’s health,” such as nursing pump bras, prenatal health tracking, etc., but that category isn’t for the sexual benefit of women.

Is this a reflection of our values in the United States?

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