CES has almost completely succeeded in chasing sex-tech off its show floor


CES has long been a launchpad for innovation and cutting-edge technology. However, at this year’s event, there was one glaring void: a near-absence of sex techniques. Despite being an industry that caters to the universal human experience, sex tech has always had an uneasy relationship with CES.

This year, its conspicuous absence begs the question: Why are we still so discursively resistant to integrating technology and intimacy?

In 2019, sex tech made its own headlines at CES, when pleasure tech company Lora DiCarlo won an Innovation Award — only to have it revoked, and then reinstated after widespread backlash. (It later went out of business). The controversy highlighted the uneasy relationship between the mainstream tech industry and its more close-knit cousins.

Fast forward to 2024, and it looks like CES has managed to effectively banish the sex tech industry from its show floor.

I was looking for sex-tech companies to potentially do a roundup, and there weren’t enough of them to recognize only one trend: not in sex tech, but in the lack thereof. ButE company stood out: Norwegian company Okcreator of The Handy And the CES-launched Oh!, was a refreshing presence in an otherwise prudish tech landscape. Their booth was bustling with activity, a stark contrast to the largely sex-tech-absent event.

It’s not clear whether it’s CES itself that is trying to reduce the amount of sexuality on its show floor – the show has evolved a lot over the years, and this correspondent feels that the so-called ‘booth babes’ It’s a relief to see the absent: a big change from my first CES in 2007, where there were scantily clad models everywhere. But while I celebrate the end of sexism – commoditizing humans at booths has no place in 2024 – sex should also find a place in the vernacular of technology.

It’s puzzling to me why we, as a community, continue to erase sexuality from technology to such an extent – ​​when it’s such a universal part of the human experience.

Read more about CES 2024 on TechCrunch

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