Sex tech entrepreneurs should ‘continue to be as loud as possible,’ says CEO Lora DiCarlo
Sex tech entrepreneurs need to be as loud as they can be if they are to make change in a traditionally conservative industry, says sexual wellness brand founder and CEO Lora DiCarlo.
Speaking to me at an event hosted by lingerie and sex toy retailer Ann Summers in London, UK, DiCarlo said she believes the sex and wellness tech industries sexuality were at a tipping point, but that change would only happen if people worked together.
“I think what we are seeing now is the tidal wave before the tidal wave,” she said. “I think this is the very first step towards a really big change. But we have to be very careful not to let everyone’s chorus of voices die off. We need to continue to be as loud as possible. “
In 2019, the Lora DiCarlo Osé toy was selected as the winner of the CES Innovation Awards in the Robotics and Drone products category. The award was subsequently canceled on the grounds that it was “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image.” The company has taken to the press, citing the double standard of allowing RealDoll to display its robotic sex doll, but refusing to recognize sex technology aimed at women. The price has been reinstated.
Since then, DiCarlo has worked with CTA to understand how sex technology and sexual wellness products can be understood and better integrated into mainstream technology.
“At first they asked me if we could just have a sex tech section, but I said no,” she says. “It has to be in health and well-being. Sexuality and sexual experiences are directly related to your well-being. So you don’t just put it in a corner, you put it next to sleep tech and fin tech. When you scatter it across the category, you normalize it. And that’s what we wanted.
But while these companies can be seen as competitors, DiCarlo says the support and sympathy within the sex tech industry is its strength and should be used to tackle the common barriers of stigma and lack of knowledge. ‘access to finance.
“We understand that all ships rise with the tide,” she said. “We have a great sense of camaraderie among us even though we have competing products. We understand that the movement and importance of sexuality and education is much greater than any of us as individuals.
Sex tech entrepreneur Andrea Barrica recently described Osé, which will roll out to retailers, including Ann Summers, over the next three to four months, as “the most talked about product for two years.” But DiCarlo is reluctant to take credit for the change in conversation on his own.
“I feel like we have been agents of change,” she admits. “But it’s not me alone. If I was the only voice it would have been a little splash and it might have calmed down, but because everyone in the industry has raised this conversation and continues to do so, that’s what’s going to create this tidal wave. -tidal.