Futuristic sex toys that allow the user to control a vibrator from afar or achieve "blended orgasms" got some visitors at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show hot under the collar this week.
Some 170,000 visitors were expected at the annual show in Nevada, which showcases cutting edge consumer technology, with artificial intelligence and 5G applications at the forefront in 2020.
Companies who sell sexual wellness-related products said they have not always found it easy to find a home at the show.
Suki Dunham, founder of OhMiBod, which makes a music-driven vibrator, said that in the past her booth was put in the wireless communications part of the show.
"We did have wireless communications, but we were a little bit, let's say, out of place there. But people over time have really embraced our presence," Dunham said from her booth in the Health and Wellness section.
The vibrator is Bluetooth enabled and connects to an app, she explained.
"You could be here at Las Vegas and your partner can be in New York and you can control it remotely," she said.
Nearby, Avery Smith, an engineering assistant at Lora DiCarlo, explained the company's new 'Ose' product, which uses microrobotics, to an enthusiastic-looking show attendee.
"It's basically a dual stimulation sexual wellness product, so it's a personal massager for internal and external stimulation to achieve a blended orgasm," she said.
Lora DiCarlo, the company's founder, said sex tech was intended to help people.
"It's done in a very healthy way. It's done tastefully. And we really just want to see innovation that is truly innovative... and is still not demoralizing female bodies or objectifying anyone," she said.
Other passers-by looked politely embarrassed. But there was no need for shame, said Candace Thome, a marketing assistant at Ergo-Fit, a company that debuted an inflatable, strapless strap-on device.
"No one likes to talk about things they don't understand or they don't know. But I think the more sex tech that is here, people are going to get comfortable with that," she said.
The Consumer Technology Association, which owns CES, said in a statement: "CES 2020 included tech-based sexual products as part of the Health & Wellness product category or in the Health & Wellness startup area of Eureka Park. Products had to be innovative and include new or emerging tech to qualify."