Imagine creating a sexual health product aimed at bringing more pleasure to more people and winning an award for its innovativeness, only to have the honor revoked because the device is, too, well…womanly?
There’s a lot more to this story, of course, which is why I reached out to Lora DiCarlo, a company making headlines lately, since their Osé personal massager lost its coveted CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree status for being “immoral, obscene, indecent [or] profane.” Meanwhile, CES has embraced “adult” creations geared toward men, such as virtual-reality porn and sex robots, without a hitch.
And the product at the center of this controversy? Is seriously awesome.
The inspiration for Osé
This week I sat down with Lora Haddock, founder and CEO of Lora DiCarlo, and Sarah Brown, the company’s director of marketing, for a Girl Boner Radio chat. We discussed the Osé, its inspiration, the media frenzy surrounding it lately, takeaways they hope to shed light on for others and more.
A few years ago, Lora experienced a blended orgasm so powerful that it literally knocked her to the ground. This big (read gigantic) O would go on to inspire the company she runs today.
“I realized there wasn’t anything on the market that really serves this need. What I wanted was for it to stimulate both the G-spot and the entire clitoris,” she said, adding that many folks don’t realize that there’s far more to the clit than meets the eye. “It’s actually about the size of a half avocado and reaches from the glans clitoris—the little that you see—reaches all through underneath the labia majora and labia minora in a small bundle of nerves that reaches to the inside of the vaginal canal in the interior wall, which creates the G-spot.”
Lora wanted to create a device that could stimulate the entire clitoris, from the inside to the outside using bio-mimicry, meaning it imitates human motions and sensations. With Osé, she and her team of experts have done precisely that.
Inclusivity as a must
Osé is hands-free, because “there’s better things to do with your hands,” Lora offered. The hands-free design also makes the toy accessible to people who can’t reach their genitals or use their hands for other reasons, such as physical disability.
Such inclusivity is another priority for Lora Dicarlo, which they apply beyond products. Even their rigorous hiring process demonstrates it, according to Sarah, who has also worked for a luxury sex toy retailer and makers of menstrual cups.
“My entire professional career has been about vaginas…men have vaginas, women have vaginas. Lots of of different people have vaginas,” she said. “But I was actually asked, ‘What does it mean to be inclusive? You keep saying inclusive. What does that mean?’ And…I was like, ‘Well, it means including people.’ The team is very involved in who gets to be involved in a project like this and not excluding people from what we’re trying to do.”
Given all of this, it’s perhaps not surprising that the entire team is working together toward another mission: highlighting and chipping away and gender bias in sex tech and beyond. (Find Lora DiCarlo’s open letter to CES here.)
“We’re not going to be quiet about this,” said Lora. “We’re not going to drop this. And I would really like to encourage everyone that’s listening and anyone who’s read anything about this to speak up as well.”