And The CES Is Winner Is – Wait, We Mean ISN’T

While some folks will spend hours watching televised winner coverage of awards shows, from the red carpet interviews to the final long-winded acceptance speech in which someone thanks God, her or his parents, all their fans and everybody else except the real person they depicted in the film for which they just received an award, Calico has never been too big on awards. She’s especially skeptical of those given out by industry trade associations, whether the industry involved is porn, automobile manufacturing or children’s television. When she’s considering buying a product, for example, just about the last thing Calico asks herself is “Hmmm… has this lame little widget-thing I’m about to buy ever won an award from J.D. Power?”

CES Winner Sex Toy

Still, awards and honors certainly are meaningful to those who win them — which means that revoking awards and honors should be done only when there’s a damn good reason to do so. As you may have read elsewhere, the CES Consumer Electronics Show recently rescinded an award given to a company for its ingenious high tech personal massager. Why? Well, it depends on who you ask at CES — and maybe on what day you ask them, as well.

Read all about it in Calico’s latest post “And The Winner Is – Wait, We Mean ISN’T”

by Calico Rudasill, Porn For Women and Couples

I’ve never paid much attention to awards – especially the ones given out by groups like J.D. Power, which seem to offer a category and metric for everything. Speaking of which, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pause here to offer a hearty congratulations to “Chubb,” whatever that is, for its fourth-place finish in J.D.’s 2018 “Independent Agent-Commercial” category.

Skeptical of awards though I may be, I do understand the pride people and companies take in winning them. It’s a validation of their work, after all, a recognition of a job well-done – or of an award well-lobbied for, or in some cases perhaps a bribe well-placed.

If there’s one thing an award-giver or honor-granter should do only in the most extreme circumstances, it’s to revoke an award already given. This is something which should be reserved for the Milli Vanillis of the world, sports champions who turn out to have cheated, or people who are just such severe assholes, they never should have received the award in the first place.

None of the above criteria appears to apply to Lora DiCarlo however, or the company’s founder, Lora Haddock.

Unless “Immoral” and “Ineligible” are Synonyms, These Explanations Don’t Add Up

As you have likely already read about elsewhere, Lora DiCarlo’s Osé personal massager was chosen as a 2019 Innovations Award Honoree for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – only to have the Consumer Technology Association (“CTA,” which operates CES) revoke the honor a matter of weeks later.

Why did CES/CTA revoke the honor, you ask? As Haddock points out in the post linked above, the explanation keeps shifting.

“The CTA has been extremely cagey on why they took away the award,” Haddock wrote. “Their first excuse was to cite this rule buried in their legalese: ‘Entries deemed by CTA in their sole discretion to be immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified. CTA reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entry at any time which, in CTA’s opinion, endangers the safety or well being of any person, or fails to comply with these Official Rules.’”

CES later changed course and decided the Osé wasn’t eligible for the Robotics and Drone category at all – a claim Haddock rightly termed “even more insulting and frankly ridiculous.”

Either way, whatever the true reason CES decided to revoke the honor, it’s safe to say the decision has not gone over too well with the internet.

Good for the Goose, to Hell with the Gander?

To me, Haddock is clearly correct to assert there’s gender bias afoot here – especially with respect to the first explanation CES offered for rescinding the honor. As several articles (and Lora DiCarlo’s attorneys) have pointed out, CES has shown no qualms about offering “explicitly pornographic products for men.”

As for the second rationale offered by CES, I’m inclined to view it as bunk, too. As Haddock noted in her post about the sorry situation, the Osé was “designed in partnership with a top university robotics engineering laboratory (Oregon State University has ranked the #4 ranked Robotics Lab in the US)” and is “the subject of eight pending patents and counting for robotics, biomimicry, and engineering feats… Osé clearly fits the Robotics and Drone category – and CTA’s own expert judges agree.”

I Humbly Offer A Third Explanation

Since the two rationales offered by CES for rescinding the award are so obviously bogus, all we can do is speculate as to the real reason. And if there’s one thing I love doing, it’s speculating!

Here’s my theory: CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro, like far too many other men, feels threatened by devices which are so much better at pleasuring women than he is.

In doing market research for porn companies, I’ve asked a lot of men about porn which features women using “sex toys” and I’ve found they fall into three basic categories: Men who like such depictions and get off on them; men who don’t like such depictions because they feel threatened by them; and men who somewhat strangely – but also kind of sweetly, albeit in a misguided way – think the women in such depictions may be doing harm to themselves with these weird devices and object to such porn on those grounds.

Sorry Mr. Shapiro, but I’m putting you in the second category – yes, even without knowing more about you than I can glean from a few lines of an email.

Is that fair? No way. Is it reasonable? Not a chance.

You know what though? It’s every bit as fair and reasonable as you and your organization have been towards Lora DiCarlo and all the brilliant, eminently qualified engineers, designers and material scientists who worked together to create the Osé.

I’d say put that in your pipe and smoke it, Gary – but presumably you CES types think smoking a pipe is immoral and/or endangers the safety and well-being of people.

Instead, I’ll leave it at shove it up your ass, Gary. If that sounds even more unpleasant and potentially dangerous than smoking it in your pipe, have no fear: I’m sure you can find some male chemist’s award-winning lube to ease the process.

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