Sex Toys Headed To CES For The First Time As ‘Booth Babes’ Get A Dress Code

Gary Shapiro speaks at the 2019 CES
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

International CES, the annual consumer technology confab that’s held in January each year in Las Vegas, stumbled into a major controversy earlier this year when it rescinded an award from the manufacturer of a sex toy for women.

Per The Inquisitr, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which is the trade association that owns and produces CES, gave an “Innovation Award” in late 2018 to the Ose, a sex toy product produced by a “sex tech” company called Lora DiCarlo. The award, which was presented to dozens of other companies, came with it the opportunity to exhibit at the CES show in January.

However, the story broke during the show that CTA had rescinded the award, citing bylaws which prohibited products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane, or not in keeping with CTA’s image.”

Following an outcry, CTA in May reversed its decision once again, reinstated Lora DiCarlo’s award, and announced that it would revisit and possibly reconsider the policies that led to the award’s banishment.

Now, the organization has announced that change as well as another big one.

The 2020 version of International CES, per a press release from CTA posted by Yahoo Finance, will “include tech-based sexual products on a one-year trial basis as part of the Health & Wellness product category” as well as in the startup-oriented section of the show called Eureka Park.

In addition, CTA announced that it is instituting a dress code for people working at booths.

“Booth personnel may not wear clothing that is sexually revealing or that could be interpreted as undergarments,” the press release said. “Clothing that reveals an excess of bare skin, or body-conforming clothing that hugs genitalia must not be worn.”

Exhibitors at CES as well as other trade shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere have long employed scantily clad women as booth attendants, known colloquially as “booth babes.” The new rules, though, apply to all booth staff, regardless of gender.

CTA, per a petition on Change.org, has long resisted changes to the “booth babe” tradition, while also objecting to the use of that term.

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In addition, pornography itself will continue to be banned from CES.

“CTA is committed to evolving and continuing to create an experience at CES that is inclusive and welcoming for everyone,” Karen Chupka, CTA’s executive vice president, said in the statement.

She added that the changes were made in consultation with outside groups. In addition, The Female Quotient, an organization dedicated to “advancing equality in the workplace,” has come on board as CES’ Official Equality Partner.