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CES 2020 Will Let Sex-Toy Vendors Exhibit, as CTA Cracks Down on ‘Sexually Revealing’ Clothing Ban

The Consumer Technology Association announced changes for CES 2020, intended to make the annual tech show more inclusive, including allowing “tech-based sexual products” to be exhibited for the first time.

Next year’s CES, set to run Jan. 7-10, 2020, in Las Vegas, will include sex toys on a “one-year trial basis” as part of the Health & Wellness product category or in the Health & Wellness startup area of Eureka Park. According to CTA, products “must be innovative and include new or emerging tech” to qualify.

The CTA’s change in policy comes after a controversy at CES 2019: Sex-toy startup Lora DiCarlo won a CES Innovation Award for its first product, the Osé Robotic Massager — which the CTA then revoked. Months later, the trade group reversed the decision.

CTA’s existing ban on pornography at CES will remain in place and will “be strictly enforced with no exceptions for CES 2020,” the org said.

In addition, the CTA provided additional clarification about the dress code for booth personnel. Those working on the trade-show floor “may not wear clothing that is sexually revealing or that could be interpreted as undergarments. Clothing that reveals an excess of bare skin, or body-conforming clothing that hugs genitalia must not be worn.” CTA said the guidelines apply to all booth staff, regardless of gender.

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The trade org worked with a number of external advisers and partners to update and improve existing CES policies, according to Karen Chupka, EVP of CES. “CTA is committed to evolving and continuing to create an experience at CES that is inclusive and welcoming for everyone,” she said in a statement.

CTA also announced a partnership with equality-advocacy group The Female Quotient, which will make The FQ Lounge an official part of CES to serve as “the unplugged space for panel conversations to advance equality.”

CES 2020 also will feature a new “Innovation for All” track that will take place each day on the CTA Stage, as well as on the CTA Startup Stage in Eureka Park. Programming will include sessions with senior diversity officials on the business case for diversity. CTA’s Diversity and Inclusion team will also curate a diversity roundtable and reception at CES.

Also, the CTA said that the Faces of Innovation: Entrepreneurs Edition startup program will offer women and underrepresented entrepreneurs the opportunity to exhibit in Eureka Park through a grant and free exhibit space.

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