EMAILED ON August 27, 2019 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

Not again: Samsung removes women’s first smart vibrator from ‘women in tech’ event

Photo via Lioness

Early this year, Lora DiCarlo won the coveted robotics innovation award at CES 2019 for its flagship product the Osé, a cutting edge vibrator that’s supposed to be the “holy grail” of blended female orgasms.

But in October, the award, and the company’s invite to the product showcase, was rescinded after the CTA decided the product was too “obscene.” 

Last week, something similar happened to Lioness, a female-led maker of the world’s first smart vibrator, which tracks how things like stress, medications, and substances like alcohol and cannabis, affect female pleasure — and this time, the decision was made by Samsung.

*facepalm*

Last Thursday, Samsung hosted an event in San Francisco (in collaboration with SF Women in Tech no less) on “Growth and Innovation in the Wearable Device Market.”

Based on emails reviewed by The Hustle, Liz Klinger, the co-founder and CEO of Lioness, was approved by Samsung’s Developer Program to present her company’s flagship product — aptly dubbed the Lioness Vibrator — back in July.

Within the first few hours of the conference, Klinger was asked to remove her product from the event without explanation. Naturally, she wanted answers.

Then came the stonewalling… 

After nearly 4 hours, she finally heard back from a senior director of developer relations at the Samsung Developer Program.

“She said that Lioness shouldn’t be [at the event] because it ‘isn’t women’s health,’” Klinger said. “I explained how the device collects biofeedback and how we’re in the early stages of working with healthcare and research firms because of it — her response was, ‘It isn’t a wearable.’”

In a world of male BJ bots, why the stigma around female orgasms?

“I wish I had the answer.” Klinger said. “This isn’t even the first time: We were literally escorted out of a bank in Berkeley, CA, that personally invited us to discuss setting up a corporate bank account.”

Back in May 2019, the CTA re-awarded Lora DiCarlo with the Innovation Award, and admitted its mistake. After nearly 5 days of radio silence from Samsung, Klinger isn’t banking on the same outcome.

The Hustle reached out to Samsung for comment but hasn’t heard back.