Blended Orgasms, Robotic Sex Toys & Social Change: Lora DiCarlo Interview

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for the next big thing in the world of sex toys. Well, we think we’ve found it in Lora DiCarlo.

Lora DiCarlo founded her namesake brand in 2017 with the mission to provide sex toys and services that empower all humans to boldly embrace their sexuality through self-exploration and education.

Lora is the inventor of Osè, a sex toy that is the first of its kind. Designed to produce the perfect orgasm, this toy uses microrobotic sensations to mimic the feel of a partner’s fingers, mouth and tongue, both internally and externally. Osè holds 9 patents in micro-robotic technology and was a CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Robotics and Drones product category. When the award was redacted, she opened the public conversation about gender bias and inclusion in the tech industry and worked with CTA to update their policies for 2020.

We spoke to Lora DiCarlo, the founder and CEO of the brand, to learn more.

Lora DiCarlo Q&A

Let’s start with a quick introduction. Can you tell us what inspired you to start Lora DiCarlo and create this sex toy?

It all started with a life-changing orgasm. When I was 28, I experienced my first blended orgasm - which is a result of simultaneous G-spot and clitoral stimulation. It was an electrifying, full-body experience and my first thought following was, “How do I re-create that powerful experience?!”

That sparked two immediate goals: discovering a product that was specifically designed for blended orgasms and learning about what my body experienced on a physiological level. At the time I was pursuing a pre-med track, and despite having a background in healthcare, I could not find the specific information that I was in search of. I started to discover that there was not just a noticeable lack of pleasure products that were tailored for anatomical vulva and vaginal pleasure, but comprehensive research as well. 

This kicked my motivation and thirst for knowledge into overdrive, which shifted my focus to creating a real, tangible product that would have the potential to enhance pleasure for other vulva owners the way it did for me. However, I was driven to create a versatile product that accommodated a wide range of anatomies with its shape and design while re-creating the sensations of a human partner.

After talking to hundreds of folks, I truly began to realise there was a problem much more widespread than just my personal experience, and I had the solution.  In 2017, I was fortunate to secure an investor, set a business plan in motion, and begin development for our flagship product, Osé. Our talented team of 6 engineers worked closely with students, professors, and PhDs at Oregon State University’s College of Engineering to incorporate microrobotic technology that would closely replicate the feel of human touch while stimulating the glans, clitoris and the G-spot (or the urethral sponge). After 9 months, we had our first prototype & proof of concept, along with 5 patents pending, and well, the rest, as they say, is history.

Your toys are expertly crafted for blended, full body orgasms. What are your top tips for achieving a blended orgasm?

Culturally, there is still so much shame intertwined with sexual wellness, and many people don’t know enough about their personal preferences -- and that is okay. The self-pleasure journey is not one-size-fits-all, it takes a lot of exploration and some trial and error to perfect the process. Personally, I believe the first step is to take a moment to understand that this time is for you and you alone and you should take the opportunity to embrace that; be kind to yourself and accept the fact that you are different and that is a wonderful thing.

Since blended orgasms require two types of stimulation coming together in harmony (literally), it helps to explore both internal and external pleasure independently. Blended orgasms don’t typically happen for an individual overnight (unless you are extremely lucky!) so you really want to get familiar with the ways in which you like to be touched and stimulated from the inside out.

Many of us have been conditioned to race to the finish or focus solely on the big ‘O’ when in reality, the fun part is exploring different patterns and rhythms that your body responds to. Self-pleasure without any toy can be a challenge. On the flip side it is such a great avenue to take time and patience getting to know your body. Once you feel that you have mastered the art of masturbation, try different G-spot toys in unison with clitoral toys. That includes different shapes, sizes, textures and sex toy materials - there is likely a spot that you didn’t know existed that really makes your toes curl (literally!)! Since everybody is different, some may need a jackhammer to send your clitoris into orgasmic bliss or maybe just the tickle of a feather. Furthermore, some G-spots may only respond to heavy thrusting and perhaps only respond to stimuli after a period of glans-clitoral stimulation to encourage blood flow to the rest of the Clitoral-Urethral-Vaginal (CUV) complex. Whatever it is, know that you do not look as ridiculous as you may feel vigorously thrusting a sex toy during solo play - that is all a very normal, healthy part of the self-exploration journey.

The tech world is dominated by men and we think it’s so important to see female role models, which is why it was so disappointing to see your CES Innovations Award being redacted last year. However, it’s opened up a lot of conversations about representation and inclusivity in sex tech. Can you talk to us about your experience and how it shaped your company?

In October 2018, we were awarded the Robotics Innovation Award from Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is run by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). One month later, we were contacted by the CTA who told us that Osé was disqualified, and the award was being rescinded. They referred to our product as “obscene”, “profane” and “immoral” - and that because of this, Osé should have never made its way through the round of judging and ultimately securing an award. They backtracked every notable accomplishment that put our femme-specific pleasure product on the map at CES, and mind you, the show floor had a multitude of pleasure products for men including pornographic VR systems and sex dolls with customizable faces and accents. We did not take this double-standard lightly and fought back, because ultimately their argument was not the result of a processing error -- it was a systemic dysfunction that was deeply rooted in a long history of sexism within the association and within the greater technology industry.

A few months later, the CTA contacted us to apologize, and when we realized that there was an opportunity that the award would likely be returned, we challenged them to partner with us and update their policies to include sex tech. Working together we helped them to implement a progressive policy change that would expand the Health and Wellness category to include sex tech products. We argued that if technology is serving innovative solutions, it’s tastefully and respectfully done, and it does not demoralize or objectify human bodies, then it deserves consideration and placement at their show. The end achievement of this experience ended up creating a more inclusive space to celebrate innovators of all kinds. We feel that this was a huge leap forward not just as it relates to our own accomplishments, but in the mainstream as a very public acknowledgement of women’s sexuality, vaginas in particular. As far as our company, this was a huge milestone given the fact that we were a brand new startup at the time. The controversy was an overall golden opportunity, and a testament to how committed we are to our brand mission. There isn’t a day that goes by when we aren’t reminded of the CTA/CES experience, and that keeps us very accountable for staying aligned with the big-picture vision of normalizing sexual empowerment on a global scale.

What do you see happening in the sex tech and the sexual wellness industries in the future? Any key trends?

As far as innovation, we believe that we are only at the beginning of the sex tech revolution. Our key focus is microrobotics, which aims to recreate the feeling of a partner’s touch as close to the real thing as possible. This includes alternatives to vibration, seen in our patent-pending PercussionTouch™️ technology which utilizes advanced sex tech to imitate the feeling of realistic tapping sensations.

Intuitive, app-driven products are also on the rise within the industry at large, which not only help to improve sexual satisfaction but overall health and wellness. Interactive games that you can incorporate into a kegel training session for example, or the addition of educational platforms and apps.

We are constantly aiming to create a more fulfilling experience for the end-user, and that seems to be the universal trend for pleasure products innovators. Perhaps the most important element to any future movement within sex tech though, is proper and accurate education. In the US specifically, sexual health education programs fail to equip students with adequate information; our system is beyond inefficient. Crucial knowledge that should be addressed at an impressionable life stage goes virtually overlooked. As a result, the desire to seek reliable information happens much later in life than it really should. Sex educators and businesses such as ours end up serving as a wellspring for knowledge that so many people need (and want) to hear. We provide a wealth of resources via our blog and our wellness coaches - a program we are looking to continually expand upon.

We’re big on female pleasure positivity, but in the past, there has been a sense of discomfort or stigma when it comes to masturbation and women talking about their own pleasure or sex drives. How do you think we can all improve and change the conversation going forwards?

Operating a sex-positive business comes with the responsibility of being an educational resource for all types of individuals, and we feel so fortunate for that! When we approach our roles as educators from a place of intention and creativity, that allows us to drive the sex health conversation into the mainstream. Showcasing versatility in a wide range of educational topics, like pelvic floor health or postpartum sex, helps bring awareness to the importance of sexual wellness in our lives, far beyond the bedroom. Additionally, we should be having these conversations much earlier in life; I imagine societal perception would look much different if we were conditioned to believe that sex is not a ‘dirty ’word from a young age.

Allow all generations now (not just our youngest generations later!) to start having healthy open conversations about their sexuality, body image, and identities. If we are able to start addressing the shame we feel today then, hopefully, tomorrow we won’t inadvertently burden our youngest generation with the same shame and stigma that we have been carrying around our whole lives. The sexual conversation doesn’t end at sex, relationships, and body image - we believe that sexuality informs identity. When we are secure in our identities, that builds confidence. That confidence is what empowers us to go out and change the world for the better, each in our own way. I want to empower people of all genders to explore, educate, love, and accept themselves and others, we believe that this will provide people with the confidence to create a more equitable world, that doesn’t start with the next generation; that starts today.

The Lora DiCarlo Collection

The Lora DiCarlo range of sex toys includes the Baci, which mimics oral sex, the Onda, which targets the G-spot, and the award-winning, world-famous Osé 2 which stimulates the clitoris and G-spot simultaneously for those incredible blended orgasms. Sound appealing? Well, the good news is that these unique and bespoke toys are now exclusive in the UK to Ann Summers customers. Explore the full Lora DiCarlo sex toy collection today, and get ready to maximise your pleasure.