The sex tech start-up and media darling has crumbled, in a display of poetic justice.
Lora DiCarlo, the “sex tech” start-up that vowed to revolutionize the pleasure industry and pompously acted like the first to ever do so, has shut down after only 3 years. Their site is offline, orders have gone unfulfilled for months, and there are rumors of bankruptcy.
For a company named after a woman, Lora DiCarlo sure had the attitude of a man: waltzing into the room (the industry) promising to “disrupt” it with the sheer brilliance of its “sex tech.” In 2019, after Lora DiCarlo won a robotics innovation award at the Consumer Electronics Show that was later rescinded, the mainstream media coverage was so widespread and grandiose, their flagship sex toy was put on Time’s list of best inventions before EVER ACTUALLY BEING RELEASED.
This bravado helped Lora DiCarlo raise a total of $9.2 million in funding — and they pissed it away.
Their supposedly earth-shattering creation was the Osé (the accent adds to the intrigue, right?). This disastrous device, the size and color of a baseball, claimed to provide “blended orgasms” using “micro-robotic technology” that “mimics human touch.” In English, that means there’s an air flow clitoral stimulator, then a shaft with a small mechanical ball that moves back and forth underneath the silicone. The adjustable midsection makes it suitable for all vulvas, the company boasted.
When they sent me the Osé, they pushed me to schedule a “Fit Session” — a “one-on-one coaching session to maximize [my] experience with [their] products.” If that’s not a red flag…
You can see, in the photo above, the outrageous shape I had to contort the Osé into to get it even CLOSE to my clitoris. In fact, I hit my cervix way before I could get the gooseneck motherfucker to reach my clit. Me while using the Osé: “ow, ow, ow…” Somehow it managed to hurt me in several places. Once I made the mistake of extracting it from my vagina without turning the rolling ball off, and it scraped sharply against my pubic bone.
The experience of masturbating with it, aside from being literally painful, felt… embarrassing. I’m sure I looked like a person fumbling with a medical device, wincing and groaning — not in the throes of any sort of pleasure. First note I ever made about the Osé: uh… I hate it?
This? This piece of shit is the sex tech game changer? Yeah, no.
Among my colleagues, there were always whispers about Lora DiCarlo. Over drinks, in private conversations. The name would come up and eyes were rolled. Sighs were emitted, followed by lengthy convos about how shitty the toys and brand were. But that wasn’t the worst of it — they were a hellish, racist place to work. Ask Javay da BAE, who gave them a review on Glassdoor calling them “a joke of a company led by self serving money hungry individuals.”
I’m certain more sordid details will come out as time goes on. We know consumers have been defrauded. There are rumors about a lawsuit. One anonymous insider commented “this is merely the tip of the iceberg,” saying “Lora ghosted EVERYONE in the most unprofessional means possible; employees, consultants, vendors, retailers, the factory and likely other investors.”
And while I’m spilling the tea, since this’ll be my last opportunity to share this story, I visited Lora DiCarlo’s booth at sex toy trade show ANME in 2019. They were the ONLY booth, perhaps in the history of ever, to have zero toys on display. It was all mysterious, and even when I had a conversation with Lora herself, she divulged nothing. This company acted like their shit was developed in an underground bunker.
As said by Lux Alptraum on a searing podcast exposé, “[Lora DiCarlo’s] greatest invention was the hype machine.”
All Lora DiCarlo’s toys were off-putting, available in colors such as baby poop green, lifeless pink, and weird grey like some technological relic from 1995. The controls were awful and the packaging was wasteful beyond belief. Several of them required me to part my labia to grant them entry.
The standalone air flow toy, Baci, pissed me off with its inaccessible charging box, gunk-collecting crevices, and flat design — the worst shape for a suction toy that is literally meant to target the clitoris. Labia exist, why do I have to keep telling you this? The Carezza, equipped with totally real “PercussionTouch™ technology,” was like the Eroscillator but worse. I wrote in my notes, it looks like a turd and sounds like a dental drill. Of Filare, I wrote uh I’m covered in lube and why are the buttons where they are???
These toys are so easy to ridicule. When I sent a picture of the Osé to my mom, she replied perfectly, “it’s a creepy anemic Little Shop of Horrors-looking device.” When I shared it on social media, my followers clapped back with amazing descriptions, saying it resembles “the distorted fetus of a beluga whale,” “that thing you put in the back of the toilet when it keeps running,” and “if sperm got shot with that size ray from Honey, I Blew Up The Kid.“
Y’all are firecrackers. I love you.
Many also astutely noted that Lora DiCarlo is “the Theranos of the sex toy industry.” I love that for them!
Other defunct sex toy companies have been worth mourning, and to this day I still do (my G-spot will never forget you, Beyond 3). This one, though — this one deserves a celebration. So let’s raise a glass to a company who insulted the entire industry, treated employees like shit, and is now running away with customers’ money. I fucking knew I didn’t like you, Lora DiCarlo. Peace.
Did you have any experiences with Lora DiCarlo? Or did you just watch this dumpster fire from afar?