The Line Between Innovation & Pleasure: On Tech And The Sex Toy Industry

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Curated by: Small Business Management

The sex toy industry is a $15 billion dollar business, and technology is transforming it. In many ways, bringing these two together could bring diversity and inclusivity into the industry. However, tech has its own challenges, often alienating the marginalized communities that exist within it; and despite its high profitability, the sex industry at large is still one of the most segregated and oppressive industries left in the market, continuing to rely heavily on exclusive identity presumptions.

For consumers that exist outside the margins – being of color, queer, trans, gender non-conforming, intersex and/or with disabilities – it’s almost impossible to find sex toys that cater to their communities and identities. Consumers with disabilities are often excluded entirely, with inaccessible toys at unaffordable price points. And for people of color who are also queer, representation and marketability simply fails them. As Bianca Laureano argues in this Cosmopolitan feature, the color of our skin critically impacts how we experience sex and pleasure:

…our argument was, “Heck, yeah, it does because some of us are murdered before we even get to experience sexual pleasure. Some of us are detained and assaulted and raped and incarcerated.” So there’s that idea, definitely rooted

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