A New 'Robotic Massager' Wants to Replace Your Vibrator—And Your Partner

If history has taught us anything, it’s that for every orifice, there is a foreign object inserted into it for gratification. The catalog of non-sex toy items that we, as a society, choose to stick in ourselves is long, hard (to get through, because Jesus Christ, how are you people living), varied, and harrowing. It’s clear that we—again, as a collective, Mom and Dad if you are reading this I am a virgin—have an almost astonishing ability to get off on literally anything if we set our pervy little minds to it.

So, why hasn’t the sex toy industry taken note when it comes to producing toys for people with vaginas, instead of churning out a jillion aesthetically antiseptic, yawn-inducingly phallic vibrators with three different settings: bzz, BZZ, and BZZZZZZZ? What would happen if a sex toy actually… mimicked the motions that happen during sex? If sex tech company Lora DiCarlo’s Osé is any indication, that toy would be lauded as groundbreaking… then punished retroactively, and not in the hot way.

The Osé combines the clitoral suction that toys like the Womanizer bring to the table with an internal massager designed to replicate the “come hither motion” that G-spot havers know and love, a feat of design that earned it a robotics award at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) run by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). That award was subsequently revoked because it apparently violated the CTA’s moral standards, and then reinstated after a spate of bad media coverage; the toy was allowed back on the floor this year.

But iconoclastic backstory (Who doesn’t love a rebel? The mysterious, class-cutting senior in a poetry seminar full of sophomores could never!) aside, the fact that a penetrative sex toy that strokes (instead of pulsating) is the bar we have to clear for “innovation” is… actually kind of dismaying, on a sensual level. The number of non-traditional sex toys on the market is lower than it logically should be, and the fact that vibration is basically the only option on the sensory menu is a crisis of imagination that’s fundamentally confusing.

Is it really as simple as the fact that a vibrating motion is easier to program, or is there something bigger keeping everyone from thinking outside the box? Are all sex toy makers in the pocket of Big Vibration? Was the inventor of sex toys (no, not a Victorian doctor or whatever) getting piped when the thought “This is all well and good, but I wish this was more like riding a wooden rollercoaster,” floated into their mind? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that according to Lora DiCarlo’s website, the Osé is in such high demand that there’s a 4 to 6-week waiting period on that sucker. Maybe it’s time for the vibrator to retire to the big Adam and Eve megastore upstate and make room for some sexual innovation.

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