How We Push the Limits of Sex Technology

How We Push the Limits of Sex Technology

Nov 22nd 2021

At Lora DiCarlo, we prioritize sexual wellness as often as possible. Sexual wellness is part of overall wellness, and it’s just as important as physical exercise or what you eat. We also love providing opportunities for employees to expand their horizons, and we’re huge geeks for, say, creating mathematical algorithms that mimic the movement of a human mouth and tongue.

When you marry those priorities, you get a pretty exciting work culture, and we wanted to highlight some of the ways we’re pushing boundaries in the sextech industry to innovate for self-pleasure and sexual wellness. In fact, these very motivations are why we publish TIRDs.

WHAT THE HECK IS A TIRD?

Yes, you read it (and said it) right—TIRDs. T.I.R.D. is a funny internal name for Technical Innovation Research Development. These are basically academic research papers we help our engineering team publish. Our engineers are really the backbone of the company because they do everything from creating new products to designing new molds to produce those products. Our team is amazing, so we try to set them loose as often as possible!

One of our engineers published a TIRD on vibration, and others focused on electromagnetic propulsion and miniaturization of voice coil motors. Sometimes, they even get peer-reviewed and published in national magazines. Just look at Avery Smith, one our engineers who authored a vaginal anatomy TIRD paper, titled “Dimensional Data on Vulva Vaginal Anatomy: Medical Device Design Barrier.”

You’re Telling Me Lora Dicarlo Studies Vaginal Anatomy And Medical Devices?

Yes, precisely! It’s a lot of words, we know, but it boils down to studying what goes on in a vagina, the obstacles to self-pleasure, and how to use that knowledge to increase sexual wellness.

Avery’s research was reviewed and published by the 2020 Design of Medical Devices Conference in April 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The paper surveys and catalogs the existing data collected on vulva vaginal measurements. Avery wrote that there are “current studies available which serve as good starting points for dimensional reference.” Reading between the lines, this means we’ve got a good start, but still have a long road to go. She went on to write that “further studies should be conducted…to provide a broader basis and understanding of the range in anatomical variation.”

You can read the full paper here, and a summary of Avery’s work has also been published in an Xbiz article headlined, “A Look at How Medical Bias, Misrepresentation Blocks Sexual Wellness Innovation.”

“A product designer working in the sex toy industry must have the ability to understand the anonymous reports of product testers and translate them into solutions for product innovation,” Avery wrote in her Xbiz article. “Recognizing the specific barriers present, and identifying methods of supplemental data collection and design solutions is essential to creating an innovative brand and product.”

In short, her paper helped us better understand the diverse vaginal shapes and sizes, which in turn helps us make better pleasure products. Extremely worth it, if you ask us!

Why Do We Pay Employees To Research Vagina Anatomy And Sextech?

We offer each employee $1,000 each year for training and professional development. This is part of how we support our engineering team’s research papers and is one of the ways we believe sexual and gender equity can be accomplished. Not only is this a core company value, but it’s reflected in, and necessary for, our product line—we couldn’t deliver award-winning pleasure without an incredibly talented and supported team.

We’ve also had a long-standing relationship with the Prototyping Development Lab at Oregon State University, and many of our team members come from their world-class robotics and engineering departments. Together with OSU, we studied the movements of human mouths and tongues to create the algorithms behind the original Osé. Yes, Osé was born in a lab! And for good reason, as Avery’s paper highlighted the need for more understanding around vaginal anatomy and pleasure. The sextech industry is hungry for additional research and development!

We love working with OSU and asked OSU professor John Parmigiani for a little insight into what it’s like to partner with Lora DiCarlo on sexual wellness projects.

“[Prototyping lab] students and faculty engineers design and build mechanical and electromechanical devices and create software for startups, established companies, and university researchers,” says Parmigiani. “The students get real-world experience with product development. In particular, the Lora DiCarlo product line appealed to a segment of students not traditionally represented in engineering…It’s been a great interaction.”

The Team That Inspires Us All

Our engineers are our backbone and consistently inspire our entire company to keep learning. Our engineers have also been integral to all of Lora DiCarlo’s patents, and we’re proud that our entire engineering team is under 35. As a small company, our integrated industrial design and engineering team, dubbed the Innovation Team, actually comprises 20% of our total employees. That’s why we wanted to dedicate an entire post to showing off their smarts!

One succinct way to sum up how our engineers inspire the entire company is by looking at the lifespan of the original Osé. Upon its initial launch, we received critical consumer feedback, which was immediately applied to a second version. That became Osé 2, now available online and in retailers worldwide.

At Lora DiCarlo, we value innovation and learning and will do what it takes to support those goals. If something can be done better, we’ll do it. That value has never been more apparent than in the way our hard-working engineers continually refine, rework, and improve all our products. It’s the driving force behind the entire company, and we thank the entire team for pushing sextech boundaries every day.