Is This About To Make Your Sex Life A Whole Lot Better?
Tackling stigma associated with working in the sex and tech industry is tough, and harder still, if you’re a woman. Polly Rodriguez knows. She’s the CEO of sexual wellbeing company Unbound – a safe space for women and femme-identifying people to explore their sexuality – and this feeling of stigmatisation is one she works to dismantle daily.
It was a very personal moment that brought the Unbound concept into being. At the age of 21, Polly underwent radiation treatment for colon cancer, an experience that brought both her body and mind into premature menopause. In an effort to reclaim her sexuality, she set out to buy her first vibrator (under her best friends instruction), but the experience made her realise how antiquated shopping for sex toys can be. “I am passionate about female health and wellness because of a cancer diagnosis at 21 that sent me through menopause (due to radiation treatment). No one talked to me about how my sexual health and wellness would be affected and it was in that moment I realised how undeserved women are when it comes to wanting to understand and enjoy their bodies”.
Polly recognised there were plenty of products on the market that provided physical pleasure, but few offered an antidote to society’s hush-hush approach to self-pleasure. “We felt the world lacked a place to have fun, inclusive conversations around sex so we set out to create that world,” she says of Unbound’s inception. “Since its start, Unbound has gone from being a labour of love (translation: we started it in our tiny NYC apartments), to a leader in changing how feminists explore and enjoy their sex lives.”
The website – which is US-based but ships worldwide – demystifies a important issue that’s most often shrouded in secrecy. Unbound’s belief system can be most clearly felt from the website’s ‘About’ section: “Through our quarterly box, online shop and Unbound Magazine, we believe in radical possibilities of pleasure and that we are better when we, ahem, come together”.
While the brand’s offering continues to grow, it’s the fact Unbound hammers home the importance of sex education and the realities of our own sexual organs, that we’re really excited about. “Since 2016, Unbound will donate 6.9% of all profits to non profit organisations that support female sexual health and wellness. Because, we don’t just believe that women should be empowered when it comes to their sexuality, we fight for it.”
Last year, cervical cancer appointments dropped to a 10-year low. According to a recent poll conducted by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, this absence was fuelled by anxieties surrounding body image and more specifically, ‘embarrassment’. Let’s hope more resources like this will teach the next generation of women how to love, or at least talk about, their bodies. And, here are a few of the positive changes the women at Unbound have brought about.