Exclusive: Unbound's Polly Rodriguez Talks Masturbation, Sex Toys, and Sending Vibrators to Mitch McConnell

If you haven’t heard of Unbound yet, you’re late to the game.

The sexual wellness company is all about helping women, all women, get the best of the best sex toys and products while giving them an amazing shopping experience. The brand has expanded to include quarterly subscription boxes, toys, lube, jewelry, and more. Unbound has even launched its own line.

The site is beautiful and perfectly curated. And what’s more, the site makes shopping for sex toys fun, rather than skeevey. There’s still so much taboo around women’s sexual pleasure and unfortunately, so many women feel uncomfortable going shopping for anything that might enhance their sex lives.

Founder and CEO Polly Rodriguez was inspired to start Unbound when at the young age of 21, she found herself dealing with cancer. Chemo and other cancer treatments can wreak havoc on your body, vagina, and all. Polly soon found herself going their early menopause and facing dryness and low libido. And when she went searching for something to help her get back on track (she was still only 21 after all!), she only found trashy, low-quality products.

And now there’s Unbound, one of the coolest sites for women to get their rocks off. We chatted with Polly about everything from masturbation to their collaboration with Project Consent. Check it out below.

Female self-pleasure, particularly masturbating, is such a taboo topic. Why do we as women have so much trouble talking about this, even in 2018?

The way that our society has worked, and continues to work, doesn’t legitimize true female sexuality. We’ve historically viewed women through a “Madonna or whore” lens — and there hasn’t been a space for women to really own their natural sexuality.

We tell young boys from an early age that they can’t help their sexuality, and that it’s a part of who they are — but we tell young women that their sole role is as gatekeepers of men’s sexuality. They’re never taught to own, feel proud of, or explore theirs — and this results in a lot of shame and taboo.

When we chatted with Project Consent, they told us that you were the one to initiate the partnership. What inspired that?

Project Consent is just an amazing organization that is tackling an incredibly important problem in America right now. Not to mention, it can be difficult for us to find partners to work with. Unfortunately, female sexuality is still a stigmatized issue and so when Project Consent said they were up for collaborating, we were immediately on board to make something happen. Plus, they’re total badasses.

There’s such a lack of communication in the bedroom, especially between heterosexual couples. What can we do to talk more openly with our partners?

Feeling comfortable with yourself is a really big part of feeling comfortable with a partner. Explore your body, being to understand your pleasure points, and start to own what makes you feel good. Once you understand your own preferences, it will be a lot easier to communicate them, and to ask for things, from a partner.

Make a point of having communication be a part of sex. Try having a brief, intimate conversation after sex, while you’re both still together. Tell your partner what you really loved, and ask them what they liked.

Sharing articles (like those on Unbound!) is also a really good way to pick up conversations — especially if you’re interested in trying something new.

The Unbound shop is clearly so carefully curated. How do you decide what makes the cut?

We test every single product that we sell on the site to ensure it’s body-safe and high quality. Many people don’t realize that vibrators aren’t regulated by the FDA and so the materials that are used are not always body-safe.

It’s important to make sure that your vibrator never contains phthalates and/or parabens as these are not body-safe materials — especially when you consider how absorbent your vagina is, you need to make sure the manufacturer is using medical-grade silicone and the right materials. Unfortunately, with the lack of regulation, most don’t, so we take it upon ourselves to always make sure the products we’re selling are ones we can stand behind.

You’ve expanded way past sex toys to lingerie, jewelry, and a magazine. What’s next?

Unbound’s vision is to redefine the human experience, starting with sexual wellbeing. We believe that there are many experiences that are uniquely terrible for women and non-binary people. This is because we’re usually not the ones creating those experiences, which is exactly what we want to change. There are so many opportunities to improve sexual education and reproductive health more generally.

Your Get Off + Give Back program donates a portion of the proceeds to non-profits. What are some of the organizations you’ve donated to so far?

We’ve mostly focused on working beside Planned Parenthood because it’s been under attack with the Trump administration in office. Last year our Vibes for Congress campaign raised over $12,000 that we donated to Planned Parenthood New York. Also, we got to send Mitch McConnell 275 vibrators alone, so that kinda made our year.

This interview has been slightly condensed for publication.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.