Polly Rodriguez is the CEO and Co-Founder of Unbound, a rebellious sexual wellness company that makes vibrators, lubricants, and accessories. Polly and co-founder Sarah Jayne Kinney started Unbound with the goal of taking vibrators, lubricants and sexual accessories mainstream through elevated design, body-safe materials, and accessible pricing. Today, the company has been hailed by the New York Times as the “ideological center of the tech-savvy, female-led women’s sexuality movement” with over 50 products created by a team of all women in New York City.
What’s the Unbound origin story? After receiving a cancer diagnosis at 21 that resulted in early onset menopause, I found myself shopping for a vibrator – only to find that the ‘best’ option was a seedy store next to the airport in St. Louis. Ten years later, I teammed up with Sarah up to create Unbound.
Let’s talk sex, pleasure & quarantine: We see that sales are way up as women are investing in personal pleasure – any thoughts to share on this? I think it’s been amazing to see womxn use this time for “self care,” which is a very annoying and overused term, BUT, I feel like everything in isolation just feels harder? It’s been wonderful to see a surge in vibrator sales from women in cities that are currently under shelter-in-place. It’s fantastic that people are giving themselves permission to experience pleasure during such a stressful time.
What are you hearing from your customers during this unprecedented time? Mostly, people are writing in wanting to know WHEN their shipment is going to arrive. People are antsy!
How are you helping women navigate these uncertain times? I don’t know that it’s our role as a brand to pretend to be anything more than a brand and a community. It’s not our place to act like we can help women navigate these unprecedented times, but we do what we can. We try to provide funny content on Instagram and we put together this “Hang in there, babe” spreadsheet of content and resources our community can enjoy while staying at home
What’s your hormonal health/menopause story? I went through menopause at the age of 21 as a result of radiation treatment to shrink the size of the tumor that was in my colon. On one hand, it’s sad that I went through that at such a young age and that I’ll never have my own children, but on the other hand, it gave me permission to really pursue my ambitions without a voice in the back of my head telling me to “start a family.” It was also an opportunity for me to redefine my sexuality — lubes and vibrators entered my life and clearly never left! What’s something you’ve learned as a result of your hormonal health journey or something that helps you navigate your health (product, mantra, routine, etc.)? Not to overthink it. At first, I spent so much time focused on how I was so different from other women my age and then I just said, “oh, to hell with it.” I think so often we are the ones that place the greatest limits on ourselves, and I was determined to continue to have a normal and healthy sex life.
What’s one word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of menopause: Resilience
What inspires you? The other 10 women I work beside every day Female figure (living or dead) you admire the most and why: I can’t pick just one!!! But I do really love Stevie Nicks