Episode 21 / Granting Permission
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As a severe side effect of a stage three cancer, Polly Rodriguez found herself going through menopause before she was old enough to go to a bar. To manage with the side effects, a friend advised her to buy a vibrator to deal with the drastic change in her body. She went to a Hustler Hollywood and discovered how mortifying the shopping experience was. 10 years later, she started Unbound — content and products to lead them to live a life that's sexually empowered. 

On this episode of Well Made, Stephan talks to Polly about her life before Unbound, the evolution of the brand so far, and the challenges of being in a (shockingly small) minority of women in sex tech. 

“[Women] should be designing product that reflects a female aesthetic, not a male gaze ... We should have both perspectives in the market.”

 Granting Permission

The tone of Unbound is cheeky, informed, and totally casual. It strikes an ideal tone of familiarity to curate a space where sex health and sex toys aren't intimidating or embarrassing for women. When she breaks down the stigma of sex, Polly attributes a lot of the taboo tone to vulnerability. Vulnerability and sex go hand-in-hand and that's the lens through which she's building the Unbound community. 

From the straightforward advice and instructions to the mindful packaging, every step of the Unbound experience is meant to be friendly and inviting.

“Everyone's curious. Everyone's just looking for permission.”

 Granting Permission

Before Unbound, Polly worked at Grouper. It was a group dating app the got huge, then dissipated. In this episode, she dished on the somewhat dismal dating stats she learned and how people found love in spite of them. It seems that sparking human connection is a common thread through her career. 

Along with leading Unbound, Polly co-founded a community of female sextech founders in New York called Women of Sextech. Together, they share trials and tribulations of funding, founding, and being taken seriously as women in a notoriously male-dominated industry.

But, hopefully people are coming around to a new space for sex thanks to Polly, Unbound, and new sex brands that are making products accessible to anyone who's curious. You can keep up with Unbound Box Instagram and Twitter


Also mentioned on the show: 

Header image via Refinery 29.


You can find this and all future episodes on iTunesGoogle Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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