A Conversation with Unbound's CEO and Cofounder Polly Rodriguez
Before she was a successful entrepreneur, Polly was a survivor. At the age of 21, she was diagnosed with stage III cancer that left her permanently infertile. Today she is cancer-free and the CEO of a company that regards sex positivity as a holistic philosophy for personal well-being.
We caught up with Polly and asked her a few questions about her inspiration, her journey, and how femme sexual empowerment can change the world.
We just finished browsing the entire Unbound website and everything looks so enticing. From the photography to the product selection...this looks sexy and fun and feminine in all the best possible ways. Tell us your story! How did you decide to found an online sex toy shop?
When I was 21 I went through early onset menopause as a result of radiation treatment for a cancer diagnosis. I went to buy a vibrator because I wanted to better understand my body and the experience was awful. I walked into a seedy shop, surrounded by men looking at porno DVDs and I turned around and walked right out. I didn't understand how there wasn't a better shopping experience for women when it came to purchasing sexual lifestyle products, so we created one with Unbound.
We also read your story about beating cancer. We're glad you're here! Is there a clear link between your medical history and your mission at Unbound?
There is absolutely a link between my medical history and our mission at Unbound. After I walked out of that store when I was 21, I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I couldn't help but think to myself, "if this is how the shopping experience makes me feel, maybe I'm not supposed to be buying these products" - which couldn't be further from the truth. We need to provide a safe place for women to explore their sexuality. We want to encourage women to be in touch with their bodies at Unbound. It's yours, you should feel entitled to explore and enjoy it.
"Your body is yours, you should feel entitled to explore and enjoy it." [Tweet this]
Do you think that going through that life-threatening experience at such a young age helped prepare you to be an entrepreneur?
With regards to cancer and entrepreneurship, I think cancer gave me permission to take big risks. Once you go through something like that, everything else seems trivial in comparison. Don't get me wrong - I still sweat the small stuff more than I should - but I'd like to think I have a better sense of the bigger picture. For me, that picture is knowing that if you're not on your death bed, there's really nothing you can't do.
We've been hearing a lot about #sextech lately, from the inspiring force that is Cindy Gallop to women-run companies like Unbound. How do you think sexual empowerment—particularly femme sexual empowerment—has the power to change the world?
Sexuality is something that affects us all and one of the few frontiers we still don't have honest and open conversations about. Historically, women have predominately put their partner's pleasure before their own. In so many aspects of our lives, we take on the role of caregiver, nurturer, protector - and that includes in the bedroom with our partners.
"I believe that if a woman can ask for what she wants in the bedroom she can ask for what she wants in the boardroom." [Tweet this]
We couldn't agree more!