Sara Klimek

The first thing you see when you arrive on Unbound’s website is the tagline: ‘an online shop for rebellious women.’  Their website, filled with bright colors and artistic fonts, gives the impression that the retailer is merely another women’s clothing business.  When you look beyond the playful web design you will see what Unbound is actually selling: sex toys...and beautiful ones at that.

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Shop UNBOUND Tsk here!

Unbound is a small web company comprised of a team of eight women who are determined to change the way women think about sex.  They sell a variety of lubricants, dildos, handcuffs, and vibrators among other intimate products.  The company even offers a subscription service where you can order a ‘curated experience’ - including various vibrators and top-selling products from their website - where a selection of their products  arrive at your door.  Unbound prides itself on being a very discreet and understanding company, made by and for women.

Unbound provides a refreshing outlook on women’s sexuality that hasn’t really been seen before.  For centuries, women have been discouraged from being sexually liberated and open to new experiences in the bedroom.  Most of this normative pressure has come from stigmas regarding sexual behavior.  Historically, women were typically limited in the ‘vanilla umbrella’ meaning that any use of sex toys or kink deviated from feminine norms.  Walking into an intimate goods store comes with a sense of embarrassment, even when women are often expected to take care of all the logistics of sex (e.g. buying condoms and pleasing men).

Patriarchal norms have found their way into the bedroom; many sexual experiences are governed by men, whether it be the expectation for men to be sexually dominant, or the burden placed on women to sort out birth control.  Not only have these ideas created more harm than good by emphasizing male dominance, but they also often decrease focus on female fulfillment.

Unbound combats these problematic sex norms by selling sex toys and lube containers disguised as beautiful jewelry to appeal to women.  They offer a variety of handcuffs that double as elegant bangle bracelets as well as discrete pleasure rings.  If you’re not interested in searching for your next sex toy, Unbound still offers adorable #futureisfemale garb and trans pendants to show off your pride.

Unlike many of its competitors, Unbound also offers a cultivated online magazine that includes features about how to enhance your pleasure and destroy the patriarchy at the same time.  Rather than making women feel ashamed about their sexual desires, Unbound releases the suppression of a woman’s sexual identity.  A cornerstone of this mission aims at enhancing education about affirmative consent, informing others about sexual wellbeing, and increasing awareness about the spectrum of identities that exist in the sexual sphere of our world.

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Despite their progressive plan to openly discuss sex, Unbound continues to offer discreet delivery and experiences to women.

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Despite their progressive plan to openly discuss sex, Unbound continues to offer discreet delivery and experiences to women.  When you order a package from Unbound, it will come in a standard cardboard box with no indication of what’s inside.  The benefits of this are two-fold, helping women have access to their products nearly everywhere while decreasing the judgement that comes from ordering a dildo off of an online sex shop.

I can only hope that more companies like Unbound emerge in the coming years.  Companies should not only recognize the needs of women, but should also acknowledge more of the intersectional issues that come with the suppression of sexual identities (e.g. race, socioeconomic status, and class).  I can’t think of a better way to enforce this message than to restate one of the most powerful parts of Unbound’s company biography: ‘we believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure and that we are better when we, ahem, come together.’

 

Sara is an editorial intern at bSmart and student at the University of Vermont. Following graduation, she plans on attending law school.

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