She's so Cult

Everything you need to know about Unbound

Co-founded by a group of friends who were determined to shake up the sex tech industry and provide a safe, judgement-free safe for women, femmes and bon-binary people to explore and discover their sexuality, {Unbound} boasts an incredibly empowering and inclusive ethos on sexuality with it’s innovative yet light-hearted sex toys and lubricants.

Ahead of Unbound’s launch at Cult Beauty, we sat down with the brand founders and asked all the questions you could possibly want to know about this liberating and outspoken brand that we’ve quickly fallen head over heels for.

First things first, can you tell us about your background and the brand’s beginnings? What’s Unbound’s story so far?

Unbound was started in 2014 by a group of friends who decided that all people deserved to have open and honest conversations about sex and sexuality. Unbound stared as a quarterly subscription box, curating products around themes and topics intended to spark conversation and intimacy among subscribers. Fast forward to today and Unbound has transformed from a scrappy subscription box to a category leader, dedicated to making beautiful sexual wellness products designed to erase the barrier and stigma that most people feel when shopping in the category or talking about sex, sexual wellness, or sexuality.

Can you share the biggest challenges you faced while launching Unbound?

Sexual wellness brands like {Unbound} are not allowed to advertise on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. As a result, we knew that it was imperative for us to create product and experiences that women, femmes, and non-binary people loved and trusted. The love and trust of our customers leads them to become vocal Unbound advocates, bringing more of our beloved babes into the fold.

What were your main objectives when creating these next-gen toys?

Everything must be beautiful, intuitive, and useful. We do not believe the category should be intimating. We do believe that it should be intersectional and feminist. For us, this means creating products that work for all bodies and creating content that is informative (but also a little funny, because humour helps us ease into sometimes intimating conversations about sex).

How important is diversity to you and how did this inspire Unbound’s collection?

Diversity is extremely important to us. We know that the sexual wellness category has not traditionally accounted for the needs and viewpoints of women and femmes, whether they are trans, cis, or non-binary. We keep that in mind during all stages of product development, from ideation to packaging. We ask ourselves at each stage whether the item that we are making is something that democratises access to sexual wellness and human connection overall.

Can you tell us what sets Unbound and its products apart from the rest of the industry?

We approach everything with a sense of humour. Our amazing content team does a phenomenal job with everything from package design to email to content to social media. This love of humour combined with our passion for beautiful product design really makes Unbound special.

Squish sounds like an incredibly fun sex toy, can you tell us more about its recording function and the squeeze feature?

Absolutely! {Squish} uses haptic technology, which means the harder you squeeze it, the harder it vibrates. Turn it on by pressing the power button once, then give it a lil’ squeeze to test the waters. If you want to get it to record a pattern, click the button one more time, and squeeze any pattern you would like, then wait a moment – Squish should start playing the pattern back to you. Click the button again to return to the first setting.

If you want Squish to hold a constant vibration, return to the first setting, squeeze Squish, and hit the power button while squeezing Squish. Click the power button to return to the first setting when you’re done with the hold patter. Hold the power button down to turn it off!

What’s the best/most rewarding customer story you’ve received? 

There are so many! I spend some time in our customer service inbox from time to time, and the stories that always cause me to tear up are from people who write in to let us know that our products helped them recover ownership over their bodies and lives after trauma. On the lighter end, one of our customers who has been with us from the very beginning always writes in every time we send out a marketing email or launch a new product to cheer us on and tell us how much she loves our brand.

Do you have any tips or advice on how women and femmes can practise self-care? 

Establishing boundaries is a form of self-care whether those boundaries are emotional, professional, or physical. When you set your boundaries, you claim ownership over your time and your body. Setting boundaries is just another way of taking the first step toward any form of self-care. Put yourself and your needs first.

What’s on your nightstand?

A stack of six books that I’m reading, and my favourite candle and potted plant. In my nightstand drawer, I have the Unbound {Bender}, more books, and my journal.

Why do you think women still feel stigmatised for seeking self-pleasure?

Non-men (cis-men) are shamed for seeking self-pleasure because the practice of self-pleasure and self-care centres the practitioner. Anyone who is not a cis-man is conditioned to be a supporting character in someone else’s’ narrative, whether that narrative centres on sex, emotional well-being, professional development, or even physical safety. It is a rebellious and courageous act for any woman, femme, or non-binary person to put themselves first.

What do you wish would change about the sex tech industry and the understanding of sexuality?

At Unbound, we create the world that we want to live in. In that world, women, femmes, and non-binary people are able to access products and information that have been designed with them in mind. The practice of sexual wellness is accepted and all people have access to the healthcare that they need.

Is there any sexual health or feminine hygiene advice you wish you could go back and tell yourself?

Each person has their own form of sexual awakening and each person has different needs. Some experiences can be wonderful for some people, but your needs and your body might require something very different. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Can you share your favourite book/podcast/website/brand for educating yourself on sexual health and wellbeing?

Nicole Byer has an awesome podcast called “Why Won’t You Date Me?” I absolutely adore listening to her podcast. Many of the episodes include open and honest conversations about sex, sexuality, and sexual wellness.

What’s the biggest taboo facing cis-men today that you think still needs breaking?

Women, femmes, and non-binary people deserve power. All taboos levied against women, femmes, and non-binary people (especially folks of colour) stem from a societal understanding that that group will never have their existence and needs taken as seriously as people outside of that group.

Women, femmes, and non-binary people should not be shamed for stepping into their power. They deserve to be paid equally, to have control over their bodies, and to be honoured and respected as three-dimensional beings that exist to advance their narratives and their lives.

How important do you think it is for women and femmes to own their sexuality?

It is extremely important. When you are comfortable with your most intimate desires and needs, you are more empowered to advocate for yourself in all parts of your life.

Finally, how are you going to shake things up next?

Stay tuned 😉


Emmie Thornhill

Emmie Thornhill

Deputy Content Editor

Emmie is Cult Beauty’s Deputy Content Editor. Her love of skin care began in primary school when she first learned the term “hormonal acne” and has been in a love-hate relationship with tea tree oil ever since. She lives in East London – where you can normally find her baking, tending to her plant jungle or planning her next tattoo or hair cut/colour appointment – and is known to start DMCs with you about your birth chart placements, the importance of wearing SPF every day and the difference between a vagina and vulva.