The Palma ring by Unbound Babes is a waterproof sex toy disguised as piece of jewellery that can twist, tilt and be tapped to produce different vibrations.

Unbound Babes disguises vibrating sex toy as ring

Palma by Unbound Babes is a waterproof sex toy disguised as piece of jewellery that can twist, tilt and be tapped to produce different vibrations.

Made from surgical grade stainless steel, the vibrator is attached to a band so that it can be worn as a ring. The faceted shape of the vibrator tapers at one end to create a faceted surface to apply to intimate areas.

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

A vibrating motor is concealed inside the accessory, and the wearer can change the speed and pattern of vibrations by moving their hand or tapping the ring. The vibrating part can also swivel between horizontal and vertical positions.

New York-based Unbound Babes founder Polly Rodriguez came up with the concept for Palma in 2016 after seeing sex toy technology launches that weren't hitting the spot.

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

"Everybody was coming out with vibrators that were paired with Bluetooth, so that you could have an app," Rodriguez told Dezeen.

"But the overwhelming feedback from women was it creates a barrier to using it, especially with a partner. You have to you roll over and get your phone in the middle of a moment," she added.

"People wanted more intuitive design was haptic so that it would react with your body."

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

Having an all-women team at Unbound Babes is an advantage in the sex toy development arena, Rodriguez believes.

"We saw a lot of startups that had predominantly male teams designing features for the sake of features," she said.

"We had people who really understood the barriers to incorporating these products into people's lives."

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

A vibrator that fits on a finger can easily be positioned over the clitoris without interrupting sex.

"70 per cent of women need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm. And that doesn't happen usually during regular penetrative sex," said Rodriguez.

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

To create a vibrating element that increases the intensity as it tilts, the design team used an accelerometer similar to the kind you'd find in an iPhone to aid with screen orientation.

Buttons under the vibrating element allow the user to select one of five modes of vibration. The Palma also has setting that allows you to tap the top of the ring to record a pattern of vibrations for it to repeat.

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

It recharges via a magnetic USB charging dock in the ring case that the toy comes in, and it is fully waterproof.

Developing all the technology in the Palma and making it small enough to be wearable was a challenge, which is why it took years to develop.

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

"It took a full year of just going back to the drawing board because every time we would design it, it was just too big to be worn as a ring," said Rodriguez

"It took us five different motors prototypes, going back and forth until we finally found one that we felt was strong and powerful enough."

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

The ring factor also makes it an interesting twist on the tradition of men gifting women rings as part of a courting ritual.

"We had one amazing lesbian couple who proposed using Palma, which is definitely been my favourite use case so far."

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

Rodriguez believes that having a sex toy that can be worn in public can be an important statement about women having more bodily autonomy at a time when their rights are being threatened under the current government in the US.

"This industry, historically, has been one in which people felt embarrassed or ashamed by these products where it felt dirty or wrong. Now women are reclaiming that space and that part of their lives," she said.

"Look at the macro culture, Donald Trump getting elected, women becoming more physically representative of their views, wearing t-shirts that say 'nasty woman', getting on the streets and protesting – women want to control that narrative of their sexuality."

The Palma ring sex toy by Unbound Babes

Designers are responding to this increasing demand for sex toys that focus on pleasure for women, trans and non-binary people.

Dame Products has a vibrator called Fin in a silicone bulb that fits between the user's fingers, and Wild Flower has created Enby, a gender neutral vibrator shaped like a stingray.

Photography is by Savanna Ruedy.