0012: Fervor Friday With Vanessa Cuccia Founder And Creator Of Chakrubs
We have been conditioned to view pleasure as a task, a button to seek, a taboo, the dirty little secret or the perhaps the ever so completed mission impossible. However, a healthy approach to pleasure can embrace the full spectrum of human experience. Pleasure is a vessel of awareness, where you bring your entire being into it. You welcome every impulse, every emotion, and every desire. When you pay attention to your inner life without prejudice, you begin to appreciate all these impulses as part of your body’s innate intelligence. The instincts are sacred. Pleasure promotes self-remembering. You can exercise the full circulation of energy and gather back your power. As you pay attention to the fullness of your energy you inhabit space differently and learn to sense the integrity of your presence. This energy sense is a direct way to cultivate true power: a body-based knowing that has nothing to do with domination or control. Now let us talk about a woman embracing pleasure and with full transparency creating pleasure tools, classes and a book that helps other women find their sensuality, sexuality and inner goddess it is a real honor to bring you the phenomenal goddess Vanessa Cuccia.
Vanessa Cuccia is regarded as a pioneer in the sex toy industry for introducing her methods of using crystals for sexual healing and empowerment on a global scale. She is the founder and creator of Chakrubs. She continues to receive testimonials from people around the world who use her Chakrub products and methods. These overwhelmingly positive testimonials have inspired her to write her latest book, Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure. Since conceptualizing her initial designs for crystal pleasure tools in 2011, and establishing her brand in 2012, Cucciahas been an influencer in the social movement of sex positivity, self-love, and personal awareness by bridging the gap between sensuality and spirituality. As creator of products that symbolize the essence of these movements, she spearheaded the ethos of the brand which is inspiring many to nurture their own emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and spiritual connection.
Vanessa can you please tell us about yourself?
I am an artist. I studied music and acting growing up and continue to develop both of those passions. I did not intend to create a product that would introduce a new material into the sex toy industry, but rather Chakrubs was born out of my own curiosity to use crystals for healing sexual trauma. As the idea became a reality, I realized that these tools could benefit others who were also seeking a more grounded and nurturing way of approaching self-pleasure.
Can you tell us a little about your upbringings?
My father is a chiropractor and inventor of Extentrac, a non-surgical medical device to straighten the spine. I would come home to him standing on his head in the classic yoga pose he attributes to healing his childhood seizures from. My mother was a musician and had a record label. Various artists would come to the house in her home-studio where she would guide them into being self-sufficient. My sisters were also artists, there was a lot of creativity in our home. Music, dancing, re-decorating rooms. I would put on plays with my cousins. We had an event happen in ‘92 that really shook things up. There was paranormal activity in our home where we as a family plus our neighbors would have shared experiences of things that were unexplainable. This led to many conversations about spirituality, religion, and the unknown.
How did your family react to you creating pleasure positive tools?
My sister, Rachel Cuccia, was the first of my family I told. She immediately saw it for its potential, and helped shape the way it was perceived through the public eye through marketing materials, photography and beyond. The rest of my family was also supportive and that’s grown since they’ve seen how much it has helped people. My dad’s wife is the only one who condemns it, but I think it’s because she doesn’t really understand it and doesn’t care to try. If someone doesn’t understand the depth of this project and isn’t interested in trying, I have no interest in trying to make them. For me I see how a person reacts to Chakrubs as insight into their relationship to themselves. My blood family is naturally open-minded, free-thinking and believers in dreams. Not everyone is as fortunate as I have been to be raised with these attributes and I am very grateful as I know it played a major role in me going as far as I have with all this.
How would you define yourself and what purpose inspires you?
I define myself as an artist and someone who is eternally curious about my own existence. I am driven by the need to constantly learn, expand, and evolve through my passions and talents. It is when I am in the act of creating that I feel most connected to a higher purpose outside of myself.
What does sexual empowerment mean to you? Moreover, how do you believe sex educators can empower others to find their sexual authenticity?
Sexual empowerment is understanding and owning what turns you on and the unique ways that your sexuality wants to be expressed through you. It’s about releasing all of the ideas about what sexuality is “supposed” to look and feel like and allowing yourself to create your own definitions. I think that validating people’s sexuality and letting them know that there is no one “right” way to be sexual is key to helping people become comfortable expressing themselves authentically.
What inspired you to make Chakrub a reality and tell us a bit about the name Chakrubs?
Chakrubs was born out of my own desire to heal my sexual trauma through the use of crystals. At the time the idea came to me I was working at an adult shop called The Pleasure Chest, and while I was interested in their selection I knew I needed more than physical pleasure. I needed to feel connected to myself. I was also living with a spiritual teacher and he was teaching me about crystal healing so I became curious whether crystals could provide the type of experience I was seeking. The name Chakrubs came to me almost instantly once I decided to pursue the idea.
Did you see something missing in the pleasure tool market? Why did you decide to start Chakrubs?
The Pleasure Chest had just about every sex toy under the sun. Materials ranging from silicon to wood, steel to plastic. I created the product that I wanted for myself that I did not see offered on the current market. Sure there were “wands” and phallus sculptures but they were often small, and because crystals last a lifetime if you purchase a wand without knowing where it’s coming from it has the possibility of being used before. After I had the idea I moved up to Santa Cruz where I lived with a group of women who would become the first focus group. We shared stories of why this was something we wanted and after testing the first prototypes and hearing all their feedback I knew I needed to bring it to the rest of the world.
You wrote a book called Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure can you tell us about the book and what does Sacred Pleasure mean to you?
Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure gives more details about my personal journey and what led to the creation of Chakrubs, background on the chakra system, and the specific healing properties of crystals. It also provides crystal healing rituals for each chakra to help readers deepen their practice. To me, anything can be sacred when it is treated as such. Sacred pleasure is about treating the things that arouse you as sacred and holding reverence for the different ways you can bring that sensual energy forward.
Vanessa on a day to day bases your message is strong, and we are listening to your pleasure statement, why do you feel self-pleasure is essential?
Self-knowledge is key to so many things - empowerment, confidence, drive. I think self-pleasure is essential because it is the most intimate way you can get to know yourself. Pleasure sends a message to the universe that you are grateful for having a body, for going through this human experience. Pleasure reminds me that this is all fleeting and allows me to honor the process in that way. It both takes me out of myself and brings me back to myself. Pleasure brings me back into my body but reminds me that my body is a temporary home for my spirit.
Sex, self-pleasure, deep intimacy… are topics that don’t seem to be as readily or openly accepted by society yet. Why is this?
The policing of sexual expression has been used in societies throughout history as a means of control. We’ve been taught to deny or be ashamed of our natural sexual tendencies and that results in us repressing other aspects of ourselves that are not “socially acceptable.” I think learning to embrace our sexuality and being authentic in how we express it allows us to be more authentic in all aspects of life.
I love your shadow line, the nunchaku toys are beyond exquisite and far beyond what I’ve seen out in the market. Can you tell us a little bit behind this line and what drew creative inspiration?
With The Shadow Line I wanted to highlight the aesthetics of BDSM and kink, which are often thought of as dark or perverse, and show that sexual acts in and of themselves are neutral. It’s the intention that we bring to them that determines whether they are sacred. The Nunchaku is something that immediately elicits a response. It is an obvious portrayal of the nunchucks, however much grander in size and made from crystal for the purpose of pleasure. It is our version of the double sided dildo. It’s a great deal about loving thy enemy, and learning that our biggest enemy is ourselves. The idea was my sister Rachel’s after we watched “Enter the Dragon” with Bruce Lee. I wanted to make a statement with this line that you don’t need to shun anything perverse about yourself and that every thing about who you are is “spiritual” even if you haven’t given it that perspective yet. You are spiritual because you are alive. Everything you do, don’t do, say, think, struggle with, are ashamed of, is spiritual because you are a spirit.
What is your favorite product in the Chakrub line? Which would you recommend for beginners and why?
The rose quartz Chakrub is a wonderful tool for beginners. rose quartz has a very gentle energy that enhances self-love and compassion. It can help those who might be a little hesitant open up and trust themselves more. I have many favorites. I could never choose just one.
Do you have any advice for females on how to utilize their sexual energy?
I think the first step is to learn to identify your sexual energy and understand that it can be expressed in other ways outside of sex. Be curious about what turns you on and see if you can replicate those feelings in circumstances outside of the bedroom.
What are some of the health benefits of using toys made of crystals versus the popular silicon toy?
I don’t think of it in terms of “versus” but rather “in addition to.” One element is that the crystals are beautiful to look at and using them can boost confidence or help someone see their own beauty or worth. Another element is that crystals require presence -- they don’t have batteries so you have to take the time to warm it up with your body heat and create an experience together. This allows you to be more intentional about the energy you are bringing forth and helps you stay in the moment. And finally, because crystals come from the earth, they can remind us of our connection to everything around us and help us feel a greater sense of purpose.
As a woman who multitasks life and a business, what advice could you give other woman whom have no time to create or incorporate pleasure into their lives?
I would advise them to find small ways to experience pleasure every day. Pleasure doesn’t always have to be an earth-shattering orgasm. Sometimes it can be a hot shower where you spend a few minutes caressing and giving gratitude to your body. Sometimes it can be as simple as noticing how good the sun feels against your skin. Tune into those moments and recreate them whenever possible.
When you are caught up in your head or just really busy/distracted in life, how do you get back to earth (and into your body)?
I remove technology. I turn off my phone, computer, tv. I don’t listen to music. I clean my apartment. And I sing.
Do you have a favorite ritual?
I put all of my favorite rituals in my book Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure.
Can you share some tips for embracing sensuality and being sexually empowered?
Self-acceptance is key. Everyone’s practice looks different so just honor where you’re at and start from there. It can be helpful to set aside some time each day -- even as little as five minutes -- to discover your body and what you like.
What do you want to tell woman who are seeking to take on their own passion projects, and make them their career?
I say go for it! I think everyone should do something that is completely their own. My advice is don’t wait until you’re “ready,” see everything as an “experiment,” and don’t think that you can’t do it because you have feelings of insecurity.
What would you say has been your biggest take-away/lesson learned since starting your own company/launching your website?
I had this idea that starting my business was going to change me but what I learned was that it brought me back to myself. I feel more myself than ever before. I have clear boundaries. I have faith and trust in who I am. Chakrubs allowed me to discover these things from using the actual product as well as creating the brand.
Vanessa, thank you for sharing your time and energy with us where can the Kinktra lovers find you?