0013: Fervor Friday With Ashley Manta Founder And Creator Of CannaSexual
Happy International woman’s day my loves, The body and psyche want our wholeness and continually offer us healing messages. Listening to their wisdom is a skill and an art. When we have desires or cravings, life is calling us toward what will replenish and recharge us. All living things turn toward their sources of energy and nourishment. Your desires are your compass; they point you in the direction you need to go. A healthy approach to pleasure is one in which you answer an inner call. A beautiful, healthy way to embrace your sexuality could also be by obtained by utilizing the gifts that mother nature has offered us from the dawn of time which is in plants . In this particular interview, I get deep and personal with Ashley Manta also known as Cannasexual. Ashley has discovered that sex and cannabis go hand in hand in achieving a deeper and more meaningful mind, body soul orgasmic connection.
Bio: Ashley Manta has become a sought-after authority on mindfully combining sex and cannabis as part of her CannaSexual® brand. As a professional sex educator and coach, she helps people navigate these topics to make sure they are interacting, loving, and feeling their best in and out of the bedroom.
She has been nominated for multiple awards including the XBiz Awards for "Sexpert of the Year" (both in 2018 and 2019) and the 2018 California Cannabis Awards for "Influencer of the Year." Her work has been profiled in The Huffington Post, and referenced in The London Times, Newsweek, BBC3, and LA Weekly, to name a few. She was the featured expert on VICELAND TV's "Stoned Sex" episode of Slutever season one, hosted by Karley Sciortino. She was also featured in an episode of "High Indulgence" on PlayboyTV and had a cameo appearance in an episode of Bravo's Shahs of Sunset.
Ashley has presented at mainstream, adult, and cannabis events like SXSW, High Times Harvest Cup, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, and Cannabis Wedding Expo. She was a contributing writer to Leafly.com from 2015-2017, and currently writes for Dope Magazine. In 2018 she taught at a number of retreats, including the Glowing Goddess Getaway, Healing Inside Out Retreat, Intimate Health's Punani Power Yoga Retreat, and will be returning to the Glowing Goddess Getaway for multiple retreats in 2019.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Women’s Studies and has completed graduate coursework for a Master of Arts in Philosophy. Ashley is also a certified and attuned Reiki II Practitioner, a certified consulting hypnotist, and a trained victim advocate.
Who is Ashley Manta?
I am a sexuality educator, coach, and creator of the CannaSexual® brand.
And at this moment, how do you spend your days?
Every day is a bit different, I typically wake up around 9:30, stretch, check email and social media, check in with some of my business clients, and then start working on any projects I have for the day. I typically have sessions with my coaching clients in the afternoons and evenings. Twice a week I see my boyfriend B, and I like to relax with yoga or walking on the beach. I also take frequent naps!
I love that you are called “CannaSexual,” how did the universe gift you this incredible name?
I made it up! Back in 2014 when I discovered Foria, the company making THC-infused pleasure oil, I realized that combining sex and cannabis was a perfect niche for me since I had been working as a sex educator for six years. CannaSexual® was born, and it has been federally trademarked since 2017!
Ashley can you tell us a little about your upbringings?
I grew up in a small rural town in south central Pennsylvania, outside of Harrisburg. It was ultra conservative and very white. There was a lot of abuse and sexual assault in the community that wasn’t talked about, and I was anxious to get out of there. I went to college and graduate school outside of Philadelphia and studied Philosophy.
Ashley how would you define yourself and what inspires you?
I identify as a voluptuary—a person devoted to luxury and sensual pleasure. With my sun and Venus both in Taurus, earthly delights are my passion. I was recently dubbed the “High Priestess of Pleasure” by Sexual Health Magazine and it’s an accurate moniker. I love delicious food, soft fabrics, olfactory delights, beautiful music, and intentional touch. I’m inspired by people who live their passions and shine their lights brightly—people who encourage others to do the same. I’m a storyteller and permission giver and I resonate most strongly with those who want to make the world a better place.
How vital is self-pleasure to you?
Self-pleasure is practically my religion. I masturbate daily (sometimes multiple times a day!) and there is nothing I’d rather do with my free time than be naked in bed with people I find alluring, including myself! I love the softness of bodies and the sounds of pleasure ringing through the air. .
What led you to embrace your own sensuality and why is doing so important?
I’ve always been a pleasure-seeker, but moving to California upped my game considerably. I was turned on (pun intended) to witchcraft, sacred sexuality, and the importance of creating a sensual space back in 2015, and it has made a profound difference in the way I experience the world. I create playlists to evoke the kind of feelings I want to have throughout my day. I light incense or diffuse essential oils to lift my mood. I energetically cleanse my space with sage and palo santo so that it feels good to occupy it. If my space is cluttered or chaotic, it impacts my ability to be present.
Ashley in your opinion and experience the difference between good sex and bad sex?
Good sex is connected, mutually pleasurable, and fun. Bad sex is distracted, one-sided, and leaves people feeling disappointed. There are a lot of variables that go into both, and I’m assuming that even bad sex is consensual (if it’s not consensual, it’s not bad sex—it’s assault) but being mentally/emotionally present and making sure that the experience is fun for everyone involved is crucial for good sex.
Sex, self-pleasure, deep intimacy… are topics that don’t seem to be as readily or openly accepted by society yet. Why is this?
We live in a world that profits off of shaming people about their bodies and controls people by policing their sexuality. It’s no wonder that most folks are hesitant to talk about sex, self-pleasure, and intimacy. There aren’t a lot of healthy models (in the mainstream) for sexual pleasure and autonomy, although people have been doing the work for a long time. Betty Dodson has been hosting self-pleasure events in her living room since the late 60s!
Ashley what does sexual healing mean to you?
For me personally, sexual healing meant feeling embodied and present during sex rather than dissociating, and reframing my limiting belief that my only value came from what I could do to sexually satisfy my partner.
Can you do us the honor of explaining what Cannasexual is?
CannaSexual® is a word I created to refer to anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure—whether solo or partnered. It has grown to become a lifestyle brand and a sensual philosophy.
How did you discover sex and cannabis? Did cannabis aid you in your sexual awakening or did it enhance your playful sensuality?
As a sexual assault survivor, I experienced pain with penetration from age 13 until I was almost 30. It wasn’t until I tried Foria Pleasure, the THC-infused pleasure oil, that I was able to have penetrative sex without pain. I also found that smoking and vaping cannabis helped with my complex PTSD symptoms of dissociation and panic attacks. It allowed me to be present in my body and enjoy sensation again. I wanted to start talking about cannabis from a sex educator’s perspective, always being mindful of consent.
Can you share a little about the exquisite courses you teach and what can student expect to learn?
I recently launched an online course through my education portal, Elevated Intimacy Academy, called the “Hand Sex Masterclass.” It’s a ten-segment course that covers pussy massage and hand jobs, along with segments about preparing your body for sexy fun times, pleasure based anatomy of the pussy, cock, and ass, communication and negotiation (aka, asking for what you want), how to have take care of yourself and your partner after you’re finished, and cleanup and storage of toys and supplies. This course is robust! You can find it at www.elevatedintimacy.com and it’s $297. We also offer a free mini-course for those who just want to get a brief overview.
What are the benefits of utilizing cannabis during love making rituals?
I like to say that cannabis can help address the things that get in the way of pleasure, connection, and intimacy. If you have pain, topicals are fantastic. If you’re stressed, I like to use CBD-rich tinctures or vape pens. If you need a creative boost, you can take a hit of a joint that inspires your imagination. Cannabis is a powerful tool to have in one’s sexual toolkit.
How do you help women to enhance their health through cannabis and sex?
Since many people with vulvas experience pain with penetration, I like to raise awareness about topicals to help address that concern. I’ve also had great success using cannabis suppositories to help deal with cramps, and I’ve heard from folks with endometriosis that it’s helpful for them as well. I like to empower women with knowledge so that they can find options that work for them.
Cannabis — as one more often unexplored and taboo option for women’s health, how can we break this taboo?
Talking about it is essential. It’s why I blog, and speak at conferences, and do interviews in media and podcasts. We need to raise awareness and debunk myths and stereotypes. We need to stop shaming people who talk about sex publicly (in respectful ways).
Ashley do you have any advice for women on how to utilize their sexual energy?
That’s something that would take a lot of explanation and nuance, but I’d be happy to chat with folks one-on-one if they book me for coaching.
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 like to do grounding exercises like stretching my body, visualizing roots growing out of my feet into the earth, inhaling essential oils like lavender and frankincense, and practicing joyful movement to music.
Do you have a favorite ritual?
My favorite sex magic ritual is to create sacred space, burn sage, light candles and incense, infuse my cannabis with reiki energy, set an intention, smoke the cannabis, then lay in my bed and rub my hands all over my body. Then I masturbate for as long as I can, imagining my dearest wish becoming reality. At the moment of my orgasm, I launch my intention out into the universe. It’s powerful.
Ashley, thank you for sharing your time and energy with us where can the Kinktra lovers can find you?