If you weren’t able to catch Ashley Manta, CannaSexual®, at her recent talk to Women Grow in Ann Arbor last month, I’m going to make you wish you had! But before I proceed, be warned! The following blog will contain so much vibrant celebration of cannabis, sex and curiosity, adult play, and activation of your most satisfied sexual self, that I’m going stop right here. Do I have your consent to proceed?
That’s a “Yes”? Good, ‘cause I’m a grown-ass woman and I can write about what I want, and what I want, no, deeply DESIRE, is to write about Ashley Manta, CannaSexual®, High Priestess of Sex, and a cheerleader for our innermost yearnings, encouraging us to give ourselves up to knowing and experiencing sex at its sauciest!
Ashley Manta coined the term CannaSexual® and it describes the mindful, deliberate use of cannabis in order to increase intimacy and promote pleasure. On her website, Ashley states that “Cannabis can be used to enhance sensation, ease discomfort, and promote intimacy during solo or partnered play.” Ashley notes that there are many ways to mindfully use cannabis, and using cannabis during sexual play doesn’t have to involve intoxication. Cannabis and CBD can be used topically to activate our pleasure receptors! Ashley encourages curiosity and play and suggests that incorporating cannabis into our sex lives might just explode the possibilities of pleasure!
Ashley Manta arrived at Women Grow, pussy pillow in hand, and a smile to light up the room! Ashley had such a warm, engaging spirit, we couldn’t help starting to talk about sex, and what adult play means. She passed out the world’s plushest pussy pillow, equipped with pink and magenta satin folds, which you can’t resist exploring deeper! Ashley got the audience so jazzed to dish about sex, we ended up passing the padded pussy around like a “talking stick”, or rather, “talking pussy”. Speaking of which, our bits have a lot to say. We should be listening to our body when it tells us “Oh, I like that,” and spend quality time, mano a mano, so to speak, with our sexy bits so we can tap into our juiciest desires.
Ashley is a big fan of getting down by yourself. Many of us associate masturbation with a shame-filled adolescence; furtive horniness and stolen minutes while family members knock impatiently on the bathroom door. This is not a quality masturbatory moment. If you want to know how to make time with yourself, Ashley says, “Grab some olive oil or coconut oil. Everything’s better when it’s wet! Just start by exploring yourself, rub up and down, or in circles, rhythmically or randomly.” Ashley encourages us to focus on more than just the clit and penetration, “…Although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that! But don’t limit yourself – you’ve got a lot of area to play with. Remember, the clit has legs! Yes! While the clitoris is the nerve headquarters of your bits, that doesn’t mean the clit is the only part with sensation. The vulva, the area between your vagina and anus, around the anus, and back toward the clit – that’s all prime sensual real estate! Explore all kinds of different touches: soft, fast, rough, keep exploring. This is play, too. The point is to enjoy the experience!”. And though that last racy bit described a vulva focused sexual experience, humans with other genital configurations should proceed in kind!
Here’s another Ashley Manta tidbit about your outie bits: enjoy and partake in your own penis pleasure. At Women Grow, Ashley said, “Remember folks, flaccid fun is a thing!”, meaning that pleasurable touch is to be revelled in and can be enjoyed on all parts of our bodies and souls. People with penises can feel just as sexually-potent and energized whether they’re rock-hard or velvety-soft. It’s all part of that space we can be holding for ourselves, that non-judgemental, loving, lusty space. Ashley says, “Masturbate for 20-30 minutes. When you give yourself this kind of attention, you learn more ways to play. The other day I gave myself 120 pleasure-seeking minutes. I learned a lot!”
What about feelings of shame about our sex organs? We worry about how we look and smell, and even question whether we’re having the right type of orgasm! “Have you heard of Body Sex, by Betty Dodson?”, Ashley asks me, “She is the Godmother of women’s masturbation. She helps women discover a positive body image through healing circles where women sit together and talk about their pussies. They do show and tell, try out toys and just discover what feels good to them. The women are given hand mirrors to look and appreciate and get curious about all the folds, curves, and textures, and basically discover how freaking awesomely unique your bits are!”
Okay, so you’re willing to take more than a few moments to find out what kind of sexual beast you really are… But how do you get out of your head and into a state of arousal? Ashley says, “It happens to a lot of people! You’re not alone. One of my favorite books is Come As You Are, by Emily Nagoski. It’s probably the defining work on women’s sexuality in this generation and every woman-identifying human could benefit from reading it.” Ashley goes on to say that our model for sexuality too often focuses on penetrative sex and that’s limiting, for everyone involved! Ashley is fired up about getting educated and curious, “We have to be curious before we have knowledge and many people don’t even know what to be curious about!” “We, as a society, get so caught up in what sex is supposed to look like. There’s a lot of boring sex out there: the same every time.” Ashley says “We need to remember the playfulness and curiosity that came to us so naturally as children. When we were kids, we just played on the playground. Nothing mattered. We were just two souls connecting and playing together.” Ashley explained that we forget that sex is supposed to be FUN, it’s not supposed to be obligatory, coercive, or formulaic.
Elevated intimacy is an Ashley-Manta-mantra, and there are countless ways to achieve this high as Ashley reveals in her workshops and coaching. In addition to sharing her majestic vision of what is possible in terms of sexual energy (go read Ashley Manta’s treasure trove of a blog on her amazing CannaSexual® website, her epic articles in Dope Magazine, and her lusty Leafly contributions)! Ashley also loves to talk about cannabis as a catalyst for hot sex! Deliberate cannabis use, with intention, can enhance sensation and build sexual intimacy. Just as consent should be your starting point before you get it on, so is knowing how you want cannabis to make you feel – That’s being a fully-actualized CannaSexual®!
Ashley created a brilliant cannabis strain-tracking journal, available free at CannaSexual®, which helps isolate strains that can us get in a variety of moods. In a YouTube video, Ashley details what a heightened sexual experience can look like when cannabis is used with intention, “Before medicating, establish your comfort zone, and what feels edgy to you. Discuss what you like and what is a NO!” Ashley is passionate about consent, “Always and forever”. In her video she suggests “Mindfully choosing a strain, a playlist, incense, appreciate the space you’re about to inhabit – choose your own adventure and make it how you’d like it to be!”.
There is a spiritual core in the CannaSexual®’s manifesto. It acknowledges the power in finding a way to speak your desires so you can experience your highest bliss and pleasure energies. She talks about this in her YouTube video, “I can say, “Oh my god your fingers feel so good! Can I please have more?”. She goes on to say, “I am sexually-expressed and totally in my power and in my High-Priestess-of-Pleasure and in my Lightening. It is exquisite and I want that for all of you. I want to help you create that in your own lives. Find the edges and the places where you can juice it up! Be intentional, do it on purpose, and with purpose. Every time you touch your partner, every time you engage, it’s better to know why you’re doing it and what is your intention. What are you trying to create in that moment? Love and deliciousness and sensuality!”
Are you ready to come into the CannaSexual® fold? Check out Ashley’s website for upcoming events, like The Ten Commandments of Hand Sex, and the tantalizing, Punani Power Retreat at Joshua Tree in December. Keep up with Ashley on her Instagram and learn about how you can host a CannaSexual® event of your own!
Eva Morrigan is a contributing writer for Bloom City Club. In addition to being a Bloomtender at Bloom, Eva enjoys writing about cannabis, especially sex and cannabis, and reading tarot.