ASHLEY MANTA - "THE CANNSEXUAL"
Ashley Manta, also known as “The CannaSexual,” is on a journey to share information and help others throughout the world. Ashley created the word CannaSexual and trademarked it. It refers to anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure, whether solo or partnered. Ashley says, “It has become a lifestyle brand and my professional nickname, ‘The CannaSexual.’ I am a sex and relationship coach, writer, and public speaker. I work with clients (individuals and couples) via Skype, and I work with VIP clients face-to-face. I offer online courses, I speak at colleges, conferences, and retreats, and my first book will be published in the second half of 2020. My mission is to inspire people to see the innate value in themselves and empower them to ask for what they want. I am having the best sex of my life, and it's a combination of confidence, communication, technique, and enthusiasm. I want that for everyone. Whatever is getting in the way of my clients having the best sex of their lives (however they define it). I help them find practical solutions, reframes, and workarounds. My public lectures are part education and part motivational speeches. Someone, sometime in your life, may have left you thinking that you weren't enough or weren't worthy. I'm here to tell you that you ARE enough, and you are SO worthy.”
IT HAS BECOME A LIFESTYLE BRAND + MY PROFESSIONAL NICKNAME, ‘THE CANNASEXUAL
Ashley wasn’t always a cannabis consumer and didn’t consume cannabis for the first time until ten years ago, while she was in graduate school working on her Masters degree in Philosophy. “I'd grown up being taught, like most kids of the 80s and 90s, that ‘marijuana’ was bad and so were the people who used it. That belief system was challenged by the fact that most of my grad school cohort and a few of the professors were enthusiastic consumers. The first time I smoked, I used a gravity bong (rookie mistake) and got extraordinarily high but in a pleasant way. I sat on a LoveSac and watched Empire Records and contemplated the beauty of the universe. After that, I was fully pro-cannabis.”
Now, Ashley consumes cannabis in all forms available. “I smoke, vape, dab, eat edibles, use tinctures, apply topicals, insert suppositories, and use cannabinoid infused skincare and bath products. Depending on the method of consumption, it helps in different ways. I use CBD suppositories for cramps and to make deep penetration more comfortable during sex. I smoke and dab socially, it helps with my social anxiety. I use tinctures for headaches and body pain. I eat edibles before bed to help me sleep. I love soaking in a tub with a THC and/or CBD bath bomb--Kush Queen is my favorite brand. I use Foria Awaken every time I have sex to enhance sensation.” As you can see, cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways and Ashley has the knowledge and experience to share with others, which may help improve some aspect of their own life.
For those new and interested in trying cannabis, Ashley offers her advice. “I encourage everyone to start out with miniscule amounts of whatever they're trying. Use a bit, then wait. If you're inhaling, wait 15-20 minutes, if you're ingesting, wait a full two hours. See how you feel, then add more if you choose. I also strongly encourage folks to masturbate after consuming to determine how that product impacts arousal, desire, and sensation. If you're not interested in feeling high, try using a THCA and/or CBD tincture, which won't cause any intoxication. Likewise, topicals are intoxication free, so try it if you have body aches.”
STOP BUYING INTO THE INDICA/SATIVA MYTH.
“Anytime someone is thinking of combining sex and cannabis, I encourage them to be mindful of consent. Cannabis is psychoactive, even if some forms are non-intoxicating. Have a conversation with your partner, prior to consuming, about boundaries, fears, and desires. Tell them how you'd like to be taken care of if you over consume, and share with your partner some key things that they might see or hear (lethargic movements, softer speech) if you're in some kind of distress. Additionally, stop buying in to the indica/sativa myth. The effects of a given strain are entirely subjective and largely dependent on personal body chemistry, mindset, environment, tolerance, and amount consumed. Not all sativas make you energetic and not all indicas make you sleepy. We need to develop more nuanced ways of talking about cannabis' effects rather than using vague conversational shorthand.” Keeping in mind that the widely used terms indica and sativa aren’t reliable terms to distinguish the effects a product may have on a person and that each person may react differently to the same product is very important to understand when combining cannabis and intimacy or consuming for any other reason.
People are experiencing less pain when consuming cannabis. Combining cannabis and sex has been life changing for some. Ashley says, “The exact mechanism hasn't been fully studied. We're so limited on scientific data, especially regarding sexuality and cannabis, but the working theory is that cannabis helps with pain by reducing painful sensations in the nerves and enhancing pleasurable sensations. THC is a vasodilator, meaning it expands blood vessels, bringing more blood flow to the area when applied topically, while CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with swelling. Vaginal suppositories are helpful because it gets the cannabinoids deeper into the vaginal canal where they can absorb into the vaginal walls, the cervix, and the internal clitoral erectile tissue. Suppositories can also be inserted anally, which helps reduce discomfort without numbing.” She says, “Sex shouldn't hurt unless you want it to! That was a BDSM joke. Seriously though, as someone who experienced pain with penetration from my first sexual experience in my teens through my late twenties, I have deep empathy for those who experience pain during sex. There are lots of reasons this might be the case, and since I'm not a doctor, I would encourage folks to chat with their healthcare provider to rule out any serious health issues that might be masked by using cannabis for pain relief.”
I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH, AND YOU ARE SO WORTHY.
As more states legalize cannabis and it continues to move mainstream, more studies are being conducted. “Marijuana Use Episodes and Partner Intimacy Experiences: A Daily Report Study” looked at participants over a month and examined whether cannabis consumption periods were associated with couple intimacy. “Although marijuana use has been linked to negative consequences for intimate relationships, emerging literature suggests that under some circumstances it may have positive consequences. Couples who use substances together report better relationship functioning over time and may experience positive short term outcomes.” The study concludes, “It is also possible that some couples are more likely to experience positive versus negative outcomes. Because the positive effects of marijuana are particularly strong, they are probably more apparent to users than the more modes effect on partner conflict, reinforcing positive marijuana expectancies and encouraging use within the couple.” 1 Science will continue studying why and how these positive effects are being seen with cannabis use in couples and are continuing to learn more through research.
Next year, Ashley will continue to provide education when she releases her book. “After my book is released, I'll be doing a book tour, which will take me to a bunch of new places that I've been wanting to visit. Plus, I'm going to be traveling internationally to speak at retreats and festivals, and I am really looking forward to finally getting some stamps in my passport! I'm especially looking forward to hosting my first Bodysex retreat after being certified by the founder, iconic feminist Betty Dodson, last summer. This retreat is designed to help women love their bodies and feel empowered to give themselves pleasure! It's very cannabis friendly--Betty is a big fan of the plant!”
There are so many ways to support Ashley and learn more from her events! Enroll in one of her online courses at ElevatedIntimacy.com, subscribe to her podcast Elevated Intimacy, or hire her to teach at your retreat, festival, or conference! Visit her website, CannaSexual.com, to learn about all of the ways you can interact! She’s taking on a few more elite coaching clients in 2020, so email her to enquire about the enrollment process. You can also follow her on Instagram @CannaSexual or on Twitter @TheCanna- Sexual.