California Sex Educator, Ashley Manta, began her career as a rape crisis counselor, victim advocate, and violence prevention educator just after graduating college in 2008. After years of listening to and absorbing trauma from victims, by 2011, she felt burned out with direct service and sought to find the joy of her own sexuality. “After […]
California Sex Educator, Ashley Manta, began her career as a rape crisis counselor, victim advocate, and violence prevention educator just after graduating college in 2008. After years of listening to and absorbing trauma from victims, by 2011, she felt burned out with direct service and sought to find the joy of her own sexuality.
“After networking with other sex and relationship educators, I cultivated a greater body of knowledge about sexuality, and these newfound realizations helped me to come out publicly about my own sexual trauma and contracting genital herpes, with the intent of decreasing the stigma of Sexually Transmitted Infections, or STIs.”
The Pennsylvania transplant said once arriving in California shortly after her epiphany, she experienced cannabis in a whole new light after visiting a legal dispensary.
“Walking into a dispensary and seeing all those cultivars and methods of consuming was magical,” she swooned. “Someone sent me a link to a news article about Foria, the company that makes Pleasure, THC-infused [tetrahydrocannabinol] coconut oil spray for sex, and I remember thinking, ‘This could be my thing!’”
Ashley, combining her interest in anatomy and physiology, dived vulva first, so to speak, into the world of stimulation and relaxation via cannabis paired with sex.
“As a sexual trauma survivor, using cannabis infused products on my genitals has allowed me to have penetrative sex without pain for the first time in a decade,” she shared. “Cannabis enhances the capacity for sustained clitoral stimulation and multiple orgasms.”
Wake, Bake and Sleep
In spite of her late night schedule, either for work or play, Manta said her inner-clock wakes her up at five in the morning, often keeping her from falling back to sleep.
“My brain is still tired, but my body is awake, so I’ll take a few hits of a calming cultivar, like Gorilla Glue,” she explained. “Smoking allows me to fall back to sleep until around nine-thirty, and then I’ll have some fruit or make myself some scrambled eggs before catching up on industry news, correspondence and social media posts.”
If she wakes up sore or has a headache, she’ll use a full-spectrum CBD (cannabidiol) rich tincture from cannabis, as needed.
Depending on the maker, the difference between CBD from hemp or cannabis is the percentage of CBD in the plants to begin with. A CBD product from industrial hemp is typically taken from stalk, then made into an isolate or powdered concentrate – often testing at a mere two percent CBD, with other trace beneficial compounds; as compared to CBD from cannabis purposefully hybridized for higher percentages, often testing between 12 to 14 percent. It’s the difference between using CBD as a supplement or a remedy for healing.
“I’d take the tincture daily if my budget allowed, to prevent headaches in the first place, but I’m a working girl on a budget,” she laughed.
The average cost of a bottle of tincture in a dispensary can cost upwards of $60, with some patients likening use to shopping at a high-end organic market – you need to have money to eat clean or purchase cannabis product regularly for prevention, or to treat ailments.
“A favorite flower to smoke, once I get my work squared away for the day, is Connect from Canndescent. Their branding is fantastic, it’s sophisticated and clear, and they name their cultivars based on effects rather than antiquated strain names. Connect has a neutral head (not particularly cerebral) but an uplifted body, which for me makes it great for sexy times,” she explained.
If she’s in her moon cycle and is suffering from cramps, she’ll use a Foria suppository, vaginally, for relief.
“I’ll also use Foria’s suppositories for fun times, for increasing pleasure and decreasing discomfort for anal play,” she winked with a giggle.
Manta’s day includes coaching calls, helping clients improve their sex lives, with cannabis as an optional tool, charging upwards of $200 an hour, with micro-sessions in ten minute increments at $30 a pop.
The bad-ass in me recognizes the bad-ass in you…
On days where she’s facilitating a workshop, she may travel, with a favorite coming up in Joshua Tree National Park this spring.
“I’ve facilitated several workshops a year for Glowing Goddess Getaways, which is a favorite,” she added. “It’s a private membership social club for women, and anyone identifying as a woman is invited to join. The workshop lasts three days and two nights, with wonderful food and all the edibles, dabs, and cannabis you can consume.”
One might easily imagine her workshops are one big old-fashioned orgy, but Manta’s focus is on partners relating to each other, using cannabis as a communication tool and for helping everyone find their inner Sex Goddess.
“Each workshop begins with an exercise to promote connection, honoring yourself while honoring another person,” she explained. “It’s an eye gazing exercise, or as I explain it, care-bear staring with love and respect. It’s more than Namaste – I like to say, the bad-ass in me recognizes the bad-ass in you.”
Manta said she encourages the partners to really look at each other with love and kindness, honoring everything it took to get to this place, together.
“Think about the last time you looked in the mirror and were loving to yourself, in spite of the earthly things you struggle with every day,” she waxed poetic. “We are so understanding of others struggles, but can be so self-critical. We need to love ourselves, then we can take care of the people we love. This leads to a more pleasurable experience together, and also a more fulfilling solo-sex practice.”
The workshops include product education and how to incorporate cannabis in sexual pleasure with or without the high, via topical use.
Manta practices what she preaches with her boyfriend, “B,” who will remain anonymous. The two have been together for four years, and their comfort level allows Manta the ability to experiment with different products and techniques.
“B’s tolerance for THC is much lower than mine, so he makes a good example for the many clients I help who may just be entering into the cannabis space,” she said. “If I have a new product, we’ll try it together.”
To prepare, Manta sets the stage with candles and incense. She fills her automatic lube warmer, Touch, from a company called Warm with her favorite lube, Silver by Sliquid; brings out her favorite vibrator, Tango, by We-Vibe; lays out her water proof blanket; and hits a dab to get in the mood.
She also commands her Amazon Echo to play their favorite mood music, set an alarm, if need be; and activates an electronic do not disturb on all her devices – with the goal of never picking up her iPhone, which can be a huge distraction.
“I have an extremely high-tech sex life,” she laughs.
Another favorite flower, Create by Candescent, is often enjoyed, as Manta said it gives a slight head-high without feeling overly stoned and a more tactile, overall body high.
“I’ll put on his favorite lingerie and apply Foria’s Pleasure to my vulva 25 minutes prior to his arrival – as it takes time to marinate,” she further educates. “I want him to feel that I took the time and effort in creating a space for him. I want him to walk into my lair and be transported to a place that is sensual and safe for all his desires to be realized and strengthen our connection”
Great expectations can hinder any situation if anything goes awry, and Manta shared, even with all her experience and their experience together, things can go wrong.
“Someone might ingest too much or have a bad reaction to a certain cultivar. The most important thing is to support each other, and be there for each other – that’s the goal, and that’s what I teach my clients.”
Too much THC happens, Manta said, and she typically has a good CBD tincture as remedy, a whiff of freshly ground pepper, or cup of chamomile tea to help calm the central nervous system.
“Cannabis opens up your third eye, allowing wonderful things to happen, but you must give yourselves permission when it doesn’t work out the way we planned. Even my boyfriend and I have had times where everything shuts down and we stop and pop in a movie and cuddle – and that’s perfectly fine and part of the dance.”