The Crystal Sex Toys Making Masturbation Spiritual

Photo: Courtesy of Chakrubs.
Vanessa Cuccia used to be a web order fulfillment clerk for a well-known sex toy shop, but she wasn't satisfied with what was on the market. While these products provided physical pleasure, they didn't address all the emotions people have around sexuality, like shame, trauma, and love.

Then, while studying with a spiritual teacher, Cuccia developed an interest in crystals. Their spiritual properties seemed to be what sex toys were lacking.

In 2011, Cuccia created Chakrubs — sex toys made of different stones for different spiritual uses. Indigo is said to open the throat chakra to improve communication for couples, while rose quartz is said to have a peaceful energy that helps users heal, for example. She encourages women to develop an intimate relationship with their Chakrubs by sleeping with them under their pillows, holding them against their bodies to pick up their energy, and leaving them on the windowsill under a full moon to "charge."

We talked to Cuccia about where sex and spirituality overlap, and how we can get something more meaningful out of sex toys and masturbation.

What shortcomings of the adult product industry did you observe when you were working for a sex toy company?

"I observed sexuality from a unique standpoint: all these people, wanting to feel pleasure, taking classes, reading books, buying movies, trying new fetishes. Some people coming into the store would shop as if they were shopping for antiques — as if sex was a hobby, an interest — while others, they would have nervous laughter or have shame written all over their faces.

"Everyone had different needs and different ways of satisfying these needs with various products — just none of the products I felt dealt with the underlying need that I think we all have: to feel connected.

"What I understood was that, for me, sexuality was more than about getting off. Sex is a symbol, a metaphor for how we relate to ourselves and to our spirituality. We carried a wide range of products, from cheap to high-end. No matter how high-end a product was, though, silicon, plastic, steel, and glass weren't materials that would turn me on or help me tune in to myself and experience true intimacy."

How did you decide that crystals could fill that gap?

"Crystals were a way for me to feel I was figuring something out about myself. They were a way for me to feel emotionally supported. The first Chakrub I created and used was rose quartz, now called The Heart Chakrub. I didn't want to hide it away in my dresser drawer after pleasuring myself with it. I wanted to hold it near my heart, give myself emotional support, [and] set intentions for remaining open to love, even though I felt like closing myself off due to facing heartbreak after heartbreak."

What interests you about crystals?

"We don't need anything outside of us. We have the ability to alter our states of mind. But as humans, we have an affinity for objects, for tools. Crystals, being that they are formed from the earth, hold a certain kind of consciousness. There is a connection to nature when you hold a crystal. You can easily observe the earth's magic simply by looking at the way it has formed these gorgeous specimens. Then, there's a story to each of them. Every crystal is said to have various metaphysical properties that have been passed down for centuries. There are thousands of stories about crystals, each one special, and all with a purpose of relieving us of any emotional, spiritual, or physical pain."
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The Original Chakrub Line was designed to mimic the sacred space of the female body, not the male anatomy.

Why do these properties make for good sex toys?

"Crystals have perfect molecular structures that emit positive frequencies that we can benefit from when we are nearby. Combing this with our intention and sexual pleasure gives us the benefits of crystal therapy and sexual healing.

"Taking away the metaphysical aspect, Chakrubs are smooth and heavy (depending on their size). They are hard as rock (literally). Easy to clean, easy to warm up or cool down, don't require batteries, promote a healthy sense of self, have no dyes, chemicals, radiation, or anything unnatural. They are art pieces, represented as functional works of art or interactive sculptures. You can place them on your nightstand and honor them instead of feeling ashamed.

"The Original Chakrub Line was designed to mimic the sacred space of the female body, not the male anatomy — which is why I prefer to not call them 'dildo,' as this is defined by a fake penis. [A Chakrub] brings a sense of pride for female bodies. Adding in the metaphysical aspect, we are working with tantric principals of moving energy to not only feel more pleasure, but to remove emotional blocks stored in our bodies physically or in our auric fields. This can help us deepen intimacy with ourselves, our faith, and our relationships."
What can Chakrubs accomplish for their users?

"Because of these properties associated with the different crystals, when a person becomes aroused and is ready to have a session with a Chakrub, that arousal becomes a reminder of the person's intentions for emotional healing. Sexual energy is then combined with the energy of the crystal to facilitate desired changes."

I don't think mainstream sex toys necessarily desensitize you, but it is us who desensitize ourselves through not being mindful.

What's the best way to use Chakrubs? I noticed they don't vibrate, which was interesting to me, because I don't know if a non-vibrating sex toy would do much for me. But maybe that's because mainstream toys desensitize us?

"Chakrubs don't vibrate via batteries, but the idea here is to become sensitive to subtle energetic vibrations. I don't think mainstream sex toys necessarily desensitize you, but it is us who desensitize ourselves through not being mindful. We all have the experience of walking into a room and feeling the vibe of the room. Energy is in the matter all around us, and some things have more therapeutic energy than other things.

"When using a Chakrub, we suggest first bonding with it by meditating with it placed on your heart, by setting it out for a night in the full moon, by creating a ritual and getting clear on intentions. After inserting it, before any movement is made, I think it's best to try to feel the energy from the crystal. Then, allow the sexual energy to build as you move it about how it feels pleasurable to you. If you do enjoy vibration, I see nothing wrong with using a vibrator alongside the Chakrub. This is about you. The sacred ceremony should look and feel right to you."

What overall changes do you hope to see in our approach to sex?

"I've already seen so much change over the past six years. The taboo of self-pleasure is diminishing. People are learning to love themselves and their bodies. I am so happy to see the way in which we are headed. I wish for it to continue on this path, for more awareness to be had about consent and honoring the sex of ourselves and of others."

How do you think we can take a more spiritual approach to sex?

"The way to take a spiritual approach to sex is to acknowledge that we are spiritual beings. Spirituality is understanding that you existed before you were born and that you live on after you die. We are energy, and we are here right now to play in our human bodies. With our human bodies, we were given the ability to feel pleasure through the senses — and to show gratitude for having been given our bodies, we can experience that pleasure. Without shame, without expectations, and with as much love as possible."
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