Ashley Manta is the genius behind Cannasexual, a lifestyle brand used to represent pleasure-focused events and educational workshops

What is your partner’s name?

Bruno is my main romantic partner.

How long have you been together?

We met in June of 2015.

How did you meet?

We actually hooked up the first night that we met because we met at a sex party in San Diego. But it turned into a relationship and we were both excited about that. Neither of us saw that coming!

Tell us about your first time using cannabis together.

The first time we used cannabis together was at my apartment in L.A. He drove up for a date and I had a bowl packed and ready to go when he got there. I believe it was… Blue Dream if I remember correctly. It would’ve either been Blue Dream or a Jack Herer strain like a Candy Jack or a Juicy Jack. It was something mellow with a little bit of creativity. I had never really smoked with a partner intentionally before having sex prior to that point. I had partners back in Pennsylvania where there was cannabis around but it was never done like, “we’re going to smoke and then we’re going to do this.” That was the first time. So, in a lot of ways he was sort of an early adopter of my CannaSexual efforts. The first thing that we did was I sparked up the bowl. I took an inhale and then I shotgunned the hit into his mouth and we started kissing. I found that so hot and connective and sexy!

How did you initially bring up the conversation of cannabis?

He actually Googled me the day after we met. I mentioned that at the play party that I do sex and cannabis because I brought Foria (THC-infused coconut oil sex spray) for the all the people who wanted to try. That’s one of my party favor things that make people happy that I’m at their parties. I will bring Foria and if anybody wants to experience it, they drop their drawers, I give them the spritz, and you know, they’re off to the races. So Bruno knew right away that I was cannabis friendly and then he went home and Googled me. He actually messaged me the next day and said “I have to warn you. I’m a little star struck. You’re like a known person. You’ve been on podcasts and Life On The Swingset!”

Tell us about a typical sesh!

Well I’ll use this week as an example. He came over for lunch. I had a bowl packed and ready to go. I offered it to him and he took a small hit because his tolerance is no way near mine. So he takes the littlest tiniest amount, which is totally fine, and he’s good to go for a couple hours. I smoke, like, the rest of the bowl and then I’m just starting to feel it a little bit. Then we get naked. The first thing I want to do when he comes over is jump on top of him! We just have this incredible sexual chemistry and it’s still going strong almost two years later. We just can’t get enough of each other! So, he comes over and we smoke or vape. If he has time…if it’s like a sleep over night which we do sometimes, he’ll do an edible so he’ll have a longer period of time. Then we get naked and start touching each other and flowing energy together. We’re both into Tantra and energetic sex and paying attention to the dynamics that go on between bodies, not just physically but on an energetic level. Typically our dates are around five hours and we usually use at least two or three condoms in that time period.

What do you think of your partner’s cannabis use? Have your thoughts changed over time?

I’m super supportive of him using cannabis. I would be kind of sad if he didn’t, because it’s so fun for us to share together. I think certainly his consumption has increased through knowing me partially because I get so much free product from companies that I can’t use it all. I send vapes and edibles home for him and his wife just to support them in their relationship and to kind of spread the love. I would say his experimentation and consumption has definitely increased since knowing me.

Are there any strains or high-activities you don’t enjoy with your partner?

Sexually, we are unbelievably compatible. When it comes to sex and cannabis he is my favorite partner to be with. He is the one I am most excited to try new things with. We usually don’t do too much outdoorsy stuff when we’re together, other than going to the beach to relax and watch the waves crash. But in terms of like, hiking or doing those kinds of recreational activities, that’s not something we typically do when we’re high together.

Are there times you prefer to enjoy cannabis without your partner? How does your partner feel about that?

He is super supportive. We very much have a free agent kind of relationship. When we’re together that’s awesome. When we’re not, we are our own deciding factor. Especially me because I don’t have any relationship agreements that put rules on what I can do. I don’t have to notify anyone if I meet a new partner. I don’t have to give notice about sleepovers. I can basically do what I want when I want. He’s super supportive of that. He really values my autonomy. He has a lot of autonomy in his own relationship but he does have a primary relationship with his wife and there are agreements that go along with that. I have no interest in putting limitations on what he can do when he’s not with me because I don’t feel like that’s my place to do. So we’re both very into everyone doing their own thing in following their own path.

Has cannabis use ever caused tension in your relationship (bad first reactions, financial issues, etc.)? How did you work through it?

One time I gave him something that made him paranoid. I didn’t know, he didn’t know. We just kind of had to work though it and I supported him through it. We did an XJ-13 joint. I loved it. It was great for me. For the sex part it was really energetic and exciting but then we went to a party and he got a little bit anxious and didn’t really want to be around people. So we ended up leaving the party really quickly. I felt bad that something I had given him had been not enjoyable, although obviously it was unintentional. We have since taken that particular strain out of the rotation.

How does cannabis play into conflict resolution within your relationship?

Cannabis is so helpful for having conversations that are challenging, Specifically high CBD products. There was a thing that happened back in February where there was a misunderstanding and some hurt feelings. My default is to panic. I get nervous and I assume people are going to leave and not want to be with me anymore which is silly and like, my own shit. So having a high CBD strain to calm my shit down is really really valuable to get myself back into rational thought and more present in my body and not freaking out and shaking and having my stomach all in knots and unable to eat anything. Cannabis really helps me feel more centered and able to have the conversations which inevitably allay my fears and make me feel so much better.

How does cannabis play into the romantic aspects of your relationship?

Everything that we do has to be scheduled because he lives with his wife and he has multiple other relationships so Google calendar is our best friend. That makes non-monogamy so much easier. A lot of times he’ll come over and we’ll have sex dates, but sometimes we do actually venture out into the world. I’ve taken him to the San Diego Cannabis Farmer’s Market, which he really enjoyed. We got to sample some of the things that vendors were showcasing. The event featured everything from dabs to joints to edibles. I think he did a low-dose edible and a couple puffs off of a joint and he was golden. I was driving because my tolerance is such that I only stay high for like, twenty-five minutes, so it makes more sense for me to be the designated driver. Sometimes we’ll smoke and then go out to dinner and notice the ways in which the food tastes so much better and really enjoy it in a powerful way. Or we’ll go look at something beautiful—we’ll go to the beach and watch the sunset and share a vape pen together as we’re watching it. It’s just little things like that.

If you were to stop using cannabis for an extended amount of time, do you think it would affect your relationship? If so, how?

No. Other than him being really surprised. I currently consume cannabis every single day, multiple times a day, so that would be kind of a huge life upset for me. I did actually give it up for a week about two weeks ago. I took a tolerance break and it was fine! He was supportive of me doing what ever I needed to do to take care of my body. From my perspective, if he decided to push back form the table with cannabis or be like, “you know what? I’m just not interested” which happens sometimes, I’d be fully supportive. He doesn’t consume every time we see each other. Sometimes he has to go back to work. I’m fully in favor of him just being wherever he is and consuming when it feels comfortable and appealing and not consuming when it doesn’t because I only want people to be doing it if there is a “hell yes” from them.

How does cannabis affect your sex drive?

Putting my sex educator hat on for a second—sex isn’t a drive in the sense that a drive for food or shelter is about life or death, and sex isn’t life or death. However, I do have a really high level of interest in sex and my desire tends to manifest spontaneously (rather than responsively to specific stimuli). So in terms of enhancing that, there is nothing cannabis can do to make me more sexual than I already am completely sober. For me it really is about the sensation and the intimacy and feeling more connected to energetic perception. I just got attuned to Reiki in December (which is a healing modality). I noticed that I am better at Reiki and more energetically attuned and sensitive when I have been using cannabis. So, I like it for that reason. I am much more able to perceive where my partner is. My intuition seems to be heightened when I’m using cannabis and that feels really good for me.

If you plan to have kids, how will your cannabis use change?

I never plan on having kids. I’m very aware that the way I approach cannabis may not work for someone who has kids. I don’t ever have to worry about little feet running into my bedroom when I’m trying to get off after I’ve just smoked. That will never happen (except for my cat who is a pervy voyeur, but he’s a lot more self sufficient). I love other people’s kids and I support them in having them but I will never ever ever have my own.

Are there any stories that stick out in your mind?

Back in December, Bruno and I did this thing called a “Love Is Art” kit. It’s this big canvas and you spread paint on it and you have sex on top of it. We got really high together with a combination of edibles and smoking. We do the edibles, then we smoke to get high while we wait for the edibles to kick in. We lit some candles and laid out this huge tarp so we wouldn’t get any paint on the carpet. We had unbelievably awesome sex all over this canvas and now for Christmas he got it stretched out and framed for me. It’s in my office and every time I look at it I think about that night in December that we just had such beautiful, connective sex and…made art together! (pictured below)

Any words of wisdom for other couples looking to bring cannabis into their relationship or their sex life?

The golden rule of edibles “start low go slow” is really useful for cannabis. Start low. Start small. Start with really micro dosed amounts. Try them on your own and see how they affect you, then incorporate them into a couple situation. If it doesn’t work, you need to be able to pinpoint why. Was it the dosage? Was it the particular product? Was it just that night? Was it the partner? Being able to isolate those variables is really valuable. Masturbation is really important for a healthy sex life anyway. Using new cannabis products on your own and seeing how they go…actually keeping a log of it is really useful and not enough people do it.