Until recently, I’d never really felt any sort of ownership over my sexuality. Combine growing up with oppressive, Christian views on sexuality with the prolonged early childhood sexual abuse I endured, and it’s really no wonder why I carried sexual shame well into my adult years.
To top it off, I’m pansexual. I realized that gender isn’t something that matters to me early on. When I was seven years old, I remember watching Titanic and developing crushes on Jack and Rose. When I told my now-estranged mother about my feelings, she scolded me, told me that I was confused, and instructed me to never bring up such things again. Being raised in a home that viewed anything other than heterosexuality as sinful and punishable by eternal damnation was harmful to me as a child who already keenly felt a disconnect with heterosexuality.
Beyond that, I was taught to correlate any kind of sexual thoughts or activity with impurity, and that made me feel even worse about myself and the sexual abuse I’d been through. The concept of virginity is so inherently harmful. The idea that anyone has the power to take away from me some sort of intrinsic, holy purity made me feel like my value as a person had been ruined or severely tarnished by my abuse. Growing up, I saw myself as nothing but damaged goods.
Even though I ditched the Christianity I was raised with in favor of self-empowering, atheistic witchcraft practices, I felt nothing but shame and anxiety about my sexuality as I became an adult. The first few times that I had consensual sexual experiences, I cried. I broke down and just sobbed, having become overwhelmed with memories of my trauma. Professional, traditional therapy has been so helpful to me for overcoming other traumas, but it wasn’t really any significant help for me in this department. I was too ashamed to really open up to anyone about what had happened to me. Still, I knew I had to find a way to work through my abuse and blockages surrounding my sexuality. The first of my epiphanies came when I was twenty.
By my twentieth birthday, I was absolutely fed up! I was fed up with not enjoying sex. I was fed up with any kind of sexual activity reminding me of my abuse. I was fed up with feeling like damaged goods, and fed up with settling for bad boyfriends because I didn’t feel like I deserved better treatment. I realized that I do deserve better treatment. I deserve to enjoy sexual pleasure. I deserve to own my pansexuality without shame. So, I hatched a plan to get me to a place where I’d be comfortable with myself: I decided to drown out the memories of my abuse by having tons of casual, emotionless sexual experiences with lots of different people- and I do mean lots.
A Fatally Flawed Plan
I don’t remember the names of the countless people I’ve had sex with, and I totally don’t regret my Slut Years. I had a lot of fun. Those years filled with casual, meaningless, safe sex taught me to enjoy sexual pleasure. After a while, I could finally engage in sexual activities without being reminded of my abuse. This was an enormous personal victory for me, and, for a while, I thought I’d made it.
Eventually, however, the excitement and novelty of casual sex wore off. I found myself rolling my eyes at late-night booty-call texts from fuck-buddies. I began feeling sort of empty and hollow after casual sex. After a bit of soul-searching, I came to realize that, personally, I couldn’t develop a sense of ownership over my body and sexuality by fucking every babe who blushed when I complimented their punk rock hairstyle. My plan was fatally flawed. Emotionless, casual sex may be great long-term for other people, but it ended up feeling unfulfilling for me, because I was essentially using it to run and hide from my emotions. I knew I had to face the music someday. Enter: Chakrubs.
Another Beast Entirely
I discovered Chakrubs through a writer colleague I’d had a few years ago. Chakrubs is a beautiful brand selling sex toys with magical intent. Created by visionary and icon Vanessa Cuccia, Chakrubs features premium crystal yoni eggs, wands, anal plugs, and more. My colleague used her clear quartz Prism Chakrub as a tool to meld her sexuality with her witchy spirituality. As someone who meditates with crystals daily, I found myself so inspired by this idea.
In Cuccia’s book Crystal Healing and Sacred Pleasure, she takes time to differentiate between instant and lasting gratification. I’d been seeking instant, short-lived gratification by engaging in lots of meaningless sexual encounters with people to whom I had no real emotional connection. When I began to find these encounters unfulfilling, I realized that the time had come to face the music. To do this, I decided to explore Chakrubs.
“There are times when it’s valuable to create pleasure for pleasure’s sake. But when we use a substance or act to dissociate from ourselves or our problems, it’s more valuable to get to the root of the issue,” Cuccia says.
I’d had tons of sex by this point, and I’d come to love sexual intimacy with other people. I felt confident in my plus size body, but what’s odd is that I still wasn’t truly comfortable with myself. I’d spent so many years running from my feelings, emotions, and memories that I was scared to try reconnecting with myself in a meaningful way. I’d become used to sexual pleasure being an external, superficial sort of thing. As a result, I honestly wasn’t really looking forward to exploring my own sexual pleasure solo. The concept just seemed to me like another beast entirely. Uncharted waters. The thought of intimately connecting with my body while getting in touch with my spirit felt intimidating, honestly. I was used to getting off, sure- but, I felt like I owed myself something more, something deeper. I wanted to see if I was capable of climaxing in a more lasting, comprehensive, meaningful way.
Could I really create meaningful sexual pleasure for myself, by myself? Could this help me feel fulfilled more deeply- not just sexually, but maybe even spiritually? Emotionally? I decided that Chakrubs sounded like the perfect tools to help me explore a new relationship with myself. I debated for a while between buying the original and slim Chakrub sizes. I wanted to experience the girth and weight of the original size, but felt that the slim size seemed a little friendlier and less intimidating. Eventually, I came to own and adore both versions. To start, though, I invested in the slim version of The Heart Chakrub, a beautiful tool carved from pure rose quartz, and so began the truly healing chapter of my journey.
Using Chakrubs as a Magical Ritual
When my very first Chakrub arrived, I immediately noted that it felt cool to the touch, and special. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I was a little intimidated by it at first. I’d owned plastic and silicone toys in the past, and while they usually got the job done, I never felt any kind of connection to them. My new Heart Chakrub, however, felt sacred to me. Honestly, I think that a deeply-rooted, insecure part of me doubted that I deserved something so lovely. On the morning it arrived, I meditated with my new Chakrub. I lit a pachouli candle, used sage smoke to cleanse my living room, and felt a bit foolish. I didn’t feel worthy of experiencing such a precious object. I felt that its beautiful rose quartz blush and perfectly smooth texture were too beautiful for me. To overcome these feelings, I decided I’d honor it properly by making self-pleasure a magical, self-empowering ritual.
I begin by cleansing my space energetically with the sacred smoke of ethically-sourced sage. When my space feels refreshed and light, I meditate with my Chakrub or Root for a while. To do this, I take it from its bed of selenite, and place it in front of me. I sit with my eyes closed, letting the backs of my hands rest on my thighs. I breathe deeply, and take time to check in with each of my chakras, making sure that energy is flowing easily through all of them. In Crystal Healing and Sacred Pleasure, Cuccia clearly details ways to become aware of blocked chakras, and how to bring them back into alignment.
With my palms skyward and open, I let myself receive the the gentle energy radiating from whichever Chakrub or Root I’m using during this particular session. I think about the goals of my self-pleasure session. They go far beyond climax. I use sexual pleasure to honor myself, and my inherent divinity. We are all sacred beings having physical experiences through the vessels we know as our bodies. I use masterbation as a sacred ritual to explore this relationship between my body and spirit.
After intuitively connecting with my spirit for a while, I begin connecting intimately with my body using a Chakrub or Root. Every one of my senses feels so heightened during the experience. I’m aware of the intimate feeling of the crystal warming to my body temperature. Climaxing with any of my Chakrubs always feels so spiritually fulfilling, as well as physically. It’s as though my whole aura orgasms in unison with my body. It’s as though, finally, my spirit, sexuality, emotional self, and physical body are in unison. It’s as though, finally, I’m whole.
To find real healing after abuse, I realized that I didn’t just have to learn to become comfortable with my body by getting over blockages surrounding physical intimacy. I had to learn to feel personal ownership over my body and spirit. My Chakrubs have helped me explore my body and find what gives me real pleasure, but, far beyond that, Chakrubs have helped me align that pleasure with my own inherent divinity, and in that connection is where I found true, deep healing.