Entreprenuer Vanessa Cuccia is trying to merge self-love with spirituality with her company Chakrubs, which specializes in crystal sex toys that simultaneously aim to satisify and destigmatize.

Based on the idea that crystals have perfect molecular structures that can positively effect our electro-magnetic fields, Cuccia wanted to make something to help people unlock their natural sexualities, and discover themselves along the way -- which we all know can kind of turn into a big ole mess thanks to societal stigma and a centuries-old shame surrounding one's sexuality. As such, we decided to talk to Cuccia right on the heels of her pop-up store at The Standard High Line to learn more about the origins of Chakrubs, how her own personal history influenced her idea and how exactly pleasing oneself with precious stones is supposed to work.

The Chakrubs pop-up shop at The Standard High Linephotos courtesy of Chakrubs

Tell me about how Chakrubs got started.

The idea for Chakrubs had probably been brewing since I first discovered my own sexuality. Not that I was thinking about crystal dildos at nine years old, but even at that age I knew feeling shameful about my body and arousal wasn't right. I was born with a genital medical condition, which was painful, embarrassing and challenging to deal with. I'd even repressed the memory until I started practicing with Chakrubs -- [as] part of the practice is to uncover repressed emotions in order to unlock energy flow.

When I had the idea for Chakrubs, I made a decision to really go for it in terms of making it a reality. I was 23 and it was time for me to take control over my life and my happiness. I had stayed with the boyfriend to whom I lost my virginity to for six years, never truly feeling sexually satisfied or empowered, but I felt that I was now old enough to start something amazing, that I could now be taken seriously.

photos courtesy of Chakrubs

How did you realize there was a gap in the sex toy market?

My father is an inventor and my mother the CEO of the company that sells his invention. I'd had many business ideas of my own in the past, but I'd never followed through on any of them. Chakrubs, however, unfolded so naturally that I felt it was destiny. I was living in Los Angeles and hosting the creator of the web series Spirit Science, which is dedicated to teaching people about spirituality from a scientific perspective. He taught me a great deal about chakras and crystals. I was also working at The Pleasure Chest, a sex toyshop, at the time as part of a kind of "removing shame" experiment. My coworkers were nonjudgmental, open, and accepting of others. It was a great experience and helped me in many ways. I spoke with many different people about their desires and fantasies and even medical needs.

One night, I tagged along with my houseguest to the home of a woman with whom he intended to discuss some business ventures with, as well as their respective spiritual philosophies. She showed us her collection of crystals, and when she produced one that was particularly phallic in shape, something "clicked" within me. I hadn't felt drawn to any of the items at the toy store, as many of them were made of plastic, were battery-powered, and included dyes and other potentially harmful chemicals. The molecular structures of crystals, on the other hand, are so perfect that they vibrate at, and emit, very strong, very harmonious, very healthy frequencies. Combining those frequencies with a person's own sexual energy might not only increase pleasure, but might also help facilitate personal awareness and growth.

The fact that even people so dedicated to nurturing themselves and being open-minded have such hang-ups about sexuality was yet another sign that the world needed Chakrubs. It simply didn't make sense to me that this aspect of the human condition—the ability to feel sexual pleasure—was something we should feel ashamed of.

photos courtesy of Chakrubs

Can you tell me a little more about the different "models" you have? Do certain crystals that serve particular purposes etc.?

We offer a large array of stones, and are designing additional shapes continuously. Some of my favorites are:

  • · The Chakrub Heart, Rose Quartz – dissolves the sorrows, worries, fears and resentments suppressing the heart's ability to give and receive love.
  • · The Chakrub Prism, Clear Quartz – a stone of clarity, which dispels negativity and clears away negative energy.
  • · The Chakrub Black Onyx – said to help alleviate fears and worries and to help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings.
  • · The Chakrub Amethyst – a meditative and calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.
  • · The Chakrub Gaia Stone, Red Jasper – known to give deep insight into personal difficulties and gives you a strong sense of stability. This stone is a powerful aid to the process of raising the kundalini [a primal energy essential to reaching enlightenment].

photos courtesy of Chakrubs

How are they made?

The stones we select have to have a hardness level of 6 or higher on the Mohs scale [of mineral hardness]. I select stones I find personally beautiful and beneficial energetically. The crystals are sourced from Brazil and crafted in ethical lapidaries around the world. Each Chakrub starts from what I call the "mother stone," which is a large crystal piece we shape and polish.

What has feedback been like thusfar?

The feedback has been simply heart-warming. Our testimonials range from [people on a] personal journey to women who have recently dealt with miscarriages to young ladies who are healing from sexual trauma to couples who are seeking deeper intimacy to transsexual people, or even just those who want a pleasurable sex toy that is made with only natural materials.

photos courtesy of Chakrubs

How exactly is self-love intertwined with spirituality? Do they work in tandem? Most women wouldn't necessarily connect the two -- especially since there's still such a stigma surrounding masturbation.

Self-love is the quickest way to enlightenment. Loving the self is a signal that you are grateful for having been given life. To show that gratitude, we can choose to experience pleasure. Masturbation is an innocent type of pleasure. We start our awareness of our genitals when we are still inside the womb. At this time, we have not yet seen ourselves - we have only felt ourselves..And because Chakrubs are imbued with the intention of self-realization, every time the user becomes aroused and begins a session with Chakrubs, they are reminded of [the idea that masturbation is a symbol of self-love]. To know yourself is to know the universe. We all hold the answers within us.

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