[Canniseur: Science shows cannabis affects neural pathways that heighten our senses. Identifying and using our senses is sensuality. Carly Jo takes this and leads people to open themselves to new experiences. As our society discovers new social pathways for cannabis she, and others like her, can play an important part in cannabis normalization in the U.S.]
The idea of ‘wellness’ has gone through many fads over the years. Some insist on solely ingesting organic foods, others hire personal trainers, hike religiously, go on yoga retreats or juice cleanses. This has shifted into a greater awareness on mental health. Therapy, mental health days, meditation, reiki, and the like are emerging as modalities to center, find calm, and heal.
In a world where people are often too scared to call out of work because the needs of their companies supersede those of their wellbeing, there is a mad dash to find something, anything, to manage the rollercoaster that is our western society. While there’s no issue with any of these pursuits, the fear is waking up one day and realizing that you’ve left a key component out of the equation.
Taoists, whose core views center around living in harmony with the universe, believe that when people engage in sexual intimacy, all parties must fully enjoy it to gain benefits of Qi, otherwise known as life force energy. When this energy subsides, according to them, so do we. Sex, Love, and Relationship Coaches aren’t a new concept, but the evolution of their work is finally dipping its toes into the spotlight. The work explores the innermost parts of ourselves that feel blocked, paralyzed and need healing. Parts stuck in old narratives are nurtured through breath work, meditation and guided self pleasure, generating self love, and a sense of permission and acceptance for your sexual nature.
It is the belief of Carli Jo, a Cannabis Sensuality Coach, that cannabis can be a fantastic tool in this work. It unlocks the creative center and makes people aware of what they really enjoy, and let go of the shame that holds them back. “Cannabis is a tool in a sexual toolbox,” she says, “just like a vibrator, a dildo, or lube”.
Courtesy of Carli Jo
High Times: What is sexuality?
Carli Jo: Sexuality is our line to humanity, the way you view yourself, your body, your relationship to others. People like to think it’s an innate quality, that you should just know how to have sex, and it’s just not the case because our whole society was built [by] puritans. This information is out there but it’s not readily available in a positive, celebratory way.
HT: So what is a sensuality coach?
Carli Jo: I focus on helping couples get their sexual needs met. We all have a different pathway to turn on and arousal and you can’t know what that is until you learn it. Prior to two years ago, I only knew there were sex therapists but my limited definition of that was someone who worked with sexual abuse, trauma. There are two sides of the sex coin, there’s pain and pleasure, it’s a very thin line. Many people focus on the pain but as a Sensuality Coach I’m focused on the pleasure.
HT: When did it really start coming into prominence and what do you think was the need to make that switch from sex therapy in terms of pain and sex coaching, focusing on pleasure?
Carli Jo: People have been doing my work for thousands of years. Look at Tantra. It’s just becoming more mainstream because look at mental and physical health. It wasn’t long ago that organic wasn’t a common word. It wasn’t long ago that people made fun of working out. We’re at the dawn of an evolution in sexual health, where people are starting to understand how sexual health is really impacting you emotionally and physically. I truly believe that when we start to feel sexuality in our individual lives, everything starts to heal.
HT: Who are the people coming to you for help and what are they looking for?
Carli Jo: Some come to me with a solid foundation, they have the love, trust, respect, they see the importance of having a good sex life, and they want to expand. Most of us have a deep sexual desire that’s never been met. Either we don’t recognize it because we think it’s weird so we repress it, creating shame. The other, are couples who are so out of their sexuality that their relationships are hurting. One school of thought when it comes to sex coaching is that we need to fix the relationship first then get into sexuality. I believe on working on sexuality first. In a lot of relationships, what we’re really craving is that feeling of being seen, loved and held. There’s nothing on the planet like being in your full sexual expression and getting your sexual needs met with the person you love.
HT: How did cannabis come into the mix?
Carli Jo: In 2017, before I was sex coaching, I got invited to a Cannabis Feminist women’s circle. I had never experienced such a thing, but it was in those circles where I started to develop it all. I learned why we call it cannabis and not marijuana and that cannabis is a plant representation of the divine feminine. I was around women who were so empowered, so in their right with their consumption, lawyers, mothers, entrepreneurs, the whole mix. It was when I attended a live training for my Sex, Love and Relationship Coaching (SLRC) certification that I learned just how powerful cannabis was for others expressing their sexuality as well.
In my SLRC training I spent a lot of time in self pleasure. I had had a year long intention of wanting to be present in my body. Every time I tried to connect to my pleasure I’d get knocked out of myself and my partner, I’d shut down, get in my head. I was on my fourth day of doing this hour long Tantra practice and I remembered I had this joint, and decided to intentionally bring it into my practice. It was the first time in my life I was really able to be in my body. For me, cannabis showed me what was possible.
HT: How is cannabis a representation of the divine feminine?
Carli Jo: This has been taught to generations of witches, women herbalists: if you’re consuming cannabis you’re smoking the female plant, you’re bringing the divine feminine into your body.
HT: So what do you say for people who get paranoid when they consume?
Carli Jo: I have one word for that: intention. I notice for myself that when I’m mindlessly consuming, my heart races, there’s anxiety. I walk my couples through a consumption ritual so they’re grounded and present with the why. Why are you bringing this into your experience? Into your sexuality? So mine for one year was to be present, yours could be to get out of your head, it could be to have multiple orgasms, it could be anything.
HT: What if your intention is just wanting to sleep better at night?
Carli Jo: It can be anything. It’s easy to grab your vape, but take a couple seconds to hold what you’re consuming in your hand, ground, get the why. Then microdose, go low, go slow. Take a little and see how you feel. I had a couple where the guy said he used to smoke all the time when he was younger and he couldn’t do it anymore because he gets so paranoid. He was open to having a cannabis coach walk him through consumption, so I paired what I thought would be best for him. When I asked him how it was he said he low dosed and had no paranoia or anxiety and was fully present in his body.
HT: Is there a similar risk to that of some illegal drugs, where there’s a concern that if you have sex while consuming, it will ruin the sober experience?
Carli Jo: That school of thought is crap. It’s not the drug giving you the good sex, it’s your body, your mind. If you’re on ecstasy and having amazing sex, all that is, is information that your body is capable of having amazing sex. It’s the same school of thought when women tell me they’re hung up on some guy because he gave her the best orgasm. That guy was a facilitator in the experience but it was her body. If you create it with one person you can certainly create it with yourself or with other people.
HT: What makes you decide to consume when you’re about to get intimate?
Carli Jo: Cannabis is an aphrodesiac, it’s also a vasodilater, it sends blood to the genitals, but also to the frontal lobe, which is our seed of creativity, and sex and creativity go together. My partner and I strive to create intimacy, so we bring cannabis into the bedroom. We have a whole ritual around it, we set our intentions, consume, then we have playdates. Recently we ended up naked, getting the giggles for 30 minutes, and we just decided that that was our sex.That’s intimacy, it doesnt have to be penetrative.
HT: What do you say to couples who have been together a while, had a great sex life for the first half of their relationship and are currently not connecting much, in or outside the bedroom? Why does that happen and is it possible for them to find it again?
Carli Jo: It’s definitely possible, it goes away because they stop making it a priority. We do all these things, feed the dogs, the kids, pay the taxes, and then go into sexuality. It gets put to the end of the list. My most recent mentor, Miss Jaiya, talks about the 5 Stages of Sexuality, which are really important to what you just asked, because that couple you’re describing is in a state of resting.
HT: And they’re somewhere they might be stuck?
Carli Jo: The 5 Stages are resting, healing, curious, adventure, transformational. These stages are ever changing, we’re never “stuck” in one. Whenever I ask a couple which they think they’re in, I explain and they identify right away. When you give people language for what they’re going through, it instantly starts to allow acceptance. People stop thinking they’re broken. Your sexuality can continue to get better as you get older as long as you keep celebrating and accepting it. If we were raised in a society that celebrated their sexuality, imagine where we would be!
Miss Jaiya, the creator of the Core Erotic Blueprint™ types found most people fit into one of five categories. The first is Energetic, turned on by anticipation, tease. The second is Sensual, turned on by all five senses being activated. The third is Sexual, turned on by penetration, nudity, orgasm. The fourth is Kinky, enjoys the taboo, and the fifth is a Shapeshifter, turned on by all and wants it all, encompassing all five of the Blueprints™.
It is my belief that we all encompass aspects of each however, the majority relating strongly to one or two. Understanding the Erotic Blueprint™ gives people language for how their sexual desires and turn ons work. Taking what I learn about each individual’s unique path to turn on and their challenges paired with their Erotic Blueprint™, we can discuss how cannabis can aid in spiritual and sexual growth. For instance, Sensuals have a hard time getting out of their head in sexuality.
Cannabis, specifically THC, induces the impairment of short-term memory, which is suitable for staying present during sex. More information is coming to light on the benefits of pairing sex and cannabis but for now, using this system is the perfect roadmap for determining how and why cannabis effects us on the both the mind and the body.
HT: Do you think people carry that integration once the cannabis wears off?
Carli Jo: Yeah because, like Bob Marley says “it reveals me to myself”. Meditation does this, yoga can do this, there are so many things in life that can help us see our essence, the true core of who we are. It doesn’t go away after you stop meditating, that awareness is still there because our bodies hold so much wisdom. Cannabis is just a gateway for deeper insight.
Courtesy of Carli Jo
HT: How do you determine someone’s Erotic Blueprint™?
Carli Jo: First we determine by discussing then by going into the body. That’s where your answers lie. For instance, you could tell me you have zero Kinky but when Kinky touches/sensations are applied, your body reacts. It’s a somatic experience so I’m watching for that physical indicator. There are many different and fun practices to determine one’s Erotic Blueprint™.
HT: How long does it take to figure out?
Carli Jo: The more I work with people, the faster I start to see and hear it. The session where we determine the Erotic Blueprint™, we do it based on touch, each type and person prefers to be touched differently. When working with couples we spend three hours determining one partners’ Erotic Blueprint™, then switch to determine the other one.
HT: Are you using cannabis during this process?
Carli Jo: Depends. Some sessions and couples lend themselves perfectly with pairing cannabis, others do not. Sometimes we infuse cannabis into the session and other times I give it to them as homeplay. Practices and exercises to continue their growth outside of the session.
HT: How do you bridge the gap if there’s something one partner likes but the other partner doesn’t? Is that something that cannabis is helpful with?
Carli Jo: This is where understanding the Erotic Blueprints is so important. Learning your partner’s unique pathway to pleasure gives more patience and acceptance. We play touch games in our sessions where we use a scale of 1-5. 1 being “never do that again” and 5 being “highly orgasmic”. We celebrate highs and lows because regardless, we’ve uncovered something. Once we determine the Erotic Blueprints™, we learn how to feed one another in order to feel fully satisfied.
I help you create a body map for yourself and your partner so you know where on yourselves is preferred to be touched. This is where cannabis can add a fun, creative way to explore. This work is not just for partners, I encourage the whole world to take time to learn their unique sexuality!
You can learn more about Carli Jo’s work at https://carlijo.com. Send a message with the subject: HIGH TIMES for a complimentary call to learn more about your Core Erotic Blueprint™.