My supplies were assembled. Each couple had a plate with fresh strawberries and a few pieces of dark chocolate. They were instructed to sit next to one another and choose one giving and one receiving partner. I began giving instructions. “If you are the receiving partner, please close your eyes. If you are the giving partner, reach down a pick up a piece of fruit. Hold it under the receiver’s nose and instruct them to inhale the tart, fruity aroma of the strawberry—but don’t give it to them yet. Whisper in their ear how delicious and juicy the strawberry looks. How the sweetness will explode on their tongue when you finally allow them to have it. Now, tease it across their lips, let them just taste it for a moment. When you’re ready, when you can feel that they really want it, place it in the receiver’s mouth. Receivers, notice the different flavors of the strawberry. Notice the texture and temperature, and how different your mouth feels now having something inside of it.”
“Taking time to really be present and enjoy yourself and each other is something that we often gloss over in our hectic day-to-day lives.”
This exercise comes from my couples’ intimacy workshop that I designed with my lover, Ben Purna. We do guided sensual feeding as part of a multi-sensory experience. The dark chocolate we like to pair with the strawberries is actually a 2.5mg cannabidiol (CBD) edible. I wanted to both include low-dose edibles (as an option) and highlight the importance of mindfully choosing the products that you put into your body. There is a sensuality in choosing to only consume products first, are high quality and free of harmful ingredients, second, taste good, and third, make your body feel the way you want it to feel. It was fitting that we chose to include an edible in the workshop, because the golden rule of edibles “start low, go slow” was essentially the mantra of the entire workshop. It was all about slowing down, starting with a bit of anticipatory teasing, then moving intentionally into the exercises.
I recommend the slow, sensual enjoyment of being together and tasting the delicious morsel. Ideally it is actually delicious and pleasurable to consume and not just some mystery brownie that your friend’s neighbor made. One benefit to slowing down with edibles is a deeper appreciation of the experience. Taking time to really be present and enjoy yourself and each other is something that we often gloss over in our hectic day-to-day lives. This approach is admittedly a substantial time commitment, which makes it ideal of a weekend away with a partner. Since edibles can take up to two hours to kick in and last (depending on tolerance and dosage) anywhere from two to four hours, I suggest that beginners err on the side of microdosing (2.5mg to 5mg) and make sure that their edible is coming from a reputable source (preferably one that lab tests and clearly labels their products).
It’s also worth considering the cannabinoid profile of the edible you’re choosing. More and more companies are crafting high-CBD edibles (which I’m defining as a ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC or greater), and I hope to see more in the future. CBD is great for relieving discomfort and worry, which are two things that can seriously impact one’s ability to engage in sexual experiences. Having the higher CBD content allows you to both combine sex and cannabis in a mindful way, but also incorporate the therapeutic aspects of CBD to make sex more enjoyable.
Ashley Manta is a professional sexuality educator, coach and event facilitator, as well as the creator of CannaSexual.