Vanessa by Rachel Roze
Photographer: Rachel Roze
Model: Vanessa Cuccia – founder and creator of Chakrubs; (chakrubs.com)
Accessories: Fleetilya ( http://www.fleetilya.com/ )
Chakrubs is the sexual wellness brand that utilizes crystals in their products to promote self-soothing for those seeking physical pleasure, spiritual growth, and emotional support. Her product was named one of the best gift ideas in The New York Times. For the past five years Vanessa has been building the bridge between spirituality, self-awareness and eroticism.
Interview with Vanessa Cuccia:
What is the most gratifying response you’ve heard regarding your creation of Chakrubs?
I received a testimonial from a transgender male that was so moving it brought me to tears. This is the testimonial:
“My experience with this tool is a little different than most, I am a transgender male. At the time writing this, I am six months into hormone replacement therapy and admittedly still grasping to find my place in a society that demands that my anatomy is feminine, despite my identity. I struggle with this, it causes, at times, great self loathing which should not happen. I am comfortable with my physical self, yet am still pulled by societal expectations.
Somehow I found my way to Chakrubs, where I lay eyes on the black onyx wand. I fell in love, I needed it. I dreamed about it, I felt everything in my mind and body pull me toward it.
With it I don’t feel the self conscious pressure that most other sexual objects caused me in the past, instead I feel my masculinity surging, my spirit opening and releasing that tension and allowing me to fall into love with the body I have.
This is not a sex toy, or an object to be toyed with, these stones are metaphysical tools to be used to connect the physical self intensely to the spirit.
I am so thankful for this gorgeous opportunity to connect with my self, without feeling shameful of exploring my anatomy as a trans male. I feel powerful with this wand, and honestly it hasn’t left my side since I got it in the post.
Thank you so much. ” – K. Harris
Why did you choose crystals as a material for your products?
Crystal wands are a perfect marriage of masculine and feminine energies. Crystals embody the metaphysical aspect, while being rooted in a tangible, grounded appeal.
The pictures featured for this interview were taken for a book you are currently writing, what are some of the themes of your writings that inspired these photos?
My writings are attempts for me to understand what it means to love oneself. My sexual wellness brand, Chakrubs, focuses on the importance of self-awareness and self-acceptance as a gateway to feel connected to one’s spirituality. Most of the time, I feel I am closer to being a novice than an expert. The best way I can help is to offer my journey honestly, and these photos reflect that.
You seem to have a wide array of personas in the photos, which persona do you feel most closely connected with?
I feel connected to all personas depicted at different times. This has been an important revelation; that my identity can be flowing, that I am allowed to vary in my values based on how I feel in the moment.
You are a inventor, business owner and soon to be published writer, what else don’t we know about you?
I am also a musician, and the occasional actress. I have played piano since I was a little girl, trained in classical and jazz, and am currently the lead singer in a progressive rock band called Butterfly Dress Pledge. I studied acting for many years as well, since I was a child, but realized music was more where my heart was when I would cut class at my performing arts high school to play piano in their practice room.
How has people’s responses to your creation of Chakrubs (Crystal sex toys) Impact you as an artist in your other fields ?
People’s responses and awareness of my brand continues to inspire me to strive to be as authentic as possible. I want to drop the veils I feel I have to put on myself sometimes to feel accepted, because in the end I know that in order to receive love, I must first be honest. I am all too aware of the manipulation that can occur when you are lost and looking for answers or something to believe in. Some people come to me thinking I have accomplished the understanding of self-love and embody it, and my art is to show that all I am doing is trying my best, but making it a priority to uncover and release blocks preventing me from feeling like my highest self.
What is your mission for your company, for your book, for your music?
My mission is to feel. I want to show gratitude for life by not fearing all that goes with it. My work is a way to to document what I am going through. I changed my life for the better when I put focus on self-love. Ideally I hope that by documenting what I am going through by products, music or writing, I will inspire others to go on their own journey.