January brought another busy month of trade shows. As you’ve probably learned by now, dear reader, January and July are my busiest months of the year. This year was no exception, and was intensified by two big media hits right before the trade shows began. Here’s my big news, as well as my favorite toys from the Adult Novelty Manufacturing Expo (ANME) and an exciting new partnership!
On January 7 I was checking my notifications at 6 a.m. (I know, I know) and I saw a message from a colleague: “Look what came into my inbox this morning!” I immediately knew what they meant — my cover of Sexual Health Magazine had gone live! Yes, I am now officially a cover girl, and I could not be more thrilled. I was even more overjoyed that the cover photo the editors chose featured me holding an ounce of one of my favorite cultivars, Purple Punch, under the headline, “Ms. CannaSexual: Meet Ashley Manta, America’s High Priestess of Pleasure.” Yep, that happened. I spent the next two days responding to countless congratulatory messages, which felt amazing.
Two days later, my other big news went live. Back in October I’d filmed a CannaSexual workshop with ATTN:, and the clip had finally been posted on Facebook. As I’m writing this piece, the video has over 250,000 views. I spent the rest of the week posting and reposting, avoiding the comments section like the plague, and gearing up for the trade show in LA that weekend.
What was especially cool about going to ANME this year was that, as XBIZ is a sponsor of ANME and XBIZ owns Sexual Health Magazine, my magazine cover was all over the place. Plus, XBIZ hosted their own conference immediately after ANME, and all of the attendees got a Sexual Health Magazine in their gift bags. CannaSexual received a tonof press all in the same week — and it was magical! And overwhelming. And wonderful. And stressful.
On January 12 I had a brunch and sex date with my boyfriend then drove up to LA, stopping briefly in San Clemente to pick up my good friend and “show wife” Janine, who owns one of my favorite brands, Warm. Her company makes a product called Touch that warms and automatically dispenses lube, and it was nominated for Specialty Product/Line of the Year for the XBIZ Awards (as you’ll remember, I was nominated for Sexpert of the Year!).
Fast-forward to the ANME show, which officially started on January 13. I walked around to see the latest and greatest from the manufacturers at the show, and my favorite new toy quickly emerged: a new vibrating stroker from Fun Factory appropriately named the Manta. While the toy was technicallynamed after its manta ray shape, my friends at Fun Factory assured me they also had me in mind when the name was chosen, given my penchant for hand jobs. This toy is brilliant — equally excellent for solo or partnered play, it can be used to spice up oral or manual stimulation, to give extra sensation during penetrative sex and, of course, to use solo as a penis stroker. I’d suggest using plenty of lube, and make sure that it’s either oil-based or water-based, since it’s a silicone toy and silicone lube can degrade silicone toys.
I’m also super excited about a new We-Vibe toy that’s coming out — it won’t be out until March, so I can’t give you details yet, but it’s going to be a rumbly vibe that magnetically attaches to your panties. I am super excited for all of the date night possibilities!
The last bit of excitement that came during ANME is a piece of news that no one knows yet — you’re reading it here first! We haven’t even put out a press release yet! Drumroll … I’m going to be officially working with my favorite lube company, Sliquid! They’re now sponsoring me, so look for giveaways and promotions of all of my favorite Sliquid lubes, handing out samples at events and sharing information via social media and livestreams! Plus, Sliquid owns a company called Mad Toto, who make carrying cases and kits for smoking accoutrements! It’s a match made in heaven! Sliquid also won Sexual Health and Wellness Brand of the Year at the XBIZ Awards, which makes them a perfect fit for my values and exceptionally high quality standards.
I had a blast at the XBIZ Awards. My sexy boyfriend, B, accompanied me (wearing a waistcoat — swoon!) and we had a marvelous time walking the red carpet together. Stormy Daniels was the host of the show, so you know she brought some powerful energy to the stage! My friend Buck Angel presented the Sexpert of the Year award, and when he announced that it went to Dr. Emily Morse, I cheered for her! I believe strongly in collaboration over competition, and Emily Morse is one of the hardest working women in the industry. Congratulations to her — she deserves it!