Buried Treasure – The Preface cut by the publishers of CHSP

In my book, Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure, I discuss many of the philosophies I’ve formulated while developing Chakrubs. This book was a labor of love and while it touches on personal stories that led to the creation Chakrubs, certain pieces that explained the true motivating factors for me to overcome my sexual obstacles were abbreviated or removed from the final product. Ultimately I agreed that this book wasn’t meant to be an autobiography and I didn’t want my personal experiences to take away from what was most important about this work. I want people who read CHSP to feel excited and encouraged to spend time with themselves and learn about the infinite possibilities that are within.

However, a couple years after publishing, I feel like I should share this bit that was cut. This is an in-depth look at some of the events in my life that helped me create Chakrubs. I no longer wish to identify my story with some of these events and want to move forward into creating new life experiences that will propel me into new chapters. I think sharing this will help me do that and I hope that it will also help anyone who has had similar experiences. This is an excerpt that was originally titled Buried Treasure.


Underneath us all lies a current of anxiety bred from the simple act of being alive. Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing with the life I have been given? These questions are present, whether or not we are actively thinking of them. Life is…kind of a big deal. But many of us deny the significance of it, or the significance of ourselves, and don’t take the time to ask these unsettling questions that may never quite have a perfect answer.

But in raising these questions and sitting with that fear, we raise a currency of depth in our lives. We can spend this currency with either of these perspectives:

1. Life is precious and how I live it is important.

– or –

2. Life is precious and I shouldn’t take it so seriously.

At what point in our lives, do we take time with these questions that are the undercurrent of our being and form a relationship with our mere existence?

For me, it happened when I was 23 years old. I had an epiphany that was prompted by acknowledging that I had completed about a quarter of my life and that I had been in a relationship for the past six years that left me feeling sexually and emotionally unsatisfied. I realized that I had been in a fog, ignoring the fact that while everything seemed fine on the surface, I had been lying to myself about the significance of my sex life to shield myself from the truth: I was numbing myself to unburden myself from acknowledging that I was being sexually abused. In recent years I’ve learned that my story is much like many others and talking about it seems to be the way for change.

I remember being in high school. In tenth grade I blossomed, finding it hard to find jeans that would fit snug around my waist but also fit around my ass. I wasn’t aware that I was considered “sexy,” especially considering that all through middle and elementary school I felt ridiculed for my big nose and eyes, with kids calling me “gonzo” like the puppet on The Muppets. So, it didn’t resonate with me when classmates would tell me that I seemed like a “sexual” person. Especially since I was the last of my social circle to even know what sex was. I was late in the game. I had sexual feelings just like any hormonal teenager, but when my friends would say things like, “He wants to eat me out” I was the one who asked, “Meaning what? He wants to take you out to dinner?”

When I did learn what sex was, all I knew was that I felt differently than many of my classmates. I wanted to wait. I held onto my virginity like a precious treasure, wanting only to share it with someone I was in love with. It made me feel different that I had this attitude about sex. I felt like being a virgin gave me meaning and excitement. There were times when I would be fooling around with a guy and when he stopped to get a condom, I’d stop everything. I’m stubborn, and this idea to wait until I was in love stayed with me.

Then I met Jeff*. Six years older than me, already out of college. He lived in a house with his bandmates, played guitar, and had a really great sense of humor. We started dating, and because he was older than me, I felt OK with the fact that he was having sex with another girl, because, well, I wasn’t going to have sex with him.

Then one afternoon after riding our bikes, we were making out naked on his bed. I thought to myself, “When he stops to get a condom, I’ll stop everything.” The only thing was, he never stopped for a condom, and suddenly, I was no longer a virgin. I was shocked and within a few minutes it was over and I had to go to work at a movie theater shovelling popcorn for the next eight hours.

During my shift I went into the back room and called my sister freaking out, on the verge of tears. “You had sex, but you’ve yet to make love,” she said. This gave me peace of mind, as I still felt I had something to look forward to.

I was told by my friends that I shouldn’t be upset and that losing your virginity is never really that special. So, I made a decision. I made a decision to not be mad, but instead to just enjoy the fact that I could now have sex. I had been told by my friends that it never feels good the first few times and I was eager for the point when it would. So I became a little sex bunny. Desperately wanting for something to click, for it to feel good. But most of the time, it was just uncomfortable. I learned to mask this discomfort through sounds, moaning and groaning so loudly that his roommates definitely heard. It worked out well for Jeff, he looked like quite a stud causing this young girl to display such wild screams of pleasure.

I thought that I would grow out of it. But a year passed, and slowly I began to realize that sex just wasn’t that great. I coped with this by enjoying the aesthetics of sex: feeling sexy through positioning my body in ways that looked hot, enjoying the fact that he was enjoying looking at me. Sex was a performance. Another year passed. And another. Every day I woke up to him poking me in the back, asking for sex.

“What’s wrong with you?” He’d ask me. “What happened to you as a child that makes you unable to cum?” he’d ask. I wanted to respond, “But I am a child. And you’re what’s happening to me.” He accepted that I was dysfunctional. That some girls just don’t cum. When I started to suggest things like using a vibrator, he denied me. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had deceived myself so well into not recognizing my pleasure as a priority. I didn’t know how to voice what I needed, and I didn’t know how to undo all the lies I had told by moaning and groaning.

Another year passed. I became pregnant and went unaccompanied by Jeff to my abortion procedure. His band had a show that night and according to him, this kind of thing wasn’t a big deal since it happened all the time. I was denying to myself that sex was important. I was denying to myself that my body was important.

The mind is a powerful thing. I allowed myself to sleep because waking up to the fact that I was being emotionally and sexually abused for years was too painful to face. But at 23, after we’d moved to California, that idea of death crept its way into my mind. Living this way for the next years of my life became unacceptable. I was an adult now. And I wanted to feel good.

We broke up.

Over the next few months I dedicated my time to some soul searching. This included inviting a young spiritual teacher to live in my spare bedroom and taking a job at a sex toy shop called The Pleasure Chest. The spiritual teacher would have boxes of crystals sent to the house, teaching me about each one and how to connect to their energy. We’d study sacred geometry, meditation methods, energy. I also wrote a little bit for his website and released some of my music through there. Working at The Pleasure Chest I spent my days around people with sex-positive attitudes and it taught me how to speak with customers with complete lack of judgement. I worked mostly in the back, fulfilling orders that came through on their website and reading books from their library on sexuality when it was slow.

I was given a discount working at the store. They had everything from high-end luxury products to toys made from glass, steel, wood, vibrators, plugs, clamps, and whips. At the end of the day I’d walk around the store looking for something to take home. But there was this voice within me that felt off.

There are thousands of ways to orgasm and while I intensely wanted to feel pleasure, I knew that I needed more than to get off. I needed something profound to put me back into the body I had subconsciously learned to disassociate myself from for six years. I needed more than to get turned on. I needed to tune inward.

Every day I’d carry pocket crystals with me to work. I had purchased these crystals on the road trip Jeff and I had taken from New York when we moved out to California. We stopped at a shop in Arizona and I grabbed a few: hematite, citrine, rose quartz, and kyanite. I started understanding their uses more and began carrying them with me everywhere.

One night I went along as a guest with the spiritual teacher to a woman’s house who I was told had one of the largest crystal collections in the United States. This meeting seemed important, they were discussing some business matters and the emanating energetic shifts that were happening in 2012. Jordan was a valued guest. He was quite famous for his work in the spiritual community and everyone was very excited to meet him.

When the woman showed us some of her crystals, she brought one Lemurian seed crystal wand out to show us. Something immediately clicked within me and I realized that with a few adjustments to the design, crystals could be polished into sex toys. I shouted something like, “Crystal Sex Toys!” To which everyone turned around at me with disdain and continued on in their conversation. But I didn’t care. I had made a discovery. It made sense to me to utilize crystals for sexual exploration. For the rest of the night as the rest of them spoke about Mayan prophecies, I was writing a mission statement in my head. I wanted to create instruments of pleasure out of crystal. That is what I needed to reclaim my sense of self. Though it seemed strange to them it felt like the crystals in that woman’s house were talking to me. The name “Chakrubs” came almost immediately, and I knew this type of sexual healing was meant to enter into the world.

Little did I know at the time that a major component they were discussing that evening was the rise of the Divine Feminine, an energetic shift that was taking our planet from a masculine dominated energy to the feminine. And it did happen. And it is happening. Which is a major reason why in recent years energy healing modalities are being integrated into more and more of our lives. There is a shift that I see as clear as day.

Back at The Pleasure Chest, I told my coworkers my idea for using crystal as a material for sex toys. Perhaps surprisingly, they were much more open to the concept than the group of spiritual intellectuals. This was a signal to me that there was healing to be done in integrating sexuality and spirituality.

A few months went passed and Jordan moved out. I was visited a few times by a drunken Jeff, who wanted to get back together. Maybe it was because of these visits that I took an opportunity that came to me while checking my emails at work.

It seemed that through the work I was doing with Jordan, I caught the attention of a company upstate in Santa Cruz. I received an invitation to join them as an artist for an independent radio station they were forming. I took the weekend off of work and flew up to check it out.

It was there that I met Miles*, a wealthy man who was starting this radio station for independent musicians like myself. He was very invested in learning about spiritual topics, and being that I had involvement with Jordan, I seemed like the perfect fit. My weekend trip became a romantic getaway: Miles and I quickly fell in love. Walking through the redwood forests in his backyard, he took my head in his hands to direct my eyes off of the ground, noting how I needed to stand tall. That weekend I met the hordes of musicians that would quickly become my friends. We stayed up the entire night dancing and I sang like I’d never sang before. Miles looked at me as though I was a sorceress conjuring up spirits with my voice.  

I moved in a month later. It was an easy decision. I needed to get away from Jeff. I wanted to be a musician. Miles thought my idea for starting Chakrubs was brilliant and said that if I wanted to start a business, he was the perfect person to help me. He was, after all, quite wealthy. It seemed as though both of my dreams were being presented to me on a silver platter.

Aside from pushing me to get the actual product in my hand, he wasn’t who ended up helping me the most in that house. The group of women that also lived there would become the first focus group for Chakrubs. First, there was Jen, who immediately fell in love with the concept. She was a voluptuous, red-haired goddess who was my most loyal companion. She taught me about compassionate communication and to enjoy words like “juicy” when talking about sex. There was Laura. Our Warrior Princess who’d built teepees in the backyard and kept a steady drum beat pulsing. She seemed she could do just about anything. She loved hard, especially Eileen. Eileen also loved Laura, but not in the same way. I didn’t know it at the time, but Eileen was under the impression that she and Miles were about to embark on an intimate journey, before I moved into his bedroom a few days later. At first Eileen didn’t really warm up to the idea of Chakrubs. But soon after I gifted her a moonstone, she began to get it. She’d keep it in her bra, in her mouth. We all called each other goddesses. I fell in love with all of them. Each different in their own right, each representing a piece of who I was. I admired all of them.

We sat in circles drawing designs of what we would want a Chakrub to look like. We talked about what crystals we wanted to use for sexual healing. We discussed the Chakra system of energy. But a question arose from Miles. Did I want to develop this method of sexual energy healing through crystals? Or did I want to be a musician? We hit a few obstructions in our relationship. There was some jealousy about how I could ignite passion from everyone in the house with what I was creating, some jealousy about how I was able to obtain attention also from my music. We took some time apart. I moved back down to LA.

A month went by and Miles and I decided we would take a trip to Hawaii together. If we survived the trip, we thought we’d be able to go forth with our plans of working together, with me being the first featured artist on his radio station.

We were to hike into Kalalau Valley. Miles had been camping there for the month. He told me he had been trying to find a “rainbow” shell, which was supposedly only native to this area. The trail to get to the valley is comprised of eleven miles on tall cliffs, through rivers and red rocks. We were trying to make it through in one day to get to a Halloween party. I didn’t have the proper shoes and at one stretch of the trip I had to go barefoot, the gravel being slippery underneath my feet. At this point I realized how much trust I was putting into this person I had not known for very long. I imagined myself slipping and falling off the cliffs, not being able to reach my family. It was at this time when Hurricane Sandy was happening in my hometown, I had no idea. My family and I would both be experiencing no electricity for a week, but for very different reasons.

We decided to set up camp where we could. Warning signs of Falling Rocks surrounded us. We used all the breath we had to blow up the air mattress he brought. We fucked under the moonlight. Me on top so he could look at the stars behind me. I looked back every once in awhile and felt like a goddess. Only, still not able to orgasm. The next day we finished the hike and made it to our campgrounds.

I’m breaking my promise by telling you the rest of this story. But it’s OK, because he did it first. You see, at the end of our camping trip, we took another hike. Miles wanted to visit the Kalalou “library.” When we got there, it was a small tent, smaller than the one we’d been sleeping in. Lined with books from past visitors. I was unimpressed, but I did like the fact that in the valley, a “library” was simply a tent with books. “Temple” was sacred ground in nature where people would go to pray. “School” was when students would go listen to elders like “Starman,” who knew a lot about the stars.

We looked through the books. I opened one of them and a piece of paper fell out. Miles asked, “What is that?” I read it out loud:

“November 10th, 2012

I was hiking through the trail when I ran into an old man with one eye. We spoke for over an hour. He told me the Hawaiian Shamans had hidden four crystal skulls in Kalalou, to one day be discovered to help humanity. He said there was a map written on stone in Honokoa. I searched for a month. This is the map. I hope you will find it.”

On the back of the page was a drawing. “Is this a fucking treasure map?” I exclaimed. We both looked at each other in wonderment. We weren’t quite sure what to make of this. But it was a simple map, and Miles recognized a specific marking that would lead us to “X.” So, for the fuck of it we went on a treasure hunt to find this crystal skull.

We reached what we thought was the place. It was a serene area on a cliff, grassy with some rocks in the ground. I felt that even if we couldn’t find the skull, we were meant to be in the area that it may have been, so we could feel its energy. I sat down and prayed. Miles sat beside me, but soon got up and began turning over some rocks. I jokingly stood up and twirled around my walking stick and exclaimed, “Crystal Skull, Reveal Yourself!” And at that moment, Miles turned over a rock. I looked in the hole, and there was an abalone shell inside.

Inside that shell was a crystal skull. I’ll never forget Miles’ face. It turned red, his whole expression was confused, bewildered, almost scared. But I started to laugh hysterically. Did we really just find treasure from a treasure map? Miles voiced some concerns, telling me we should promise each other not to say this to anyone. In my mind, this was so clear. Together, he and I had found treasure. We could work together after all – in fact, we were meant to. After all, who actually sets forth on a treasure hunt and finds the treasure? And all my fascination with crystals had led me here. This was meant to be.

We found a beach, I showered in the waterfall with the crystal. I was blissful. Walking by the shore, I looked down, and found a rainbow shell. I lovingly handed it to Miles. It was as if we could find anything.

Miles went in the water, and came back mildly upset. The shell and the map was in his pocket. He lost it. When we got back to our campsite, I wrote what had been on the map to remember.

The next day we left the valley. Along the way, Miles stopped people walking past to ask if they had heard of the legend of the crystal skulls hidden in the valley. We again discussed keeping this a secret.

The next few months are a blur. I had finally gotten the prototypes of the first Chakrubs while I was back home in New York. When I returned to Miles’ house, I gave one to each of the women, who would later give me feedback that strengthened the call to bring these to the public. I brought the crystal skull with me and had it nearby when we were working on recording my first track.

Then something strange happened. I was having dreams about glass skulls and hearing the voice from the crystal.  It felt like it was from the crystal and it was laughing. I told Miles the next day that I wouldn’t expect this sacred crystal skull to have a voice like that.

It was after that that Miles began breaking his promise.

He began telling people at parties about the skull we had found. This secret between us was now broken. I didn’t want people to belittle what magic we had discovered. I was upset that he started sharing our story. I confided in my girl friends, one of them was new to our group. When I had shared the story, she placed her hands over her mouth in shock. She asked, “Was it a green crystal in an abalone shell?”

“Yes,” I said.

“I was with him when he bought that. In Hawaii.”

My world fell to pieces.

He had planted the whole thing.

The next few months fell blurry. My heart was broken. It seemed like this path I had been following, where my dreams felt handed to me was taken away. I lost my adventure, my love. The sign that told me I was meant to create my vision was false. I moved back to New York to live in the apartment in my father’s chiropractic office.

I had $40 in my pocket and my Chakrubs prototypes. I felt lost, heartbroken, stupid for believing that I had found treasure, and now, more than a quarter of my life was behind me.

Except I still felt this insistent call that I had to develop a method for utilizing crystals for sexual healing. And I had to start with myself.

I felt that I had lost everything – a record deal, my apartment, my friends, my boyfriend. But I had a strange opportunity. With nothing needing my attention, I was able to give attention to myself. I could look at my life and spend time reflecting.

I started meditating with the crystals I had gotten on my road trip with Jeff. I did not feel peaceful or compassionate, I felt fucking mad. I realized exactly how mad I was. I realized how I had not allowed myself to be angry. I didn’t want to feel that emotion because it was “bad,” but holding in that anger was causing me implode. I understood now that my anger was an energy, and energy needs to flow in order to be healthy. I needed to release this anger so I needed to find the root cause of it. I was angry at Jeff for having sex with me that first time.

I had three prototypes of Chakrubs. There was a black onyx, a rose quartz, and a white jasper. It felt fitting to me that the first time I would try a Chakrub, it would be the white jasper. I saw it as a “virginity” stone. I set up a ceremony for myself that I would take my own virginity with the very thing I had created.

I can’t explain what occurred, but it was as if I was shining light on the darkest parts of myself, all while reclaiming my body. I felt the energy of the crystal swarm up inside me and it felt fucking good. All at once I felt the depth of my sorrow and the epitome of my joy. It didn’t matter to me how strange this all seemed. This was going to help me. And it was going to help others.

Because what I had deemed to be a sign of my purpose with crystals was false, I had to look further for the truth. What made me feel so connected to crystal energy? Suddenly I remembered where I came from. Growing up, my family would take walks on the beaches of Long Island. Around 1992, my family went through an experience that was so strange that we couldn’t exactly comprehend what it meant. Our mother was having experiences at night that caused her to develop extrasensory perceptions. She became clairaudient, able to hear messages and music. She knew things about strangers and no one could explain it – not even her. This part of the story could go on, but what’s important to note is that through all the very strange happenings in our household, we would still enjoy simple pleasures like going to the bluffs. On these bluffs, we would crack open geodes, revealing beautiful crystalline interiors to an otherwise ordinary rock. My connection to crystals lies deep within an understanding that magic is hidden in seemingly normal places. In the suburbs of Long Island, in the rocks of the beaches, in our mothers and fathers.

I didn’t need a man to tell me I was special to be able to create healing in the world. I didn’t need some extraordinary story to validate my worth. Everything that I had experienced was enough. Everything that I was, was enough. Enough to feel a need for healing and enough to pass on my learnings to others.

That year I worked with the different crystals, feeling each one’s energy and absorbing their lessons. I started the business and it quickly received notice from notable magazines. It was as though the business was growing parallel with my own growth. The more I was healing my sexual trauma, the more this modality was being recognized by the world.

Six years later and I was on the cover of magazines, my product was being featured on television, my products were in five-star hotels and in 30 stores worldwide, in museums. More importantly, I was receiving testimonials from the people who were using Chakrubs and the methods I was creating. Testimonials that were more like stories, stories of overcoming fear of being touched, stories of feeling comfortable in one’s body, stories of igniting passion back into 35 year long relationships.

The more I worked with crystals, the more information I was receiving on how to help myself and others deepen self-awareness and love. Crystal Healing and Sacred Pleasure is filled with ways to connect. To crystals, to subtle energy, to your body, to your spirituality. This is an instructional love letter. Magic resides within, and I am excited for you to find it.

*Names have been changed

That was the end of the original preface. If you are interested in reading the full book you can order it here.

Author: Vanessa Cuccia
About: Vanessa Cuccia is the founder and creator of Chakrubs, The Original Crystal Sex Toy Company, and author of Crystal Healing & Sacred Pleasure. She is regarded as a pioneer in the sex toy industry for introducing her methods of using crystals for sexual healing and empowerment on a global scale. As a certified crystal healer and reiki practitioner, she continues to pursue knowledge of crystals and metaphysical modes of healing to help those who have experienced sexual trauma or simply wish to deepen pleasure and connection to self, spirit, and others.