Eco-sex is a movement that is making its way across the globe. With an eco-‘sex house’ now open in Melbourne, it’s only a matter of time before eco-sexuals start making their naked way to New Zealand forests. But fear not − you don’t have to have sex with the earth to have a more eco-friendly sex life. Nicole Skews-Poole explains.
The top result on Google for the term eco-sex is an article titled ‘Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex with the Earth Could Save It’ which features people rubbing moss-covered…I want to say facemasks…on each other. Further down the list is a video with the description ‘woman has sex with tree named Tim’. Watching this, I suddenly felt the way you do when you’re watching a movie with your parents and a sex scene comes on and you’re trying to act cool about it because you’re a relaxed kind of person, y’know? But you’re not. You’re not relaxed. Tim could have splinters.
It turns out that being an ecosexual is part art, part environmental activism and part, well, sex. From taking erotic pleasure in sunbathing naked, to putting veggies up their bits, to considering themselves to be in a sexual relationship with the earth, ecosexuals are trying to save the planet and have orgasms while doing it. And honestly, if it’s all between consenting grown-ups (and willing trees like Tim), good for them. Frankly, I hope they win that battle because imagine how pushy clipboard-wielding street collectors will feel if what solves climate change is more people getting turned on, not trying to talk at people with headphones on.
While we wait and see how they go with that, most of us confine our naked encounters with the earth to the realm of the occasional skinny dip. But there are still some eco-friendly things we can do in our sex lives.
Don’t buy dodgy sex toys. Jelly-type dildos, vibrators and plugs are often loaded with phthalates and other nasties. Phthalates are plastic softeners that can leach chemicals into your body when you use them, and into the environment when you clean or dispose of them. Sadly, there’s very little requirement for sex toy manufacturers to declare what their products contain. In fact, ‘novelty’ sex toy manufacturers tend to stamp ‘silicon’ on anything they want, accurately or otherwise, and since most politicians are uncomfortable saying the word ‘vibrator’, not a lot gets done about it. So save your pennies for something better. Toys made from genuine silicone, hard non-porous plastic, glass, metal and wood (possibly named Tim) are safe bets.
Use sustainable condoms. Most condoms and their wrappers are bad for the environment, and too often they end up in our waterways (ever flushed one down the loo? Now you can join me in feeling guilty about that). Fortunately, the market for all things sustainable has extended to what we put on our junk, and a quick internet search will give you heaps of brands to choose from.
Use organic lube. Lubricants are often petroleum-based − literally made out of fossil fuels. Commonsense organics stocks a lovely range of organic lubes called Bonk, and you can find more options (including hypoallergenics) online and in reputable adult shops.
Take off the PVC. The manufacture of PVC or polyvinyl chloride gives off dioxin – one of the deadliest man-made poisons. It’s really hard to dispose of and can act as a cumulative toxin, which hangs around in your body for a long time. If your kinks involve all things sleek and shiny, consider switching to rubber or ethically-farmed leather.
Consider long-term, multi-purpose sex investments (sexvestments?). Do you use coconut oil for cooking or cosmetic use? Congrats, that’s a lubricant. While research is unclear whether it affects condoms adversely, coconut oil can be used for massage and stuff that doesn’t require condoms. Want to invest in some kink equipment? Save up and buy something that will last. Fluffy plastic handcuffs are for really bad hen nights, not the bedroom.