Those who are bringing the green movement into the bedroom believe the eco-sexy label is unanimously positive—and essential. But what exactly is ecosexuality, and how can ordinary people get in on the environmentally conscious effort?
Ecosexuality is a growing trend that lovers are blissfully joining—even if until now they haven’t been ardent environmentalists. That’s because at its most fundamental, it is all about attitude and behaviors that benefit us all. It starts with finding healthy alternatives for bedding and birth control—but greening our personal lives means taking a look at our choices in other ways too. Therein lies the brilliance of the idea; making sex sustainable in and out of the boudoir requires us to be conscious about love in a way that is authentically responsible, without sacrificing sensuality in the process.
So how do you know if you have the makings of an ecosexual? Consider yourself green if you care about the planet, pleasing your partner and pleasing yourself. In the book Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable (Ten Speed Press, March 2010), Stefanie Iris Weiss breaks ecosexuality down into three broad categories: eco-seduction, eco-sex and carbon neutral love. It’s an excellent place to start.
When on the traditional date—dinner and a movie—that fancy steakhouse meal, followed by the show isn’t the most environmentally friendly way to say, “I like you.” From the amount of bio-wastes that result from raising cattle to energy consumption, this is a mistake in the mind of a fully committed eco-dater.
You’ll find greener pastures on a bike-ride to the farmers market, where you feed one another locally grown organic produce or a walk along the beach followed by a homemade picnic. And for the planet’s sake, if you are going to give flowers, select locally grown blooms free from pesticides that were gathered by workers paid a fair wage. Those big gorgeous roses with hardly any scent may have traveled via a plane to your florist, and could have been harvested by child laborers, which is unconscionable.
Ecosexuality invites you to be creatively mindful through every aspect of courtship and seduction. It’s about making sure your preferences are kinder to the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the sex you plan on having when the time is right.
Which brings us to perhaps the most obvious ways to green yourself; avoiding the potentially dodgy compounds in personal lubricants, prophylactics, pleasure aids and even hair care and grooming products. Ninety percent of the over-the-counter lubes include chemicals initially invented for the auto and oven-cleaning industries. If something was made to grease your car’s engine, do you really want to use it to grease your own?
Ecosexuals pay close attention to labels to avoid chemicals and toxins (parabens, urea, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrances and colors, chemical sunscreens, amines, sulfates, etc.) that disrupt the natural balance of the planet, and your orgasm. Granted, this isn’t the most pleasant part of foreplay, but it is required for uncompromising gratification.
For example, coconut oil and other GMO-free and sustainably harvested sources are a natural antibacterial that is good to your skin and can be used as lotion or as lube. As for your vibrator, see if it runs on batteries that are rechargeable? Or consider a solar powered one or a glass wand that gets the job done with a resounding, more carbon-neutral, “Yes!”
Once under your organic cotton covers, how are you going to prevent pregnancy or the spread of STDs? Women taking the pill exude hormones that end up in our water sources, introducing trace amounts of synthetic compounds to the environment, and the consequences are serious. Hermaphroditic amphibians and precocious puberty in our youngsters spell danger for our future. Eco-safe alternatives include the IUD and condoms made from free-trade natural rubber.
“Sex can be one of the lowest-impact forms of entertainment on the planet but only if you are doing it right,” Weiss writes. “Green sex doesn’t have to be clean, vanilla sex; it can be as kinky as you please. But if you want it to be good sex (in all senses of the word), then it’s time to make your love life truly sustainable.”
Indeed, ecosexuality teaches us that our personal, intimate carbon footprints are influenced by a myriad of choices that cover everything from what we do, who we do and how we do it. From the obvious to the obscure, there isn’t one corner in your love life that won’t benefit from compassionate scrutiny.
Don’t think for a moment that becoming mindful is just a fad—it’s a necessity if we want to ensure the health and viability of future generations. For the unconvinced or the ones worried that this will take all the fun out of intimacy, remember that making love improves with practice and awareness. Eco-sexuality does more than a body and a planet good. It’s a path towards becoming a more sensuous lover, and who could possibly complain about that?