Just when you thought you’d seen or heard it all, a little something called ecosexuality has emerged. If you’re feeling puzzled just reading that word, you’re not alone. It’s still a fairly new concept in mainstream society, so let’s unpack what it’s all about.
Put as simply as possible, ecosexuality is a new form of sexual identity in which you see nature as your lover, rather than your mother. It’s rising in popularity, and there are many activists, performance artists, and everyday enthusiasts all over the world who are encouraging people to climb on board, because they believe that participating in ecosexuality can help save our planet.
Here are five things you didn’t know about ecosexuality, but totally should.
1There are many different ways to practice ecosexuality
Some people choose to incorporate more sustainable practices or toys into their sex life, some will attend an ecosexual bathhouse, and others will literally have sex with nature. There are so many different ways to practice ecosexuality, you’ll hear of people in the community all over the spectrum.
You can get involved in any way you can, and there’s no pressure to do something you’re not comfortable with. The great part about ecosexuality is that there’s a lot written about it, so you can read up to learn more if you’d like to join the cause.
2The whole point of being ecosexual is to treat the planet better
Rockstar Peaches defines ecosexuality as “making the earth an urgent sexual matter. Instead of ‘Mother Earth,’ where the earth comforts you, earth is your lover…putting the responsibility on you to uphold your side of the relationship.”
People in the ecosexual movement are most concerned with treating the earth with more respect and love, and they likely to view their relationship with the earth like any other relationship: If you treat someone poorly, they’re not going to stick around. So ecosexuals are trying to encourage people to love their planet more, and have more fun with it.
3It’s a quickly growing community of people
A PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Nevada, Jennifer Reed, told Vice that there are more people identifying as ecosexual than ever before, and the growth has been particularly noticeable in the last two years. Google searches are the first to prove this, showing that many more people online are interested in what ecosexuality is all about.
Couple Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, performance artists and activists from the Bay Area, have created an “ecosex manifesto” on their website. They’re the leading voices behind the growing movement, so they’re the ones to watch if you’re interested in learning more about the concept. They even do ecosex weddings!
4A big part of the movement is creating more sustainable sex products
It’s not exactly news that a lot of products we use in our everyday sex lives, like condoms and lube, are not environmentally friendly, and they’re often made with harmful ingredients. That’s why the ecosexual movement is making it a priority to create more sustainable products for people to have safer sex.
Activists like Sprinkle and Stephens want everyone to feel more at ease not only with the planet, but with their own bodies as well, so they promote green sex toys and contraception. This is considered a holistic take on ecosexuality.
5Planet Earth isn’t only referred to as female
We’re used to hearing the term Mother Earth, which characterizes the planet as a woman. But major leaders of the ecosexuality movement are referring to the planet as trans, because it’s powerful and diverse enough to embody any gender.
Besides, when you place this alongside societal norms, our culture tends to put less emphasis on and care for women in general, so framing the planet as a female may have subliminally taught us that we shouldn’t make the earth a top priority. Like its views on gender, our society’s views on the planet could stand to shift too.