It’s one thing to give up plastic straws and recycle daily. But ecosexuals take their love for the planet to an entirely new level. What exactly is ecosexuality? It’s a trending sexual identity that means everything from literally having sex with the Earth to getting it on in the most eco-friendly way possible.
“Ecosexuality is where ecology meets sexology,” Jennifer J. Reed, PhD, a sociologist from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, tells Health. “It is imagining ‘Earth as lover’ rather than ‘Earth as mother.’”
Dr. Reed explains that ecosexuality is an umbrella term for people who treat nature as a sensual partner to protect rather than a resource to exploit. How a person practices and expresses their ecosexuality, however, is up to them.
One of the most common ways to be an ecosexual is to use biodegradable and/or organic sexual aids and products. “A person that expresses their ecosexuality in this way may purchase environmentally friendly sex toys, all-natural sheets, or even organic tampons,” Holly Richmond, PhD, a sex therapist in New York City, tells Health. “Using products that don’t cause any harm to the Earth is one way a person may fulfill their attraction.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum are individuals who literally have sex with the earth to get aroused.
“For some people, having sex with nature or having sex with a partner and incorporating nature into intercourse is how they get turned on,” Richmond says. “It might be something about having the tactile feeling of dirt or grass on your skin, or knowing that you’re involving nature into your sexual experience.”
Ecosexuals “want to protect nature so much and are so enamored with the Earth and how it makes them feel that this is how they express their sexuality,” Richmond adds.
Ecosexuality is inclusive, Reed explains, and ecosexuals can fall anywhere on the sexual identity spectrum, from straight to gay to trans and beyond.
“Ecosexuality is one way to inspire people to engage by making the environmental movement more sexy, fun, and diverse,” says Reed. The framing of “queer, erotic, ‘irreverent environmentalism’ resonates with many people today,” she adds.