Over the past few years, some organizations and publications have added a Q, for queer, to the LGBT acronym — and now there are some who say we should add an E, for ecosexual.
The term has been around for much of the 21st century, although its definition can range from those who want to make environmental activism sexy and fun to those who derive sexual pleasure from interactions with nature. There are people who use sex products made from sustainable materials, enjoy hiking or swimming in the nude, or simply want to date other environmental activists, and others “who roll around in the dirt having an orgasm covered in potting soil” or “fuck trees, or masturbate under a waterfall,” Amanda Morgan, an ecosexual activist who teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told Vice recently.
While ecosexuals may be gay, straight, or bisexual, cisgender or transgender, some are seeking an alliance with the LGBT movement. An ecosexual contingent marched in the San Francisco and Santa Cruz, Calif., Pride Parades in 2015, campaigning to add the E to the community acronym. One of the participants was famed performance artist Annie Sprinkle, who said in a press release, “We’d love to see more queer people involved in the environmental movement, so we want to make the movement more sexy, fun, and diverse.” This past summer, Sprinkle and fellow ecosexual performance artist Beth Stephens did a walking tour of California, with pop-up performances along the way, and filmed their journey for an upcoming documentary.
And this week ecosexual activists have an installation at the Sydney LiveWorks Festival of experimental art in Australia, Vice reports. The “ecosexual bathhouse” was created by artists Loren Kronemyer and Ian Sinclair, who describe it as “a cave of wonder with a variety of eco-erotic experiences.”
The concept of such experiences, or the idea that ecosexuality is indeed a sexual identity — as Sprinkle and Stephens say it is — may seem peculiar to some. Yet those in the movement are dealing with serious issues, such as reducing reliance on fossil fuels and ending practices that cause environmental damage, with the hope of reversing climate change. They hope that by making environmentalism sexy, they will motivate more people to join the movement — and prevent catastrophes that will interfere with love, sex, and other things that make life pleasurable.
“If you’re running from floods,” writer-activist Stefanie Iris Weiss told Vice, “you won’t have any time for sex.”