Eco-Sex: How Green Is Your Passion?
Earth Day is always a good time to review the impact our lives and our bodies have on the planet. Contemporary sex involves a surprising amount of plastics and disposable products, from condoms to batteries, but fortunately there are ways to make your love life eco-friendly. These days more and more people are assessing the carbon footprint of their sex lives and going green in bed.
A new book, Eco-Sex by Stephanie Iris Weiss, provides a detailed guide to sustainable sex practices, as well as green ways to romance a new partner.
An easy place to start is to switch from battery-operated vibrators to rechargeables. Legendary San Francisco-based sex toy retailer Good Vibrations has a wonderful shopping guide to what they call “Ecorotic” toys. There are now several high-end toy companies focused on developing toys that will never need new batteries, are built to last, and are made of body-friendly materials; anyone who’s ever tossed out a vibrator that failed on the second use understands the value of quality toy construction. Our testers are eager to try out the brand-new TOR rechargeable cock ring from Lelo, which should last as long as 10,000 disposable cockrings. The TOR is the successor to the Bo, which we reviewed last year. It was also mentioned as we celebrated Earth Day 2009.
And our testers absolutely love Lelo's elegant and rechargeable designs for women: the popular Gigi and Ina among them. We also love the rechargeable Form 2 and Form 6 from Jimmyjane, top-of-the-line silicone vibrators that pack remarkable power and are warranteed for three years; you won’t be throwing them into a landfill! The Form line has a wonderful “click and charge” cordless recharging system; you just set the toy in its case and it powers up. And no jack means it's waterproof and easy to clean! Jimmyjane also sells rechargeable batteries and replacement motors for its “Little Chroma” vibe, which can be a lifetime buddy.
Je Joue’s Sasi and G-Ki are two more rechargeable high end vibes made for high performance and long life. Other battery-free choices are the Solar Bullet and the hand-cranked, recycled-plastic Earth Angel.
Healthwise, a significant concern is the possible toxicity of pthalates, chemical substances used in the manufacture of many sex toys. Amazingly, since sex toys in the US are generally labeled, “For Novelty Purposes Only," there is no federal safety oversight and toy companies are not required to disclose materials used in construction. Safer choices for toy material are silicone, elastomer, glass, stainless steel and – surprisingly- wood. A wooden g-spot toy, the Fling by NobEssence, was hugely popular with our reviewers.
And if you want a sex toy that will last a lifetime and never need replacing, try the wonderful njoy toys made of 316-grade stainless steel.
These incredibly well-designed toys are pretty much indestructible and effortlessly easy to clean. If you need any further convincing, just see the stellar reviews the njoy Fun Wand received from our reviewers.
Many lubricants have parabens and other chemicals in them, so an organic lube like Sliquid is a great choice, or try Please Liquid Lubricant from Good Vibrations’ “Please” line, which also has wonderful natural massage products.
Another product that we use a great deal of in the 21st century is the condom. Latex condoms are considered a somewhat unknown quantity as far as biodegradability goes, because while latex is biogradable, there are additives in some condoms and lubricants on them. Pretty much all condoms have to go in the trash- flushing them is a big no-no, ecologically and for your plumbing- so that’s a part of your footprint you can’t do anything about. Maybe you could plant a tree to offset your condom use? You can buy Fair Trade condoms like French Letters or Sir Richard's, and vegan condoms; most latex condoms contain a casein derivative, a milk-based product that makes them unfriendly to vegans. If you’re vegan but still shave your legs, Preserve Products has a recyclable razor made of recycled plastic.
To dress up for a hot date, there are companies like Enamore that make lingerie out of organic, sustainable and vintage fabrics. As your correspondent learned from a recent lecture for the De Young Museum’s "Discarded to Divine Recycled Fashion" event, cotton is the most heavily pesticided crop on earth and buying organic cotton is actually quite a service to the planet, as is wearing hemp and bamboo fabric. Also, several of your correspondent’s boyfriends have had bamboo sheets and they are incredibly, deliciously soft. Learn more about green undies here!
Of course, the biggest choice you can make to save the planet is to not have kids. The most eco-friendly sex is safer sex!