‘Question: how do I fuck a tree without getting arrested?’
This is not a sentence I ever expected to ask my partner on a Friday night, but two weeks ago, I found myself asking exactly that. We live in London, and private gardens with fuckable trees are in pretty short supply.
You’re probably wondering where this came from, and I’ll be honest, when I started writing this article, this is not how I saw this going. But after two months of researching ecosexuality, it seemed only natural to want to try it myself. And what is ecosexuality, I hear you ask? Well, allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of snow jobs and cloud-gasms…
What is ecosexuality?
Sexecology, or ecosexuality, is a movement founded by sex-positive artist-activist couple extraordinare, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. It combines a mix of playful exploration, sensuality, research, environmental activism and performance art that encourages people to get frisky with the earth, and think of it more as a ‘lover than a mother’.
It’s a sexual identity in its own right, and ecosexual commitments can range from occasionally dipping your toe in, to full-on marrying lakes, dirt and mountains – which brings a whole new meaning to ‘they’re my rock’, eh?
But… who wants to fuck a tree?
Good question, and it’s the main thing I just couldn’t work out when I started researching – I understood why people would want to celebrate the earth, but the sexual bit…?
I chatted with self-identified ecosexual and founder of Living Love Revolution Rev. Teri Ciacchi to get a better idea. She told me:
“My frame for sexuality is different than many people. For me, ecosexuality is about having sex as a form of communion. It acknowledges the many ways that we are energetically and emotional already in a state of connection.”
So in the same way that lots of people shag their partners to strengthen their intimacy and emotional bond,* ecosexuals just feel that way about nature. Which, given nature’s going to be around a loooooooot longer than your current or future partner, I suppose makes a lot of sense.
* not everyone does, and that’s totally fine! You do you!
But if you’re still struggling with the ‘sexual’ label, Kim TallBear (Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and close friend of Annie and Beth), gave me an even easier way to understand it:
“I think the word ‘erotic’ might help. Sexuality can be part of the erotic, it falls under the umbrella of the erotic, and so to think about it as eco-eroticism might be more helpful.”
It’s not necessarily a kink (though even if it is, no kink-shaming here folks). It’s less of the mechanics, and more of the exploring. It’s about all the things good sex is about: sensation, intimacy, connection. I mean, let’s face it, people have sex in the shower all the time – so why does society consider it stranger to have sex in a waterfall?
The Ecosex Manifesto
At this point, my interest was piqued, so I started reading up more about the concepts behind the movement, and stumbled across the Ecosex Manifesto, a cheatsheet for what sexecology is all about.
Ecosexual Manifesto 2.0
We are Ecosexuals: the Earth is our lover.
Fiercely in love, we are permanently grateful for this relationship. To create a more mutual and sustainable union with our lover, we collaborate with nature. We treat the earth with respect, affection & sensuality.
We are aquaphiles, teraphiles, pyrophiles and aero-philes.
We are skinny dippers, sun worshippers and stargazers.
We are artists, sex workers, sexologists, academics, environmental and peace activists, feminists, eco-immigrants, putos y putas trans/humanistas, nature fetishists, gender bending gardeners, therapists, scientists and educators, revolutionaries, dandies, pollen/amorous cultural monsters with dogs and other entities from radical ecologies…
Whether GLBTQI, hetero, asexual or Other, our primary drive and identity is being Ecosexual!
Viva la ECOSEX REVOLUTION!
–Annie & Beth in crosspollination with Guillermo Gomez-Peña
As you can see, there’s nothing as outlandish or extreme as you might have assumed when you read the title of the article. Starting to see how I got sucked in yet?
I’m intrigued, but where would I begin? Trees sound a bit extreme for me…
Have you ever brushed your bare feet across the grass and enjoyed how it tickles? Or had a snog outside in the rain? A quickie on the beach? We might not call it as such, but a lot of us have flirted with ecosexual experiences: we just haven’t done it with our eyes open to how awesome nature really is, and what that’s adding to the experience.
Just like romancing humans, it doesn’t need to be some grand ‘swinging from the chandeliers’ event. Start slow, find what works for you. Provided you’re respectful and don’t start frotting against trees in open public spaces, you can find your own way to enjoy the majesty of nature, showing respect, love and appreciation for this planet we call home, and doing your bit for earth activism in the process.
Can you be bi and ecosexual?
Absolutely! Annie refers to herself as ‘pollen-amorous’ because her relationship with nature ‘goes way, way, way beyond bisexual, to cosmic proportions. But can include bisexual. Or any other labels.’ You can be bi, pan, gay, lesbian, straight, trans, ace or any other label you can think of and still be an ecosexual.
Ecosexuality can be a solo or a group activity, done alone or with your partner or your friends as you feel comfortable. There are even festivals and workshops if you fancy making an event of it.
Also, loving the punny labels? You’ll be pleased to hear sexecology has puns aplenty. From ‘snow jobs’ to ‘cloud-gasms’, ‘ecolingus’ to ‘gyn-ecology’, sexecology is chock full of fun terms. And in case that didn’t quench your thirst, here’s a whole lexicon.
So now you know how I ended up here, what happened with my tree-fucking experiment, I hear you ask? Well, with private trees in short supply, I ended up having a long, languorous afternoon softly rubbing my hands, feet, arms and face into a nice big patch of grass instead (Gr-ass play? Sod-omy? Forepl-hay? OK, that one was really a stretch…). Turns out grass is super comforting and sensual, like nature’s chest hair.
So what next? Well, might try harder to give treebadism a try, or else pop down to Brighton and for some seadomasochism… 🌊😉 Wish me luck on my ecosexual journey – and best of luck on your own!
Written by Maddie Jones
Illustrations by Harry Thory