First published by Ecohustler

It’s true – I love nothing more than to lie cradled and suspended above the ground, thighs wrapped around the gnarled old trunk of a tree. I relish the sensation of this powerful, phallic force emerging from the ground, pressed against my pelvis and sending tiny orgasmic ripples that dance along my spine. Or to while away an hour basking in the sun, savouring its warmth on my naked skin. Lying supine, the moist sweet smelling earth beneath me, I love the subtle thrill of opening my legs to welcome those life-giving rays, tantalising the most private and hidden of parts of me.

I’m also not very shy about telling the world about it, in case you hadn’t noticed.

You might think I’m strange, or perhaps you’re rather fond of the odd erotic frolic with nature’s gifts yourself, but let’s not call ourselves ecosexuals shall we?

The ever-increasing trend for our sexuality to come out of the closet and the plethora of resources now available to us thanks to the ‘sex-positive’ movement – whether that be sexperts and therapists, shops and workshops, articles or TED talks is undoubtedly a wonderful thing. Less shame, more pleasure I say!

With this change we’ve seen a number of new catch words and definitions emerging into our language. Now you can decide: are you kinky or vanilla? Monogamous or polyamorous? Pansexual,  demi-sexual, asexual or grey-asexual (in the ‘grey area’ between sexual and asexual, yes the term really does exist)! And the list goes on…

We humans seem to thrive on giving names to things, placing them in convenient boxes and categories and -isms. On the one hand it helps us make sense of things, to define ourselves, perhaps even give ourselves permission to be the way that we are. This is a thingIt’s ok to be this thing!

I get it. Especially when it comes to drawing awareness to certain ways of being and expressing ourselves where there is a lack of understanding or permission.

I do however wince a bit when people use the word ecosexual to describe me.

Before I divulge though I should say that of course there are wonderful things happening due to an ‘ecosexual’ movement. ‘Sexecologists’ Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens have done and continue to do amazing awareness-raising and conservation work and have written an ecosexual manifesto. A forthcoming book will no doubt support the spreading of the idea that we can not only love our planet (and must!) but that saving the earth can be sexy and fun. It appears that we’ve been put off environmental activism through its negative stereotypes of seemingly eccentric militants and tree-hugging-knit-your-own-muesli hippies. Anything that challenges this is undoubtedly a very good thing.

My tiff though, is that by labelling something and creating a box for it, we create a divide. It’s an invitation to decide ‘either I am this or I’m not.’

The reality as I see it however, is that all of us on this planet, not only have the potential to be in vibrant, dynamic, sacred  – and yes, erotic communion  – with life, but it is our birthright.

We’ve been suffering under the illusion that sex is all about genitals and a bit of friction, blinded by centuries of conditioning and control that’s tried no less than to neatly compartmentalise the raw and creative pulse of eros that permeates everything. Being alive, being in relation to life is profoundly intimate and erotic.

As Darin Stevenson writes:

Relation is flagrantly, curiously, hopelessly, enthrallingly… intimate. Every living thing understands this without any rules or words — except the false cultures we have established (including those that claim to be ‘sex positive’). In response, humans become habituated to use physical sex to avoid the entire gamut of profound relational eros that sex usually becomes the pitiful remnant of.”

Every day presents an infinite number of moments to experience the intimacy and relational eros of life: isn’t the ingesting of food – taking the body of another being into yourself –  profoundly intimate? Or breathing, aware of the dance of life we share with plants  – as we breathe in their oxygen, they breathe in our carbon dioxide? Or drinking water, knowing that these molecules that have been in existence for millennia might have been somebody’s blood or a tear, ejaculate or dew drop or glacier? Isn’t it the most normal thing in the world to feel aroused, deliciously and deeply seduced by life when you can see Spring unfurling in all its glory around you, buds swelling and ripening and erupting into flower (which incidentally are plants genitalia)? Don’t you want to inhale their sweet and delicate scent and brush their softness against your naked skin? Or wrap your legs around a tree trunk and surrender into the holding of its branches, the breeze and gentle bird song lovingly caressing you, and feel just a tiny bit turned on?

I’m not an ecosexual. I’m an earth-dweller, earth-lover, awakening into what it is like to live in a fully sentient and intelligent world that speaks to me when I listen, a world which offers a daily source of profound wisdom, pleasure, connection and healing, but that’s being abused and destroyed all around me. While governmental and organisational top down policies of prioritising the environment are obviously a good thing, if we really want to start living in harmony with our planet and stop ploughing head first into obliteration, we’d all better start asking ourselves what it truly means to be in an intimate and juiciness-inspiring connection with our mother – or rather lover – earth.