When creative intellect, left-wing politics and sexuality meet, the bizarre is sure to follow, even if it gets few followers.
Take the ecosexual movement, pioneered by California PhDs Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. In 2016, they penned the Ecosexual Manifesto. Maybe the Earth was screwed before, but this couple wants to work it over in ways that farmers never did.
“We make love with the earth,” the manifesto reads. “We shamelessly hug trees, massage the earth with our feet, and talk erotically to plants. … We caress rocks, are pleasured by waterfalls, and admire the Earth’s curves often.”
You don’t say.
The document insists ecosexuals are “a rapidly growing community” that includes “nature fetishists … critters and other entities.” They are “activists” who will save the planet through “love, joy, and … seduction,” but also by “anarchist and radical environmental activist strategies.”
Furthermore, “Ecosexual is an identity. For some of us being ecosexual is our primary (sexual) identity. … We are polymorphous and pollen-amorous.”
You can even betroth yourself to the Earth with the ecosexual pledge: “I promise to love, honour and cherish you Earth, until death brings us closer together forever.”
In one amazing swoop, pagan spiritism, Earth worship, environmental activism, untethered eroticism and necromancy all come together.
There was no one better to invent ecosexuality than Annie Sprinkle, partly because she came closer than most of us to screwing the entire world. She was born Ellen Steinberg in 1954 but took Annie Sprinkle as her porn name before making 200 adult films. She fell in love with Gerard Damiano, director of Deep Throat, followed him to New York as his mistress, and engaged in almost 20 years of prostitution. Sprinkle later became a performance artist, visual artist, filmmaker, author and sex educator.
Sprinkle married Stephens in Toronto in 2007. Since then the couple has conducted 18 ecosexual art weddings, and “married the Earth, Sky, Sea, Moon, Appalachian Mountains, the Sun, and other non-human entities in nine different countries.”
Ecosexuality, for its pretentious claims as a sexual orientation, is more about art. Another manifestation came in 2016, thanks to an Australian-American duo called Pony Express. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne housed the Ecosexual Bathhouse. Vice magazine called it, “a pretty wild experiment in experiential art” and a “provocative twist on … queer and environmental activism.”
In one of those twists, participants use condoms to facilitate sexual reproduction instead of preventing it. Australian news was told, “people have to slip a condom over their finger before they stroke the flowers” so their threesome doesn’t interfere with pollination.
It only got weirder from there in this exhibit that was more exhibitionist than most. Where else could someone find “a composting glory hole, bee BDSM, and sprouting panties”? Most memorable is this depiction in Vice courtesy of Olivia Parkes:
“The resident shape-shifting dominatrix cruises audience members as they migrate through the rooms, taking them back to her lair to deliver them dances based on their accessories. The performances range from perplexing to perverse – the SSD may make a frantic offering of blue objects, piling them around the viewer in mimicry of bowerbird courtship, or deliver a melancholy, undulating interpretation of slug sex, trailing her hapless partner with ultraviolent goo. If you’re wearing the Paw, the SSD will tie you to a rock like Andromeda and, clad in a snakeskin bodysuit and a ring-gag, perform her slithering dance and drool all over you: a snake preparing to digest her prey.”
Too bad I missed it!
Ecosexuality got a later, smaller, orgasm courtesy of Sophie Gallagher in the Huffington Post. She rehashed content from Google, Teen Vogue and other sources to write, EcoSexuality: 7 Things You Need To Know About This Sexual Identity. Point four was that “Ecosexuality isn’t just a hobby … it is an identity equal to being gay or bisexual.” That should be taken about as seriously as point three: “Ecosexuality is a new approach to stopping climate change.”
Follow the endless sexual orientations and gender identities to the extreme and it becomes, as Jordan Peterson termed it, “a parody.” People can name themselves a pan-sexual, omnisexual, skoliosexual or anything else. It becomes a fallacious mirage. A person can pride themselves on their self-definition, but should they change their mind or preference, it’s not actually binding. It’s as passing as a one-night stand or a faddish art exhibit.
The final irony is that heterosexuality, not ecosexuality, pays the best respect to nature. Heterosexual sex is the dominant expression of all mammals and the only way they will ever reproduce. Lay the anti-human, Malthusian ideas of modern environmentalism aside.
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth,” remains far better than screwing the planet itself.
Lee Harding is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.