Sustainable sex practices are one more area in which we can be more sensible. It goes beyond eco-friendly sex toys and condoms, having implications wider than we might have realised.
The ecological balance of our planet is off the tilt. It is not at equilibrium. We no longer can say that we harmoniously exist with the planet. And the situation has been poor for quite a while now. It has become so extreme that “climate emergency” was the Oxford word of the year in 2019. This situation forced governments around the world to take action to co-exist with the planet and other species so that it can be Sustainable.
Individual roles and contributions play a vital role in achieving this Sustainability. Slowly but gradually we hope we can control this alarming situation. We can do this by being Sustainable with every choice that we make in our daily lives. And that includes Sex also. Many would find it absurd and downright unnecessary. You might also think that Sex and sustainability aren’t overlapping areas. But you will be surprised to know that connection. Let’s try to understand the less talked about topic of bringing Sustainability to Sex.
What Are Sustainable Sex Practices?
The recipe to make any practice in our daily life more sustainable is by adopting sensible behaviours, eco-friendly materials, and profound thoughts that are more aligned with preserving nature and restricting harm. Sustainable Sex, too, talks about adopting eco-friendly sex toys, lubricants, condoms, and so on, to reduce the waste load of the planet. But this is just a surface meaning.
Sustainable sex practices or Sustainable Sex life goes beyond the obvious things, such as adopting biodegradable condoms in place of latex, it is about opening the mind to the possibility that we can become more sustainable in every aspect of our life. Even in the most intimate moments of our life, we need to keep Sustainability and sensibility for nature back in our minds. It talks about the hidden costs of the creation of porn for sex workers and the environment.
Sustainable sex at the end of the day talks about safe sex. The rise of STDs increases our health infrastructure burden by not practising safe sex. It also talks about responsible sex which doesn’t overpopulate our planet beyond its capacity to cater.
Climate Cost Of Reproduction
Sustainable sex practices which include but are not limited to things such as reducing products that can’t be recycled are fairly obvious to everyone. But one aspect which is increasingly gaining popularity is the cost of reproduction. It is not just about the economic cost of having a child. It goes beyond it. When it comes to sex, reproduction, and conserving the environment, things aren’t as straightforward as you may think. Many things are in fact at crossroads with each other.
The biggest problem when it comes to reproduction and the environment is the carbon footprint. Apart from the obvious economic burden on the parents, they are now indirectly responsible for a human who will have a carbon footprint which is only going to add to the already huge burden of global warming and resource scarcity. For instance, according to a 2017 study, just ditching a car and living carefree saves about 2.3 tonnes of CO2 in a year. And that’s a significant enough number for us to consider it. We are at a stage where we need to do everything in our capacity to mitigate and repair the damage done to this planet as a result of our mindless exploitation.
And then there is the moral and ethical dilemma of a parent to decide whether they want to bring a child into this world, and expose him/her to the current scenario when the future of the planet looks grim as we struggle and fight to repair our anthropological exploitative mishaps. And that is the reason why so many governments around the globe have introduced some form of population control bill. The situation is more serious than we might believe it to be. In a study of the 10,000 young people surveyed, around 41% were “hesitant to have children” citing climate change as a reason.
How can you adopt Sustainable sex practices?
The situation might seem frightening but our responsibility at hand is to be more proactive and Sustainable in every choice that we make, including Sustainable Sex practices. Here are a few things you can do to include Sustainable sex practices in your life. And the fun part is, you don’t have to compromise with the fun either.
1. Biodegradable condoms – Most condoms available in the market are made from synthetic latex and use additives and chemicals which makes them unfit for recycling. According to the UN Population Fund, around 10 billion male condoms made out of latex are manufactured each year. And a majority are disposed of in landfills. Instead of this, pick vegan or recyclable condoms.
2. Sex toys – In the bid to spice up the sex life, almost everyone resorts to using Sex toys. But we don’t realise that either these are made up of plastic or things that can’t be recycled. There are better alternatives available in the market. For instance, vegan sex toys can be disposed of easily and safely. Many manufacturers offer a guide along with their products for their disposal after use.
3. Cruelty-free lube – Many lubes are made from petroleum-based substances which defeats the whole purpose of being sustainable. Other lubes contain animal products such as beeswax or other enzymes derived from an animal. These create problems for your body as well. Use water-based lubricants that are vegan and cruelty-free as well. It is not just environmentally sustainable but ethical and moral as well.
4. Sustainable lingerie – Don’t just impress your partner with a sexy number without thinking about the material of your clothes. There is a high percentage of lingerie made up of synthetic materials. These aren’t good for intimate parts on top of being notoriously difficult to break down later at the stage of recycling. Choosing eco-friendly options is not enough, utilising them and not discarding them before their natural lifespan are equally important.
Apart from all this, Sustainable sex practice speaks volumes about safe sex as well. It includes contraception, sex education, avoiding unwanted pregnancy, etc.