We’ve heard of tree huggers but these women are taking their relationship with the natural world to the next level – they aren't only married to the Earth but claim to give it “pleasure”.
Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, who identity as eco-sexual, recently appeared on British TV to explain their passion for nature. The pair, who are life partners and live in San Francisco in the US, say their relationship with the earth is so intimate, they even make love to it.
“The simple thing to define it is: an eco-sexual is someone who loves the earth,” Beth explained when they recently appeared on ITV’s This Morning.
Annie added that they're in a romantic relationship with the planet: “We imagine that the Earth is our lover and we enjoy all the sensual pleasures that the Earth has to offer.”
The women married Earth in a raucous ceremony in 2008 among the magnificent redwoods of Santa Cruz, California, with 300 guests in attendance. They told This Morning hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond that they've since had another ceremony in England in which they got married in the sky. This was followed by them kissing each other for an hour to seal the deal and as a form of meditation in nature.
Annie believes being an eco-sexual doesn’t take away from your sexual identity, but rather adds to it.
“It’s a term people use to show their preferences . . . you don’t have to give up any of your other identities,” she says. “It just means you enjoy taking pleasure with the earth and giving the earth pleasure as well.”
Turns out people are pleasuring the earth without even being aware of it, Beth says.
“When you’re going for a walk, you’re giving the earth a massage with your feet,” she says.
However, there are levels to being an eco-sexual. Without providing a detailed definition of each, the women say you can be eco-erotic, eco-sensual, eco-romantic or crazy-wild eco.
They admit that people often have questions regarding the issue of consent. For example, when they hug a tree, has it consented to their advances?
“We can’t talk to the tree but we listen and try to sense whether the tree likes to be hugged or not,” Beth explains.
“And a lot of people don't mind people killing trees but getting intimate with the tree is considered taboo,” Annie adds.
If you’re considering adopting an eco-sexual lifestyle, the nature-loving ladies have a word of advice.
“You’ve got to put your heart into it and just open yourself up and let your erotic energy move through you and feel the tree and love that tree,” Annie says.
According to Amanda Morgan from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Community Health Sciences, there are various ways to categorise eco-sexuals.
It could be people who use sustainable sex products, enjoy skinny dipping and naked hiking, among others.
Eco-sexuality is a fairly new trend – it only started gaining prominence around 2008.
Annie and Beth have been at the forefront of the sexual movement since then, even officiating at eco-sexual weddings.
At San Francisco’s 2015 Pride Parade, the pair led more than 100 eco-sexuals in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to “officially” add an E to the LGBTQI acronym.
At the time Beth estimated there were 100 000 people around the world who openly identified as eco-sexual.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, mylondon.news, vice.com