Having an ethical sex life is about having sex that is kinder to you, others and the planet. The growing trend of ecosexuality, spearheaded by vegans and climate change activists, focuses on reducing waste and carbon emissions by using vegetable and household items in lieu of vibrators - and for some it also involves not having sex so as not to add to the growing issues of population, however, courgette sex toys aren’t your thing, that’s ok. Here are three ways you can make your sex life more erotic, ethical and eco-friendly.
Consent & Communication
In the wake of #MeToo, consent has (finally) become a hot topic in the sexual wellness world and with good reason. In a survey, by the Washington Post, 22% of college students said they believe that if someone engages in kissing they are consenting to further sexual activity. The same survey revealed that 20% of women had been sexually assaulted on campus. This simple snapshot highlights why consent should be an essential part of all of our sex lives, and why we need clarity on what consent looks like.
In the U.S, young people are being taught that ‘affirmative consent’ aka getting verbal consent from your partner before you do anything sexual, is the standard they should hold themselves to - and we’re here for that!
Sometimes people think that asking for consent can kill the mood, but it definitely doesn’t have to be that way. You only have to watch the hot (and very ethical) sex scenes between on Normal People to recognise that.
Questions like “Do you want me to touch you there?” and “Can I go down on you?” aren’t just perfect ways of asking for consent - they’re also incredibly sexy phrases that wouldn’t sound out of place amongst other dirty talk! Clear consent makes for a safer and more enjoyable sexual experience for everyone involved - which is something we think everyone can get on board with.
One of the reasons we find the whole consent thing confusing, is because it is almost never featured in old-school pornography. Historically, the porn industry has been run largely by men, for men. Not only is this approach a bad business decision - a Marie Claire survey revealed that over a third of women watch porn every week - but it also means we are being sold a view of sex that is solely through the male gaze.
This can often mean that, in these movies, female pleasure is none existent, whilst violence against women is prevalent. Research has found that this type of content could be contributing to sexual violence in real life as well as on-screen, so it’s clear something needs to change.
The good news is, there are a growing number of porn production companies and platforms that are taking a more ethical approach - and improving our society and sex lives in the process. Platforms like Make Love Not Porn, founded by sexual wellness guru Cindy Gallop are dedicated to showcasing real sex - with all its wonderful flaws, emotions and pleasure. In a 2016 interview, she described the platform as a mission to have the "gold standard" of what constitutes "good sexual values and good sexual behaviour".
When you watch ethical porn, you’re not only giving yourself (and your partner) a more holistic and healthy view of sex, but you’re also supporting the ethical employment of sex workers. Erika Lust, the visionary behind the ethical porn platform Lust Cinema is dedicated to creating a safe space for her performers. The brand’s values cover diversity, safe sex, fair pay and high working standards -
If you’re trying to have a more ethical sex life, it’s also important to look at the products you bring into the bedroom.
Traditional condoms are rarely great for your body or the environment. The UN Population Fund estimates around 10 billion latex condoms are made each year and most of those end up in landfills or our oceans. That's because most condoms are made from synthetic latex that won’t biodegrade and use chemicals that aren’t great for our health - and also mean they can’t be recycled.
Now, before you read any further - we are not about to tell you to ditch contraception to live a waste-free life. In fact, whilst the impact of condoms on the environment is worrying - what is even worse for Mother Earth is overpopulation - which is not helped by unplanned pregnancies.
Instead, choose condoms that align with your values and limit your impact on the environment.
Likewise, your lube might not be ticking as many ethical boxes as you would like. Some lubricants contain animal by-products and many are still tested on animals. Add that to the fact that lube with chemicals and flavourings could mess with your vagina’s pH level and it’s understandable why more and more people want to slide into pleasure in a chemical and cruelty-free way. Whilst you could go totally eu naturel with things like coconut oil, these are not always compatible with condoms.
Do you want to be an everyday activist and make your sex life more sustainable and ethical? Check out our full pleasure range right here!