You could sound like a big sourpuss by wondering outloud about eco-sexism as I did recently. That’s okay. “Sexuality is not a bad thing, its (sic) the misuse of sexuality that is,” said Miss Mo. True, and as Mike D. pointed out, “sexuality is the greenest free-energy technology...sex has to be returned from the gutter to the altar.” Hallelujah. “Your body is a temple,” reminds my mother.
However, to tap into their erotic nature, people are cluelessly polluting their bodily houses of worship with some unnatural and poisonous props. Most sex toys are toxic to the ecosystem, not to mention the human body’s environment. Side effects of a dirty mind shouldn’t include knocking your hormones out of whack, toxic shock syndrome, haplessly feeding the oil industry, or torturing widdle bunnies.
You already avoid petroleum-based lubricants because they eat holes in condoms. But did you realize that most sex toys are made from black gold? And jelly props are loaded with phthalates, which Europe outlawed four years ago in kids' toys. Many in the U.S. say phthalates are safe but the ingredients may cause cancer, lower sperm counts, and thwart childhood development.
Ms. Razorblade of The F Word has written the best rundown about this stuff, so read it all the way through (part 2, too). She suggests splurging on pricier props made of glass, pyrex, silicon, wood, or stainless steel. Nontoxic lubes are increasingly easy to find, such as...
...Angelic Aromas, organic Sensua, herbal O'My, and aloe and chamomile lube from Jason cosmetics. For animal rights activists who shun leather goods due to cruelty to animals (don't get started on the inhumane treatment of humans in the *mainstream* porn industry), Green LA girl found the Veg Sex Shop stocking animal-free products; another is Vegan Erotica. PETA members who like to watch can stare at VegPorn while neo-hippies can ogle silly exhibitionist Swedes.
Greener sources for accessorizing your bedroom include Womyns' Ware, Blowfish, fair trade sex shop Coco de Mer. Check out the high-end EcoBoudoir, which Inhabitat just covered.
Aside from the potential health hazards, there's the issue of sex-toy trash to add to the world's e-waste stockpiles. Unless your solar-powered vibrator is soaking up its seven-hour charge on your windowsill, you're dealing with batteries loaded with toxic heavy metals. Forget about recycling your tired accessories (though I’ve seen alley pickers happily score discarded dildos, and there are some random second hand S&M shops). Surely you won't take up Fausto’s (left) suggestion: "Let’s set up a system of condom recycling."