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I wasn’t always an ecosexual.

Back in 2007, when I arrived in the northern Italian town of Gallarate to teach English to high school kids for a year, my very passionate landlord spent an afternoon explaining to me — in a slow, drawn out, easy to understand Italian — how to separate every piece of my trash into plastic, paper, foil, organic, and unclassifiable bags, which we then placed in bins outside of our building. Recycling is the law in the province of Varese, where Gallarate is situated. When I once let a plastic bottle drop from my bag only to be met with the disapproving gaze of a neighbor, I realized just how serious this law really was.

Although this new-found eco-consciousness was initially against my will, over time, I too began peering out my window to make sure others were recycling properly. I appreciated how good it felt to be a little more accountable for my effect on the environment.

Despite this enlightening experience, it took much longer for me to learn about the greener side of sex.

Perhaps you’ve never really thought about green sex, either — including the notion of “eco-friendly sex products.”

Even sexpert author of the popular book Eco-Sex, Stefanie Weiss, says her own circle of eco-friendly pals embraced everything green except for sex-related stuff. “Sex is over there: private and separate; and all other things work together over here,” Weiss says.

But, says Weiss, it doesn’t have to be this way. The benefits of being an ecosexual go beyond protecting the planet. “It’s a good way to improve your sexuality and your relationship with sensuality,” Weiss promises, “and it’s going to improve your sex life too.”

Curious: Pure Organic Sensuality

Laurie Steelsmith naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and author of Great Sex, Naturally, talks about eco-sex in terms of overall sexual energy: “It’s about where sexual energy comes from in the first place, and how women can enhance their sexual vitality through the naturopathic and Chinese medicine perspective.”

A much gentler sell than my old trick of staring down non-recyclers outside my window. I’m sold. Here’s a handful of simple ways you can be ecosexual:

Prepping The Canvas

Eco-sensual consciousness starts with really connecting with yourself. Weiss mentions honey and coconut oil as products that bring calmness. Using these natural self-care products allows you to “become aware and have the opportunity to slow down,” she says. “Taking part in the preparation is not just to look or smell good for someone else, but to feel good for yourself.”

According to Steelsmith, this feeling, this sexual energy, comes from a deep well-spring of life. It is vital force, or Qi. “It’s important that women deeply care about and love themselves so that they can then have the energy to deeply care about and love another,” she explains.

Sleek slathers for sexy skin include: coconut oil, argan oil, curious, and honey.

50 Shades Of Green

If you’re feeling frisky, you can find a variety of eco-friendly props and products, including whips made out of recycled rubber. Weiss also stresses the importance of phthalate-free sex toys made of safe materials that are rechargeable and built to last. More companies are now developing sex toys made of body safe materials — and silicon is one of the best options. If you feel awkward asking nerdy health questions at the sex shop, you can always do your research, and your shopping, online.

Be An Ecosexual

Steelsmith says women should be sure to lube naturally. Synthetic chemicals do not belong on delicate tissues, while in contrast, organic lubricants are actually beneficial. Good options, according to Steelsmith, are alternative lubes that contain Polyisoprene or good old organic coconut oil.

If you aren’t sure what condom material works best for you, Weiss has latex at the top of the list. Sensitive types should stick to condoms that are free of spermicide. One brand to check out is Sir Richards. This brand is fast growing (ha, ha) and actually donates one condom to a developing country for every condom purchased. “They’re the Toms shoes of condoms,” says Weiss.

Ecosexual Fun For Everyone

Recycled whips, healthy libido-boosters, and a way to give back when buying condoms. I can’t help but wonder what my old neighbors in Italy would do if I suggested these innovative, eco-friendly ways. Strange looks? Colorful words shouted at me from their windows such as pazzia (madness) or bizzarra (strange)? Maybe. But at least now I truly enjoy the pleasure of recycling.

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