Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.

×

Eco-safe sex

Dear Auntie, I recently met the man of my dreams at a local climate change awareness meeting. Tall, dark, handsome and with a more than passing resemblance to a young George Monbiot, I fell for him immediately. After several environmentally-friendly, ethical dates, we both feel we are ready to take things a step further. The problem is that we aren't sure if there are any potential environmental considerations that we should take into account before doing so. We are both worried that there might be problems we haven't considered. Can you help? Julie Kennedy, Manchester

February 1, 2007
2 min read

Dear Julie,

I well remember the feeling of being young, in love and shackled by one’s environmental conscience. (I especially remember the shackles, but more of them some other time.)

Aside from trying out biodegradable or vegan condoms, such as those made by Condomi, there aren’t many steps you can take to make your intimate relations that much more eco-friendly.

The condoms are important, though, for the planet’s health as well as your own – there are more than enough of us out here already without going forth and multiplying some more.

However, you can use the fledgling stages of your relationship to your environmental advantage. As we all know, activities carried out in groups of more than one (more than two is optional) are more likely to be environmentally responsible, so finding yourself in a newly intimate situation presents all sorts of naughty opportunities to behave environmentally.

Start showering together to save water; don’t watch TV or play on the computer when you could be losing yourselves in conversation; turn the lights off and keep them off to preserve the mood; move in together and huddle for warmth rather than cranking up the heating. Turn your seduction into an environmentally sound practice by having a go at growing your own roses.

Oh, and if any dressing up is on the cards, make your own costumes (environmentally-friendly shackles included) from easily recyclable materials.

In fact, keep your costumes simple: assorted fig leaves provide a classic look and are biodegradable to boot.

Red Pepper is an independent, non-profit magazine that puts left politics and culture at the heart of its stories. We think publications should embrace the values of a movement that is unafraid to take a stand, radical yet not dogmatic, and focus on amplifying the voices of the people and activists that make up our movement. If you think so too, please support Red Pepper in continuing our work by becoming a subscriber today.
Why not try our new pay as you feel subscription? You decide how much to pay.

Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism

Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists

Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson

As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win

The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution

Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.

‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition

#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny

Meet the digital feminists
We're building new online tools to create a new feminist community and tackle sexism wherever we find it, writes Franziska Grobke

The Marikana women’s fight for justice, five years on
Marienna Pope-Weidemann meets Sikhala Sonke, a grassroots social justice group led by the women of Marikana

Forget ‘Columbus Day’ – this is the Day of Indigenous Resistance
By Leyli Horna, Marcela Terán and Sebastián Ordonez for Wretched of the Earth

Uber and the corporate capture of e-petitions
Steve Andrews looks at a profit-making petition platform's questionable relationship with the cab company

You might be a centrist if…
What does 'centrist' mean? Tom Walker identifies the key markers to help you spot centrism in the wild

Black Journalism Fund Open Editorial Meeting in Leeds
Friday 13th October, 5pm to 7pm, meeting inside the Laidlaw Library, Leeds University

This leadership contest can transform Scottish Labour
Martyn Cook argues that with a new left-wing leader the Scottish Labour Party can make a comeback

Review: No Is Not Enough
Samir Dathi reviews No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein

Building Corbyn’s Labour from the ground up: How ‘the left’ won in Hackney South
Heather Mendick has gone from phone-banker at Corbyn for Leader to Hackney Momentum organiser to secretary of her local party. Here, she shares her top tips on transforming Labour from the bottom up

Five things to know about the independence movement in Catalonia
James O'Nions looks at the underlying dynamics of the Catalan independence movement

‘This building will be a library!’ From referendum to general strike in Catalonia
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte report from the Catalan general strike, as the movements prepare to build a new republic

Chlorine chickens are just the start: Liam Fox’s Brexit trade free-for-all
A hard-right free marketer is now in charge of our trade policy. We urgently need to develop an alternative vision, writes Nick Dearden

There is no ‘cult of Corbyn’ – this is a movement preparing for power
The pundits still don’t understand that Labour’s new energy is about ‘we’ not ‘me’, writes Hilary Wainwright

Debt relief for the hurricane-hit islands is the least we should do
As the devastation from recent hurricanes in the Caribbean becomes clearer, the calls for debt relief for affected countries grow stronger, writes Tim Jones