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.



The crack pipe of peace

Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston

Learning by number

Dear Auntie _ At one of the Gaza protests in London, Stop the War put the number of protesters at around 100,000 but the police insisted it was only 20,000. Can Auntie reassure me that the Met has a scientific methodology for estimating crowd numbers? _ Numberless in London

No hope

Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London


Both feet not in the grave

Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London

Do what I say, not what I inhale

Dear Auntie, _ My daughter is starting to ask awkward questions such as 'Mum, did you take drugs when you were young?' I don't want to lie but I don't want her to venture down the same route. What do I tell her? _ Amy in London

Nice smelling poo

Dear Auntie, _ I'm a vegetarian who is fed up having to justify why I don't eat anything with a face on it. And it's the environmentalists who are also meat eaters who seem the most personally affronted by my choices. Do you have any suggestions how I can deal with this? _ Chickpea not chicken lover, Totnes