Size matters, and Yalies think big! From the giant inflatable Handsome Dan to the enormous phallus known as Harkness Tower, big means beautiful at Yale. But when it comes to carbon footprints, smaller is better. Yale is an incredibly eco-conscious school, as evidenced by our ubiquitous blue waste receptacles and A-rated sustainable dining halls. But can Yale students take eco-friendly to eco-intimate? Here are six ways to bring green into the most neglected pastime of the Yale experience — sex.
One: Do it in the dark. After all, it’s much more fun to unwrap a present than it is to actually look at it. If you want to behold the naked flesh of your lover, do it in the day – that’s what the sun is for.
Two: Seduce in style. The textile industry is a major polluter, and there is nothing less sexy than contributing to toxic waste runoff and poisoned ecosystems. Being eco-conscious doesn’t mean you have to resort to frumpiness — fair-trade organic cotton, hemp and even bamboo are being made into come-hither evening wear that Madame de Montespan would have worn in Louis XIV’s bedchamber. Start with a soya-cotton couture set from Eco-Boudoir (eco-boudoir.com), accessorize with bamboo garters at Urban Fox (urbanfoxeco.com) and complete your ensemble with an organic cotton kimono robe from Under the Canopy (underthecanopy.com).
Three: If you’re feeling dry, you should probably move on and not reach for a bottle of KY jelly. Fossil fuels puncture the ozone layer, create toxic waste and are a leading factor in air quality issues. Moreover, your body is one giant absorbent membrane. Toxic chemicals from KY jelly are being soaked right through your epidermis! Just say no, for goodness’ sake, and say Yesyesyes to organic lubricants! With “a revolution in personal lubricants” as their motto, the high-performance Yes Organic Personal Lubricant (yesyesyes.org) comes in both water and oil-based forms, and is designed to be as natural as the body’s own fluids. Screw your partner, not the environment.
Four: But if you do wanna get wet, take a shower together! It saves water and soap, keeps you clean and odor-free and is a perfect opportunity for foreplay.
Five: Not all toys are toxic, but a fair amount of them are — especially the plastic ones. We often overlook labels that read, “For novelty purposes only,” delightfully unaware that it is precisely this label that allows dangerous products to escape liability for consumers’ recreational choices. These unmentionables, largely untested and unregulated, are made with cost-effective PVC and softened with phthalates. The former has long been derided for its toxic residue and the latter is linked with sperm damage and birth defects. Don’t think this has gone under the radar.
Greenpeace — yes, this is serious — issued a “toxic sex toy warning” three years ago.
Switch to glass, silicone, wood and metal, which can double as avant-garde sculptural installations. You can find these and a host of other friendly contraptions at Smitten Kitten (smittenkittenonline.com). Want to go the extra yard? Get rid of the batteries with a solar-powered vibrator from Sola Vibe – it’s even packaged in a trendy hemp bag (sexualarchetype.com). Or, you can go au naturale. Fruits and vegetables are the easiest and oldest sex toys (and free from the sustainable dining halls), not to mention edible and biodegradable. But boil before to soften them up!
Six: Porn is green! Not only does the average porn star earn more green than the average Yale professor, but some purveyors of this lucrative art are donating their profits to save the green that our textbooks are printed on. FFF (fuckforforest.com) raised over $100,000 to protect rain forests through the sale of paid memberships, proving that there is nothing nobler than having sex to save the world — the capitalist way. Switch over your BraZZers subscription, and take a guilt-free study break.
Exception to the rule: Latex condoms are biodegradable — when not immersed in water. This means that you should not try to flush them down the toilet. Stay away from polyurethane condoms, which are not biodegradable, and lambskin condoms, which do not protect against STIs and HIV. Companies like Mamba make vegan condoms, which replace the dairy protein in latex condoms with cocoa powder. However, they do not taste like chocolate. But please do not reduce, reuse or recycle. While condoms cannot be recycled, by all means, use them as often as necessary. Do not go unprotected in an extreme effort to save the planet! Unintended consequences, like kids, eat food, soil diapers, become students and waste paper.
La Wang is a sophomore in Pierson College, and dedicated to improving the sex life of her peers.