Colloquial tree-huggers can double as physical tree-huggers, but if they drop trou and rapidly gyrate, we may have an ecosexual on our hands.

Ecosexual, for the lay(wo)man, can be squeezed out rapidly and applied liberally. The term has various meanings: It may be one who is sensually aroused by nature. It could be a person who is ceremonially wedded to Mother Earth. It could also mean one who is sustainable between the sheets — and it has been used as defining a love for sustainability in dating profiles.

An ecosexual also defines those who frolic nude in nature, find pleasure in skinny dipping, or those who squirt endorphins after rolling around in a puddle of mud. (Not the band. Gross.)

Finally, it encompasses those who literally peak all over Mother's essence. (Earth, fools.)

I can endorse a rush from late-night park-bench plowing or getting rammed against an aspen while woodland animals watch and eat popcorn. Or straddling a geyser while being spanked with a bristlecone pine branch. But physically engaging in sex acts with botanical matter sounds a bit thorny. And buggy.

Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer when Husband bends me over the trash can and whips my ass with a fly swatter.

I've recently become acquainted with the ecosexual term, but the movement has been around since the turn of the century. Partners Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle have been all about ecosexualism for years — they even officiate weddings between humans and the Earth. The couple says that since we won't destroy our lovers, we should marry our Mother Earth and take care of her.


Fair enough.

Last week in Australia, an experimental art exhibit with an "ecosexual bathhouse" was on display allowing participants to become erotic partners with the Earth, complete with a compost and worm-filled glory hole.

("Bathhouse" has such fond imagery. I see visions of John Travolta shimmying in a hot pink waist towel while glitter rains down from ceiling sprinklers. Bee Gees on repeat.)

I can dig how people find pleasure in the quiet beauty of nature. I can grasp how towering mountain majesties can spark eroticism. I can appreciate the childhood glee of mashing dirt in cracks. But romancing the stone sounds painful.

Plus, where does sanitary etiquette enter the equation? After you ride a fallen tree over a babbling creek, is it like the gym where you towel it dry after a satisfying smoke? Spray it with Lysol? Rub some dirt on it?

Will Mother get a yeast infection?

Things to keep in mind as we usher in this new orientation.

In conclusion, if you set a date with your local ponderosa, don't neglect the pine beetle. It's just simple threesome etiquette.

This is getting weird.

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