Make it last: here’s how to have a more sustainable sex life…

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Nothing can kill the mood quite like thinking about our climate crisis. And unfortunately, our sex lives are feeding the planet’s pollution problem. But, thankfully for us (and our pleasure), the sex industry is catching up with the environment conversation. DOSE writer Emily shares her top tips to help you have more sustainable sex… 

Sustainable Sex: The Toy

Yes you’ve stocked your bathroom cupboards with refillable products and ditched those one-use coffee cups. But have you swapped out your sex toys yet? While bringing on-demand pleasure, some of our favourite toys unfortunately equal bad news for the planet. Typically made from rubber, some of those pleasure gadgets leave a trail of toxic carbon. Which severely harms our environment.

Don’t worry though, we’re not about to take away your fun. Especially not after we’ve just celebrated Masturbation May! With the majority of us progressing towards a greener lifestyle, the sex toy industry is listening to our needs. Introducing our favourite eco-friendly sex toy substitute…

Womanizer’s Premium Eco

A sustainable debut, Womanizer’s Premium Eco (RRP £169) is the world’s first ever biodegradable and recyclable pleasure air toy. Taking inspiration from Womanizer’s best-selling Premium toy, which is made of ABS. Instead, the Eco version is made of Biolen, a bioplastic made from 70% natural materials (mainly corn starch). As the toy is equipped with a Smart Silence function, it doesn’t start stimulation until it makes contact with the skin. Until then it’s in standby mode, saving battery life. But even then, it’s rechargeable and has a replaceable battery. So really that baby is never leaving your side. Oh and also, with each purchase, Womanizer plants a tree with charity One Tree Planted. Ah, ending global deforestation and creating a healthier climate, all with our pleasure at the forefront. Womanizer TRULY understood the assignment with this one. Nothing but respect. 

Sustainable Sex: The Condoms

Unbeknownst to many, most mainstream condoms are not vegan. They are generally made with non-biodegradable latex and contain casein, an animal protein that makes them smoother. What’s more, they don’t biodegrade. And as a result, it’s estimated that each year, on average, out of the 5 billion condoms purchased, there’s 22 million pounds of waste. On top of this, non-latex condoms require petroleum to manufacture, a major contributor to global heating greenhouse gases. But don’t worry, using eco-friendly condoms is one of the easiest ways to do your bit. Here are our favourite ones…

Hanx

Hanx Condoms

Offering condoms that are certified ‘Fair Rubber’, Hanx’s latex condoms (RRP from £4.99) are sourced, grown and manufactured with gentle love and care. For both you AND the planet. Not only have they produced some of the most popular vegan condoms, they work ethically with latex plantation companies, ensuring employees work reasonable hours and are paid a fair living wage. So you can purchase and use Hanx, all while knowing you’re supporting the livelihood of others. Reducing their energy consumption, chemical load and overall waste, their production line also uses waste water treatment instead of plastics. And their outer boxes are made from completely recyclable cardboard. It really is a win win.

Roam

Roam Condoms

Created to make sex care less awkward for all, Roam aims to empower those having sex to feel both comfortable and confident. Helping you to explore pleasure in a more natural way, their condoms (RRP from £15) use 50% less plastic than mainstream products. Fairly produced, they pay a premium fee where other companies don’t in order to support rubber farmers build a more sustainable future. So by swapping to Roam, you’re directly positively impacting communities in Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. 

XO!

XO! Condoms

These vegan rubber condoms (RRP from £9.69) are really something. Not only are they carbon neutral and vegan, they even biodegrade in under one year. Once used, of course! They are just as safe as normal condoms but instead, are made from latex which has been sourced in an eco-friendly manner. The rubber in the condoms has been sustainably harvested from rubber trees through the Regenerative Rubber Initiative. Making XO! a certified climate neutral brand. 

We spoke to the digital strategist at XO! and founder of sex-positive platform Cliterally The Best, Evie Plumb, to hear about the sustainable sex movement and passion behind the brand: There are little changes in your sex habits that you can make that can really reduce your impact on the planet. As well as using sustainable condoms, like ours, it’s important to also make sure you are using natural lube. Not only for the environment but for your vagina’s pH as synthetic lubricants can contain petroleum which is a harmful fossil fuel.”

And on that note…

Sustainable Sex: The Lubricants and Sprays

Lube! Great for sex but not always for the environment, and sometimes not even your body. Some lubricants are made with ingredients that have been derived from petroleum. Yes you heard that right. So, it’s not rocket science to think how these products can cause vaginal and cervical damage. Not to mention their release of greenhouse gases. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of  sustainable swaps. As well as some other very fun sprays to spruce up your sex life. Here’s what we love… 

Roam

Roam Lube

Truly making waves in the industry, just like their condoms, Roam’s refreshing gel lubricant (RRP from £15) does the absolute most to help you achieve sustainable sex. Carefully crafted, the gel helps to refresh, hydrate and care for intimate areas during vaginal intercourse, outercourse and self-love. But to be honest, whichever way you use this lube, it’s sure to feel good. And that’s a guarantee. 

Press Pause

Press Pause Intimacy Spray

If you struggle to feel connected, satisfied or stimulated during intercourse, you’re going to want to listen up. With a magical mix of CBD, gassia, ginger, peppermint and rosemary, this sustainable intimacy spray (RRP £60) helps you to ditch discomfort and instead, turn up the sensitivity. Suitable for any gender, this spray can help tackle those common bedroom barriers and truly spruce up your sustainable sex life. To get started, spray a little on intimate areas (during intercourse or solo play) and work your way up slowly with more sprays, until you’ve reached the desired sensitivity. And then, simply sit back and let the magic happen. You can thank us later!

Sustainable Sex: The Porn

Equally valid and if not, the most important factor when it comes to sustainable sex, is reducing the damage of porn on both an environmental and societal level. Let’s start with the unrealistic representation of sex, particularly for women, that most mainstream porn poses on society. Typically, porn has been designed to appeal to men, meaning the women’s role and point of view is rarely taken into account. An inauthentic portrayal of how real, passionate sex should be, this means that the pleasure, consent and respect of women in mainstream porn is usually secondary to the enjoyment of men. As well as creating these impossible standards, most mainstream porn sites, like PornHub, are not only mass producing content unethically but not fairly compensating or paying their workers. I.e. they’re capitalising on women’s creative labour, big time.

Bet this has turned you off right? Don’t worry, we (and the world of ethical porn) have got you. Here’s our favourite…

Cheex

Cheex

Made by women, for women. Ah those five magical words we’ve all been waiting to hear. A safe space for people to explore their sexual empowerment away from shame and taboo, Cheex guarantees a legal and safe porn experience for both the performer and user. Absolutely revolutionary in the industry, this is more than just ethical porn, this is sex education. Showing porn as it should be, Cheex presents diverse sex at it’s finest: genders, sexual orientations, body types, ethnicities and abilities. Not only can you stream films on Cheex, but also audios, live tutorials and podcasts. You name it, they have it. And all that for just £45 for three months. 

There you have it. Easy small swaps, big meaningful changes. See, we told you, sustainability can be sexy!

By Emily

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