We’re not about to tell you to start counting the CO₂ emissions of your sessions. But if you are looking for ways to consider the planet when practising self-pleasure, you’re in luck.
Lovehoney psycho-sexologist Chantelle Otten is one of Australia’s foremost sex and relationship experts. Through her work, she helps people discuss their sexuality, overcome sexual problems and reach eroticism goals. “I like to think of myself as a bit of a sex detective putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, and really helping people get to a place that they feel really good in,” she says.
When it comes to self-pleasure and the planet, Chantelle says she’s definitely noticed a “green sex movement”, with more people seeking sustainable products. These products make climactic goals easier to reach, but they’re also important tools for maintaining overall sexual wellness and improving quality of life.
“We can tell from studies like the Lovehoney Masturbation May research that Aussies masturbate for a variety of reasons, with the most popular being to help them relax [29 per cent], to relieve stress [29 per cent] and to help them sleep [18 per cent],” Chantelle says. Self-pleasure can also improve confidence, be good for mental health and has a range of health benefits, including reducing the probability of heart disease, reducing the risk of prostate cancer and helping with stress relief.
Obviously, there are completely natural ways to get off. But if you’re looking for something more, these are Chantelle’s top tips and products for practising self-pleasure, with the environment in mind.
Chantelle Otten by Lovehoney
If you’re sick of dealing with dead batteries or angry housemates wondering why the TV remote won’t work, then this is your sign to switch to rechargeable options. Aside from the convenience of plugging in to power up, you’ll also save money and create less electronic waste.
Chantelle’s favourite rechargeable products are the Womanizer Premium Eco Smart Silence Clitoral Stimulator and the Lovehoney X Love Not War collection. “The clitoral stimulator is really, really good,” she says. Not just because of the 12 intensity levels either: it’s made from biodegradable material, is completely recyclable and has an exchangeable battery, so it can be replaced after 300 charges.
The Love Not War collection features six vibrators made from recycled aluminium and body-safe silicone. “[They’re also] waterproof, come with eco-friendly storage bags [made from materials like TENCEL and bamboo] and are USB rechargeable,” Chantelle says
Silicone and plastic are the most common materials used to make sex toys, but they’re far from the best options for the environment.
Glass, on the other hand, is made from natural and abundant raw materials (like sand), and high-quality products can generally be recycled. Glass toys are also compatible with just about any type of lube (unlike their silicone counterparts which will break down if used with certain lubricants) and, as Chantelle points out, they have a range of uses in the bedroom, from massage tool to temperature play. “So putting them in the fridge to cool down or submerging them in warm (not hot) water to heat things up. They’re also great for massages and back door, front door, whatever kind of play you want.”
Chantelle says a “good toolbox full of sex toys” is important when it comes to products to add to your self-care routine. But don’t forget the lube.
This is a saturated market so it’s important to remember that not all lubes are created equal. Some contain a huge list of synthetic chemicals, which can irritate skin and disrupt the body’s natural pH levels. For this reason, many people opt for natural alternatives like coconut oil. Foile’s Coconut Body Oil, which is sold in a refillable glass bottle, is great for massage, self-pleasure and foreplay (just be careful if using with condoms as natural oils can compromise the integrity of latex). Organic, natural and water-based formulas are also generally better for bodies and the environment. Some of our favourites include Jonny’s Bonk Lube, Sliquid Organics Natural Gel Lubricant and LBDO’s Essensual Lube
Whether you’re pleasing yourself or someone else, intimate apparel is one of the simplest ways to get in the mood. For sexy options with a sustainable twist, Chantelle recommends Lovehoney Mindful, a collection crafted from waste and recycled materials. Her favourites include fishnet stockings made from discarded fishing nets, seamless boxer shorts made from pre-consumer recycled yarns and lace bra sets made from recycled materials.
Don’t overlook comfort’s ability to arouse either. Sometimes all you need is flattering basics made from high-quality materials to really feel yourself, which is why we love NICO. Its bras and undies are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, TENCEL Modal and recycled cotton and come in a range of complementary cuts and styles.