People are having sexual fantasies about the biosphere
WALKING into a sex chamber you would expect to see whips, chains and a pair of handcuffs.
But there is a temporary sex house in Melbourne that is nothing like you’d think.
As you venture deeper into the rooms you will find condoms that fit your fingers and surgical masks with grass sprouting from the mouth.
This is the sex house of an ecosexual, a person who makes the land their lover, bringing a whole new meaning to “environmentally friendly” and “whore-ticulture”.
The “Ecosexual Bathhouse” is in the tangles of the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens, created by Ian Sinclair and Loren Kronemyer.
Ecosexuals have fantasies about nature and use their senses of touch to strengthen their romantic and sensual feelings towards the environment.
The whole idea is if somebody can develop sexual attraction and a love for the biosphere, they will in turn look after it going into the future — it’s said to be a type of activism.
Picture: Pony ExpressSource:Instagram
The term “ecosexual” was invented by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, two women who claim to be passionately and fiercely in love with the earth.
On May 1, 2014, the pair publicly married the soil — they were attracted to its power to give life, its beauty and the fact it’s “real dirty”.
Ecosexuals talk dirty to plants, kiss and lick the earth, bury themselves in soil and do nude dances while the environment watches on.
They also swim naked in natural waters, hug and stoke trees and give the earth massages.
Mr Sinclair and Ms Kronemyer, who are a performance duo called Pony Express, were inspired by Stephens and Sprinkle.
A woman gets intimate with a flower. Picture: Pony ExpressSource:Supplied
In Melbourne’s botanic gardens they’ve built six rooms, some have performers and others have a focus on scent and temperature.
The Ecosexual Bathhouse, which opened as part of the Next Wave Festival, is a place where you feel the sensation of nature tantalising your skin.
Contraception is too an important part of ecosexuality and people have to slip a condom over their finger before they stroke the flowers.
“The experience depends on the approach of each participant,” the duo said.
“While Ecosexual Bathhouse is very tongue in cheek, we’ve aimed to make the bathhouse feel as if it exists and is functioning in the real world.”
In the bathhouse, people are whispered sweet nothings in a sauna and can lay in an intoxicating, trancelike storm or be ushered into a room for a private dance with a cuttlefish or bowerbird.
“Our aim was to make the ordinary or everyday feel extraordinary,” the duo said.
A woman embraces her ecosexuality. Picture: Pony ExpressSource:Supplied
The installation involves more than just plants and incorporates wind, water and geology.
Mr Sinclair and Ms Kronemyer said sexual preferences evolved with the surrounding environment so it made sense for the two concepts to intertwine.
“We believe the biggest sex organ is the brain, and that if we apply our faculties for imagination and sensory immersion to the environment, we can learn to love the earth and respect the diversity and intricacy that exist around us everyday,” the duo said.
Mr Sinclair and Ms Kronemyer said they wanted people to question how they related to the biosphere, how much they valued it and how they were immersed in its sexual vitality, whether people acknowledged it or not.
Two women bathe in soil at the Ecosexual Bathhouse. Picture: Pony ExpressSource:Instagram
They said when people had their first brush with ecosexuality they were nervous.
“Reactions have been a mix because we really provide the architecture or tools to explore with,” the duo said.
“Some people have stayed for a really long time and discovered all the hidden, quiet details.
“Mostly people come out re-energised and very soothed or relaxed.
“Some have said they want the show to be even larger with more rooms to go even deeper into the world we’ve created.
“Others have said that as soon as they heard the language around ecosexuality, they knew they identified with it.”
Melbourne’s Ecosexual Bathhouse is being funded by taxpayers, with Melbourne City Council giving the Next Wave Festival $90,000.