We’ve had clean eating, clean sleeping, er, clean everything. But just when you thought we’d reached peak clean our obsession with all things ‘clean’ moves to the bedroom. Yep, the next phase in ‘clean’ living is all about clean sex.
And nope we’re not just talking about getting jiggy in the shower, clean sex is actually much more about having sex with a conscious. Think vegan condoms, organic lube and biodegradable sex toys.
“Increasingly millennials are taking more care to live a “clean” or “eco” lifestyle, and this includes sex,” explains Jess Wilde, Resident Sexpert for Lovehoney.
“In the past 10 years there’s been a 360% increase in the number of people embracing a vegan lifestyle, and the vast majority of those people fall within the 25-34 age gap: aka. The future,” she continues.
“This conscious awakening is transcending into all areas of our life – from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, and the things we purchase…and that includes sex aids.”
So if you fancy upping your clean game, here’s how to apply it to your sex life and make sure your orgasms are of the eco variety.
Condoms are big (winky face emoji) business with some studies estimating the industry to be worth around £3.6billion. Every year in Britain more than 27 billion condoms are sold, but over 60 to 100 million of those are improperly discarded. It seems our go-to sexual protection is taking its toll on the planet.
“Not many people realise that most condoms are not vegan-friendly and actually contain a substance called casein, which is derived from milk,” explains Jess. “So sourcing vegan-friendly condoms is a great way to enjoy ‘cleaner’ sex. Cutting out animal-based products from your life is the biggest way you can have a positive impact on the environment and if you can apply ethos to your whole life, including sex, even better. (Plus who wants cow juice in their bits, anyway?!)”
Jess says that sourcing vegan-friendly condoms is proving a little difficult in the UK, but leading the way for condoms with a conscience is Australian brand Glyde, who have introduced the first ethical, vegan and fair trade condom. Made from non-toxic materials, making them safer and healthier, there’s no horrible latex smell either.
What’s not to love?
‘Clean’ sex toys
No, we don’t just mean washed. “Another way to practice ‘clean’ sex is to buy high quality products which are designed to last a lifetime,” explains Jess.
“Not only does choosing a toy that’s built to last step away from the throwaway culture many of us have become accustomed to, but most high-end sex toys are made from body (and therefore planet) friendly materials like silicone, glass or metal. These materials don’t use nasty phthalate plasticizers which are harmful to the planet,” she continues.
“Choosing products like these enables easier recycling and stops any nasty toxins being leaked into the environment when they’re broken down.”
Another way to up your clean game is to opt for rechargeable sex toys. “Many rechargeable sex toys are now made with lithium ion batteries which are designed to last forever*,” explains Jess.
“Not only does this stop you from buying batteries (which end up in the landfill anyway) but it also saves you the pain of stealing batteries from your TV remote every time you want a fondle. (Note: Using rechargeable batteries in a standard battery-operated sex toy is not recommended. Rechargeable batteries are slightly bigger than standard batteries and will get stuck inside your toy!)”
*not actually forever, but close!
Sex toy recycling might sound like a step too far, but it’s totally a thing! “When it comes to recycling sex toys (yes, that’s a thing!) it’s important that any electrical items are disposed of correctly,” says Jess. “This includes anything with moving parts – so whether it’s mains powered, rechargeable or battery operated, it all counts.”
“Unfortunately (but not totally surprisingly) many people feel a bit uncomfortable about taking their old rabbit vibrator to the recycling plant or leaving it on the side of the road for collection.”
Thankfully though, Lovehoney offer a free recycling service. “Just send us your old vibrator and we’ll make sure it gets sent off and broken down properly within the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive,” says Jess.
Turns out some lubes can be harmful to our ladyparts, so it’s worth seeking out some of the more natural varieties.
“When it comes to lubes, choose cruelty-free, vegan-friendly lubes,” recommends Jess. “Not only does this have the same benefit as choosing vegan-friendly condoms, but by going cruelty-free you’re not buying into the animal testing industry.”
“Guilt-free, 100% clean sex starts with a conscience, and this is a great place to start. Not only that, but products which go through human testing are much more reliable and again, who wants animal stuff near their hoo-haa?”
And if you want to go completely natural, look no further than coconut oil. “A great all natural lubricant you can use is coconut oil, but beyond that it’s not recommended you used oils near or in your bits,” says Jess.
“We, as humans, are water based and therefore struggle to absorb oils. Plus, oil-based lubricants are not compatible with silicone toys so if you want to get a lube that’s safe with your new silicone toy, you’ll need to go water-based.”
For a simple, body-friendly water-based lubricant Jess recommends Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant
Bondage with a conscience
“If you’re into bondage, avoiding leather is a great way to do your part for the environment,” explains Jess. “Choosing products made from faux leather is great, but even better is choosing something which is recyclable like silicone or metal.”
If you’re going all out clean in the bedroom department it’s important to think about the, er, package. Or rather the packaging. “Many of the things we do already in order to reduce our carbon footprint can be applied to shopping for sex toys and sex products,” explains Jess. “For example, choosing products with minimal or eco-friendly packaging is a great place to start.”
Would you give ‘clean’ sex a go? Let us know @YahooStyleUK