Ask Umbra’s 5 surprising things to make you a lover like no other
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It is said that only amateurs wait for Valentine’s Day to express their love. Readers of this column, I know that you are not in that category.
That said, we could all stand to add a few tricks to the sometimes dusty lusty repertoire. So I created this list of five surprising things to make you a lover like no other. Take things up a notch this V day — and every day.
1. Mighty Aphrodite: An aphrodisiac is something believed to heighten one’s sexual prowess. Love goddess Aphrodite, for whom these love potions are named, likely would appreciate it if you pass on the tiger penis, because contrary to the myth, it won’t help you out in the bedroom. Skip the shark fins and unicorn horns, too.
Photo: katkaminOysters to the rescue! Few things make the evening, ahem, moister than the delicious taste of oysters. Perhaps it’s the texture or sucking sound one makes when eating them — or the fact they’re so sustainable that bring on that saucy feeling. As filter feeders, oysters have the added benefit of improving the waters in which they’re raised, which has a way of raising a few other things too. If oysters aren’t your thing, try a little sustainably harvested ginseng. It’ll make your things sing. Chili peppers will make you sweat. Grow them in your own kitchen for hotter effects.
(If your sustainable aphrodisiac lasts four hours or longer, consult your physician.)
2. Protect your sweet thang’s thang: Go ahead and be kinky, kids, but make sure you take endocrine disruption off your list of fetishes. Break up with your blow-up doll and that jelly vibrator, while you’re at it. Lots of popular sex toys are made of PVC — a fancy name for vinyl (no vinyl, that’s final) — or with plastic-softening, hormone-disrupting phthalates. Heat and agitation from use can cause toxins to leach from the toys. Get yourself phthalate-free glass, wood, metal, or silicone, like these toys at Babeland.
While you’re at it, cover your junk with a garlic-flavored, whiskey-flavored, or philanthropic condom. Ladies looking for an elegant, ecologically sound birth control solution, consider the copper IUD. Mind you, there is not a garlic-flavored one nor do they protect against STDs. The IUD is affordable and can be used for up to 10 years.
Don’t be a blue Valentine! Avoid blue balls (or decreased sperm counts connected to endocrine disruptors) and be a breast friend by steering clear of gifts that contain “fragrance,” such as Old Spice and many Eau de Toilets. Read up on what smells funny about fragrance here.
While we’re down here, I’d like to suggest getting some edible organic underwear, but since there are none on the market yet, you might want to give your amore these organic panties instead.
3. Do It Yourselves: This Valentine’s day, put the “it” in DIY. Take things into your own skilled hands and make your lover something to remember while avoiding off-putting parabens. Make your own bath or massage oil with olive oil and essential oils. Or go the distance and make flax seed lube using my va-va-voom video instructions.
4. Show you care and give a fuck: Giving an experience is a great way to show you care without giving not-so-sustainable stuff. Take your special someone to a seasonal, local spot for dinner. Afterward, show your locavore what a locawhore you are … and give these sustainable positions a try: the Bamboo Sheet Boogaloo, How-to-Screw-in-a-CFL, and the Renewable Energy Romp. If you really want to go all the way for the world, consider being an eco-porn activist, like our friends at Fuck for Forest.
5. Be a cunning linguist: Keep learning to speak the language of sustainable love and share what you learn with others. That’s hot pillow talk! Turn on the green light in your bedroom and check out my video on how to be a better Valentine — from chocolate choices to better bouquets, you’ll find more of what you need here. And for the unattached Valentine, check out my favorite green dating advice column, Treeshagger, for tips on how to attract that special sustainable someone.
OK, loves. Have fun this V Day! May Cupid aim his arrow directly at the reusable water bottle that you keep close to your heart.
P.S. Don’t keep what you’ve got to yourself. Share your spicy, sustainable sex secrets in the comments below.
P.P.S. This Friday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, join a live chat with Grist’s Ask Umbra (that’s me!) and TreeShagger, here to answer all of your Valentine’s Day questions about sustainable love, dating, and (oh yeah!) sex. So BaconSalt is vegetarian — but what about BaconLube? Need a date idea that doesn’t suck? You’ve come to the right place.
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