Time Promotes Green Sex Toys, Like Whips That Are ‘Cruelty-Free (to Cows, That Is)’

The liberals at Time magazine would never want to impose their sexual morality on you – unless it involves environmentalism. The October 26 issue features an article headlined "Sex and the Eco-City: Look out, petroleum jelly. Getting it on is getting greener." Writer Kathleen Kingsbury began:

In many ways, choosing a sex toy is not unlike buying a car. Walk into most adult shops, and the new-car smell is undeniable. Salespeople tout motor speed and durability. And then there are emissions to consider.

That's carbon emissions, of course. As the green movement makes its way into the bedroom, low lighting is a must--to conserve electricity--but so are vegan condoms, organic lubricants and hand-cranked vibrators.

The captions beneath a collection of "eco-friendly" offerings to go "Green Between the Sheets" included the promo "Nonleather whips are cruelty-free (to cows, that is)."

Kingsbury noted that eco-ethics are causing some people to forego artificial contraceptives, which would normally alarm the liberals at Time, but there are those vegan condoms, and the other implements:

Nikki Walker, 35, an actress in New York City, stopped taking the Pill because of concerns about the effects of excess estrogen on her body and the environment. "I do yoga every day and eat vegetarian," she says. "Why wouldn't I go green in this area of my life?"

Walker recently attended her first Tupperware-style pleasure party, thrown by Oregon-based Earth Erotics, where the goods for sale included organic massage oils and whips made of recycled inner tubes. At a time when Americans are just getting used to prime-time ads for Trojan and K-Y, eco-consumers are learning that most of the personal lubricants in the U.S.--drugstores sold $82 million worth of them last year--contain chemicals found in oven cleaner and antifreeze.

Kingsbury notes that the Catholic Church’s promotion of Natural Family Planning (monitoring fertility cycles without artificial contraceptives) as going green, and then, naturally, calls on Trojan to explain the usual Time point of view, that extra children are an ecological menace:

The Roman Catholic Church is catching on to the organic trend. "People pay $32 for eye cream because they're told it is good for them and the planet," says Jessica Marie Smith, who repackaged the NFP program at the diocese of Madison, Wis. "We figured we could do the same with NFP."

NFP detects ovulation by monitoring a woman's temperature and the amount of cervical mucus. But this process is not 100% accurate. And several studies on climate change note that the best way to protect the planet is to have fewer children. "Around the world, more than 40% of pregnancies are unintended, and full access to birth control is still unmet," says Jim Daniels, Trojan's vice president for marketing. "Meeting that unmet need would translate into billions of tons of carbon dioxide saved."

To that end, Trojan makes latex condoms as well as ones made of biodegradable lambskin. Other brands offer a vegan variety that replaces the dairy protein in latex condoms with cocoa powder. And no, they don't all taste like chocolate.

For all the fun, Kingsbury does beat around the bush when she suggests an "increase in sales of sex toys such as stainless steel, mahogany -- yes, you read that correctly -- and glass." Time doesn't seem to wonder whether putting glass objects in sensitive openings is a safety hazard -- even armed with euphemisms.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis