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Nature might be one of your best lovers.

Good lovers make you feel beautiful, embodied, satisfied, and nourished—–the Earth is one of them.

The queerest thing we can do is push the boundaries of how we imagine relationships with ourselves, other people, and even nature. You read that right. We don’t only have access to relationships with other humans, but also nature and the world around us. It’s waiting to be your next lover, if you want it!

Picture this:

You’re lying in the lush grass, a slight breeze brushes over your leg hair, your arms exposed to receive all the summer sun has to give when a fresh strawberry hits your lips as you feed yourself. It’s deliciously erotic. You hear birds chirping in the distance. Nowhere to be, slowness sinks in. You feel relaxed, at peace. This is an ecosensualist’s dream!

Have you ever seen honey drip from a honeycomb? Wondered what else the shape of a hole in a tree reminds you of? Is it possible to be turned on by nature? You just might be after imagining some of these sights. If that intrigued you, you might resonate with the idea of ecosensuality. This understanding, and identity for some, looks at the Earth as sensual and cultivates an intentional relationship with it. The way a river runs, the curvature of a tree trunk, the openness of a spring tulip are all pleasurable parts of the Earth to look at or touch.

This practice of eroticism can be sexual, but it does not have to be. Playing with your food and rolling around in the sand may peak your desire, or it may just be a way to get in touch with yourself. Teachings from Audre Lorde tell us the Erotic is a feeling of aliveness, a connection to your emotions and spirit. There are many opportunities in the natural environment around us to embody our eroticism and tap into pleasure.

What brings you back to your sense of self?

Nature can serve as a place to bring your most authentic self. It invites you to get in touch with your senses and interact with them in a conscious way. Nature can remind you to stay soft, inspire you to honor your own seasons, accept your rage, and mirror necessary grounded energy.

Nothing remains static forever. Nature celebrates death, growth, and rebirth. A relationship with the Earth can remind you that changes in your body, desire, sexuality, gender, and relationships are welcome and inevitable. The Earth doesn’t demand perfection, why should you expect that of yourself? Variance is all around us.

Spending time outdoors can help with emotional regulation. The way that plants and the rest of nature adapts to the environment is something we can call on in times of dysregulation. If you’re feeling overstimulated, you can mimic the shape of a rock, rounded and at rest. When you want to expand and take up space, call on the persona of a flower in full bloom.

The Earth can help us unpack shame and be our most natural self too, by inspiring us to explore how you want to dress, grow your body hair, style your makeup, tattoos, and other body art. Seeing what we would call “imperfections” (based on colonial, white, and heteronormative standards) as normal and allowing us to write a new narrative about how we perceive ourselves is the ultimate goal.

Ways to explore your connection to the outside world

If you’re wondering where to start, here are some accessible ideas that you might already be doing.

  • Admiring what grows from the ground
  • Eating outside
  • Nurturing plants in your home
  • Floating in a body of water
  • Hanging out with friends outside
  • Planting your feet in the dirt
  • Singing, making, or listening to music outdoors

Reflect on how the environment impacts you as you partake in these activities.

What can we do for the Earth

Ecosensualists also tend to be environmentalists! By honoring that the Earth is a living, breathing being that deserves to be protected, respected, and interacted with, not neglected and depleted, we are participating in a relationship with nature.

We’re not detached from the Earth. If we are disconnected from nature, we are disconnected from ourselves and each other. Our relationship with the Earth mimics our interpersonal relationship with one another and vice versa. If you’re looking for more content about sensuality and eroticism, @queersextherapy and @theexpansivegroup offer some valuable perspectives.

So, the Earth might already be your lover; exciting your senses, calling you into self-reflection, encouraging community connection, and asking you to tend to its longevity and wellness. There are a multitude of ways to commune with nature around you. As the weather gets warmer, use that as a chance to step outside, literally, and outside of your comfort zone to find new ways to love the Earth. However you choose, it will give back to you tenfold.