(Warning: This story contains descriptions of the emerging "eco-sex" movement that may offend some readers.)
OK, class, it's time to get down and dirty – really dirty.
Your next assignment is to have sex with the Earth.
Yes, that's right.
You can sensually roll in the mud, make passionate love to a hulking tree or even pursue a long-term romantic relationship with the ocean.
It's all part of an eco-sex trend exploding on Google searches in the last year, thanks in part to art professor Elizabeth Stephens, who teaches at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The movement involves a combination of art, sex and environmentalism.
Stephens, who is also chairwoman of the art department at the California state-funded university, has been filmed in documentaries, or eco-sex flicks, doing "the nasty" with nature.
And, somehow, doing the deed with Earth is supposed to save the environment from human destruction.
This "tree-hugging" professor isn't merely hugging trees. In the 2013 film "Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story," she and her female partner massage river rocks, lick trees, frolic naked in a stream and slather mud on one another. Stephens is now working on "Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure." According to The College Fix, "Water Makes Us Wet" is set to debut in Germany this week.
The following is a trailer for Stephens' "Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story." (Warning: This film has been edited but contains "eco-sexual" content that may offend some readers):
In June, UC Santa Cruz announced that Stephens and performance artist Annie Sprinkle offered an "Ecosex walking tour."
"Come experience 25 ways to make love to the Earth, raise awareness of environmental issues, learn ecosexercises, find E-spots, and climax with the planetary clitoris," the UC Santa Cruz announcement stated. "You might discover that you are ecosexual too!"
And that wasn't the only taxpayer-funded hank-panky happening at UC Santa Cruz under Stephens' leadership.
Stephens helped host an "Ecosex Symposium" at the university on May 18 and 19 with workshops on "Decolonizing Settler Sexuality" and "Academic Freedom In An Ecosexphobic World." The symposium announcement stated: "Join us for a multi-disciplinary gathering to explore our relationships with the environment and social justice, engage in human/non-human collaboration, critique ideologies and debate new sexualities. What happens when we posit the Earth as our lover? Let's examine where our 'bodies' end and 'nature' begins."
Stephens, who is author of "The Explorer's Guide to Planet Orgasm: For Every Body," has "explored themes of feminism, environmentalism, and queerness for twenty-five years," according to her Amazon biography.
The College Fix also noted that the eco-sex trend was featured in the June issue of Teen Vogue magazine. In a story titled "Ecosexuals Are Queering Environmentalism," the issue described a sexual act called "Grassilingus." The explanation involved a "gender-fluid" musician licking grass.
"Whether it's masturbating with water pressure, using eco-friendly lubricant, or literally having sex with a tree — a person of any sexual proclivity who finds eroticism in nature, or believes that making environmentalism sexy will slow the planet’s destruction, can be ecosexual," Teen Vogue explained. "The term ecosex is like the word 'queer'; its meaning varies – a movement, an identity, a sexual practice, an environmental activist strategy – depending on who you ask."
Teen Vogue also took the opportunity to get in a dig on President Trump: "The ecosex sphere may still be evolving, but one thing is clear, with the Trump administration's threat on environmental protections, women's bodily autonomy, and queer and trans rights, it's necessary to find new ways to get people motivated to come together to protect the planet and sexual freedom."
In November, Breitbart News reported that at least 100,000 people around the world are claiming to be "ecosexual."
Stephens and Sprinkle have also officiated at least 19 "weddings to various nature entities" in nine countries. The ceremonies included marriages to earth, the moon and various other aspects of the environment.
According to the couple's manifesto, which was published by Breitbart, the couple declares:
We make love with the Earth. We are aquaphiles, teraphiles, pyrophiles and aerophiles. We shamelessly hug trees, massage the earth with our feet and talk erotically to plants. We are skinny dippers, sun worshippers, and stargazers. We caress rocks, are pleasured by waterfalls, and admire the Earth’s curves often. We make love with the Earth through our senses. We celebrate our E-spots. We are very dirty.