- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

An experimental art festival in Sydney, Australia, this week features a project deemed the world’s first “ecosexual bathhouse.”

The Syndey LiveWorks Festival taking place Nov. 1-5 includes a project by artists Loren Kronemyer and Ian Sinclair of Pony Express. The “multi-chamber walk through labyrinth” is designed to introduce participants to the “world of environmental eroticism.”

“We may look back on 2016 as the year ecosexuality hit the mainstream,” Vice News, which broke the story, said Wednesday.

Amanda Morgan, a faculty member at the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences, told the website that there was a wide spectrum of behavior found within the ecosex “movement.” She said there are “people who roll around in the dirt having an orgasm covered in potting soil,” but also individuals who “[expletive] trees.”

Promotional material for the event found on performancespace.com.au bills it as “an immersive experience inviting you to leave the urban wasteland behind and open yourself up to an intimate encounter with the biosphere.”

“Catering to all — from the mildly bio-curious to the environmentally experienced — we encourage you to embrace the earth and give in to your budding naturist,” the advertisement reads. “Drawing on the Eco-sex manifesto by Annie Sprinkle and Dr Elizabeth Stephens, Ecosexual Bathhouse explores a radical environmentalism where the political becomes very personal. The six awe-inspiring spaces of Ecosexual Bathhouse invite us to reconsider the relationship between humans and nature: because if we can learn to the love the Earth, then maybe we can save it.”

Many Vice readers were not supportive of the project.

“The inevitable cul de sac of progressivism/liberalism. Trump 2016,” wrote Bill Bissenas on Wednesday.

“Amusing oddballs today, illegal to make fun of them tomorrow,” added Richie Cahill.

“So tree hugging has moved on to tree bumming. I can see the natural progression here!” joked Mat Fox.

Vice also noted that last year’s San Francisco Pride Parade featured 100 activists who added an ‘E’ to the LGBTQI acronym in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Artists Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephen claimed Oct. 5 in an article with Outside magazine that roughly 100,000 people openly support the movement.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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