The Earth is sexy. Annie Sprinkle had a sense of that even as a child, skinny-dipping in the glacial lakes of the High Sierra. Beth Stephens felt those same stirrings as a kid growing up in Appalachia, when she straddled bucking horses for rodeos. In 2008, Sprinkle and Stephens made that relationship official—the couple symbolically married the Earth.
“We thought, who needs the rights and protections of marriage? The Earth,” says Stephens, today a professor in the Art department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Their resulting performance piece, “Green Wedding to the Earth,” was equal parts earnest, playful, and avant-garde. Guests were given bags of soil to breathe deeply from during the ceremony. Soprano Emma McNairy performed an operatic striptease. The ceremony kicked off a new environmental movement: ecosexuality.
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