A recent poll in Nuts – a British magazine normally more interested in women’s body parts than their opinions – rated “environmental awareness” as the No 1 quality that women are looking for in a man. And Times journalist Anna Shepard writes that “what us ladies prefer in these enlightened times is a green hunk who will lug out the recycling every week, get his hands mucky in the garden and turn the TV and DVD player properly off at night so that we don’t have to”.
Phoebe James, 32, couldn’t agree more. She knows immediately whether it’s going to work with a guy by what he’s got stored in his bathroom cabinet.
“Full-on deodorant sprays and aftershaves just turn me off. If he’s not thinking about what he’s putting into the environment or into his body, there’s no point. I don’t want to be with someone like that.”
For others, the deal-breaker can be too much meat or what car they drive. There are always greener ways of doing things – including sex.
For guidance in this area, Greenpeace has issued an eco-friendly sex guide that includes such helpful hints as turning off the lights – “if you want to see your partner, or what you are doing, have sex during the day” – and reminds us to “make love, not war”. As they say, “You can be a bomb in bed without nuking the planet.”
The connection between sex, dating and the environment is nothing new. Tree-hugging hippies were shouting about free love back in the 60s and I’m sure Adam only had one thing on his mind when he picked that apple for a naked Eve. The difference now is that environmental issues have become a mainstream discussion topic and, of course, a marketing opportunity. Get Julia Roberts behind the wheel of a Prius or Orlando Bloom attaching a wind turbine to his London house and you’ve got instant sales. Sex is being used to sell the environment – and the environment is being used to sell sex.