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Why Using Sex Toys, Watching Porn, and Going Green Is an Easy Fit

From pedal-powered sex toy delivery services to recycling vibrators, the adult industry has actually made going green sexy.

On Friday the 13th of August 2004, Florida got the first of a series of hurricanes that would knock us even more senseless than we usually are. Crazy, dangerous days followed Hurricane Charley here in Orlando -- days with power lines littering the streets, Red Cross trucks bringing us ice and in the dark, sweltering nights without power. All news and light was dependent on batteries. I had batteries. Within 36 hours I used them all up in my vibrator.

I was not the only one. Nine months after the hurricanes, births in some central Florida hospitals shot up 21 to 26 percent according to USA Today.

Conservative Republicans who live in fear that someone, somewhere is having an orgasm, might do well to note this. People who don't have anything to do -- like work or spend money -- are free to have tons of wild, working-class sex. Sometimes the only optimistic thing in your life is an erection.

So it was a stroke of genius when Larry Flynt of Hustler and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild, asked Congress for a $5 billion bailout for the porn industry. It was the first and only laugh anyone has provided in regard to the economy thus far, with two generations of porn kings pointing out that the emperor had no clothes. Some of us thought -- well I thought -- for the first time -- "Hey, yeah! WTF? Why do they get a bailout? Where's everyone else's bailout? Where's my bailout?"

Flynt has since owned up to the joke (remember, this is a guy whose use of satire got him sued -- unsuccessfully -- by Jerry Falwell in a landmark First Amendment case). He told the crowd at the XBiz State of the Industry conference that he's "anti-stimulus and anti-bailout," but also "I think we all need to support Obama," and. "There are people out there who are really hurting."

Dang! And we had the perfect plan to put the adult industry in the pink: having it go green.

"Obama has touted green energy as a way to create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. The stimulus includes money to boost alternative-energy products and increase efficiencies in buildings," says an Associated Press story on the stimulus plan.

With a president keen on the fact that renewable is do-able and a country keen to embrace green as the new black (if only because reduce, reuse, recycle is a cheaper way to live), we looked for some ways in which the adult industry can -- and already is -- making our sexual world and the world of adult entertainment as green as the Grinch's ass.

Green Filmmaking

"You can, in any line of work, bring in green thinking," actor and independent filmmaker Larry Fessenden ( Wendigo, Habit) says in a phone interview. Fessenden was far ahead of the eco-friendly curve when he wrote Low Impact Filmmaking, A Practical Guide to Environmentally Sound Film & Video Production in 1992, a book that is now, appropriately enough, available online.

"Even something as simple as printing a script on both sides of the page," can make a difference, he says. And adult films are already a model of the industry. "There's a certain minimalism to porn," Fessenden says. "There's no large emphasis on the script, so not a lot of paper waste ... not a lot of effort made in terms of location or set building. Or costumes." He's joking ... somewhat.

"Another thing about porn ... it's found primarily on the Internet, which is the most eco-friendly delivery system of entertainment, as opposed to manufacturing and shipping DVDs." Some of Fessenden’s advice for Flynt and friends to go eco includes "make sure there's a good recycling program for his magazines," and when asked if passing them around would work, he goes me one further and suggests having them bound for future generations to enjoy. "Pick up green advertising," he says, and feature "more nude recyclers ... nude people building wind farms."

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