This essay considers how environmentalism can be interwoven with discourses of sexuality and the ways in which sexuality can participate in environmental justice movements. By thinking with provocative, erotic media that highlight environmental degradation, it marries investigations of ecological crisis at the hands of deforestation and porn studies with two aims. First, it highlights the fraught relationship a pornographic video aggregator like Pornhub might share with feminist and queer epistemologies. Second, it emphasizes the ecosexual nature of environmental justice by way of Pornhub’s Give America Wood initiative (2014) and the documentary Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (2014). While Goodbye Gauley Mountain and Pornhub are incommensurate in many ways, together they demonstrate how masturbatory ecologies enable a relationship with the environment that can be both active, as in the film’s offering, and passive, as with Pornhub’s, and thus constitute a “perverted” environmental justice through the experience and demonstration of sexuality. A perverted environmental justice envisions a broader framework that recognizes the potential to actively and passively participate in environmental social justice while also enfolding the environment into sexual arrangements. “Masturbatory ecologies” thus signifies a self-gratifying mode of environmentalism that harnesses the self, the body, and the erotic to foster positive environmental world building in apocalyptic times.
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Jeremy Chow; Masturbatory Ecologies: Pornography, Ecosexuality, and Perverted Environmental Justice. Camera Obscura 1 December 2020; 35 (3 (105)): 30–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-8631547
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