Planetary Lovers: On Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’s Water Makes Us Wet
This chapter examines Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’s “sexecology,” a multi-year art and activist project that presents the earth as lover, source, and receiver of polymorphous pleasures. Through the close reading of writings, performances, and the documentary Water Makes Us Wet—An Ecosexual Adventure (2017), the essay shows how Sprinkle and Stephens contribute to queering the ecological imagination. In addition to complicating the gendered trope of Mother Earth, they draw attention to social ecologies of dirt and sanitation that are connected to hierarchies of race and sex. However, while Sprinkle and Stephens complicate Mother Earth, they rely on the notion of partnership between humans and the planet. The chapter concludes with an exploration of a different notion of care that takes alterity, rather than reciprocity, as its point of departure.
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