Fucking for Forests

Outdoors

Fucking for Forests

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

n 2014, my boyfriend, Tarun, was on a cycling trip in Oslo, Norway, when he encountered something in the Nordmarka forest. It was a butt-naked couple on a tree branch, doing it in the 69 position. He began to cycle away frantically, but then realised that privacy was the last thing they wanted. There was an entire film set behind them.

It turned out to be a session for “Fuck for Forest”, the world’s first ecological porn initiative, started in Norway in 2004. Members are charged for access to photo shoots and videos of people having sex in natural surroundings, and the money is donated to endangered rainforests in Peru, Brazil, and other countries. Oddly enough, the filmmakers weren’t rainbow-loving hippies, but rather dedicated ecological activists offering a “green alternative to commercial erotic entertainment”. The whole movement was obscure, but gained more recognition after it was the subject of an indie documentary, Fuck for Forest, made by the filmmaker Michal Marczak. And once they became embroiled in a public sex scandal, they received sizeable donations every month.

On our fourth date in Pondicherry, where I was stationed for a series of ultra-serious brainstorm sessions with chefs who run local restaurants, Tarun told me about the initiative. “Should we create something similar right here in Pondicherry,” he asked with a wink. I burst out laughing. I did my bit for the environment, but fucking for forests sounded like something tree huggers or the kinky Ku Klux Klan would do. I didn’t have that big a problem with sex in public – it was a bit of a turn on. I’d been to several nudist beaches by then, but really, I was a city and air-conditioners kind of girl, and didn’t feel warmly towards having creepy crawlies going where no creepy crawlie should ever go. Also, how exactly did one do 69 on the branch of a tree?

But that night I mulled over it. Was this Tarun using the environment as an excuse to put his own exhibitionist streak into action? He was a rabid vegan, after all, always concerned about the toxic impact of the meat industry and was here in Pondy to start an organic food café, after getting his fancy degree in Norway. Maybe he really did care, but either way, if I did it, it would be for the fun of it.

The only people interested in what we were doing, were people who sometimes stumbled upon us – if their pointing and screaming were anything to go by.

So on our next date, I agreed to try having sex in a natural space, to see whether it worked for me. It turned out to be a spectacular fail. We had chosen a secluded pond. The water looked inviting enough, but when I got in, I was terrified that the tiny fish, giving my feet a pedicure, would go where fish should never go. So I jumped out, while Tarun threw moody glares at me and swam around in the pond.

Over the next year, though, we kept experimenting with sex in the outdoors and I gradually loosened up. And somehow, it happened – I began to love the thrill of the outdoors. Doing it in the wilderness made for the craziest stories. I’ve had a squirrel jump on my neck when I was trying hard to climax under a tree. I’ve grated against nettle stinging down my back in the middle of the most phenomenal sex and strangely the stinging made it hotter.

It helped having a partner as enthusiastic as mine, of course. He was always keen to make things interesting. One time, we had sex against a cinnamon tree and he used a knife to cut off a slice from the trunk. The top bit of the bark smelled of raw cinnamon, but the bottom smelled like a mix of eucalyptus and Vicks and sent me into raptures. Another time, he sliced open a nutmeg fruit and painted my body with the red frilly bit inside. And it was in Lake Ousteri in the Pondy woodlands that I finally realised fish had no interest in swimming up my privates.

The only people interested in what we were doing, were people who sometimes stumbled upon us – if their pointing and screaming were anything to go by. We’ve been caught by a gaggle of small kids who ran away yelling, twice by white tourists who laughed but didn’t linger, and once by desi tourists who hung around to shout, point, and then oddly egg us on. Whenever this would happen, we’d just keep going and eventually people lost interest and moved away. (Although I’ll admit that I may be Miss Liberated Labia in Pondy and such places, but I wouldn’t dream of doing this sort of thing in the crowded heart of Mumbai.)

So last year, I finally agreed to Tarun’s proposition about kicking off our very own Fuck for Forest vlog. I’m not a mad Norwegian hipster, but my logic was: Hey, if I’m going to indulge in outdoor sex and scandalise people, I might as well make some money to help the environment, right?

So yes, we’re doing it! For our first video, which we’re hoping to launch in July, we plan to climb to the top of a coconut tree and fuck there. This isn’t as easy as it sounds; I take forever to climb just a regular tree quickly right now. We’re currently in the middle of an intense workout regime to prepare our leg muscles for this feat – tons of calf exercises, frog jumps, squats, and hamstring lunges. When we make time, we trek to hill stations and go on long rock-climbing expeditions. Plus practice tree climbing. A wildlife photographer friend has agreed to film the first episode, after which we’ll need to recruit other enthusiasts.

Will people actually dish out money for these antics? I guess we’ll find out. Our only challenge will be anonymity so that we don’t get tangled up in legal suits or invite a fly-down anti-Romeo squad. We will be masked and keep our internet domain anonymous. And if this works out, we may film a fuck fest to protest against the proposed highway through Jim Corbett National Park.

So come July, you may hear outrage on the perversity of human beings and the beating that morality has taken in our time. Take no heed. That will just be Tarun and I, sitting on a tree…

… F.U.C.K.I.N.G

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