Since space is the final frontier and colonisation of Mars is closer to being a reality, the notion of life in zero gravity has to be considered, especially with regards to sex.
The topic of sex in space has been explored continuously over the years since the space race began in fact. According to NASA, no human has ever had sex in space thus far, that they know of at least.
It makes sense since only 11% of the astronauts who entered space have been females. That could change, however since we plan on travelling to Mars in the near future, a trip that will take up to 21 months over hundreds of millions of miles.
Let’s face it, humans are going to live as humans do within such a time and sex is a vital part of that.
So far, no tests have been done to see what would happen to us if we did try the horizontal mambo 200 miles above the earth’s surface.
The only certain data collected on sex in space comes from fruit flies, rats, and wasps. Based on those experiments, we’re not in for a positive experience. When Russian scientists sent rodents into space for 18 months, a few important points arose.
The female rats, while they became pregnant miscarried every time, their hormone levels were severely affected which contributed to lower libidos, and there was also a bit of disorientation from the effects of zero gravity. This doesn’t necessarily have to happen to us, but we do know that life in microgravity affects the human body is similar ways. [via FiveThirtyEight]
What about the act itself, surely that would have its own set of issues?
The main one would be gravitational acceleration, which believe it or not, is needed during a thrust. If a man was to thrust into a woman slightly, it could send her flying across the spaceship, which means they might have trouble staying together.
Another problem that could crop up is the reduced blood flow in space, an important element in maintaining a proper erection. Due to microgravity, hearts don’t have to pump blood as vigorously as they do on earth. With less circulation, it would be difficult.
The stamina it would take to achieve a full session could also be unavailable because muscles shrink significantly as well, any rigorous activity could cause extreme exhaustion in no time.
Plus the sweat? You’d be swimming in it; human bodies have no natural convection to get rid of the heat in space therefore with every move they create more and more perspiration. Gross.
Many innovations have been considered to combat these problems, including the 2suit, invented by writer Vanna Bonta in 2006, described as a garment with multiple applications that would aid human intimacy and procreation by stabilising physical proximity in microgravity.
It’s a flight suit with a front flap that can be attached to another suit with velcro straps. It’s also able to fasten to a stable surface which could help with the whole gravitational acceleration issue previously mentioned.
Pornhub also joined in on the fun, in 2015 they announced plans to film the first ever porn in space using a crowdfunding campaign called Sexploration. Unfortunately, It failed to achieve the required funding, and Sexploration got the kibosh.
However Private Media Group, an adult entertainment production company completed a zero-gravity intercourse scene by doing a steep dive in an airplane from 11, 000 feet. What resulted was only a 20-second clip, but still, it was done. Close, but no cigar.
The topic of sex in space is one that will continue to be explored until we witness astronauts stepping onto the ship that will take them to the Red Planet but it poses another thought to consider, that is bigger than anything else.
To quote Aeon “When we think about a future beyond earth sex is really central to this core question, do we need this planet to survive?”