Occasionally, someone will combine a few of my interests for me and they will ask me if I think people have had sex in space, or if I think they will. This conversation often travels down the path of sexual logistics in zero gravity and what needs to be considered in order for sex in space to happen.
Since I have been reading Mary Roach’s book, Packing for Mars, my thoughts on this question had to be modified. Recently, a friend again asked me about what I thought it would take to make “making-it” possible at zero G. So, I thought I should share my thoughts on the matter with the World.
My change in opinion based on Roach’s book wasn’t because of her own commentary on sex in space. Instead, it is based on astronaut training simulations and how they deal with natural bodily excretions. Essentially, basic laws of physics, along with some sort of puritanical standards we set for governmental representatives and national icons, are what stand in the way of extra-terrestrial bone-jumping. Setting the latter problem aside, people have pondered and only minimally given experimental attention to the former.
The thing is, while we have not seen successful copulation at zero G, we have seen several activities involving coordinating movement with two people in space and in parabolic flights and neutral buoyancy experiments and testing.
I used to be an advocate of creating a special sex-in-space suit, like the two suit, designed by Vanna Bonta. This suit tries to account for problems associated with free floating by binding two people together.
I think it may be over compensating, though. Bonta’s suit doesn’t give enough space for imaginative boning. Thanks to traits we inherited from our primate ancestors, we humans are remarkably good at grasping. Grasping, as it turns out, is all we need to keep ourselves from drifting away from our fuck buddy at zero G, just as is done in space to navigate astronauts around each other during cooperative activities. Sex, of course, generally involves much more grasping. In order to prevent acceleration in unpredictable directions, we can use another feature that is already around modern space vehicles, handles and footholds for anchoring.
This leaves us with only one more physical barrier to space fuck ability: sexual byproducts. In space, the junk our bodies produce can cause all kinds of problems. Special procedures are used for bathing and pissing. With sex, the risk of large globs of viscous fluid jamming up important instruments might be greater than the risk of free-floating, gyrating bodies. Condoms are nice, but would be difficult to manipulate in zero G environments. One fumble with the removal of a condom and the individual may accidentally create an experiment on how important control panels are not resistant to the force and contents if a cum-bullet, created by a space-condom catapult. When astronauts have to, containing urine involves connecting oneself to a vacuum and they have to make sure they don’t pee faster than the vacuum can suck. Imagine creating a vacuum device for cum-sucking during intercourse, when just peeing in space is so complicated.
I once saw a video of astronaut Mike Massimino describing how astronauts use the toilet. In the video, he shows a bag for catching zero G shit that has been expelled from astro butts. I imagine that a longer, narrower version of this bag, equipped with a kind of drawstring, may be the key to jizz-containing technology during sexual activity at zero G. I suspect, since it is likely that masturbation has happened in space (and not being aware of other available equipment), these bags may already have gone through a test run, of sorts.
I don’t think sex in space would be as complicated as many seem to think. I think tools for successful intercourse are likely on board the ISS, though, they were meant for other things. This doesn’t mean sex has happened, I doubt it has, but it means it is probably not as difficult as we try to make it out to be.