The Mile High Club is old news. Thanks to today’s technological advances and the soon-to-be commercial trips outside the atmosphere, it’s the 64-mile-high club people should really be shooting for.
But that begs the big question: Is it even feasible to have sex in space?
As far as anyone is acknowledging, no one has yet had sex in space (although American astronaut Ron Garan confirmed that “quiet time” could be found on the International Space Station in a Reddit AMA — read: “spacesturbation”). There have, however, been plenty males and females (including one married couple) aboard the same spacecraft simultaneously (not to mention any number of homosexual encounters that could have taken place). So, naturally, the sex in space question has come up more than once before.
And whether NASA admits to wondering about and studying the issue of sex in space or not, plenty of other researchers have. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of things that could get in the way.
For one, men can thank gravity for their boners. Gravity helps regulate a man’s blood flow to his lower extremities. Space lacks that necessary gravitational pull, although Garan’s AMA hints that it’s not impossible.
Things would be tricky for women as well.
“Vaginal wetness could be an issue,” Anderson University physicist John Millis told BuzzFeed, “as the fluid — like sweat and tears — will tend to pool at the location of secretion in the absence of gravity. This wouldn’t inhibit arousal necessarily, but I imagine it would be uncomfortable/unpleasant.”
The phenomenon that Millis mentions has been seen in astronaut’s sweat. Water molecules stick together like glue in space, and instead of falling down and off of the astronaut’s body, the molecules will clump into miniature lakes and pools among the natural crevices of the body. It’s not exactly a bed of roses.
Finally, if you do manage to get past all of those difficulties, actually copulating could be the hardest part. And as with the issues above, gravity is to blame.
“Every push or thrust will propel the astronaut in the opposite direction,” Millis told BuzzFeed. “Imagine a pair of ice skaters standing on fresh ice. If they were to push their hands against one another, they would each shoot backwards away from each other.”
Until NASA opens up that wellspring of sex in space research they are surely hiding from the world, however, we may never know for sure.