With the looming reality of space tourism creeping its way into mainstream consciousness, the question of sex in space has become a popular topic of late, and understandably so. I mean, let’s face it; there just aren’t that many frontiers left to conquer here on the ground. Space travel, in even it’s most limited definition, is one of the true remaining adventures left to humanity (at least until our jetpacks finally arrive). And with nearly three generations having come of age since man first walked on the moon, for many, the opportunity to indulge in space tourism has been a long time coming. Thus, it’s natural for us to romanticize space travel and the new thrills and experiences it promises.
So it should come as no surprise that over the past few years, space sex has become a hot topic, inspiring numerous articles, blog posts, the occasional television documentary, and even a book. Yet for all this attention, little has been said about implications arising from the relative success or failures of extra-terrestrial copulation. Whether or not sex in space is possible, let alone enjoyable, could impact our collective future in so many ways that I’m amazed the subject isn’t taken more seriously. After all, we’re not just talking about cheap thrills here; we’re talking about the survival of the species.
From biology to psychology, the challenges of space travel have so far proven hard to transcend. Everything we are, everything that makes us human, is intimately tied to life on this planet. We’re just not built to survive in space. Our bones weaken, our muscles atrophy. And when faced with long term exposure to the enormity and desolation of the cosmic void, the psychological toll can be immense. In a way, we’re all prisoners of evolution, tethered to our little corner of the cosmos.
Taken in this light, sex in space acquires a kind of poetic relevance that’s rarely explored when discussing the topic. More than just another novel consumer thrill or mere fodder for scientific analysis, mastering extraterrestrial sex would be a symbolic act of extreme importance. When it comes down to it, sex and reproduction drive our most primal instincts; the propagation of the species. They are the seeds of civilization, literally. Pardon the puns, but one can argue that successful copulation in space represents the climax of human evolution; a triumph of man over the limitations of his nature, finally opening the door to a new future for humanity beyond our planet.
Given the advent of space tourism and the continued success of the International Space Station, many believe sex in space is right around the corner, if it hasn’t happened already. With that said, it’s worth taking a look at where we presently stand in relation to this potential milestone, how it might unfold, and what the implications of it may be, both in the short and long-term future.
Part 1: The Here and Now