Sex in Space?

Space has been a fantasy I have recently been exploring. I love space-themed movies and TV shows; they provide a detailed feeling of extraterrestrial life outside the one we’ve known. Aesthetically, space can be a beautiful setting or an amazing plot point to a movie, like it is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Stories that are accompanied by the mysteries of time and space expose me to a new world of opportunities. Where I’m not bogged down by physical properties—where I can live freely without gravity holding me down, unless I’m in a spaceship with a “gravity atmosphere” built in. These movies are the reason we Earth-dwellers fantasize about space, using it as a genre for our own narratives. But that narrative can only be taken so far; thriller, horror or even documentary styles and themes can be applied to space without ruining the mystery of the unknown.  

But romance? 

Romance has no place in the intergalactic future. From Zap Brannigan from Futurama to even Aurora Lane from Passengers, romance is the very thing that will lead us to the end of fun space trips for humans. Someone is gonna copulate in that spaceship for the “survival of the human race,” and I want to know (for a friend) if I should blindly believe what movies tell me about space. That I can have a sexual escapade in a spacecraft and expect nothing different to my normal, gravity-riddled life. The very point of a romantic film is to extort a small reality for the viewer, but how do we know that reality is real? We’re not naive enough to fall for a trope without questioning its very possibility. But that still raises an important question: why would people want to have sex in space? And more importantly for me, what will this mean for erotic content creators?

For the fellow weirdos of the world, I want to know if it is possible to have sex in space. I want to disprove 1970s space apocalypse novels and show that death is better than space sex. To start, we know that the layout of the space shuttle would provide little to no privacy to astronauts, unless they are into exhibitionism, of course. The five-person crew generally splits up for sleeping time: two of them bed down in a pair of tiny crew cabins at one end of the station, and the third might jump in a sleeping bag at the other end, almost 200 feet away. (The panel-and-strap design of a space bed might not be that conducive to lovemaking.)[1]. On a larger shuttle with a crew of five members there may be enough space (technically) for the spontaneous couple, but it might be difficult to get alone time. Plus, to actually get busy on the shuttle, we’d have to utilize the space bed: a super uncomfortable pallet bed attached to the wall of the shuttle with straps. Theoretically, it’s possible to have sex in space, but the mood might feel more like a psychological thriller than a romance. 

Strapped to a wall with bright overhead lights shining on your nude body and space outside the window, I would feel like the next victim in line for Hannibal Lecter, but in an erotic way. This is just my speculation, hypothesis even: The best way to know about this for sure is to test it. Imagine if OnlyFans teamed with Pornhub and went to space, that’s our opportunity to truly test if space sex is possible. The fame from Pornhub as a company is enough to team up with SpaceX and hold research on “space intimacy.” If that sounds familiar that’s because there was a conspiracy that NASA held a study on having sex in space! In fact, French author Pierre Kohler claimed that NASA had commissioned a study on sexual positions in outer space. He cited a document, widely available online, that describes subjects experimenting with ten different positions, six of which required an elastic band or sleeping-bag like tube to keep the couple physically within reach in zero gravity[1]. This study was later disproved by NASA and other astronauts stating sex isn’t the possible with their busy schedule, but this shows a want for erotic content in space. The fact that someone would imitate government research and lead someone to write a book further analyzing the research, proves there is an interest in the subject. I want to experience what intimacy in space would be like without the over saturation from the media.

 The best way to internalize that experience is to conduct a study, and use our findings to write a factual romance (or porn) film, but who will be our subjects? Lastly, how are we gonna see this (for science reasons)?And how will we gather our  results and analysis of the study? I like to believe that due to the state of the world, we can rely on the internet to help satisfy our deepest fantasies. We can rely on virtual reality (VR) to give us a closer experience to the question at hand: how can people have sex in space? And because we live in a digital era that should be relatively simple. Right? VR has provided humans an interactive experience without even leaving our quarantine corner. But I’m talking about space, being strapped to a bed in a small room with five other people on board—it’s gonna be difficult to even fit equipment in a standard shuttle. So how would we even film ourselves for some premium OnlyFans content, or for science? For the filming process alone for a movie based in VR, the equipment is essential, but it’s the performance that sells the show. Vice’s Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Reality Porn Shoot shows us behind-the-scenes of a porn shoot. The single biggest challenge in VR porn filmmaking is that the crew only has one or two angles. The main actress must do the majority of the work by looking into the VR rigs’ lens, establishing the virtual first person illusion[2]. If we were to film a VR porno for our study, the shuttle would be packed with bulky filming equipment. But all we need is a 360-degree camera rig of 12 GoPro Heroes, and from there we can start. We would really be relying on the main star of our film to do most of the work making them the main focus on our documentation. But how can they do so if they’d have to be strapped to a bed on the wall? All the action would be blocked by their partner, or they risk ruining the immersive first person experience. We’d have to maintain that perspective to cultivate the intimacy between the viewer and our actors. The result would be usable but awkward footage, and who would want to watch that? 

But what is sex in space like and is it worth it?

The only ideas of sex in space are from media, are romantic thrillers like Passengers or in novels like Red Mars by Kim S. Robinson. Films made to lower your expectations of space and force you to assume love is always in the air, even in a vacuum. But the astro club isn’t really worth it at all, if we really thought about what quality porn we could have gotten from space it would most likely be a snuff film, that feels crude and eerie to the viewer. But then again this is all speculation, the real way to know is to ask or to research it ourselves. Either way, NO sex in space…for now.

Sources 

  1. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/02/have-astronauts-ever-had-sex-in-space.html
  2. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qkjdbp/behind-the-scenes-of-a-virtual-reality-porn-shoot

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