Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sex in Space: Part Two - Things That Can Go Wrong

Free-floating sex could be physically dangerous, with bodies ricocheting off walls, striking body parts; if "decoupling," partners could go shooting away from one another and colliding with equipment.

Sex in space also entails the risk of penile fracture. Excessive lateral or downward buckling might result in tear in the fibrous outer tissue of the penis. Symptoms include a sharp snapping, cracking or popping sound, excruciating pain, swelling, bleeding, and deformity of the penis. Treatment would be cold compression pressure dressings, splinting, analgesics, and surgery to correct the tear, but it's unlikely because of the lack of proper equipment and surgical expertise.

How might sex in space work? Restraining one or both partners by the use of footholds, belts or cords, with the other partner loosely bound; or might involve a 3rd person as helper. (I will now pause for consideration of the kinkier aspects of this. ..... Ready to go on?)

It's important to contain the fluids generated during sexual activity, such as perspiration, saliva, hair, semen, and vaginal mucus. In microgravity, these form globules that float and can be inhaled. Body heat dissipation can be a problem, especially during close contact. Noise and unpleasant smells inhibit sexual desire, as well. Overall, sex in space is possible with proper precautions.

Psychological effects are also potentially serious: jealousy, love triangles, interpersonal conflicts exacerbated by the isolation of space (incidents in comparable situations, Antarctica). Consider the mission consequences of a "soap opera in space."


  1. Well! That just ruined a couple of my favourite sex-in-space stories.

    I suppose its better to know these things now though, before I write my own ... I suppose.

    What about in an artificial gravity environment? ... "Keep your feet firmly on the decks Miss Jones!"

  2. Widdershins, remember that the lecturer was speaking from what we've learned so far and what technology we can foresee in the fairly-near future. For instance, we don't have the technology for artificial gravity yet, so he didn't speculate on those effects. For writing such scenes, there are a few resources, like Laura Woodmansee's SEX IN SPACE - I think that was the book our lecturer passed around.