How is sex life in space?

In addition to Japan, Silicon Valley and the dormitories of most couples who have reached eight years of age, there are other places that still maintain their vow of chastity: motherships and interstellar missions; despite the fact that, as the physicist Stephen Hawking said in 2007, "it is very likely that human survival depends on reproduction in extreme environments such as space."

Closer and closer to the apocalypse and the possible task of having to leave the Earth, not for pleasure but for obligation, humanity is still very behind in the investigation, practice and improvement of sexual relations in a field of zero gravity. Not only that, but the relevant institutions do not seem to take this important challenge very seriously. Proof of this is that to prepare this article I contacted the Spanish delegation of the European Space Agency, with the intention of asking if they had studies on the matter or were doing any. They replied that "no, because this is a scientific body" and immediately I came to the idea that if the space race is not as advanced or developed as it should be, it may be because it has never contemplated the sexual and erotic dimension of the human being Maybe if sex and space are ever reconciled, things will then go on wheels and we can colonize other worlds before we finish, definitely, with this one.

According to swearing and perjuring the different space travelers, sex between two people is something that has not yet happened inside any spaceship. Although there are some who want to shoot a porn movie in space. At most, the most that has been achieved is to practice masturbation. You know, nights are long and distances with loved ones are measured in light years. As recounted in an article by The Debrief, a Russian cosmonaut, interviewed by Mary Roach, the author of Paking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void (Norton & Company, 2010) -Empacando para Marte: The curious science of life in the vacuum- admitted to having sex in space. Of course, manually, while NASA astronaut, Ronald Garan Jr., said that masturbating outside the Earth enters within the terrain of the "possible", since space travel is full of moments of leisure and time-out. Of course something should have been planned for the collection of fluids from that activity, since the lack of gravity of the ship would make them float in the form of drops.

It must also be said that the Russians play here with advantage, since it seems that Soviet astronauts were provided, on some occasions, with porn videos to liven up the trip. The most chaste capitalist ideology, however, never counted or tried to satisfy the erotic dimension of its space heroes. Not even those belonging to the animal kingdom; like the monkey Sam, launched into space in 1959, or chimpanzee Ham, in 1960; in an attempt to overshadow the Soviet bitch Laika, member of the Sputnik mission, in the year 57, and undisputed star of the animal footprint in the stratosphere.

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Let's thank the law of gravity, which makes sex possible

Certainly, if we can make love it is not thanks to the sexual revolution of the 70s, nor to the invention of the contraceptive pill or the condom; but to the law of gravity. Mark Sergeant is a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, as well as an expert in the study of how different habitats influence our sexuality. He has taken my questions seriously and points out that "the main enemy of sexual activity in a ship is Newton's third law, which says that every action provokes an equal reaction in the opposite direction, which implies that making a Movement in one direction requires an effort in the opposite direction - to walk is the clearest example, because if we want to go forward, we must first lean against the ground. In a situation of zero gravity, the simple fact that two people can stay together is complicated, since they do not have a force that pulls them in one direction and keeps them pressed against a surface. Therefore, the astronauts are suspended in the middle of the ship with nothing to lean against to make the movements inherent in a sexual relationship. "

Science fiction addicts will already be thinking of cameras with simulated gravitational fields and things like that. So far, the only invention to alleviate this problem is a suit called 2 suit, designed by Vanna Bonta, writer and Italian-American actress who died in 2014, consisting of a space suit with Velcro strips to fit another of them characteristics and, in turn, to some anchor point in order to avoid that the lack of gravity separates the bodies. Something like trying to take a powder inside a sleeping bag while floating in the air. Tempting!

Bonta tested the suit with her husband during a parabolic flight that simulated zero-gravity conditions and, they said, the suit promises. Although they did not pass the preliminaries and just kissed. For a long time NASA had as a rule of thumb not to send real couples to space, no doubt thinking that fights between spouses could alter the delicate psycho-social ecosystem of the ship. However, in 1991 he made an exception with Jan Davis and Mark Lee, two astronauts who got married shortly before their mission began. If Jan and Mark defused space travel, it is a mystery because, despite the insistent questions on the subject, they refused to make statements. Something that many have translated as a no.

Of course, the coincidence of men and women in space had already occurred before. In 1982, the Soviet Svetlana Savitskaye had already lived with men in the stratosphere, but then nobody asked her anything since she was married and her husband had remained on the ground. In 1990 the relationship of two astronaut girls, Elena Kondekova and Valery Polyakov, companions in the Mir station raised rumors, especially after a video in which one of them played and splashed water on the other. Can you imagine that the first sexual relationship in space would have been a lesbian one?

It seems that, as the French author Pierre Kohler points out in his book La dernière mission (Caimann-Levy, 2000), NASA carried out a study on the most appropriate sexual postures to practice far from Earth, a kind of Kamasutra space. The results gave that only 10 positions were possible, six of which required additional fastening for coupling.

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Houston, we have several problems

The difficulty of interaction is not the only impediment for lust to conquer other galaxies. As Mark Sergeant comments to S Moda, "there is another obstacle derived from an atmosphere with zero gravity. In these circumstances the blood goes to the highest parts (head and chest) which hinders the erection to stay the genitals with less blood supply. This influences both men and women, since lubrication happens in response to the excitement and increased blood flow to the vaginal area. " But also, as pointed out in an article by Buzzfeed, without Newton's law the fluids that our body secretes can not fall or slip and remain near the place where they are produced. In other words, it is as if the dry law is applied to lubrication.

Another effect of space on the human body is that the testosterone levels of male astronauts seem to plummet, which would decrease their libido. The reason for this is unknown, but it has been proven that these hormones return to their normal state once their carrier returns to Earth. In women there are no studies, but it is believed that they would respond to the same pattern. Although the effect of intergalactic travel on desire can be complex. Sergeant, for his part, believes that "it can also increase it, since there are people to whom a new situation can increase their motivation to sex and their excitement".

Although an active sex life would undoubtedly favor the psychic stability and motivation of the crew in long-term space missions, the conditions inside the ship also cause the heart to pump less blood, to go slower and consequently , that the muscles are weaker and the body has less strength. In the miraculous case of a woman becoming pregnant, the structure of the fetus could not be formed in an environment without gravity.

There are also those who also point out the small dimensions and logistics of the current interstellar vehicles. Apparently, in space there is not much space or privacy and, although there is a lot of time available, there is also the need to be always alert, since a distraction can have fatal consequences.

For the moment, the sensuality and the hedonism that the film Barbarella (1968) gave off, still belong to the world of fantasy. Meanwhile, Earthlings can console each other because, although we have no partner, or real prospects to find it, we have that wonderful, erotic and erotic law of gravity, which has done so much for love and sex, without ever having been grateful duly.

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