Sex in space

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The conditions governing sex in space (intercourse, conception and procreation while weightless) have become a necessary study due to plans for long-duration space missions, as well as the future potential accommodation of sexual partners aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Issues explored include disrupted circadian rhythms, radiation, isolation, stress, and the physical acts of intercourse in zero or minimal gravity.[1][2][3]

Sex in space is a part of space sexology.


Human sexual activity in the weightlessness of outer space presents difficulties due to Newton's third law. According to the law, if the couple remain attached, their movements will counter each other. Consequently, their actions will not change their velocity unless they are affected by another, unattached, object. Some difficulty could occur due to drifting into other objects. If the couple have a combined velocity relative to other objects, collisions could occur. The discussion of sex in space has also raised the issue of conception and pregnancy in space.[4][5][6][7]

As of 2009, with NASA planning lunar outposts and possibly long-duration missions, the topic has taken a respectable place in life sciences. Despite this, some researchers have argued that national and private space agencies have yet to develop any concrete research and plans to address human sexuality in space.[8][9] Dubé and colleagues (2021) proposed that NASA should embrace the discipline of space sexology by integrating sex research into their Human Research Program.[9] Santaguida and colleagues (2022) have further argued that space agencies and private companies should invest in this discipline to address the potential for sexual harassment and assault in space contexts.[10]

Physiological issues[edit]

Numerous physiological changes have been noted during spaceflight, many of which may affect sex and procreation, notably circulation and the flow of blood within the body. Such potential effects would likely be caused by a culmination of factors, including gravitational changes, planetary and space radiation, noise, vibration, social isolation, disrupted circadian rhythms, or mental and physical stress.[11]

Gravity and microgravity[edit]

The primary issue to be considered in off-Earth reproduction is the lack of gravitational acceleration. Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all life, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's 1g gravitational field. It is important to study how space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, as well as the events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation, and parental care.[12]

Studies conducted on rats revealed that, although the fetus developed properly once exposed to normal gravity, rats raised in microgravity lacked the ability to right themselves.[13] Another study examined mouse embryo fertilization in microgravity. Although this resulted in healthy mice, once implanted at normal gravity, the fertilization rate was lower for the embryos fertilized in microgravity.[14] Currently, no mice or rats have developed while in microgravity throughout the entire life cycle.[15]

In 2006, American novelist Vanna Bonta invented the 2suit, a garment designed to facilitate sex in weightless environments such as outer space, or on planets with low gravity.[5][16] The 2suit was made of a lightweight fabric, with a Velcro-lined exterior, which would enable two people to securely embrace.[17] However, Bonta stressed that the 2suit was versatile, and wasn't intended for the sole purpose of sex.[18] Functionality testing was conducted in 2008 by Bonta aboard G-Force One, a low gravity simulator. It took eight attempts for the two test participants (Bonta and her husband) to successfully embrace one another.[19] According to science author Mark Thompson, the 2suit was cumbersome but moderately successful, and it is not clear whether or not it will have practical value for future space travelers.[20] The 2suit has been covered in the TV series The Universe as well as a 2008 History Channel television documentary.[21][22] It has also been discussed by online writers.[23][24]

History of attempts[edit]

It has been claimed that one Soviet mission doctor said that the first mission of a woman together with men in space had intercourse planned. NASA has stated that it knows of no intercourse in space.[25]

Planned attempts[edit]

In June 2015, Pornhub announced its plans to make the first pornographic film in space. It launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the effort, dubbed Sexploration, with the goal of raising $3.4 million in 60 days. The campaign only received pledges for $236,086. If funded, the film would have been slated for a 2016 release, following six months of training for the two performers and six-person crew.[26][27][28][29] Though it claimed to be in talks with multiple private spaceflight carriers, the company declined to name names "for fear that would risk unnecessary fallout" from the carriers.[26] A article about the campaign mentioned that in 2008, Virgin Galactic received and rejected a $1 million offer from an undisclosed party to shoot a sex film on board SpaceShipTwo.[27]

Adult film actress CoCo Brown had begun certifying for a co-pilot seat in the XCOR Lynx spaceplane, which would have launched in a suborbital flight in 2016 and spent a short amount of time in zero-gravity.[30] However, XCOR Aerospace declared bankruptcy before ever flying a space tourist.[31]

Short of actual space, the adult entertainment production company Private Media Group has filmed a movie called The Uranus Experiment: Part Two where an actual zero-gravity intercourse scene was accomplished with a reduced-gravity aircraft. The filming process was particularly difficult from a technical and logistical standpoint. Budget constraints allowed for only one 20-second shot, featuring the actors Sylvia Saint and Nick Lang.[32]

In popular culture[edit]

Science fiction writer and futurist Isaac Asimov, in a 1973 article "Sex in a Spaceship", conjectured what sex would be like in the weightless environment of space, anticipating some of the benefits of engaging in sex in an environment of microgravity.[33]

On July 23, 2006, a Sex in Space panel was held at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual conference. Speakers were science journalist-author Laura Woodmansee, who presented her book Sex in Space;[34] Jim Logan, the first graduate of a new aerospace medicine residency program to be hired by NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; and Vanna Bonta, an American poet, novelist, and actress who had recently flown in zero gravity and had agreed to an interview for Woodmansee's book.[16] The speakers made presentations that explored "the biological, emotional, and ... physical issues that will confront people moving [off Earth] into the space environment."[35] NBC science journalist Alan Boyle reported on the panel, opening a world discussion of a topic previously considered taboo.[5]

"Sex in Space" was the title of an episode of the History Channel documentary television series The Universe in 2008. The globally distributed show was dubbed into foreign languages, opening worldwide discussion about what had previously been avoided as a taboo subject. Sex in space became a topic of discussion for the long-term survival of the human species, colonization of other planets, inspired songs, and humanized reasons for space exploration.[7][23][24][36]

Wire-based special effects in Moonraker (1979)

The idea of sex in space appears frequently in science fiction. Arthur C. Clarke claimed to first address it in his 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama.[37]

In the pilot episode of the Expanse, 'Dulcinea', a scene was shown where the first officer of the ice hauler ship, the Canterbury, was having sexual intercourse with the ship's navigator in zero gravity. The intercourse was met with a sudden interruption when the ship resumed thrust, slamming them both to the bunk bed with the acceleration.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Mishra, Birendra; Luderer, Ulrike (2019). "Reproductive hazards of space travel in women and men". Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 15 (12): 713–730. doi:10.1038/s41574-019-0267-6. PMC 7371565.
  2. ^ Santaguida, M.; Dubé, S. (2023). "Sexual Health in Space: a 5-year Scoping Review". Current Sexual Health Reports. 15 (3): 148–179. doi:10.1007/s11930-023-00368-9.
  3. ^ Gimunová, Marta; Paludo, Ana Carolina; Bernaciková, Martina; Bienertova-Vasku, Julie (2024). "The effect of space travel on human reproductive health: a systematic review". npj Microgravity. 10 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1038/s41526-024-00351-1. PMC 10796912.
  4. ^ Monks, Keiron (April 9, 2012). "Thrusters on full: Sex in space". Metro. Free Daily News Group Inc./Star Media Group. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Boyle, Alan (2006-07-24). "Outer-space sex carries complications". Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  6. ^; Seks in de ruimte: is het mogelijk?, by Caroline Hoek; 2012-04-07
  7. ^ a b; S’envoyer en l’air dans l’espace, par Kieron Monks, Metro World News; 2012-04-11
  8. ^ "Love and rockets: We need to figure out how to have sex in space for human survival and well-being". 2021-09-12. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  9. ^ a b Dubé, Simon; Santaguida, Maria; et al. (December 8, 2021). "The Case for Space Sexology". Journal of Sex Research. 60 (2). Taylor & Francis Online: 165–176. doi:10.1080/00224499.2021.2012639. PMID 34878963. S2CID 245006810.
  10. ^ Santaguida, Maria; Lapierre, Judith; Dubé, Simon (12 October 2022). "#MeToo in space: We must address the potential for sexual harassment and assault away from Earth". The Conversation. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  11. ^ Jennings, RT; Santy, PA (1990). "Reproduction in the space environment: Part II. Concerns for human reproduction". Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 45 (1): 7–17. doi:10.1097/00006254-199001000-00006. PMID 2405309.
  12. ^ Ronca, April E (2003). "Mammalian Development in Space". Developmental Biology Research in Space. Advances in Space Biology and Medicine. Vol. 9. pp. 217–251. doi:10.1016/S1569-2574(03)09009-9. ISBN 9780444513533. ISSN 1569-2574. PMID 14631635.
  13. ^ B, Fritzsch; LL, Bruce (October 1995). "Utricular and saccular projections of fetal rats raised in normal gravity and microgravity". NLM Gateway Search. ASGSB Bull. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  14. ^ Wakayama, Sayaka; Kawahara, Yumi; et al. (August 25, 2009). Dey, Sudhansu (ed.). "Detrimental Effects of Microgravity on Mouse Preimplantation Development In Vitro". PLoS ONE. 4 (8). Public Library of Science: e6753. Bibcode:2009PLoSO...4.6753W. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006753. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 2727478. PMID 19707597.
  15. ^ Crawford-Young, Susan J. (2006). "Effects of microgravity on cell cytoskeleton and embryogenesis" (PDF). The International Journal of Developmental Biology. 50 (2/3): 183–191. doi:10.1387/ijdb.052077sc. ISSN 0214-6282. PMID 16479487. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Vanna Bonta Talks Sex in Space". August 19, 2012. Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  17. ^ Cuhaj 2022, p. 178: "The suit she designed was made of lightweight material, and the jacket fronts were lined with Velcro. When unzipped, they allowed the individuals to attach to the other's suit, providing close face-to-face contact.".
  18. ^ Cuhaj 2022, p. 178: "Describing the suit, Bonta stressed that it was not only for sex.".
  19. ^ Cuhaj 2022, p. 178: "On December 3, 2008, two porotype [prototype?] 2suits were readied as Vanna and her husband once again took the skies in G-Force One. Their goal was simple enough, complete one successful docking and kiss before gravity resumed. During several attempts, the couple, eyed wide open as if afraid of crashing in to the other, did just that, colliding without successfully linking the suits. Finally, on the eight try, it was mission accomplished.".
  20. ^ Thompson 2020, p. 178: "The test took place in 2008 by Vanna and showed it to be cumbersome but moderately successful. There is no doubt that our future is among the stars, but whether the 2suit will be an essential item for lovers to pack remains to be seen.".
  21. ^ "Sex in Space". The Universe. Season 3. December 2, 2008. History Channel.
  22. ^ History Channel to air special on 'sex in space' Archived 2016-09-15 at the Wayback Machine New Scientist December 17, 2008
  23. ^ a b Ference, Audrey (October 4, 2012). "Celebrate Sputnik Day by Thinking About Space Sex". The L Magazine. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  24. ^ a b Schwartz, Marty (December 16, 2012). "1000 Words, 1000 Days: Day 351 – Space-Boinking In The 21st Century!". The Paltry Sapien. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014.
  25. ^ Sina, Marie (2021-09-22). "in space – DW – 09/22/2021". Retrieved 2024-04-13.
  26. ^ a b Moye, David (June 10, 2015). "Pornhub Crowdfunds First Porn Shot In Space". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  27. ^ a b Wall, Mike (June 11, 2015). "Sex in Space: Porn Group Wants to Crowdfund Zero-G Adult Film". Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  28. ^ Moyer, Justin Wm (2015-06-11). "PornHub crowdfunds for sex tape filmed in space". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  29. ^ "Pornhub launches crowdfund to film porn in space". CNBC. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  30. ^ Love, Dylan (7 May 2015). "Former porn star CoCo Brown is headed to outer space". Daily Dot. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  31. ^ Messier, Doug (5 July 2017). "XCOR Lays off Remaining Employees". Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Zero Gravity Sex Film Up for Award". 16 May 2000. Archived from the original on 20 June 2000. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  33. ^ Asimov, Isaac (January 1973). "Sex in a Spaceship". Sexology Magazine. (Reprinted in Science Past – Science Future, 1975)
  34. ^ Greene, Nick, "Review: Sex in Space by Laura S. Woodmansee", About: Space/Astronomy,, archived from the original on December 14, 2006
  35. ^ "NewSpace 2006 Agenda". Space Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  36. ^ La fantasía del sexo en gravedad cero Archived 2016-09-06 at the Wayback Machine PERU21; 29 August 2012
  37. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1974-09-23). "Letters to the Editor". Time. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012.

General references[edit]

  • Freitas Jr., Robert (April 1983). "Sex in Space". Sexology Today (48): 58–64.
  • Levin, RJ (August 1989). "Effects of space travel on sexuality and the human reproductive system". Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. 42 (7): 378–82. PMID 11540233.
  • Cuhaj, Joe (2022). Space Oddities: Forgotten Stories of Mankind's Exploration of Space. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-63388-785-5.
  • Thompson, Mark S. (2020). 101 Facts You Didn't Know About Space. Pen & Sword. p. 100-101. ISBN 978-1-5267-4458-6.

External links[edit]