At the end of Moonraker, NASA throws to a live video feed from James Bond’s space shuttle, piped directly to the White House and Buckingham Palace. Everyone in the control room gasps when they see Bond atop scientist Holly Goodhead, making sweet, sweet love as they float in zero gravity, sheets somehow covering their modesty.
“My God, what’s Bond doing?” says a stuffy British MP.
Q has the goods. He’s no fool.
“I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir.” In reality, NASA has repeatedly denied that anyone has ever had sex in space. They are categorically not interested in discussing the topic. The Russians aren’t very motivated either, although a cosmonaut interviewed by science writer Mary Roach admitted to “making sex by hand” and astronaut Ron Garan more or less copped to indulging in a sneaky Commonwealth Bank back in 2012 when he acknowledged “quiet time” was essential for men in orbit, in order to prevent the prostate from exploding. In space, no one can hear you, well, fill the rest in yourselves.
So, what are the practicalities involved? Would space sex be awesome, or a nightmare? The jury is still out, but there are clearly advantages and disadvantages.
For a start, participants can get into any position imaginable, and then some.
Unfortunately, low blood pressure is an issue in space so your rocket may not be completely ready for lift off.
Then there’s the problem of nausea in zero gravity, and you apparently sweat buckets, so you wind up surrounded by tiny droplets of sweaty liquid.
For the ladies, there’s one interesting side effect, known as the Space Beauty Treatment. Without gravity pulling everything earthwards, fluid evens out across the body, which means breasts and butts don’t sag, they become firm and perky. Crow’s feet disappear. Hair attains a 1980s level of body.
Basically, women become perfect tens in space, while men go all sweaty and struggle to get a boner.
Oh, the irony.
That hasn’t stopped a few hardy pioneers from trying to be the first humans to break through the final frontier. Back in January 1991, Mark Lee and Jan Davis quietly tied the knot and kept their marriage secret from their bosses. Why? Because they were astronauts who met during a space shuttle training program and were scheduled to blast into orbit on a mission together aboard the Endeavour. They didn’t reveal their relationship to NASA until it was too late to replace them.
Thus, in September 1992, Mark and Jan became the first, and so far only married couple in space. Ever the professionals, the couple have always kept schtum as to what they got up to out there in the lonely recesses of space, but it’s not hard to guess that they might at the very least have dabbled in a little BDSM, frottage, or black hole exploration.
No word as to whether they thought to bring cranberry juice to combat SUTIs. That’s a space urinary tract infection, by the way. I’m pretty proud of that one.
In 2015, Pornhub decided there was only one way to be sure. They launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise US$3.4 million, the amount necessary to train and send two adult performers and a six-person crew into space. They didn’t even raise a quarter mill.
For those still harbouring that Moonraker fantasy, all is not lost. Elon Musk wants to send humans to colonise Mars on board his SpaceX rockets. That’s a long trip, probably one way. Quiet time will most definitely be required.