The Future of Sex and Colonization in Space
Cohabitation, procreation, and the search for intimacy off Earth…and beyond.
The science of sex-in-space-conundrum has already been considered by many a scientist, religious leader, and TV talking head. Concerns over near zero gravity affecting inertia, body fluids engaging in a life of their own, blood flow being impeded, and just the sheer lack of room in a capsule, even figured into the fake #143071792 NASA report about astronauts “bumping uglies.”
But even though that report is a wild Internet hoax that never seems to die, the space program might truly have to consider this question of sex in space—and beyond—once we start reaching further to the stars.
As the great science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein said, “Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in.”
If we do indeed begin to colonize our closest celestial neighbors, taking our eggs further and farther to keep humankind prospering, sex “off Earth”—in space as well as on the planets we come to colonize—will have to happen.
We’d do well to consider the possibilities.
Humping en route to a new world
Seeing as colonization voyages will be the longest humanity has ever managed, and will obviously be filled with a great population of travelers, NASA and the participating agencies involved in these space flights will have to work harder than ever before to provide both privacy and intimacies onboard ship.
Those heretofore concerns of fluid displacement and capsule cramping will have to be well figured for a larger onboard population, a population consisting of a great percentage of couples, no doubt.
And what of those folks aboard who are not coupled-up, maybe not capable or willing by design or desire, to procreate? They’ll want their privacy, too, and the opportunity, if they find willing crew members, to enjoy some intimacies. Will there come advances in contraception and self-pleasuring for these flights, as there will need to be new ways to combat any and all concerns a human population might have on such a long journey?
Making babies, felling prejudice
Concerns for sociability and privacy will be compounded, of course, once would-be colonists arrive at their new home. Cohabitating in often dangerously inhospitable living conditions, making love, babies, and a life on a distant world will prove challenging at best.
As these new communities survive their first few generations they will no doubt come to develop their own social mores, modeled on Earth customs to be sure, but certainly influenced by living life on a different planet.
It would seem that a smaller society, working together for simple survival at every turn, might not have so much time for the bickering and prejudices we’ve come to grow well here on Earth. Yes, the idea of “the other”’ will travel with humans anywhere humans go, and no matter where they are born.
But human space adventurers might simply never see Earth-born divisions and derision over race, gender, religions, and even sexual proclivities grow in their climate and quarters. Might the successive generations of off-Earthers even challenge gender roles beyond any Earth imagining, come to equality of transgender issues better, enjoy bisexuality in greater percentages all because they live in a less prejudiced society?
The end game of the colonization game
It is startling to consider all that had to be accounted for in nescient years of space travel. How much could have gone wrong, how little scientists could predict of what might be found when Buzz Aldrin or Alan Shepard went into space…let alone walked on the moon. Back in the 60s, when humans left Earth for the first time, NASA scientists were figuring for contingencies on slide rules!
Yes, we have made many strides since and technology is at a stage now that theorists quip that the “future is now but through the Herculean effort needed to facilitate colonization—building ships, vetting crews, committing to a massive project the likes of which mankind has never seen before—the powers of the world would have to come together pooling resources.
Might colonization of the stars then as much spread humankind’s seed across the stars, as maybe bring us all closer on Earth working for a grander purpose?