The Journal of Cosmology recently published a paper called “Sex on Mars: Pregnancy, Fetal Development and Sex in Outer Space.” I’m fairly confident the first lines of its abstract should win some sort of prize:
Performance of the sex act during a journey to Mars may require potentially complex sexual gymnastics. On the other hand, any difficulties associated with sexual intercourse in space may turn out to be an easily solved problem of docking and entry, as humans are notorious for inventing ways of having sex despite all manner of logistical impediments.
The rest of the paper is equally entertaining, chastising the National Academy of Science for overlooking the obvious: that “if male and female astronauts share a cramped space ship for years, surrounded by stars blazing in the blackness of night, thoughts are bound to turn to sex and romance.”
Here’s the general overview:
Humans are sexual beings and it can be predicted that male and female astronauts will engage in sexual relations during a mission to Mars, leading to conflicts and pregnancies and the first baby born on the Red Planet. Non-human primate and astronaut sexual behavior is reviewed including romantic conflicts involving astronauts who flew aboard the Space Shuttle and in simulated missions to Mars, and men and women team members in the Antarctic. The possibilities of pregnancy and the effects of gravity and radiation on the testes, ovaries, menstruation, and developing fetus, including a child born on Mars, are discussed. What may lead to and how to prevent sexual conflicts, sexual violence, sexual competition, and pregnancy are detailed. Recommendations include the possibility that male and female astronauts on a mission to Mars should fly in separate spacecraft.
Want to know more about life in space? Check out the below interview with Mary Roach, author of the book Packing for Mars. Among questions answered: is it possible to pee without gravity?