Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sex In Space

Spurred on by the announcement of an upcoming wedding in space, Space.com has a interesting article about the increasing likely hood of sex in space. The upcoming space tourism industry has made it almost inevitable that sex will soon occur in space with relative regularity. Today's society and experts like Jason Kring of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and science journalist Laura Woodmansee, who penned "Sex in Space" seem ready for this topic.

NASA, however, seems stuck in an earlier, more puritanical era. "We don't study sexuality in space, and we don't have any studies ongoing with that," said NASA spokesman Bill Jeffs of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "If that's your specific topic, there's nothing to discuss," he added, referring to "sex in space."

Science fiction, as it is with so much, is far ahead on this subject. Starting at least as far back as 1940s pulp covers, where space was clearly"clothing optional," through more sophisticated stories like Philip José Farmer's groundbreaking "The Lovers" to today's SF where sex is no more a taboo subject than it is in mainstream fiction.

SF has long realized that no matter where you put people, they will always be human. As the space.com noted, neither isolation nor scientific research change this as indicated by the fact the month "before six months of winter darkness descended over Antarctica's McMurdo Station, the research base received a delivery of about 16,500 condoms."

Society and SF have come a long way on this topic and soon sex is space will no more a topic of media sensationalism than sex on Earth. Erm, bad example. And yes, the title should always be announced with a reverb effect exactly like the Muppet Show's classic "Pigs in Space."

<Complete Space.com article>

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