A couple of years ago I had an idea for a quasi-non-fiction book in the tradition of the Zombie Survival Guide. Not as creative or as fun. Okay, less creative but more fun. It would be Sex in Space: A Manual for Tourists, written as if it were a few decades in the future and honeymooners could vacation at a space hotel. Inside would be dos and don'ts, guides to which lubes would pose the fewest problems, instructions for how to use various gear in space to keep you and your partner together, etiquette for threesomes (common among dolphins/whales in the ocean who face problems with rebounding away), etc. I was sort of excited about the idea for the book for a while, and then discovered someone else had been as well. There was already a book Sex in Space.
Well, that dampened my enthusiasm. Laura Woodmansee's book has some strengths, but isn't as fun as mine would have been in my not so humble opinion. There's some overlap with ideas I had, and one part just has to be seen to be appreciated. She has a section about the "space kama sutra" that she illustrates with naked action figures "Buck" and "Barbarella" that includes one photo of a dolphin helping out in a threesome and another of one bondage rig. She also describes toys and apparatuses to strap people together using Velcro. Give her big creativity points for all that. She also has a short section on "sexy science fiction" where sex in space in science fiction is discussed.
So I'm not planning to write my version any more as a lot of items would be redundant, but as a science fiction writer who does write stories set in space and who teaches other writers about the space environment, I'm always interesting in learning more about sex in space. Purely research you see.
Woodmansee cannot absolutely confirm the claims that there has been sex in space, both on the part of Americans and Russians, that some others have made. If true, I'm sure it was for research, too. Dedication to science and knowledge, that sort of thing.
In the final days of Mir, there apparently was a porn movie planned to raise money. The plot involved sending up a woman to seduce a reluctant cosmonaut into leaving the station. It never got off the ground, unfortunately, which would have allowed some, ahem, hard data to be obtained about the particulars of sex in space.
What did get off the ground was the Uranus Experiment, as in "I'm not an astronaut but I will send a probe to a Uranus" as seen on t-shirts in my closet. Yeah, that "Uranus." In the late 1990s a porn movie (actually an entire trilogy) was shot using NASA's "vomit comet" which is a plane flying parabolic trajectories that allows several minutes of freefall at a time. The weightless scenes in the movie Apollo 13 were shot on the vomit comet, but no sex scenes. There was a different case for the Uranus Experiment. Or so I'm told. Google your own link to DVDs which can be found at sale prices (and should be deductible if you're a science fiction writer like myself, assuming I'm not too embarrassed to show my accountant the receipt). Woodmansee missed this movie in her book, unfortunately. Anyone seen it willing to admit it and weigh in on weightless sex? Or at least the acting?
And I can't decide if it would be better or worse than sex on Earth. More memorable maybe, but more problematic. And who wants to get hit by stray floaters of any sort?
I'm a stickler for getting the scientific details right in my novels, so I have no choice but to do the research. My readers demand it of me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. With Velcro.