At the end of the week, our minds tend to wander, as work is slowing and our cranial circuitry is freed up to deal with the big questions. What is the meaning of life? How could Will Ferrell eat that much candy pasta? And most importantly, how would our genitals work in space? Poorly, as it turns out!
Inverse tackled the many issues awaiting those bold explorers hoping to join the Parsec High Club. This is largely an unexplored frontier in part because most space travel is paid for by the government, who frankly have better things to do than research astronaut boners. But there are a few things we know, the first being that your blood pressure is lower in space thanks to the lack of gravity, driving blood more towards your head and chest than your extremities. And since your genitals need blood pressure to do their thing, any astronaut exploring this frontier might find it hard going in a metaphorical rather than literal sense.
There’s also fluid shift, which is a nasty problem in space. It increases pressure on the brain, for example, but it also knocks everything your body relies on to keep things up and running out of whack. Basically imagine your hormones, enzymes, etc as a bunch of water glasses on a table on Earth. Now imagine flipping the table, and you can see what the issue is.
Not to mention, if we’re all but clueless about the male member, medical science knows way, way too little about how the vagina functions sexually. We didn’t have a comprehensive understanding of the clitoris, medically speaking, until the Obama administration, and that was from two doctors who paid out of pocket to do the work.
That said, sooner or later, the issue is going to come u-er, rear its he-look, sooner or later people are going to want to do it in space. If Elon Musk has his way, ships full of physically fit people will be spending months in close quarters with not much to do in their off-hours. So when NASA is screening future astronauts, they should probably check for a good attitude about foreplay, because it’s going to be necessary.