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Jotham’s Monthly Newsletter:
The Rabbit Hole of Research

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What’s the Big Deal about Having Sex in Space?

Hey y’all, I hope this email finds you safe and well. Thanks for tuning into my Monthly Newsletter: Rabbit Hole of Research. As a laboratory scientist and a cross-genre writer (Sci-fi and Romance), my life is nothing but research. I will explore the science in fiction and try to bring some actual factual science to the things we read and see in fiction. Will real accurate science destroy the plot of our favorite fiction?
 
So, how did I wind up researching, “Sex in Space”?
 
It started innocently enough, watching the movie WALL-E, you know the one where humans trash the Earth, escape on a spaceship ark and become dependent on the AI Captain AUTO that refuses to return to Earth. Two robots (WALL-E and Eva) save the day while falling in love with each other. Great movie, go watch it! 
 
There is no sex in WALL-E, but there is a scene in the movie where they show a nursery full of babies, and I started to wonder where those babies came from. In every movie or book with a “Spaceship Ark”, humans Escape Earth and travel around for hundreds to thousands of years keeping humanity going until it’s safe to return back to Earth or arrive at some distant Earth-like planet—great plot, but how do you make babies in space? 
 
I can hear you snickering, but if only it were that easy—A little thing like a lack of gravity cannot get in the way of a steamy sex scene between the Captain and his partner all worked up after that daring rescue mission—
 
In most “space ark” stories there is some handwavium (hand waving away science facts for the sake of the plot) called artificial gravity using rotational gravity, problem solved, you can have sex while traveling in space, and as a sexy bonus the antigravity turns off and you “do it” while floating around the room—imagine that!
 
Let’s take away the handwavium. Imagine that we have to skedaddle from Earth today and the only viable solution was to build this “Space Ark” and voyage space for centuries until we can find a new home or return back to Earth. We will need to keep having babies in zero or microgravity environments—floating around like they do on the International Space Station.
 
So, if you have read this far and still scratching your head as to why there is a problem with having sex in space, now would be a good time for me to mention Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all professor mode on you, but here goes:
 
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 
 
All done. Sound familiar? But what does this have to do with sex in space, you ask?
 
Well, in zero or microgravity, every push or thrust against your partner would propel you and your partner in opposite directions. This is like you and a friend being on an icy slick driveway. If you push your hands together you’d shoot away from your friend. 
 
So, because of this 3rd law of motion, that steamy space sex scene with the Captain in the cargo bay, may not be so sexy, because every thrust and bump would send him and his partner floating in opposite directions, and worse they could float around colliding with other objects—Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!—
 
To make sex in space work, the Captain and his partner would have to be properly anchored, not only to the space ship, but to each other, and this would make the mechanics of sex pretty difficult, not very spontaneous, and very awkward.
 
Okay, so that was a splash of cold water, but there are other issues in microgravity. Blood flow to the sexy bits (looking at you gentlemen), there may be shrinkage and it might be difficult to ... Um ... you know ... get it up.
 
Don’t think I forgot about you ladies, because after things get stimulated, there is the issue of vaginal wetness. What? Why, you ask?
 
We have all seen the videos of liquids in space that just pool into tiny droplets at the location of release and the astronauts eat the floating water drops. Well same thing down below ladies, fluids would just pool, not flow, making for an uncomfortable experience. 
 
While on the subject of secretions, there will be sweat—After all that awkward thrusting and colliding, you’re going to be sweating—in microgravity sweat doesn’t drip down Captain’s heaving muscular chest in a sexy way, it clings to your skin forming pools (like wringing a towel in space), which would be dislodged as Captain and his partner awkwardly thrust and bump into each other—yup, sounds like a good time ... 
 
Sex in space comes up in science fiction and the sexier cross over, sci-fi-romance. Remember next time you are watching or reading that sexy space scene, be happy that the author used handwavium and spared you details of stimulation devices, microgravity lubrications, elastic bands and swirling droplets of sweat.
 
If you are wondering, microgravity does a lot of other things to the human body that I didn’t mention, but could make sex in space not so sexy and very difficult. The effects of microgravity on human physiology has been studied, but NASA says, according to this 2017 article and hours searching on the internet, there have been no attempts, “to do it”, in space. (there was a story about a secret NASA study testing various sex positions in space, but turned out to be a hoax project called STS-75).
 
So, after going down this research rabbit hole, I was still left with the original question, “Where did all those babies come from on WALL-E?” Awkward space sex? Artificial insemination, natural or artificial uterus? Cloning? A space stork? At 3am in the morning I decided to go to bed and declare that this small detail would have little impact on the love between two star-crossed robots, and humans rediscovering their home, and facing the sad discovery that you cannot grow pizza plants ... or can you?

But, that’s another rabbit hole ...

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down my research rabbit hole, and will join me next time as I reveal more actual factual science in fiction.
 
Did I get something wrong? Something Right? Let me know, so I can correct it!
 
Question for you: How often do you stay up past midnight, searching the internet for answers? Let me know.

If you have a friend that would enjoy this article, please share it! If you found this newsletter by chance and want more, Please sign up!
Thanks,
Jotham
 
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Writing Update:

 
Covid19 has screwed up life as we know it, and the publishing industry has not been immune (See what I did there?). So, my debut sci-fi psychological thriller, ‘Will you still Love Me, If I become Someone Else?’ Has been delayed, but the Advance Reading Copy proof was just returned to me for final edits, so it is getting close. I still have spots for ARC readers, if you want an advance copy (all I ask in return is a honest review), you know the drill, send me a message and I’ll add you to the list!
 
My Rom-Com novella, ‘Tomorrow May Be Too Late, will be released in a Box-Set, you can pre-order at your favorite e-book store here!
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Authors To Check Out
(One Romance and one Thriller):

Romance:

Primrose Valley (free sample) by Rebecca Andrew
 Four Samples, One Download.

 

Meeting Ethan was something Serena never expected, nor was the attraction.
A secret she hides, a fight to save a child from abuse & fear for her own life.
Can she get her happy ever after?
 
Tina's Terror
Tina never thought she would see Garrett, her childhood crush and best friend again.
But fate has other ideas.
A steamy reunion, missing medicine & an unknown threat. With no idea who to trust, she turns to the one man she has always relied on.
 
Hope's History
Hope thought she would be safe in Primrose.
She should have known better.
A stalker she thought she escaped & a son she must protect.
She will do anything to keep him safe, even if that means sacrificing her own happiness.
 
Charlie's Concern
Charlie became a vet to find solitude & peace after a childhood of bullying.
But that peace is disrupted 
When an increase of dog injuries & a spate of similar crimes bring her and Eric, a Detective closer, sparks fly.
Can they figure it out before it is too late?
 
The sample does not contain any adult content, but the books are designed for readers aged 18yrs+
 
 

 

Thriller:


Bottom Feeders by Jerry Roth

 
Would you recognize the Devil if you met him?
A decaying prison hides a dark secret. Robert Deville, the youngest prison warden in the history of the state, never expected to feel a supernatural connection in a prison. After discovering a diary, Robert learns a prisoner, rumored to be the Devil, was hidden away under his feet.
 
Was this prisoner responsible for a fire that killed hundreds of prisoners? Did he play a part in the murder of a local family years earlier? Robert must learn the prisoner's true identity and unravel why he hasn't aged in decades?
 
Surviving a relationship with an abusive ex-husband, Jenny Deville is dealing with the pain of her past. Noticing a sudden change in her son's behavior, and his horrifying drawings of murders, no child should ever witness, she must discover the cause.
 
As local children mysteriously disappear, there is little time to prove who the killer really is.
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Copyright © 2020 Jotham Austin, II Author, All rights reserved.


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