tagSci-Fi & FantasySex in Sci-Fi Ch. 01

Sex in Sci-Fi Ch. 01

byTonyDowse©

THE HISTORY OF SEX IN SPACE

Looking back, it is strange to realise just how long man - and woman of course, had to wait for the first member (no pun intended) of the '100 Mile High Club'. Not that the sex act had to be performed at that specific altitude - the title was merely the natural extension of the much older 'Mile High Club', which no doubt by now has tens of thousands of members. The '100' merely indicated sex in a weightless environment.

But then humanity's early, faltering steps in space had not really been conducive to acts of either lust or love - or even bravado! First a dog. Then a man. Then a chimpanzee or two - flying solo, unfortunately for them - then, later men, at first also flying solo.

It was quite some time before the first men went as a group - and though there has been much subsequent discussion regarding some of the individuals included it does, on balance seem unlikely that any of them would have joined even one of the affiliated branches of the club.

Then, a nominal woman was included in a group of men - a chance, maybe. But then, not really - TV coverage almost every foot of the way and the general lack of privacy would have meant either group membership, or nothing.

But of course there was 'sex' in space - lots of it!

Bacteria, flies, especially fruit flies, ants, bees - a whole menagerie of life was shot up there - and given only one command - 'Go forth and multiply!' And they did, enthusiastically - neither knowing nor caring that the reason for all their activity was just so that the results of their multiplications could be studied, analysed, computed and extrapolated.

The first all-woman team to go up caused quite a media sensation at the time - but nobody ever accused any of them of even wanting to join their branch of the club.

There were rumours but unfortunately no substantiation about the second Mars expedition. All the members of the crew, five males and three females, were married - but strangely, none of them to each other! It may well be that there were some unheralded, unclaimed memberships on that flight but for the record, no divorces, not even a separation has ever been attributed to that expedition.

It was in fact nearly sixty years and a few months after the first man went into space, that the first group tourist flight took place. The early trips were really glorified inter-continental, aircraft flights - but they did go fast enough and high enough to technically classify the passengers as having been in 'space' - so the opportunity for membership was there. But it would have been a bit tricky since everyone was tightly strapped down, from start to finish - perhaps to the disappointment of some.

In actual fact, the first recorded attempt at membership was not until the early, manned settlement of the Moon. A married couple - Mr. and Mrs. Fred Honeywell of Meade Ka. were amongst the twenty-six crew. Unfortunately neither of them were physicists, he being a geologist and Mrs. Honeywell a metallurgist - so perhaps their ignorance of Newton's Laws can be excused. However, after nearly fifty years of space-flight it seems remarkable that they were not aware that - 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.'!

The records show that their attempt was unsuccessful but that Mr. Honeywell's initial effort was so enthusiastic that when his wife struck the bulkhead she suffered a fractured arm and mild concussion. Mr. Honeywell's injuries were limited to a badly strained back and a severe case of embarrassment.

However, the attempt and the resulting publicity caused a sudden flurry of activity. The first successful attempt recorded was in fact between two other members of the same crew - John Smith and Mary Brown, as they apparently wished to be known, who coupled in what can best be described as a broom cupboard, adjacent to the galley. Witnesses were present, outside the cupboard and the celebratory party was attended by the entire crew - with the exception of Mr. and Mrs. Honeywell.

It was not until the invention of the device that became known as "Grindley's Girdle", that less uncomfortable opportunities for membership of the club were possible.

The Girdle, or 'Love-Seat' as its inventor (George Grindley, Huddersfield, U.K.) preferred it to be called, was an ingenious device. Some said it was based on an early Victorian corselet - Mr. Grindley, whose great-grandfather was in fact a manufacturer of ladies' under-garments, strenuously denied this. It was comprised of several layers of elasticised straps, bonded in such a way that, under thrust-pressure, some stretched and others did not.

It was of course necessary for both partners to get into the Girdle or 'Love-Seat, which, as it took experienced users some eight to ten minutes to fit - and considerably longer for first-timers - removed some spontaneity from the act itself.

The design and elasticised parts allowed one partner to thrust, whilst the other was held in place. There were also straps with a variety of clips attached that enabled the article to be fixed to hooks, handles, pieces of equipment, etc. to hold the wearers in place.

It was important of course to ensure that the contrivance was put on the right way round, severe bruising could - and frequently did result when it wasn't.

In spite of its apparent drawbacks the Girdle and innumerable variations of it were popular for the next ten to fifteen years and there are still many examples in existence, if not in use.

The Japanese were of course responsible for the next development in aiding membership of the club. The Sissui Gravity Belt was an instant hit with space-workers everywhere, enabling instant coupling, with a minimum of fuss.

A simple belt was slipped around the waist of each partner, attached to the belt was a small, battery operated power source and embedded in the belts were a series of super-conducting wires. At the touch of a button the two wearers were literally attracted to each other. An augmented polarity reversal also meant that on activation the couple were suspended, equidistant from all surrounding metallic surfaces. Truly, sex in space.

Care was of course needed in selecting a suitable site for the act, since if not all surrounding surfaces were metal the couple would be whisked to a point that was equidistant from whatever was. Several early fatalities occurred after the introduction of a plastic, treated to appear like metal, which was used in the construction of some habitats during the colonisation of Mars. It is believed that as many as four couples still orbit somewhere between Mars and the Asteroid Belt.

While Sissui and its numerous variations have remained popular to this day, the latest advances in technology promise to swell the ranks of club members to massive proportions.

Developed originally as a low cost mass-driver, the 'High Flyer' is fast becoming the most popular feature in virtually all Fun Parks. With energy now virtually free and by using complex aerodynamics, based in fact on the Aboriginal boomerang, the 'High Flyer' provides children - and in rapidly increasing numbers, adults too - with a half hour in space for the cost of a meal in a VendoMart.

As each capsule takes only two people and the flight follows a pre-determined path, the occupants have only the view to watch or each other to please for up to thirty minutes, in an admittedly confined (approximately the same as that in what was known as the 'back-seat' of a now archaic form of ground transport) but undoubtedly quite comfortable space, in space.

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