Sorry to be crude, but it's important.
The topic of sex in space has remained taboo ever since we ventured into the great unknown for the first time.
But scientists are now arguing that it's something we should be actively discussing and studying, Mic reports. After all, if we ever want to become interplanetary — or embark on extraordinarily long journeys through space — we should know how to boink in microgravity, or if it's even possible.
Hell, space tourists might want to know if sex could ever be part of their brief journey into orbit one day. Who knows: it could even be an amazing experience.
In a research article published in December, a team of Canadian academics argued we should be embracing "space sexology" as a "new discipline" of study.
"To move forward, space organizations must stop avoiding sexual topics and fully recognize the importance of love, sex and intimate relationships in human life," the team wrote in an accompanying piece for The Conversation last year. "We have what it takes to pave the way for an ethical and pleasurable space journey, as we continue to boldly go where no one has gone before."
Scientists have studied the effects of microgravity on the human body extensively. But getting it on in space is almost a complete blind spot.
NASA has been dismissive of the subject, undermining concerns over the effects low gravity environments on sexual health in the past, according to Mic.
There are a couple of reasons NASA has been so puritanical about sex in space. For one, sexual activity in space could jeopardize the harmony of a crew and thereby mission directives. Then there's pressure from conservative-leaning lawmakers.
"No research has explored intimate relationships, nor the human experience of sexual functions and wellbeing, in space or space analogues, or how any of this can affect crew performance," Simon Dubé, Concordia University psychologist and co-author of the research article, told Mic.
But fortunately, times are changing. While we still aren't entirely sure if human reproduction and conception can even occur in microgravity, scientists are opening up to the idea.
"Should a future need for more in-depth study on reproductive health in space be identified, NASA would take the appropriate steps," a NASA spokesperson told Mic.
READ MORE: Inside the Push to Study Sex in Space [Mic]
More on sex in space: We Need to Talk About Gay Sex in Space
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