Can we masturbate in Space? The awkward reality of space tourism & how to overcome it

Can we masturbate in Space? The awkward reality of space tourism & how to overcome it

Global pleasure brand We-Vibe and a team of researchers called Erobotics Research Consulting have released the first part of its “Sex Tech in Space?”  report. The paper explores how relevant the topic of sexuality is for space travellers, private companies, and public agencies. Findings show there’s still a lot to do if humans want to have a sexual experience in space during their next honeymoon. Lack of research and taboo-treatment by space agencies are the biggest obstacles to enabling space orgasms, but the We-Vibe paper argues that investing in sex technology such as pleasure toys is the most effective solution to be sexually fulfilled in orbit. A separate and more updated version of this report containing some of its findings is currently under consideration by scientific journals.

The Physical Challenge of Sexuality in Space

While the idea of bringing a sex toy in your next space vacation may sound odd, we might need them quite soon. Humans are going to live longer periods of time in space, perhaps forever. The Inspiration4 mission of SpaceX launched on September 15th, allowing civilians to be in orbit for a 3-day stay. While slightly delayed, Artemis program of NASA plans to have long-term stays of people working full time in the Moon by 2028 instead of 2024. And Elon Musk has pledged to make us an “interplanetary species” by starting an early settlement on Mars. While having sex in space, even with ourselves, will be inevitable in such long-term scenarios, solutions to its many physical obstacles, as mentioned in the We-Vibe report, are yet not fully addressed by the scientific community:

  1. Lack of Gravity: “Without sufficient gravity, bodies are not attracted to each other, and contact between lovers would require a constant effort. The limited friction would reduce the possibilities of pleasure for couples having sex. Having sex on the Moon or Mars would resemble to having sex in a pool, reducing body mass and all physical effort”[1]. Sex toys allow us to “harness the potential of technology to help give astronauts [or space travellers] access to sexuality, and by extension, facilitate its [health] benefits”[2]
  1. Lack of Privacy: “Sexual privacy acts like masturbation are challenging in claustrophobic environments of spaceships. In Space, machines and other astronauts are the only things making sound, thus sex toys should be especially discreet and respectful of the intimacy-etiquette prescribed by the fact of living in silent environments”[3].
  1. Liquid Disposal: Bodily fluids, such as ejaculation, must absolutely be contained to prevent them from flying around. This condition also imposes a rigid code of hygiene on astronauts to protect the fragile environment in spaceships and minimize the waste of scarce resources such as paper or condoms”[4].

As hard as some of these obstacles may look to overcome, Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at We-Vibe, comments: “The lack of research and huge taboo-treatment when it comes to space orgasms makes it hard to test our products in real space conditions, but we already have technology that could help overcome some of these challenges with enough adaptations. Some of our wearable toys such as the We-Vibe Bond and Moxie, for example, can be easily worn inside space suits, providing discreet and private pleasurable sensations. It is clear that the big dollars that We-Vibe spends in R&D for sex tech on Earth can help people reach stronger orgasms in space and feel more sexually fulfilled. Unfortunately, the publicly funded space agencies don’t address this topic often enough, probably due to fear of stigma-related backlash. It would be great to see those bodies reach private market leaders in sex tech like We-Vibe for consultation and address sexuality as a normal part of human life in space to come up with effective and practical solutions”.

But… why should we masturbate in space?

A topic that has been as stigmatized on Earth such as self-pleasure can be easily disregarded as non-important or accessory by corporate establishment. Yet, while everyone talks about sex, masturbation is equally important for our well-being or sexual health. The We-Vibe SexTech in Space? report highlights important aspects to consider from a sociological and scientific perspective:

  1. To “live, prosper, and be happy” “The basic needs and everyday behaviours on Earth such as drinking, eating, and using the toilet, must be re-programmed to be integrated in the fragile environments of space living quarters”. [5]With physical obstacles increasingly removed, and easier access to space, the next mission of space researchers should focus on “live, prosper, and be happy in space”[6]. As an integral part of humankind, masturbation plays a key role into making interplanetary life feel more human.
  2. Permanent abstinence may not be ethical: The report quotes Professor Paul Root Wolpe, a senior bioethicist at NASA, questioning in 2015 whether or not it’s fair to deprive people of masturbation. “There is a point where the length of time [on a mission] becomes part of the question of whether or not it’s fair to deprive people of this aspect of being human.”[7]
  3. To feel loved by our partners: “Sex tech could also be applied to help couples maintain intimate, romantic and sexual relationships while a partner is away on a space mission. (…) Sex Toys can help connect in a complex, interactive and immersive way intimate partners at a distance to facilitate the maintenance of intimacy between earth and space.”[8]

While adaptations of the technology might still be required, Johanna Rief adds: “We-Vibe toys are couple-oriented and can already be used by long-distance couples on Earth thanks to Bluetooth and our We-Connect app. We also developed haptic mechanics in the remote of our We-Vibe Chorus couple vibrator, which responds to grip pressure to control vibration intensity.  With enough connectivity adaptations, there’s no reason why a partner on Earth couldn’t control the toy of an astronaut on Mars and vice-versa through our app. We can’t wait to explore what our sex tech can do in space”.

Taboos: the biggest obstacle in space orgasm research

The results of the We-Vibe Sex Tech in Space? report have been made possible thanks to Erobotics Research Consulting, a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Simon Dube, Maria Santaguida and Dave Anctil. More parts of this report will be publicly made available in upcoming months in a campaign by We-Vibe to further promote an inclusive space environment for humankind.

Erobotics comments: “moving forward, space agencies and the public supporting them need to be reminded that approaching questions of human sexuality from a positive, scientific, empathetic and inclusive perspective is paramount to our health, well-being, and the success of our extra-terrestrial life. Specially, they need to be reminded that: 1) Sexual health is health, 2) Sexual rights are human rights, 3) Sexuality means diversity: 4) pleasure is fun and important; and 5) Technology can help”.


[1] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 7.

[2] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 15.

[3] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 8.

[4] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 9.

[5] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 9.

[6] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 4.

[7] Quoted by Oberhaus, D. (2015a): “Let’s Talk About Sex in Space” – Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 5.

[8] Dubé, Santaguida, Anctil (2020, October). Sex Tech in Space? We-Vibe, page 16.m

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