No, NASA didn’t warn against masturbation in space

Last week, an article from News.com.au (republished by the New York Post) which has been making the rounds on social media said that NASA has warned astronauts against masturbation in space. From the News.com.au article:

Late-night TV host Conan O’Brien delved into the uncomfortable topic while interviewing a NASA engineer, asking if he’s ever sent pornography to the International Space Station.

“No, none of that,” said scientist Smythe.

“Does porn work in weightlessness? It goes everywhere,” Conan probed.

“Three female astronauts can be impregnated by the same man during the same session… it finds its way”, continued the scientist.

Smythe’s last name is Mulikan and he is a mechanical engineer under contract with NASA. But as Snopes points out, Mulikan did not comment on imprinting the astronauts. Rather, it was a joke made by comedian Matt Gourley who was also part of the conversation.

So, can you masturbate in space? From Snopes:

NASA has been relatively silent on this subject. As far as we can tell, while there may be logistical issues with having sex with someone in space, and while a lack of gravity impacts blood flow, masturbation in space is probably safe and possible. In fact, in astronaut Michael Collin’s 1989 book “Liftoff,” he writes that a medical adviser encouraged masturbation in space in order to prevent prostate problems.

Leave a Comment