Dr. P

Dear Dr. P. ,

Does altitude affect sexual activity and how does it relate to the “Mile High Club?”

Mile-High Club membership is contingent in having had sexual activity in an aircraft at an altitude of 5,280 feet or higher.  Unfortunately, residents of Denver, Colorado “The Mile High City” do not qualify for membership in spite of the elevation of their beautiful town.

Actually a world atlas says that the true elevation of Denver is only 5,183 feet above sea level, so a trampoline during sex might have to be used.  Even with this aid the criterion of “in an aircraft” disqualifies amorous Denverites.

In explaining the allure of sex at altitude, I really cannot do much better than the Wikipedia.com entry on the “Mile High Club.”  This presents the current criteria for membership, and the possible reasons for seeking sex in aircraft such as less oxygen (come on, the cabin is pressurized), a fetish over pilot and air attendant uniforms, the vibration and noise of the flight (must love that turbulence!), and finally the desire for sex in a tiny, cramped and bacteria-laden toilet just used by hundreds of others while others wait outside to use the same toilet.

At Wikipedia we find the history of the club’s origin with the adventures of the inventor of the autopilot Lawrence Sperry (Sperry Corporation) in 1917 while flying over Babylon, New York.  He had great confidence in the reliability of his autopilot as demonstrated by his allowing himself to be distracted by a female friend while flying at only 500 feet altitude.

Nevertheless, they crashed in water non-fatally.  Sperry (and his un-named friend) actually were the first honorary members recognized for their aerial amour.  The 5,280 foot requirement was waived.  In fact the altitude requirement is not as essential for membership as the activity occurring in an aircraft.

There are actually over a dozen private airlines, flying small to moderate size aircraft which provide citizens who have the cash and the desire an opportunity to join the Mile High Club.  It’s a silly use of money, but there are many takers.  How would you feel knowing that the pilot knows what you are doing back in economy section?  Here is where those hot moist little towels would really be handy.

Would sexual activity in a hot-air balloon count?  How about in the Goodyear Blimp?  If altitude is the factor how about our male and female astronauts (and Russian cosmonauts) in their “aircraft” orbiting at, get this, an average of 207 miles or 1,092,960 feet!

There really is serious, academic and scientific study of the logistics and propriety of sex in space, say amongst crew members on prolonged flights to Mars (Venus, in spite of the romantic link, is out).  Apparently the European space agencies take this possibility (probability) more seriously than does the puritanical American NASA.  The Russians have had mixed sex crews aboard their Mir space station for long periods and I am sure have discussed the interactions amongst crew members.

NASA has recently had to handle the PR debacle of astronaut Lisa Nowak going after a love rival for a fellow astronaut.  She drove across country supposedly in a “space-suit diaper” so she would not have to stop.  Nowak is grounded and currently on trial for the assault.

This piece was found on the web: “A new book written by a French astronomer, however, alleges NASA studied the feasibility of 10 sex positions in space during a space shuttle mission in 1996, though this claim has been discredited, and has been vigorously denied by NASA. (Six of the positions required the aid of an elastic belt to hold the partners together, the author writes in the book, “The Last Mission.”).”

I would think that the ultimate altitude related sexual activity has to be during the extended free-fall of sky-divers.  This has already happened!  Skydivers have been married during free-fall.  Skydivers have jumped nude (except for the parachute).  And finally it’s reported that a year ago porn star Vanessa Lynn slightly cut her leg upon landing after a free-fall from 14,000 feet over the California desert.  During the free-fall she was being filmed having sex with a stud for the XXX feature “Airgasmic.”  Can anyone beat this!

One-point-six-zero-nine kilometerally yours,

Dr.P