The Problem is that Astronauts are Sexually Insecure: A Story by Joanna Ruocco

[Inshallah, the first in a series of Denver-based suggestions from that manly man, Seth Landman. Please meet Joanna Ruocco. Joanna's novel The Mothering Coven came out last year on Ellipsis Press, and her short story collection, Man's Companions, is coming out this year from Tarpaulin Sky.

In Seth's own words, "Joanna is well versed in elixirs and has many, many friends." Without further ado...]


It’s not the zero gravity that gets him off.  He’s done it, in zero gravity, maybe a thousand times, maybe more times.  He doesn’t keep track.  Astronauts don’t notch their belts.  Astronaut suits need to stay airtight.  Notches are hazardous for astronauts.  Also, astronauts are gentlemen. 

“Zero gravity fucking is just fucking,” he says, but I have to disagree.  For me, zero gravity fucking is definitely zero gravity fucking. 

We were fucking in zero gravity.

“Wow,” I said.   

“This is amazing,” I said.

“You’re amazing,” he said, like a gentleman, to reciprocate, as if by “this” I had actually meant him.  He’s not completely crazy.  “This is amazing” may very well mean “you are amazing,” because sometimes people are imprecise or inhibited with language while fucking.  I didn’t mean he was amazing, though.  I meant the zero gravity was amazing.  I didn’t mean that he wasn’t amazing, but it was impossible to tell. I will either have to do it with him in zero gravity a thousand times so that the novelty of zero gravity wears off or I will have to do it with him in nonzero gravity, in regular gravity, in a bed.  Another option is that he gives me the key to the zero gravity room and I bring some one else into the zero gravity room. Then I fuck this other person, in zero gravity.  He doesn’t seem to like any of these options.  He seems unhappy.  I think he has a complex about fucking. 

“We can just fuck occasionally,” I say.  “In zero gravity.”

“You’d like that,” he says.

“Of course,” I say.

“The zero gravity,” he says.  “You’d like that.” 

“Right,” I say.  Then I say, “I like you too.”

The problem is that astronauts are sexually insecure.  I want to give him some advice. 

“Look,” I want to say, “if you’re so indifferent to zero gravity just forget about it as an option, for fucking.”  There’d be no confusion—do we have good chemistry, is it just the zero gravity, etc. Problem solved. Of course, women might not fuck him anymore.  I might not fuck him.  He might be ruining a perfectly good thing. That’s why I try to not to take advice. 

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