“The Raft of Sex ” – 48 years ago it set sail


48 years ago “the raft of sex” set sail with 11 people: one of the craziest experiments in history

The expedition left La Palmas for Mexico on May 13, 1973 with eleven unknown people of eleven different nationalities and four continents.

The experiment, called Acali, wanted to analyze the situation of people, in extreme situations.

It sought to theorize about behaviors and violence among a group of people exposed to the instability of the sea.

The press dubbed it the SEX SHIP  

Leading the experiment was the researcher and anthropologist Santiago Genovés, who was part of the crew of the explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

The sailing vessel created by Santiago, carried 5 tons of food and water in its seven meters of beam by 12 meters in length.

The researcher knew how the responses in extreme situations from his experience in the Pacific with Heyerdahl when trying to demonstrate, on a log raft, that it was Native Americans and not Europeans who first populated Polynesia.

The needs of the crew were visible. It was sought that most of the participants were married with minor children. A total of 46 questionnaires were answered on the journey, which generated 8,079 responses.

The notice that he was looking for the 5 men and 6 women who would climb the raft of love.

They arrived in Cozumel at 101 days, and there each traveler was observed by psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors.

These studies would not give any remarkable results. Yet a “new man” was found who was “free from territorial ambitions and aggressive or sadistic impulses.”

Manning the raft: also a Galician explorer, a Swedish woman, an Israeli doctor, a Japanese photographer, a Greek restorer, a priest from Angola, a white American, an African-American woman, an Algerian woman, a Uruguayan and a French woman.

The project aroused curiosity but there was depression among the participants.

Acali was a small boat powered solely by a sail and had only a tiny cabin in which everyone would sleep and share space (it measured 4 x 4 meters). Where in the cabin he had some small storage rooms for personal belongings.

The bathroom: an annexed access to the raft had been built from which they had to relieve themselves in full view of the rest of the companions.

The crew: Genovés imposed that a woman be the captain of the raft.
The Swedish captain created problems. Rachida, the Algerian woman, was undisciplined in her duties. The woman from France, Zanotti, was accused of spending the whole day getting ready, the Israeli doctor was responsible for the health of the passengers, and the priest from Angola did not like to bathe and generated problems that were solved by forcing him to bathe three times a day. day.

The journey, although they said it was a liberal environment, was boring, it was a place devoid of camaraderie.

On the high seas an accident occurred because part of the rudder broke.

But there were three problems that were resolved in a vote.

Spend a whole day naked on the raft. The vote had 6 votes in favor and 5 against. Sleeping all together. Four in favor, seven against.
Create pairs: two in favor, six against and three abstentions.

Sex life in such a promiscuous environment was not what people imagined. It was poor and scarce. Intimacy almost did not exist.

The boat had only a tiny cabin in which the men and women slept mixed.

In the experiment he generated the term “Sexflotten.”

There was sex. The Japanese photographer Yamaki and the American Mary were very close from the beginning and with a great connection, and one night the “spark of love” emerged between them inside the small cabin. And Genovés himself soon became an intimate of the French Zanotti.

In the 13th week at sea, the two American women suggested that for a period of five nights, a man and a woman be allowed to be alone inside the cabin for one hour.

There was sex, but not in the proportion that was thought before leaving.

Upon arriving on the island of Cozumel, after 101 days of travel, each subject was isolated in quarantine from the rest and guarded in a hotel so that they did not leave. For a week they underwent a series of tests with psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors.

The experiment was prescient.

Several decades later a television producer would pick up this curious experiment. Thus began the so-called reality shows where misery was paid at the price of gold. Big Brother and his substitutes were born.