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Ben Baldassare

Sex in Four Dimensions!

We live in a world with three spatial dimensions. As a result, we can’t imagine something in more than three
dimensions because we’ve never experienced more than three dimensions at the same time. Math, however, makes it
almost as easy to solve problems in four dimensions as it is in three dimensions. Using linear algebra, you can work in
any number of dimensions using the same methods that you use to work in any other number of dimensions. It also
allows you to project one thing onto another, so you can project a vector in a four dimensional vector space into a two
dimensional subspace.

This raises the question of what sex would be like in higher dimensions. Never mind that the world would be radically
different—forces, for example, would get weaker as you move away from their sources more quickly in a 4d world than
they would in our 3D world—because sex in 4D is never a situation I expect to encounter in real life anyway. It’s just
interesting to think about.

In the first part of this paper, I’ll give you the basics of linear algebra. We’ll go over the notation, matrices, vectors, and
dot products. We’ll learn how to multiply vectors by matrices, and we’ll learn what the word “orthogonal” means. We’ll
also learn how to project higher-dimensional structures onto lower-dimensional subspaces. There’s also a way to
multiply matrices by each other, but I won’t show you how to do that because it’s difficult and unnecessary for this
exercise. I’ll multiply some matrices myself, but that will mostly just be to show how much of a pain in the ass it is to
multiply matrices.

In the second part, I’ll talk about intimacy and physical contact in 3D versus 4D space. In the third part, we’ll finally start
using math to model sexual intercourse. We’ll try to imagine what it looks like as well as what it feels like. The models I
drew are as simplistic as I could make them, and as such you’ll find that they’re quite unrealistic, but they’re still
sufficient to describe what we’re trying to describe.
Introduction to Linear Algebra

The first thing we should do is get familiar with linear algebra notation. Linear algebra works with vectors and matrices.
Here are three vectors in a two dimensional space. Each vector drawn on the plot matches the 2x1 matrix of the same
color. The top number tells how far to the right you go, the second number tells how far up. We’ve also multiplied the
red vector by a 2x2 matrix to get the black vector to show how this sort of multiplication works.

Another thing to get familiar with is the dot product. The dot product of a vector is the sum of the multiples of the
corresponding components, which sounds more complicated than if I just show it to you

The cool thing about dot products is that it allows you to easily determine the angle between two vectors. The dot
product of two vectors is equal to the length of the first vector, times the length of the second vector, times the cosine
of the angle between the vectors. It’s easy to get the length using the Pythagorean Theorem (in middle school they
teach it as A2 + B2 = C2, but we’re using the horizontal component of the vector for A and the vertical component for B so
we’ll be writing x2+y2 instead), so once you divide the dot product by the length of each vector you get the cosine of the
angle, which you can then use to solve for the angle itself. We write it like this: with
meaning “length of vector .” The cosine, if you don’t remember, refers to a measure in a right triangle

where you divide the leg adjacent to the angle being measured by the hypotenuse, which is the long side of a right
triangle. Since (if the blue line was going straight up, then the red line would have no length), we know that
two vectors are at a right angle to each other if their dot product is zero. In the first graph I showed you at the top of
this page, we can see that the green vector is perpendicular (at a right angle) to the blue vector. Indeed, if we calculate
the dot product of these two vectors, we get

so the dot product makes it easy to find out if two vectors are perpendicular, which will be useful to us later when we
start working in more dimensions and can’t easily draw it out.
In a 3D world, we use 3x1 matrices to denote vectors, but the rest of it works out pretty much the same way. The new
third number just describes how far forward you go. We’ve defined coming towards you as moving forward.

Here, we’ve also demonstrated how two vectors in 3D space can define a 2D subspace. Connecting the end of the red
box vector to the end of a blue box vector using the green dotted line gives you a triangle, and since triangles are always
flat then this means that the vectors also define a plane—the only plane that could contain that triangle. We’ve used a
3x2 matrix to describe this plane. The plane can be thought of as the column space of the matrix—any multiple of the
blue column added to any multiple of the red column will yield a vector contained within that same plane.

The next thing we will look at is projections. If you have a vector that’s not on the green plane, you can still project it
onto the green plane and calculate what that projection would look like. The easiest way to visualize projections is like

where we can see how projecting the blue vector onto the green plane yields the red vector. It’s almost like a shadow,
except it doesn’t look bigger than the object that made it. There’s an equation for projecting vectors onto subspaces,
and it involves calculating a projection matrix using the matrix that defines the subspace. The equation for projecting
vector b onto matrix A is

where P is the projection matrix that you can multiply any vector by to get the projection of that vector. We have some
new notation here. The “T” means that you transpose the matrix by turning it sideways. The -1 means “inverse,” and
much like how multiplying a number by its inverse gives 1, multiplying a matrix by its inverse gives the identity matrix,
which is basically the matrix equivalent of 1. The identity matrix has 1’s all along its diagonal from top left to bottom
right, and zeroes everywhere else. It is always a square matrix, meaning it always has as many rows as columns, and
much like the number 1, multiplying any matrix by the identity matrix gives the exact same matrix you started with. For
the matrix A that we’ve been using, . We’re now ready to calculate the projection matrix. I won’t
bother explaining how to multiply matrices or find inverses, I’ll just work out the solution.
Here we go:

Alright, so now we can try projecting a vector onto matrix A

That’s all very ugly. It took me at least 20 minutes to do that, and I probably made some mistakes somewhere along the
way. To make things easier, we’ll just project things onto a much friendlier plane

the green vectors basically just give us the x-z plane, the “floor” of the space. Here’s the projection matrix:
Now we can try using it to project the blue matrix onto that plane to get the black matrix

So it’s pretty simple, all you have to do is make the vertical component be zero and leave everything else the same. You
probably could have figured that out without using the projection matrix formula. It’s almost like, why did I even show
you how to calculate that much longer and uglier projection? You’re right, I probably could have skipped it.

So one last thing we need to learn about is orthogonality. Two vectors are said to be orthogonal if they are
perpendicular, but it’s also possible for subspaces to be orthogonal if any vector contained within one subspace will be
perpendicular to any vector contained within the other. For example, any line you draw on the surface of a table will be
perpendicular to any line you draw along one of the table legs. You can’t, however, have two planes be orthogonal in
3D space. The walls in the corner of a room meet at a right angle, but you could draw one line along the edge of the
room and another at a 45° angle to that edge; these two vectors would not be perpendicular. Here, we use dot products
to illustrate another instance of this:

Since the dot product does not equal zero, we know that the vectors are not perpendicular. You can, however, have two
orthogonal planes in a 4D space.

The rule is that the dimensions of the orthogonal subspaces cannot add up to more than the dimensions of the world
that contains them. A 3D world can also have three lines that are all orthogonal, such as the axes on a Cartesian
coordinate system, because each line has only one dimension.

4D Intimacy

Try touching the palms of your hands together so that your fingers line up. Now, any point on the palm of one of your
hands is touching the corresponding point on the palm of your other hand. In math, we can visualize it like this:

The two planes are separated by a distance s, and each point on one plane is exactly s units away from the
corresponding point on the other plane. Subtracting vectors can confirm this: point (a,b) on the blue plane is s away
from point (a,b) on the red plane. We can make s be as small as we want, and this model is sufficient because on the
atomic level no two objects can ever actually touch anyway—they can just get close enough to each other that the
electrons from the atoms in one object repel the electrons from the atoms in the other object.

Now, in four dimensions, we can do the same thing with two solids that we can do with two planes in three dimensions.
Imagine having two rooms where any point in one room is right next to that same point in the room right next to it. We
can do vector subtraction the same way we did in 3D to show how this can be true

so this means that in a 4D world you’ll have an extra dimension of contact and sensation during intimate moments.
Imagine, for example, that you’re stroking your partner’s rock-hard six-pack abs.

You can stroke by moving your hand up and down along the blue arrows as well as left and right along the red arrows.
Moving along the green axis, however, will not result in stroking. If you move your hand back, it will no longer be
touching your partner’s stomach. If you move your hand forward, you will puncture your partner’s stomach, and the
moment will cease to be intimate as you have now created a medical emergency. More realistically, you’ll be able to
decrease and increase pressure by moving along that axis, so you’ll be able to change what your partner feels but not
where he or she feels it. In four dimensions, you’ll be able to stroke up and down, left and right, forward and back, and
then alter pressure along the fourth dimension.

Modeling Sex Using Math

Describing 4D sex in 3D will be easier if we use the analogy of describing 3D sex in 2D. We’re also going to make all of
the parts involved rectangular so that it will be easier to draw and easier to calculate results. The penis moves
orthogonal to the surface of the vagina, and for consistency we’ll assume that the penis subspace is the y-axis while the
vagina subspace is the x-z plane. Also, red will always represent the penis and blue will always represent the vagina,
both in drawings and in matrices.

On the next page I’ll present three figures. On the left is 3D sex in 3D. The other two show the same thing but projected
into 2D space. We look at two different ways that you can do this. We also give the matrices describing the subspaces,
the projection matrices for those subspaces, and the result of multiplying the penis vector or vagina matrix by the
projection matrix to see what the projection would look like.
Since x and z are equivalent in this diagram, we don’t need to look at a z-y projection as well as an x-y projection. The
two will look the same, which is why we only provided one of them. Now that we have a 2D projection of 3D sex, we
can start thinking about 3D projections of 4D sex. We’ll keep y as our penis dimension and then just make the fourth
dimension, which we’ll call t, into another vagina dimension. The vaginal opening is no longer a square but is now a
cube. Insert a joke about “boxes” here. It can also be called a 3D hyperplane. Again, there are two ways to do this
projection. If we project into x-y-z space, it will look the same as the leftmost diagram above. If we instead swap out y
for t to project into x-z-t space, we’ll get a red dot in the middle of a blue cube. The equations on the next page will
show this. Before we can start projecting, we need to modify our penis vector and vagina matrix to work in four

The first three rows are the same, but the last row represents the t value. Since the vagina is now a space and not a
plane, we also needed to add another column.
Now, let’s look at projecting into x-y-z space

So if you remove the last row and the last column from the vagina matrix, you’ll see that it’s the same as the vagina
matrix we used in 3D. Also, if you remove the last row from the penis vector, you’ll get the 3D penis vector we used
earlier. So, by projecting x-y-z-t sex into x-y-z space, we get boring old x-y-z sex. It’ll be much more interesting to
project into x-z-t space

So the penis vector is now a point just like we had in the rightmost diagram on the previous page. Of course, that’s not
what it would look like in real life, even if real life had square penises. If we simplify the glans of the penis into a square
pyramid, we can easily draw what 3D sex would look like projected onto the x-z plane by imagining that we’re taking a
cross-section right along the surface of the vagina.

The penis enters an open and inviting vagina. The vagina is larger than the tip of the glans where the urethra is, but as
you approach the shaft the penis gets bigger and starts to stretch the vagina around it. In the cross-section, a red square
is inside a larger blue square, but then the red square grows and eventually starts pushing on the sides of the blue
square and stretching it. The 4D equivalent would be a growing red cube inside of a stretchable blue cube. Since the
penis is more of a cylinder than a square prism, a real-life 2D cross-section would look like a circle inside of a circle, so us
3D beings would probably see x-z-t sex a sphere pressing against and stretching a sphere that encases it.
The last question, of course, is how 4D sex would feel. We consider the analogy of sex in lower dimensions. First, we’ll
look at 2D sex. Although the clitoris contains 8,000 nerve endings and is responsible for most of the sensation that the
girl feels, and the glans of the penis contains 4,000 nerve endings and is responsible for most of the sensation for the
guy, we’ll ignore these organs (although, in real-life sex, they should never be ignored). The math for sensation on the
clitoris and glans in 4D is pretty similar to what we’ll be doing here, so sensation will scale in the same manner, but it’ll
be easier to draw and calculate if we just consider the nerves on the vaginal walls.

The green here represents the direction on which the penis pushes against the vaginal wall. The vagina has sensory
nerves for the first inch after the opening. Sensation is due to friction, which is proportional to the normal force—the
force with which one object is pushing directly against the other. This is why rubbing your along on a carpet feels
warmer (and potentially causes more rug burn) if you push down harder. In 2D, sex would look like this

The matrix to the right describes the type of wall along which the nerves lie. The line to the right of it shows what would
happen if we lined up both walls end-to-end. Next, 3D sensation:

The idea here is that the blue lines represent the vagina as we were looking at it earlier, and the black lines extend it by
one inch along the penis dimension to describe the one inch of nerves on those walls. The matrix for each type of wall is
given, and the line representing the part of the vaginal opening that the matrix corresponds to is shown above. Just like
in 2D, there are two of each type of wall. The normal force from the penis is always orthogonal to the penis vector, as
the green lines show again. The sensation now takes place on a plane rather than on a line. If we lined up the vaginal
walls end-to-end as we did with the 2D system, we would get this:

So basically, the number of walls increased by two and the sensation was squared. On the next page, we’ll finally look at
4D sensation, but unfortunately after that I won’t have any more diagrams or equations to give you.
Okay, here we go:

There are now six vaginal walls, and the penis is pushing against all of them at the same time. The girl, however, would
still have sensory nerves for an inch along the penis vector on each of those surfaces just as the 3D girl had sensation for
an inch deep on each of the four edges. This means that for each of the six surfaces that we see the penis push against
in this model, the girl would feel sensation inside a cube rather than simply on a surface. This would definitely be pretty


This paper presents groundbreaking advances in fetishism. People will now be able to fantasize about dramatically
more preposterous scenarios than they have been able to previously. Although life, if it can exist in a 4D world, would
not exist in a form that we’re at all familiar with because the laws of physics would be different, no such limitations
apply to what a person can imagine as existing in such a place.

Perhaps one day, we’ll have a way to merge computers with our brains and be able to have 4D sex in simulated
environments where the changes in the laws of physics would not apply. It’s possible that our brains can perceive and
imagine spatially in four dimensions just as easily as they can in three, and that the only reason we can’t picture 4D
environments is because we’ve never experienced them.

The main point of this exercise, of course, is just to have fun. The people in my Math 221 class were just as surprised to
hear that I’m a psych major as classmates from my psych classes are to hear that I’m taking upper-level math classes.
These things seem very different to people, but here I managed to show how they can be blended together. Here, I’ve
presented a paper that both a math major and a psych major can enjoy. Even people who don’t think math is fun are
still likely to think anything is fun if it involves sex. I certainly had fun writing this paper, too, as it combined seemingly
unrelated subjects into an abstract and wild application.