Promiscuous Women Will Rule the World — And I Wrote a Graphic Novel About One of Them
I wrote a graphic novel about a porn star who does a lot of gangbangs. It might sound degenerate, but I believe that promiscuous women are the biggest badasses around. And hey, I was inspired by science. Allow me to explain.
I had a gig reviewing porn DVDs for an adult magazine back in the late aughts. I’d been doing it for a few years when I started to get a little obsessed with gangbangs. When I’d started out, I was embarrassed to watch them, as many of us raised in a sex-shy culture would be. But as I viewed more of them, I began to watch more carefully.
I started paying attention to the logistics — especially with scenes featuring more men than usual, I was impressed with the feats of time, space, tech, and people management that must go into pulling them off. And I began noticing that, in many gangbangs, the center of attention didn’t look exhausted or bored or frightened, as one might expect. Instead, these women often looked radiant. Sweat and the crowding of limbs (and often of bodily fluids) aside, they seemed strong, centered, ecstatic. As though they were deep in orgasmic meditation. In fact, as I kept watching, I became convinced that some of them were experiencing some kind of transcendence.
Around this time, I was also reading a lot about evolutionary sexuality, or the study of how and why humans may have evolved sexually the way that we did. It might sound dry, but let me tell you, that shit is fascinating. For instance, here’s one way scientists deduce that cisgender human women are relatively promiscuous: The size of cisgender human men’s testicles. It’s true! In mammals, and particularly in primates like us, larger testicle size correlates positively with promiscuity in females. (Check out the lil’ nuts on male gorillas, whose harems of females are pretty faithful, versus the sizable cajones on male chimps, who are known to literally line up for their turn to go at it with females [just like those guys in the gangbang movies!].) Humans have pretty big balls for our size. And human women often have a relatively large amount of sex, with quite a few partners.
I also learned that, according to long-held theories about human sexuality, lots of scientists had been scratching their heads over why human women are as promiscuous as they are. The old-school thinking goes that, since men have relatively little invested in the reproductive process, it makes sense that they are biologically driven to “spread their seed” across a large number of partners, thereby upping their chances of passing on their DNA to a larger number of offspring. But women must weigh the chances of pregnancy, childbirth, and long, arduous child-rearing every time they get it on. And, given their high level of investment in the process, women’s genetic legacies are much more limited in scope than men’s. The prevailing theories for decades had posited that women have lower libidos and higher standards in sexual partners because of this evolutionary reality.
Not only did this traditional line of thought lead to a whooole lot of excuses for shitty male behavior (further reading: #metoo in its entirety) and to a whooole lot of shame and repression heaped upon women… It turns out that it’s not even true. More recent research has shown that human women are just as horny as men, although social conditioning makes it difficult for us to admit it. And that females across multiple species — homo sapiens very much included — aren’t nearly as picky as we’ve been told. In fact, females of many kinds have been observed having sex with lots of partners who aren’t their primary partners—even in some species that we long viewed as paragons of monogamy.
And that got scientists to asking themselves: Why? What’s the point of women having so much sex if there’s so much at risk for them? Wouldn’t it make more sense, from an evolutionary standpoint, to have way less sex and way less desire for it, so that women would be less likely to be impregnated by subpar partners, thus passing on a less-than-spectacular genetic legacy? Female sexual pleasure has no direct biological function that scientists can decipher, so there’s been a lot of guessing about why it even exists. Sure, scientists in this field look at all available evidence to reach their conclusions, but just like all things evolutionary, nobody can really know for certain why anything turned out the way it did. That all being said, the theories proposed to explain human female sexual pleasure are fucking fascinating. And most of them will blow all of your old-fashioned notions of prim and proper femininity right out of the gene pool.
Some think that orgasms and their accompanying cocktail of endorphins serve to pair-bond partners better for baby-raising. Others have proposed that female pleasure (and thus lubrication) might be a safeguard against injury during “forced copulation” (eg: rape), though this theory is a bit flimsy. Still others believe that female orgasm is simply an evolutionary leftover — that women haven’t yet “grown out” of the vestigial counterpart to male orgasm, sort of like the male nipple.
And then there are those who think that female orgasm causes the cervix to “upsuck” semen, increasing the chances of pregnancy with partners who can bring us to climax (though this theory is controversial, since lab tests have yet to reliably bear out the hypothesis). Or, it may very well be that female sexual pleasure and orgasm are just what they appear to be: both incentive and reward for having more good sex with more partners. Orgasms are pretty much the ultimate in happy-chemical release, AKA biological reward for sexual behavior. And plenty of research has shown that regular orgasms are really freaking good for us — physically and emotionally. Of course we want to have lots of sex! Some of us want to have it with lots of men, and if either the “upsuck” theory or the reward theory are true, having more sex partners is actually part of women’s evolutionary reproductive strategy. Not because we’re trying to have tons of babies…but so that we can have the best babies. By promoting something called “sperm competition.”
Yep. It’s a thing.
Here’s how it works: Inside the female reproductive tract, it’s basically a war zone. Our bodies are built to weed out the lackluster swimmers and even give the stronger ones hell. Scientists are beginning to believe that they’re also built to pit the strongest sperm from multiple partners against each other in a gladiator-style contest to get to the egg. The more partners women have, the more possibilities we give our bodies to pair our genetic material with those of a superior genetic specimen and create superlative offspring…thus giving our own genetic footprint the best likelihood of survival and propagation in later generations. The more badass kids we have, the more we win, genetically.
There’s a lot of clues that lead researchers to think that the sperm competition theory might be correct. For instance — and this is pretty graphic, so look away now, ye faint of heart — studies have shown that cisgender men tend to ejaculate more so-called “fighter sperm” (which aren’t meant to fertilize but to kill off competitors) when they believe their partner has been with a different man. Oh, and remember that bit about testicle size correlating with promiscuity? Yeah, those big balls that humans have been blessed with are big because we produce quite a lot of semen…maybe in an attempt to crowd out anybody else’s. It’s even been pointed out that the human penis is actually shaped to scoop out the semen that might have been in the vagina already.
It ain’t pretty, folks. It’s science.
So, anyway, here I am, a porn reviewer. And, with all of the contemplation I’d been doing about gangbangs, it occurred to me that women who do gangbangs with cisgender men might not be “sluts,” as we conveniently label them in an effort to devalue them as people.
They might be the biggest badasses on the planet, from a genetic-footprint angle. Of course, most of the women in porn films aren’t thinking about their genetic footprints while they’re taking on ten men at a time. But that’s the thing about evolution and instinct: We don’t know why we do things. We just do them. Maybe women who do gangbangs are, at an instinctual level, driven by their desire to rule the world, genetically. With a bunch of kickass babies and then a whole bunch of grandbabies and eventually, like, a freaking army of offspring. Maybe porn stars (and other women) who do gangbangs are actually the most alpha women on the planet. Maybe, in future, those of us who looked down on them for their adventurous sexual behavior will be long erased from the gene pool, while the women who had sex with fifty men in one session will be quietly ruling the world from beyond the grave.
But who has time for all that? What good is ruling the world if you’re dead? Wouldn’t it be better to have all the sex — the fun part — but then skip the pregnancy, child-rearing, and time-passing stuff? My brain, avid consumer of sci-fi that it is, started to tick away at this idea. How could one turn an alpha sex drive into an army of offspring within one’s own lifetime?
Maybe, I thought, with the power of modern technology, someone could have sex with multiple men, clone the “genetic material” (get it? I mean semen) that would otherwise go to waste, and build herself a literal army. She’d be the alpha-est of the alpha!
So, naturally, I started writing a graphic novel about her. Her name is Tracy Queen. She’s a porn star with a degree in biochemistry, a background in organized crime, a penchant for gangbangs, and a 300-page graphic novel ahead of her. She’s also got a gigantic sex toy collection, a talking raccoon engineer for a best friend…and a cyborg-clone army that she marches into battle against the forces of sexual repression who try to call her a slut instead of a badass alpha. (Full disclosure: Right now I’m Kickstarting the first volume of that graphic novel, and hey, it’d be pretty cool if you checked it out.)
I did some more investigating into the science as I went, and I was disappointed to learn that you can’t actually make clones from semen, since it has only half the genetic material require to make a living being. But by the time I discovered the truth, I was way too invested in writing the book to stop. So I decided to embrace junk science — being the sci-fi fan that I am — and turned the main character’s best friend into a brilliant electronics engineer, and decided that my hero would combine cloning with cybernetic technology to create a cyborg-clone army.
And she’d use a growth serum to speed up the maturation process of human-adjacent creations from 18 years to 3. Because hey, I’d already done plenty of reading on real science, and junk science was working for me! And because the whole “build my own army” idea would look much less attractive to a twentysomething if it included 20 years of waiting around for her soldiers to reach maturity. And let’s be real: Tracy Queen might be a brilliant alpha female, but she’s not exactly a patience, long-game, super stable type. Or she wouldn’t be making an army in the first place, amirite?
But look, here’s the thing: We’ve all been going about our lives for decades thinking that women have lower libidos than men. That women are more built for monogamy. That women are these demure little flowers (which, by the way, are promiscuous AF if you really think about it — the let like tons of bees take that pollen wherever the hell they want) who are just concerned about raising their babies. But the truth might be that human cisgender women are driven by lust, pleasure, and a basic biological directive to have as much sex as they damn well please. We can keep trying to force all of humanity into ridiculously narrow definitions of acceptable sexual behavior, and we can continue to be disappointed, even enraged when other people don’t behave in the ways that we believe they should. Or we can embrace our true promiscuous natures — or at least stop being jerks about people who do — and have way more fun. Consensually, with openness and honesty, and using safer sex practices all the while, of course.