Long long ago, far far back in time, sex didn’t exist yet. Living beings just grew and self-divided into two copies. But then at some point, two living creatures on Earth were the first to ever have sex. What inspired the first living beings on Earth to have sex? I know, that’s a loaded question. Those first two beings weren’t human. They weren’t monkeys or dogs or birds or dinosaurs or spiders or fish or clams or plants or amoebae. They were bacteria. Scientists say bacteria invented sex 1.2 billion years ago. Invented sex. It was a way to exchange DNA and pass traits on which would make them more able to survive.
1.2 billion years is a long time. But think about this, life existed for another 2.5 billion years before that. 2.5 billion years that life was on Earth and none of it was having sex. I’m amazed that it took them 2.5 billion years to figure it out. Could you imagine doing the same reproductive act for 2.5 billion years? Not to mention, it is an act which involved splitting yourself in half. A bunch of single-celled organisms floating around, self-reproducing by splitting themselves in half, for 2.5 billion years. That would suck. Especially since, as we know, doing it yourself is just not the same. I guess after 2.5 billion years, I would be frustrated enough to try something new too.
The instinctual desire for a DNA-swap must have been building for a long, long time…millions of years. And I bet, unknown to each bacterium, the other bacteria were also hoping someone would stick their DNA into them. For the sake of discussion, I am assuming it was a mutual decision. But how to do it? I wonder if there was any courting that happened too or did the two bacteria just bump into each other, throw caution to the wind and get down to it right then and there. In fact, maybe it wasn’t two at a time. Maybe after the word spread, bacteria had a mass orgy going 24/7. Oh, to be a bacterium.
But while sex and the mass orgy are great ideas, bacteria don’t have ideas. So I am wondering, what would possess a living being to create sex? When no one was having sex and it had never been done before, when it wasn’t even an idea, what would possess something to have to get inside another….to stick it into them? And bacteria didn’t just invent sex, they invented the mechanics, the “pilus.” And yes, it kind of works the same way as the human one. I guess man’s “pilus” is nature’s way of confirming the old adage: if something works, don’t fix it. If bacteria could talk, I would imagine one saying to the other, “Give me that big pilus of yours.” Maybe the 2.5 billion sexless years is how much time it took to figure out how to grow a pilus.
I can’t create a pilus. All I can do is use the one I was given. Granted, I use it well but it’s not like it’s in the media or women are talking about it. If I could create them, I would have 4 or 5. Wouldn’t that make for fun nights.
Do bacteria have orgasms? I assumed a living being required a complex system of nerves to have an orgasm and that is what would have led to the invention of sex. But bacteria don’t have complex nervous systems so maybe an orgasm was just an unexpected fringe benefit. However I refuse to believe the invention of sex was purely was logical so something must feel good to a bacterium about sticking it to another bacterium. Do bacteria feel?
As we, humans, grow up, we learn about sex, we hear about sex, we see things everywhere implying sex, and then we instinctually imitate. It’s just like how we learn to talk or how parents that smoke tend to have kids that smoke no matter how much they tell their kids not to smoke. Monkey see monkey do. Of course, with sex, there is sexual desire too. That desire has been programmed into us throughout all the previous humans and the previous living beings in our family tree that were having and desiring sex for billions of years. But again, at some point there was that first being.
I keep wanting life to be easy, but it’s not. We all have to fight for our survival. Bacteria have to fight for survival too. Instead of that bacterium though fighting or consuming another bacterium, why did it want to fuck it? If it had a thought, I assume it would be like this….“Hey, this has never been done before, so I don’t know why I want to do this, but I am so going to create a thing to stick in this other being and inject my DNA into it. Sounds like fun!” It wasn’t a conscious thought though because they don’t have thoughts. It had to be some sort of instinct.
The sex drive of bacteria is not just a biological adaptation to exchange traits to make themselves stronger and more able to adapt to the environment, but it’s also a way to repair their damaged DNA thanks to their naturally weak defenses to all sorts of toxins and threats in the environment. In essence, bacteria have sex to save their lives. Think about that reality ladies the next time a guy uses a line like it’s going to kill him if you don’t sleep with him. There may actually be a genetic predisposition in him to feel like that (although it’s in a slightly different way than the bacteria).