The world’s oldest porn was queer and gender non-conforming AF

·2-min read

On a huge red basalt outcrop in the remote Xinjiang region of northwest China, the world’s oldest porn, the Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs, can be found – and they’re super queer.

The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs are bas-relief carvings that are thought to have been created between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago.

Petroglyphs, or ancient rock carvings, have been found across the globe, but what makes the Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs special is that they are graphically sexual.

Discovered in the late 1980s by Chinese archaeologist Wang Binghua, the petroglyphs depict elaborate copulation and fertility rituals, queer sex, and gender non-conforming figures.

According to the International Business Times, researchers have interpreted the carvings as featuring trans people because of the traditionally male and female characteristics of the figures.

For example, the “female” carvings had shapelier legs and wear headdresses and jewellery, which the “male” ones had thinner legs, huge penises and no adornments.

However, a third group is shown with erect phalluses, while also wearing feminine headdresses, leading researchers to believe they were either gender non-conforming, non-binary or transgender.

In one scene, figures dance in a circle around a gender non-conforming figure as they prepare to have sex with a woman.

In another, a male is seen embracing another male, while a third masturbates alone. Other men with erections appear to be dancing with a gender non-conforming figure.

Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs
(Jeannine Davis-Kimball/ The Center for the Study of the Eurasian Nomads)

The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs feature floating heads and dogs as symbols of a complex sex ritual

Dr Jeannine Davis-Kimball, the late director of The Center for the Study of the Eurasian Nomads, studied the Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs, which have been referred to as the “world’s oldest porn”.

While some elements of the carvings give clues about the sexual and gender fluidity of our ancient ancestors, others show that parts of the rituals were focused on fertility.

Bizarrely, in more than one of the scenes, a “chorus line” of tiny babies is seen. In one, they are coming out of a vulva, in another they are flowing out of a penis, which Davis-Kimball said symbolised “the obvious intent of procreation”.

She also wrote that further details in the carvings suggested complex sex rituals: “In addition, human figures, floating heads, meandering dogs, static felines, and heraldic animals fill voids.

“To the ancients each image most surely represented some aspect of the ritual.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting