Bang, Bang,

The ins and outs of a disorganized try at the gangbang record

When anyone attempts to break the "gangbang" world record, certain inevitable questions arise: What sort of books does she read? What sort of lube does she use? Does Guy No. 489 feel nervous or bored? How many pee breaks are allowed? Since Annabel Chong gained notoriety in 1995 by having sex with 251 men over the course of 10 hours, the record has been broken numerous times and the questions have been repeatedly put to me, so when the opportunity arose to cover the locally based "Who Wants to SHAG to be a Millionaire," an event that would break the world record with five "amateur" women and 621 men, my course was clear.

Within a few short weeks, fast-talking event producer Forest Williams had elicited the interest of Howard Stern, Hustler magazine, Playboy Channel's Sexcetera, and MSNBC, but being a local boy based out of Santa Rosa, Williams was happy to have me along for the ride. "Nothing like this has ever been done before," he said amid a stream of perfected soundbites. "The event will be Webcast live. With amateur women, just like you, competing for $1 million and a two-year modeling contract. The mainstream porn industry is against me. They said it couldn't be done without their support, but I've proved them wrong. You'll see.

"It's high noon and bright. Not the ideal time to be skulking around outside the Power Exchange sex club, but there I am, standing on the street with a small group of men anxious to participate, but not too anxious to make eye contact. Williams is late. The women have already arrived: 37-year-old Libra, a manicurist from Las Vegas, on the arm of her husband of 11 years; 29-year-old Hot Chocolate, a medical office administrator and mother of two originally from Jamaica but now living in Petaluma, accompanied by her boyfriend; and 42-year-old Raini, a waitress from Chicago who claims to be something of a homebody when she's not celebrating her birthday by having sex with 20 men at once. Two other women have already dropped out of the race, a decision the other competitors can appreciate.

"I haven't told my family yet," says Libra, a Taurus who enjoys rock 'n' roll clubs, Fabio, the color purple, and anything written by Stephen King.

"But my parents will probably find out pretty soon," Libra laughs. "If I win the money, which I plan to, I'm going to give them a good chunk. I'm pretty sure they'll accept it. We're all adults."

But money isn't Libra's central focus. She has long-standing gangbang fantasies that she has played out on a small scale back home in Sin City; she and her husband are active swingers; as a hobby, she performs as a cyberhostess for an online sex site; and she has been actively training for this event with men of varying length and girth, all friends of her husband.

"It's about seeing my wife happy," says Libra's husband, Leroy Brown, a diminutive cowboy with a firm-set jaw, a colossal black cowboy hat, and a large leather belt with a notch for every year he and Libra have been wed. "I enjoy watching my wife light up, getting all giggly and excited when she's got a new cutie in front of her. Our marriage isn't a contractual obligation. It's based on freedom and love. And I love to see her happy. I'm just here to make sure she's safe and cared for."

Libra's eyes fill with tears as she curls into her husband's arm, giving him a shy, intimate peck on the cheek that makes me feel more like an interloper than if she had dropped to her knees.

"This is fun, " Libra says, wiping away the curly blond hair that has stuck to the tear on her cheek, "but my husband is my life."

For Hot Chocolate, a slender ebony beauty who enjoys cooking for her children and reading books by Maya Angelou, the contest is strictly about money. Though Chocolate has posed nude for Forest Williams' Web site, her sexual relationship with her handsome live-in boyfriend, Mario Tolls, is pretty traditional.

"He's a nympho," laughs Chocolate. "We like sex a lot, but it took us a couple of months to decide to do this. He'll be doing my lubrication through the whole contest. If I win, I want to buy my mother, who still lives in Jamaica, a car and stuff. I worry that she'll find out about this, but she lives in a different country, so she probably won't."

Raini has no such worries about her family: She hasn't had contact with them in quite a while. They don't approve of her lifestyle as a woman. Which includes reading Shakespeare, watching Casablanca, and taking part in orgies when she can. "Whether I win or lose, only a few people have had the opportunity to have this kind of experience. And I'm really eager to add my name to that list," she says. "To test my limits, live out my fantasy, and have this experience. I'm really excited."

Williams arrives, wearing an unflattering beige suit and a ponytail, and hustles the contestants and the media into a medieval banquet room for questions. Totally in his element under bright lights and microphones, Williams is a low-budget combination of Larry Flynt and P.T. Barnum, all smoke and mirrors and smut.

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