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Virginity Auctions

Just The Tip: Virginity in the News with Broad City's Ilana Glazer, Purity creepiness, virginty auctioner revealed, sex myths, and campus rape stats

I've been asking people about this very thing for so many years now, and I've seen a lot of other people try it with mixed results. It's tough to get strangers to talk honestly about sex on camera, but Ilana is really sweet and funny and some of the stories are really touching. I shouldn't have been surprised given her other work, most lately Broad City, the show she created with Abbi Jacobson. It started as a web series about two young and underemployed women in NYC, and was picked up by Comedy Central, with Amy Poehler Exec Producing! If you haven't sampled it yet, do it now.

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There's a photo series all over the internet right now by Swedish photographer David Magnusson called Purity. Everyone is freaking out about how creepy they are. So, yes, purity ball photos can sometimes look incestuous, but know why they're really creepy? They represent a culture where men own these girls' sexuality, purity balls fund CPCs, and their freak-show quality distracts us from all the sexuality bs happening in the rest of the world. Yes, I'm writing about it, so stay tuned.

PS Judy actually spotted this project last year and loved it so much she used it as part of her story "How I went from Purity Pledger to Queer Radical Feminist, thanks to two years of ‘Cotillion’ Classes." Above is the image we used (our favorite) which for some reason they're not including in the galleries online.

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Juliana at Feministing wrote a lovely piece on our film and we especially loved the fact that she watched it with her little sis! Here are two excerpts that meant a lot to us, because they spoke to our goals for the film:

I have a little sister and, like any good feminist, I spend a lot of time making sure that she knows that her worth extends beyond her beauty, her body, and her sexuality. As she is still a teenager, a big topic in her life and that of her peers lately has been virginity. Personally, I don’t think that my sexuality or “virginity” is an object to lose, or give away, and I don’t want her to think that either. That’s why I was so excited to watch How to Lose Your Virginity with her...

..In spite of the fascinating and telling historical context, the true triumph of How to Lose Your Virginity is in how relatable it is. The first time I had sex, I was surprised at how anti-climactic the whole thing was. Watching this film, it was touching to see my experience mirrored back at me."

I think we need to start a See It With Your Sister campaign, pronto!

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3adb6ae4af129bdcbd30348211f44554Over at Policy Mic, we got another shout-out in a story called 17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex, with tackles everything from virginity and hymen myths to period sex to women who watch porn (and illustrated by Ms Ilana Glazer) It warms my mythbusting heart that this exists, so I was pretty shocked at the vehemence with with people were challenging it in the comments.

One of the biggest points of contention was myth #1 "Virginity exists" and hoo boy did people have problems with that one! There were several comments to the effect of 'virginity does too exist and it's real and everyone knows what it is.' Well, everyone does NOT know what it is, and in fact the lack of any concrete definition is what's confused and terrorized women forever (the simple fact that many women don't bleed on penetration has done untold damage)

But for the record, we do think virginity exists, just not in the 'one-magic-moment-when-the-penis-goes-into-the-vagina" way. It exists in many forms, with each new experience and new partner. What doesn't and shouldn't exist is one specific virginity that's used to categorize, judge and police people (mostly women) based on their sexual choices. That's bullshit. And truth be told, that's pretty much what Policy Mic was saying as well, it's just that heading that got people so out of joint.

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Jaclyn Friedman wrote a rather chilling but important article on a new way to select colleges– check the campus rape statistics:

Those precious few who ask at all tend to check a school's reporting numbers, assuming that a low rate of rapes reported on a campus is a good sign. But most of the time the reverse is true: every campus has a rape problem – the ones where students feel comfortable reporting are actually safer campuses.

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Virginity auctioneer Elizabeth Raine, who I wrote about here and here, has decided to show people what she looks like. She was initially concerned about getting kicked out of her med school if people found out who she was, but now says: "I actually didn't like the anonymity. People mistake it for shame." Her top official bid is $550,000 and her auction ends May 7th.You can see more photos and learn more about her at her site.

I really enjoyed deconstructing virginity myths with Liz in our Nerve.com interview, and I hope this whole process doesn't fuck her up. I don't mean because of the sex (although I hope that goes OK as well), but because of the crude attention and News of the Weird nature of virginity auctions.

 

Found some Virginity in the News? Be a Just The Tipster and let us know! Email us, or post to twitter with @virginitymovie in your message.

 

I challenged virginity auctioner Elizabeth Raine on the validity of virginity testing and something amazing happened

Last week, I did an interview with Elizabeth Raine, the American woman who is offering her 'virginity' for auction. I enjoyed talking to her about the myths inherent in these kinds of auctions: placing value on a social construct, the fact that what's really being auctioned is 'first penis in,' and the enduring and dangerous myth of the hymen's relationship to a woman's sexual history.

In fact, I called her out her claim that she could prove her virginity through a test. She responded by doing something amazing. She wrote a post on her blog that included the following lines:

Even among virgins, the doctor cannot always prove virginity.

The absence of an “intact” hymen never proves the absence of virginity.

And many virgins do not bleed or even feel discomfort at first penetration.

And then this statement at the end:

If you are someone who is disappointed by this news, I am so very sorry (yes, that was sarcasm). I am aware that some people want to know with certainty whether or not our young women are virgins, but whoever once said “you can’t always get what you want” was really onto something. So, instead, why don’t we stop terrorizing these girls unnecessarily – it is the height of unreasonable to dictate a bride bleed on her wedding night or pass a gynecological examination (for a virgin whore, it is a bit more reasonable). And if you are someone who would punish a woman for not doing so, then you are a big part of what is wrong with this world. And I would suggest you change yourself, a lot, immediately. You might begin by getting your facts straight on hymens.

I have some issues with her assertion that in her case it can be proven, but volunteering for exams and lie detector tests seems to be a standard component of Virginity Auction Theater at this point. Having said that, I really appreciated her doing some outreach/education for the benefit of misguided (and worse) people who still think hymens have anything to do with anything (checking a guy's testicles will give you just as much information on his history...none).

Her bidding opened today, complete with extensive terms and conditions (including not penetrating the anus of the Virgin, or treating her violently). So for those people so in thrall of the virgin/whore dichotomy that they place a premium on 'first penis in' and want to pay someone for it, she awaits your bids.

An interview with Elizabeth Raine, America's latest virginity auctioner

Raine
Raine

I just did an interview for Nerve.com with 27-year-old American medical student Elizabeth Raine, who is putting her "virginity" up for auction on April 1st. Readers of this blog know I've been following this phenomenon for years, and like every other woman doing this kind of thing, she's getting a lot of sleazy, breathless tabloid coverage. I was glad to learn a bit more about her, and to talk to her about how virginity auctions affect how we value women for their sexual status, and how they perpetuate virginity myths and stereotypes.

As I say in the intro, I talked to Liz about the kind of guy who’d pay good money to be the “first penis in,” why you can’t prove a woman isn't a virgin, and how to negotiate boundaries when your first sexual experience is with a total stranger. Here's a short excerpt where we get into some of the issues, but please read the whole thing at Nerve.

Which brings me to the question of what “virginity” means to you. What are you auctioning? I think losing virginity is having heterosexual intercourse for the first time. If you are referring to another type of intercourse it needs to be clarified, for instance “I lost my oral virginity.”

So what do you think the appeal or fascination is for a guy? What do you think they think they’re buying? For some reason or another it is a sexual fantasy [to have a virgin]. In some cases, I think they want to take on the role of sexual teacher. In others, they just want to try something new. And then there are some men who are just attracted to the idea of an untouched woman.

I always assumed it was the desire for “first penis in” like planting your flag on uncharted territory or something.  Men are very competitive and territorial creatures.

I sometimes think that if men are stupid enough to pay for a social construct, let them. I can't disagree with that.

I really hate the mythology virginity auctions perpetuate. As long as there hasn't been a penis inside a woman, she and her body have value. But once that happens, she has none. No one auctions off the second time they have intercourse.  Well that's not necessarily true, women with all levels of sexual experience are selling sex somewhere. I'm not saying that makes it right, but I do think it is more of a continuum than you think. Men preferring less 'promiscuous' women is not a phenomenon limited to virgins.

They are, but adding the #virginity seems to increase the value exponentially. I'm not sure Natalie would have gotten much interest if she had already had intercourse and was offering the second time to a lucky bidder. Do you? I agree the value is inflated. Here is one more idea: The first time is a mystery. So, being in the position of the virgin, if you are going to lose it under these circumstances, it should pay well.

Belgian woman auctions off the right of some guy to be the first to put his penis into her vagina for €50,000

Some dude is paying a Belgian woman €50,000 to be the first to put his penis into her vagina:

"In return for his €50,000, the winner will have the student’s company for 24 hours but must take her shopping and treat her to dinner as part of the deal. The escort company went to the trouble of sending Noelle to a top gynaecologist in The Hague to ascertain that she is a virgin.

The virgin enthusiast will be given a doctor’s certificate proving Noelle is a virgin, and she is insisting sex will only be performed with a condom. On her website profile, Noelle describes herself as ‘a very sweet and innocent girl, but with a bit of a naughty mind’."*

Do I need to get into the fact that a gynaecologist/gynecologist can't tell anything about a woman's sexual history by looking at her? That the hymen means as much as the tip of a guy's penis? That it's really sad that the world continues to be titillated by these kinds of stories, essentially sex work with a gimmick?

Do I need to point out that we're all complicit in perpetuating the idea that this fantasy called virginity is a THING that has VALUE? And once a woman has  intercourse, her VALUE is reduced to ZERO?

I guess I do. It's his money, and her body, but we're all stuck living in this virginity culture.

*This comes from a website whose tag line is "It's Man Stuff"

Just the Tip: Virginity in the News [Sex Beyond The Wall, Sex in a Pill, and more Virgin Reality Shows]

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snow

Who knew that the cave sex of Game of Thrones' boringest sexy couple evah, Jon Snow and Ygritte, would spawn so many think pieces about virginity and sex (with Mad Men and Girls thrown in for good measure, which sounds a lot like our Damsels in Discussion podcast series, but I digress...)

First, a look at talking about male virginity on TV, getting away from the gotta-lose-it-by-college model, to celebrate inexperience:

Jon Snow's deflowering at the hands of Ygritte offered a fresh spin on what's usually depicted as a frantic rush to become sexually experienced. Snow, who took a vow of celibacy upon joining the Night Watch, showed reticence about losing his virginity due his celebacy vows, and presumably, his growing feelings for Ygritte. Similarly, Ginsberg's Mad Men confession about his virginity was rather poignant as it was spewed forth on a first date – not exactly winning dinner conversation.

Not to mention last week's Mad Men which gave us Don/Dick's 'how I lost my virginity' story, which at this point does anyone really care about? But really, isn't the trope of the tender male youth being shown the ways of the world pretty common? And isn't there something really off about the idea that once you do it once you're suddenly 'experienced' and all the secrets of the universe are revealed, as opposed to a long process of getting comfortable with and better at sex?

But we're all for more talk honest talk about sex, and this IndieWire story praises TV addressing all the most squirm-inducing bits head-on:

Laden down with judgments, motives and manipulations, it's no wonder that we've become so alarmist and squeamish about something that should be a natural and powerful part of human expression. The subjects that TV is addressing through explicit sexual depictions is prompting exactly the kinds of discussions we should be having on the subject. The talk of Adam's ejaculate on "Girls" encouraged an examination as to whether or not he was a rapist, based on the grim starkness of the coupling that preceded it. [...] And while it often does so in a horrifically uncomfortable way, the subtle commentary on sex and power in "Game of Thrones" -- both the shadow side of the act, and in purity of self -- reveals an entirely new prospective on the subject.

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The New York Times has a story on the search for a pill to increase female desire, a controversial quest that gets little support from folks who care about  the medicalization of female sexuality. For one thing, they point out that environmental factors are rarely considered when talking about female desire, and so often the conversation descends onto evolutionary psychology (men=hunters who need to spread seed, women=passive nurturers looking for Mr Right) But here's an especially disturbing tidbit from the story from the researcher conducting the study:

“You want your effects to be good but not too good,” Andrew Goldstein, who is conducting the study in Washington, told me. “There was a lot of discussion about it by the experts in the room,” he said, recalling his involvement with the development of Flibanserin, “the need to show that you’re not turning women into nymphomaniacs.” He was still a bit stunned by the entrenched mores that lay within what he’d heard. “There’s a bias against — a fear of creating the sexually aggressive woman.”

At least they're not claiming that all women fantasize about being prostitutes, which is what filmmaker Francois Ozon believes.

[Photographs from New York Times story by Jake Chessum for The New York Times]

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In other news, the ever-repellant virginity showman Justin Sisely strikes yet again with another reality show scheme?? I can't believe how much publicity this guy has gotten before he's ever shown even one minute of this reality show (I realize we're part of the problem)

The idea to extend Virgin Wanted to Virgin Wanted 2 came after Sisely received a large number of emails from potential bidders looking for virgins all over the globe.Last year, amidst controversy, Catarina Migliorini auctioned her virginity to a Japanese man at a staggering cost of USD 78,000...

The story has one bright light or common sense:

However, several people have raised serious questions over the entire affair. Medical experts have raised doubts over the claims that there are tests that could prove whether someone is a virgin. A Brazilian attorney general, Joao Pedro Saboia Bandeira de Mello Filho has said that if the deal between the Japanese man and Migliorini goes through, Sisely could be inviting sex-trafficking charges over himself.

One can only hope...

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A quick shout-out to the Finding My Virginity blog, which we liked so much we put its author ('a Christian feminist living outside the Virgin/Whore dichotomy") in our film! And thanks as always to eagle-eyed virginity correspondent @j_aallan.

Are you a VirginSpotter? Send us your Virginity in the News and we'll publish it here!

Just the Tip: A grumpy line-up of Virginity in the News featuring Steubenville rape, Real Doll virginity auctions, bad sex advice, Chinese Love Hunters, the Bachelor Virgin and more...

With additional reporting by Judy Park OnionAthlete

Here's a gem of commentary on the Steubenville rape verdict: an incredibly prescient 2011 Onion SportsDome video called "Athlete Overcomes Rape." [Click on that link because it's not emedable.] That's the one he committed, not one he survived. This satire at its finest from America's Finest News Source is not to be confused with actual mainstream news coverage. Let us also recommend this great piece from Henry Rollins. Why lead with this? Because purity culture=rape culture, a climate in which women are judged and controlled based on their sexual lives. Where rapists rate more concern than rape victims, where bystanders don't recognize a rape when they see one, and where women are clearly asking for it by simply being drunk and female.

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Guys are bidding over a hundred thousand dollars (and counting) on the virginity of Valentina. Who happens to be a Real Doll. You could be the lucky dude to fork over years of salary to be able to say you were the first to put your penis into the "state-of-the-art skin" of her lifelike vagina. The deal includes a sumptuous hotel stay, dinner and bubble with your waterproof silicone queen.

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An upcoming episode of "New Girl" will be "a flashback episode that details how the main characters lose their virginity. While offering few specifics, creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether, who wrote the episode, said cryptically that Max Greenfield’s Schmidt, playing the scene as his overweight younger self, would be seen “in that dorm room moving through space a little bit. He gets very overzealous with some lube.” No word on whether  the stories will hew to heteronormative, gendernormative deptictions of first-time sex, because a girl can always dream, can't she?

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20130302_152212The latest Bachelor contestant Sean Lowe is a virgin. No, wait, he's a 'born-again' virgin. Wait, that's just religious-speak for 'celibate.' So that means he used to have sex but at the moment he's not. And the ladies didn't know! Oh, wait. Maybe they did. Actually, they're having bible study every morning! And now he and his suddenly celibate future bride are going to wait together. Whew. Glad that's all cleared up.

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A few ideas on how to liberate Indian women, according to this satirical piece from India: chastity belts, virginity soap, and fairness baby oil. Then you can save the men who can't save themselves, unless you're offering your enthusiastic consent, in which case don't forget tightening virginity soap and some fairness baby oil to lighten up your skin.

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The New York Times reports on "Love Hunters" in China, a new breed of matchmaker for the mostly-male ultra-rich: "In Joy City, Ms. Yang gave instructions to her eight-scout team, one of six squads the company was deploying in three cities for one Shanghai millionaire. This client had provided a list of requirements for his future wife, including her age (22 to 26), skin color (“white as porcelain”) and sexual history (yes, a virgin)."

As for wealthy women looking for love: "She had just spent an hour with a rich Chinese businesswoman in her late 30s. The woman proposed spending $100,000 on a campaign to find a husband who matched her status. “I had to tell her we couldn’t take her case,” Ms. Yang said. “No wealthy Chinese man would ever marry her. They always want somebody younger, with less power.” "

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A 30-something calling herself "Pre-Cat Lady" writes Em & Lo desperately seeking advice on how to talk about/cast off her virginity with potential partners. Em & Lo remind PCL, "It's not the virginity that's holding you back-you're holding you back." And here's some questionable Q&A advice from 'a doctor' on virginity loss, anal sex and STDs.

Thanks to virginspotters @j_a_allan, @funkybrownchick and @paulfreeland. Want to be a virginspotter, too? Send your links here.

A Q&A with Miranda Huba, who auctions off her virginity in her one-woman play "Candy Tastes Nice"

Miranda Huba 2 (Michael Weintrob Photo Credit) Photo by Michael Weintrob

This past weekend, I saw Miranda Huba's one-woman play Candy Tastes Nice in which she plays a young woman who decides to auction off her virginity to pay her crushing student loans. While the play begins fairly grounded in the ripped-from-the-headlines story of Natalie Dylan, it soon spins off into fantastical directions that involve the United Nations, a trio of sex-worker handmaidens and a shady guy in a van who gives out virginity certificates. I've been thinking about the virginity construct from a documentary perspective for a long time, so it was fun to see a totally different expression of it. I talked to Miranda, a fellow Canadian, after the show:

Can you give a quick description about the show and what you're responding to culturally?

Candy Tastes Nice is the story of a young woman who decides to auction off her virginity to pay off her student loans. It is a response not only to cultural and historical obsessions with virginity, but to the hyper-sexualization of the female body in media and popular culture.

Do you have a working definition of virginity? And does that inform how she finally 'loses' it in the play?

Well, for me a virgin is someone who hasn't had sex, and for me sex can be either oral or intercourse. In the play, however, I am working with a more acknowledged/traditional definition of sex ie. penetration. Also, culturally the concept of a virgin (as it pertains to women) means more than just sex, it’s about being a ‘good girl,’ maintaining youthfulness, and all those other things women are ‘supposed’ to be or do. In the play the woman must provide some sort of ‘proof’ that she is a virgin (blood on the sheets etc.). Of course, men never have to prove their virginity, only women. The play examines the many myths and rituals to do with virginity, and just how ridiculous it all is when we really look at it.

One of the themes running through the show is that because she remains a virgin, her body ages more quickly. That's a different take from the 'perpetual girlhood' fetish of virginity. Can you talk a bit about that?

The idea in the play is that she is being kept a virgin because people are making a lot of money off of her remaining a virgin. This oppression manifests itself in the aging of the body. The concept being that the extreme effort in takes to stay pure and untainted actually has an adverse effect on the body. The pressure of having to fit into someone’s idea of the pure takes a toll physically and emotionally.

Because I grew up in Canada, I sometimes feel like I can look at the US from a bit of an outsider perspective. Do you feel that way, and if so, how does that play out for you?

I do feel that way sometimes. I used to think the US and Canada were very similar, but after living here for a while you realize the extreme cultural, social and political differences. I think it’s fantastic for my writing. I see things through a slightly different lens, which gives a unique perspective.

There have been no Canadian virginity auctioneers–that I know of. Is that because university education is subsidized by the government?

Not only education, but healthcare as well. In my experience growing up as a teenager in a rural community in British Columbia the sex education at the only public high school for miles was actually very good. There was even a condom machine in the bathroom (although they should have been giving them away). Also since it’s part of the culture that health care is a right I feel like young people are more likely to seek medical advice regarding sexual health. In America there is definitely a more vocal culture that supports a preoccupation with virginity. There is abstinence only education in many states, purity balls, pageant culture and a much bigger reality TV market. These events/policies create a fetishization with virginity rather than healthy ideas about sexuality.

Do you have a personal virginity story you want to share? 

I lost my virginity when I was 19. It was pretty uneventful. He was my college boyfriend. I remember being kind of annoyed because he didn't stay over. He has to get his family's car back home. A totally sweet guy though!

Show Info: Candy Tastes Nice runs in New York to March 23rd, 2013 on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8pm in the upstairs lounge at Madame X on 94 Houston Street. Tickets available at http://candytastesnicenyc.brownpapertickets.com

We just wrote about the legalities of virginity auctions here. You can read all of our virginity auction coverage here.

Ask Trixie: How is auctioning virginity legal?

How was auctioning virginity legal, and what was used to auction it? There's many stories of women auctioning their virginity, through places like The Bunny Ranch, but what was the actual platform used to auction this off? Ebay? And how was this not illegal? I'm just really curious and can't seem to find the answer anywhere. –Jaime

Hi Jaime! Thanks for writing.

On the most basic level, when a man or woman auctions off their virginity, he or she is offering sex in exchange for money. So in places where prostitution is legal, like Nevada (where The Bunny Ranch, a brothel, represented Natalie Dylan), they aren't breaking any laws.

Now, we can get into a long discussion about what 'auctioning virginity' means, even what 'virginity' means, and why a guy would pay a lot of money to be the first person to put his penis into someone's vagina, for example. But that's another post. Sometimes women (and it's almost always women) do this kind of transaction to make some money, sometimes they say it's for college or to pay medical bills, but sometimes they are being exploited by others, and it's not always clear what the truth is. One of the first auctions I ever heard of was Rosie Reid in the UK, and although it was totally consensual, she was apparently quite traumatized by it.

Some auctioners have started with posts on EBay or Craig's List, but those get shut down pretty quickly, and the bidding takes place through a brothel, porn site or some other third party. That was the case with Natalie Dylan and The Bunny Ranch, which was also going to be where the sex would take place (that deal never actually happened, but many others have).

We have a lot of virginity auctions stories archived here if you want to learn more.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here

Just the Tip: Virginity in the News

Our favorite virgin godmother (and "How to Lose Your Virginity" onscreen expert) Hanne Blank did a talk called "Hymen Wars." Need we say more?

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The New York Times has a profile of author Lauren Myracle, who they call 'this generation's Judy Blume.' in part for the healthy candor of her books about teen life, and also because of the calls to have her books banned. We think her take on being honest with young people is great:

Her aim, she said, is to write about sex without a “soft fade” — as in cutting from “he leaned in for a kiss” to “they lay in bed, naked, smiling.” She wants to fill in the blanks, because kids are curious about the mechanics, and deciding when first to have sex has inherent drama.

A commenter added this thought:

I have read ttyl, ttfn, and l8r g8r - these books came out when I was a teenager and I think it's safe to say I haven't turned into a sex-crazed, technology-obsessed drug addict[...] To ban them is to prevent another avenue for young women, like the one I was, to learn how to respect themselves.

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While Caterina Migliorini's yet-unconsumated virginity auction saga continues, she will be featured in Brazilian Playboy (NSFW). Virginity Auctions are a real-life marketplace extension of the virginity porn fetish, so no surprise that A leads to B.

Inspired by Migliorini, another Brazilian woman Rebecca Bernardo, 18, is auctioning her virginity to raise money to care for her bedridden mother (top bid currently $35,000). Press coverage is as gross and voyeuristic as expected.

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Why not try OK Cupid's "Dating Persona Test"? It is likely a load of bullshit, but OKC does some interesting data analysis and who can resist unscientific pronouncements on your personality? I'm curious what the results are for folks who aren't sexually active, since so much of it has to do with having the sex. You don't have to register to get your results. Let us know in the comments below.

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Jezebel ran yet another virgin-themed post the other day, a sort of First-Person-like essay called "How to Be a Virgin." We like her suggestion of printing out business cards explaining why she hasn't had sex so she doesn't have to actually discuss it any more. And we kind of feel like stealing the headline for the new title of our film.

Just the Tip: Virginity in the News

A roundup of the latest virginity stories in the media: The Harvard Crimson does a long story on the many various ways students think about virginity, theirs and the people they hope to have sex with at the next frat party. [Update: Lena Chen, quoted in the article, weighs in on the students' all-or-nothing definitions of virginity here.]

CNBC hosts are still obsessed with Tim Tebow's virginity.

A fan-made video for the song "To Die A Virgin" by The Divine Comedy is made up entirely of postage stamps, many naughty.

Sexuality & Culture, an academic journal, features a paper called "I Took His V-Card”: An Exploratory Analysis of College Student Stories Involving Male Virginity Loss" Based on interviews with 237 college students, the study looks at sexually inexperienced males having first-time sex with experienced females. The big themes: disclosing his virginity, emotions surrounding the experience, and issues related to gender role expectations.

Life Site News creates the most ludicrous anti-sex video every made in which a concerned woman talks about the dangers of 'contracepting' wherein the tiniest nuggets of fact are completely overwhelmed by assertions that using contraception causes spinsterhood and homosexuality. The anti-choice website calls this video 'A Great New Teaching Tool.'

Stories about virginity-auctioner Catarina Migliorini continue to clog our news feed, so we'll once again direct you to a post we wrote about her pimp here.

Thanks to @j_a_allan, @missmarymax @belle_vierge and @HeleneTaylor for the tips! Got a news tip? Send it to @trixiefilms or use our contact page.

Justin Sisley's 'virginity auction' reality show is still moving forward and still gross

UPDATE (10/24/2012):Catarina Migliorini has sold her "virginity" to a Japanese man named "Natsu" for $780,000. Her male counterpart, Alex Stepanov, has sold his "virginity" for $3,000 to a Brazilian woman named "Nene B". UPDATE: Justin Sisley's virginity auction reality show has resurfaced with slightly altered plans that have received amazing amounts of publicity. The deflorations will allegedly take place on an airplane flying between Australia and the US. And one of his subjects, Catarina Migliorini, is saying she'll use the proceeds of her auction to help build homes for the poor in her native Brazil, currently at $160,000. Not much mention of the male virgin because, you know, they're just not as sexy. I hate writing about this shit - it's exploitation and people are eating it up.

This original post was written in 2010:

Over a year ago I wrote about Justin Sisely, an Australian filmmaker who was "auditioning" for virgins to auction them off and then film the process for a documentary. Sadly, there are virginity auctions happening all the time all over the world, but Sisely was especially interesting because:

a)He claimed he was merely an artist "exploring the idea of virginity as a commodity.” He sounded more like, I don't know, a pimp.

b)He attempted to fashion a legal definition of virginity for his contract, something even the medical establishment has never done (because it doesn't exist)

c) He got death threats for advertising his 'auditions' with a photo of the Virgin Mary with male genitalia on her forehead. So, sexual exploitation is apparently fine, but not if you're going to mess with the Holy Mother.

d) He admitted he was asking his subjects to prostitute themselves, but actually going through with the deflowering was not required – a small fact that might put a damper on the bidding - and any interest in actually seeing the film. Not that I'm giving him advice on how to to be a good pimp/pornographer, I'm just saying...

Fast forward one year:

Justin Sisely's just announced he'll be bringing three Australian teens to a Nevada brothel to carry out his virginity auction project. [see update above] After a year of virgin "auditions" in Sydney, and he says he's recruited two men and one woman,but needs to move the operation out of Australia as he's been advised by the local authorities that prostitution is against the law Down Under (who knew?).

And though you're allowed to sell your body in the state of Nevada (provided you pass a health check, get a license, and work for a properly registered brothel), persuading someone to cross a state line for the purpose of prostitution is explicitly prohibited by the colorfully named "White Slave Act" of 1910 (also known as the Mann Act). Sisely's project could earn him 10 years in the slammer for each person (virgin or not) that he spirits to Nevada for his auction. Some media outlets are taking Sisely's press releases at face value, but the Las Vegas Sun has a more thoughtful take, where they point out the Mann Act problem, as well as the unlikelyhood of Sisely being able to successfully auction off a male virgin (apparently there were no registered male prostitutes in Nevada until January 2010, and it's not exactly a booming business).

So what the hell is Sisely about? His claims that he's examining virginity in any thoughtful in-depth way is laughable and insulting to people who actually spend time thinking about these issues. Will he be asking his auctionees their thoughts about the value of virginity in today's society as they're getting their share of the take? Is he just seeking publicity and sponsorship to advance his career, even though he's stooping to the level of a human trafficker? And - why does the word "virginity" and the titillating prospect of selling it to the highest bidder so easily catch the media's fancy? It's totally infuriating.

Just the other day, an Australian media outlet contacted us at Trixie Films to book an interview with Sisely, thinking that his film was our film. This pretty much put me over the edge. I told them that although we too were exploring virginity in the 21st century, we weren't actually exploiting our subjects to do it. But if we did decide to exploit some virgins, would they cover our project, too? The Australian media folks were actually pretty understanding, but it didn't make me any less angry at what this creep was doing.

If you're also angry about how the mainstream press has showered attention on Sisely's exploitative project, there's something you can do about it - Team Trixie's feminist-inspired "How To Lose Your Virginity" documentary, coming out in 2013, is always happy for your support! Self-serving? You betcha! But we need some other video voices out there to critique the hell out of his shit. And, we promise that no virgins will be harmed in the making of this film.

Mexican teens offer to exchange virginity for Justin Bieber tickets

Accoring to a Spanish-language website, Mexican teenage girls are offering up virginity in exchange for Justin Beiber tickets. The article is in Spanish, and Uproxx ran it thought Google translator with mixed results, but you get the idea:

The black market of the Internet to get tickets for the concert of Justin Bieber on the Internet has reached the point of offering the first sex in exchange for a concert ticket, as published by the portal sdpnoticias.com
Real scenes of hysteria were posted on YouTube by girls who could not get a ticket. Now things have gone to another level. According to that reported by the newspaper El Norte, a girl has even offered its first time in exchange for a ticket to see the Canadian artist.
“My virginity for a ticket to Justin Bieber, urgeee me,” wrote a user’s social network Facebook.
In addition, some “vivales” have used to seek to change tickets in exchange for the company of a girl, the same newspaper reported.

The cynical side of me wants to point out that you can ask for a lot more than concert tickets for that kind of offering. Maybe I've been doing this project too long.

Hungarian virginity auctioner is vicitim of beating and attempted rape

In a truly disturbing turn of events, the 18-year-old woman who has been auctioning off her virginity on Hungarian TV says she was attacked by four men who threatened to rape her. The Austrian Times reported her as saying:

"They dragged me into an alley. They said they were going to rape me, they cut off my hair - but they ran off when somebody came by. They said they were going to take what they wanted for free. I was terrified. I have cancelled the auction - I don't know what to do now."

She went on to add that she's been very unhappy with the way Tabu TV, the pimp television station, has been running the latest iteration of this auction:

"During the auction process I did not have the possibility to monitor who made the bids and Tabu TV did not alow me to get in contact with the individuals.

"I wanted the person that won to know me - but all they have is a picture and I don't know them - they will be a stranger. I wanted a say in whom to accept bids from and whom not.

"I have had hate mail, the TV station has given out info I did not authorise, and now after the attack I am scared."

The press reports are framing the story like: Now she's refusing to sell her virgnity!' The nerve, right? Spoiling everyone's voyeuristic fun just because of this little attempted rape thingie? Can someone just give her the money she needs to settle her debts?

UPDATE 2: Hungarian virginity auctioneer takes it to TV

Update Aug. 26: After turning down a bidder from the UK because he wanted to marry her, Miss Spring (as she calls herself) and re-launched her auction on Hungarian TV station Tabu.

While local prosecutors are trying to decide whether the station will face criminal charges for prostitution, Tabu reps are denying they are acting as Miss Spring's pimps–or at least rationalizing the fact that they kind of actually are:

"I do not feel like her pimp," said presenter Mate Kocka, who is arranging the auction. "Yes, I know, soliciting yourself is a crime in Hungary. But it's classified as a mild breach of the law, and its punishment is only 100 000 HUF (290 GBP). Miss Spring knows that too and I suppose she'll pay for it from the sale price," he added.

No word on what Tabu is getting out of this deal, or why one of the many people cashing in on this spectacle (including UK bookies) doesn't just come forward and give Miss Spring the money she needs.

Update Aug. 13: The young woman auctioning her virginity has apparently rejected the winning bidder because he wants to marry her, saying: "I broke off with the British guy because he wanted to go too far. I'm not looking for a husband - I'm doing this for my family."

Also she's 17, not 18 and has responded to her numerous critics with: "Since the media frenzy started, a lot of people have called me a martyr or a slut. I am neither. I am just a girl who wants to have a better future, who wants to take care of her family."

I'm starting to really like her.

Here's the original post:

Another virginity auction deal has reportedly been made, this one by an 18-year-old Hungarian woman seeking to pay off family debts. The final price was £200,000, made by a bidder in the UK.

Reports Metro UK, the bidding started on eBay but was shut down by the company. Still,

the girl was so desperate to be allowed to sell her virginity that after the bid was closed down on eBay she wrote to papers like the Huffington Post, The Telegraph and The Sun and to celebrities like Lady Gaga and Madonna, attracting enough attention that some of the original bidders were allowed to continue offering bids via email.

So, assuming this deal goes through and some idiot thinks it's worth $318,000 to be the first to put his penis inside her, she'll be able to take care of her family and possibly medical school. Happily, no word on requiring hymenal authentication, which is (say it with me) meaningless anyway. Also no word on testing the dude for every known STI. I sincerely hope this works out for her. Nevertheless, the total creepiness of these dudes overwhelms me:

"Both men wanted to marry me take care of me and my family. But for me this was supposed to be a one off thing. Getting married and living with someone is a challenge I am not sure I am yet ready for. However I would really like the opportunity to go to Britain or Ireland. So who knows."

Who are these guys? Ecchhh. More posts about virginity auctions in our collection, and they're all pretty depressing.

No virginity, please. We're British.

Photograph: Ophelia Wynne for the Observer (from the Guardian article)

The Guardian (in the UK) just did a story called "Is This Your First Time?" about the work of fellow virginity geek Kate Munro (looking foxy, above) who writes the blog The Virginity Project. The blog is a fascinating collection of reader contributions about their first sexual experiences (it was the inspiration for our V-Card Diaries series, although I think we have lots more people writing about their lack of sexual experiences).

From the article:

Monro seems to have an ability to get people to open up to her and there are many who tell her things they can't even tell their own partner. One of the most candid stories on her blog is the tale of the stay-at-home father of four whose wife, a high-flying lawyer, decided one night to strap on a dildo and take his anal virginity. "I was, to put it mildly, petrified," he says. "The sight of that missile protruding from her, and meant for me, brought everything home."She also has tales we wouldn't usually hear: of a thalidomide boy (lost his to the most popular girl in school, then moved on to her best friend); an autistic man (prostitute) and a 101-year-old woman (out of wedlock, scandalous, but a bit hazy). But the story, she says, that always shocks the most, is that of the man who has been married for 15 years yet is still a virgin. "He had the opportunity to do it but just had an intense feeling he would hurt the woman and couldn't do it," she says. "I think it has just turned into phobia."

The article included an interview with me about our project "How to Lose Your Virginity," mostly I think because the writer was baffled by our virginity-obsessed American culture. The subhead of the article is "Losing your virginity is one of the few aspects of sex that remains untalked about." Maybe in the UK... I guess they're a lot more reserved over there (meaning their pop stars aren't all flashing purity rings and calling girls without them sluts.) Absorbing my tutorials on virginity in pop culture, she writes:

Like Monro's work, Shechter's film is a series of straightforward tales of real people's virginity loss. It's refreshing to hear such forthright voices in a world where any debate about virginity is often so conflicting or one-sided. Our current torchbearer seems to be Miley Cyrus who, just like Britney all those years ago, loudly proclaims her own virginity while behaving in a hyper-sexual way.

In the media there are constant stories about women auctioning off their virginity to pay for their education and more troubling is recent news of one Justin Sisely, an Australian TV producer currently looking for young virgins to take part in a new reality show. "You see all this stuff and you think: 'So this is the extent of the debate we're having about virginity in the 21st century?'" says Shechter.

Note: I'm seriously annoyed she got the description of our film wrong. It's a lot more than 'straightforward tales of virginity loss,' for crying out loud! Did she not even watch the trailer? And no links to our blog, synopsis, or any video. Lame.

But her kicker about Kate's and my mission is dead-on: Encouraging a more honest conversation about what our sex lives really look like:

"These days we see sex everywhere, but there's very little that's honest about it," [Kate Monro] says. "I think ultimately what brings people to tell me their stories is that we all have an innate desire to want to compare our experiences with other people. We all just want some sort of affirmation to know that we are normal."

We did our own fun interview with Kate Monro here.

I think the real issue is: Why isn't college more affordable?

We write about virginity auctions a lot, but this is a first for us. There are a lot of different ways to lose your virginity and guys need money for school too, I guess. From a Craig's List Houston ad titled "Ass Virginity Auction":

Well I'm a straight male but I'm in need of money to pay for college this coming semester. I need a large amount so I guess the highest bidder gets to be the first and last to get my ass. Respond with the title of "auction" and your bid.

 

I'm assumed he was addressing his ad to men, but I guess that's pretty open to interpretation. I just sent him an email wondering how the bidding was going. Will keep you posted.

Chilean Woman Next on the Virginity Auction Block

Yet another young woman is auctioning off her virginity to pay for school, this time a 21-year-old Chilean student from Santiago. She says: “I will provide a certificate signed by a doctor to prove I am a virgin. No man has ever touched me.”

The opening bid was was a little over $500 in the auction, conducted by W Radio CRC, a radio station in Chile. Pimp Station director Mariano Perez says: “I am personally against this kind of thing but people are free to do what they want with their lives."

Again. There's no way to prove virginity, whatever 'virginity' means. And I think the radio station should have done a fundraiser for her school costs instead of pimping her out. Sigh.

Reality Show or Human Trafficking? You decide.

Over a year ago I wrote about Justin Sisely, an Australian filmmaker who was "auditioning" for virgins to auction them off and then film the process for a documentary. Sadly, there are virginity auctions happening all the time all over the world, but Sisely was especially interesting because:

a)He claimed he was merely an artist "exploring the idea of virginity as a commodity.” He sounded more like, I don't know, a pimp.

b)He attempted to fashion a legal definition of virginity for his contract, something even the medical establishment has never done (because it doesn't exist)

c) He got death threats for advertising his 'auditions' with a photo of the Virgin Mary with male genitalia on her forehead. So, sexual exploitation is apparently fine, but not if you're going to mess with the Holy Mother.

d) He admitted he was asking his subjects to prostitute themselves, but actually going through with the deflowering was not required – a small fact that might put a damper on the bidding - and any interest in actually seeing the film. Not that I'm giving him advice on how to to be a good pimp/pornographer, I'm just saying...

Fast forward one year:

Justin Sisely's just announced he'll be bringing three Australian teens to a Nevada brothel to carry out his virginity auction project. After a year of virgin "auditions" in Sydney, and he says he's recruited two men and one woman,but needs to move the operation out of Australia as he's been advised by the local authorities that prostitution is against the law Down Under (who knew?).

And though you're allowed to sell your body in the state of Nevada (provided you pass a health check, get a license, and work for a properly registered pimp brothel), persuading someone to cross a state line for the purpose of prostitution is explicitly prohibited by the colorfully named "White Slave Act" of 1910 (also known as the Mann Act). Sisely's project could earn him 10 years in the slammer for each person (virgin or not) that he spirits to Nevada for his auction. Some media outlets are taking Sisely's press releases at face value, but the Las Vegas Sun has a more thoughtful take, where they point out the Mann Act problem, as well as the unlikelyhood of Sisely being able to successfully auction off a male virgin (apparently there were no registered male prostitutes in Nevada until January 2010, and it's not exactly a booming business).

So what the hell is Sisely about? His claims that he's examining virginity in any thoughtful in-depth way is laughable and insulting to people who actually spend time thinking about these issues. Will he be asking his auctionees their thoughts about the value of virginity in today's society as they're getting their share of the take? Is he just seeking publicity and sponsorship to advance his career, even though he's stooping to the level of a human trafficker? And - why does the word "virginity" and the titillating prospect of selling it to the highest bidder so easily catch the media's fancy? It's totally infuriating.

Just the other day, an Australian media outlet contacted us at Trixie Films to book an interview with Sisely, thinking that his film was our film. This pretty much put me over the edge. I told them that although we too were exploring virginity in the 21st century, we weren't actually exploiting our subjects to do it. But if we did decide to exploit some virgins, would they cover our project, too? The Australian media folks were actually pretty understanding, but it didn't make me any less angry at what this creep was doing.

If you're also angry about how the mainstream press has showered attention on Sisely's exploitative project, there's something you can do about it - Team Trixie's feminist-inspired "How To Lose Your Virginity" documentary needs funding assistance. Send as little as $10 our way to help, or pre-order a DVD of the film for a mere $25 donation! Self-serving? You betcha! But we need some other video voices out there to critique the hell out of his shit. And, we promise that no virgins will be harmed in the making of this film.

Virginity Auction: "Ten thousand Euros is not so much money"

An update on Alina Percea, who says she sold her virtue for far less than the 50,000 Euro she hoped to make.

"Ten thousand euros is not so much money, even in Romania,' admitted Alina. 'But it will be enough. I hoped I'd be able to have an apartment in town. But now I will live with my parents while I go to university."

How would her life be different if tuition was cheaper or free? Why do women need to prostitute themselves to get a good education? Anyway, she also reports that she took the morning after pill and is planning to see the guy again. Wondering if this means more of these kinds of auctions in the future?

The story continues to depress me. Here's a photo of Alina taken by the German auction site, I guess to make her look sexier than the original photos she provided.