January 13, 2009

Not Even The Idea Is Appealing

A San Diego woman is auctioning off her virginity as part of a project for her Masters' thesis in women's studies. No, I can't complete that sentence without closing my eyes and shaking my head in irony-free disbelief. Nor can I believe that she has managed to get bids in excess of three million dollars.

The mind reels. How could the sex possibly be that good? With an inexperienced partner? Clearly, it cannot. Why would sex with a virgin be so valuable? Is it that there are so few 22-year-old virgins out there? Maybe, but so what if your 22-year-old sex partner is a virgin? Why is this such a big deal that people would pay those kinds of astronomical sums for the right to deflower this college student? She's reasonably but not extraordinarily attractive, but even if she were of superstar-level hotness, would you pay three and a half million bucks for one night of sex?

And what, exactly, is a women's studies student going to take away from this experience? She clearly doesn't value her virginity very highly (or at least, she claims not to), but maybe she should with prices like these. I'd be moderately if morbidly interested in her theories about why these men are willing to pay so much money for the experience -- she's apparently in communication with them and finding out what they're looking for:
She said she had had a lot of attention from a wide range of men, including "weirdos", "those who get really graphically sexual about what they want to do to me" [Gee, ya think? -- TL] and "lots of polite requests from rich businessmen".
* * *
She said: "I get some men who are obviously looking for a girlfriend but I try and make it clear that this is a one-night-only offer.
Is the whole thing an experiment to see just how big of pigs men can be? I'm not sure this is a useful gauge. It may be interesting to see just how big of pigs a small number of men can be, but perhaps it's more useful to think about it in terms of how many bids she gets at all regardless of the price.

Now, buying or renting a girlfriend, I can see. Loneliness can take a toll on a person and if you've got money you might be tempted to use it to relieve that pressure. But one night of sex is weak balm indeed for loneliness -- and she's not selling her companionship, only her body and even that only for a short time.

And, of course, there's a well-developed chronicle of film and TV about that sort of thing and if TV has taught me anything, it's that there are likely really some very rich, but very lonely, guys out there who would be happy to part with a sizeable chunk of cash in exchange for female companionship. And movies have taught me that from time to time, good income-earning and surprisingly attractive women will have trouble attracting mates and rent fake boyfriends for extended trips so as to afford themselves some relief from their mothers only to find that they really fell in love with the guy along the way. And if TV has taught us anything it's that after being paid for their company, the purchased companions will realize what great partners they have found, and choose to stay on after the contract has expired, which if it strikes you as a likely scenario then I have some other commercial propositions for you.

But even with these ridiculous romantic-comedy scenarios, I'm distinguishing between "companionship" and "sex." This young woman is offering a single sexual experience -- maybe multiple experiences over the course of a night, but when it's over, it's over and she isn't going to be your girlfriend. So rationally, the auction is just for sex. And fellahs -- sex is good, it's fun. We all like it. But it just plain ain't three and a half million dollars' worth of good fun. With anyone, much less an inexperienced partner.

Notice, by the way, that I am pretty much unconcerned with the legal or ethical issues raised by what appears to be a rather transparent act of prostitution. It ought to be legal and I am not ethically concerned by the transaction at all. But as with swoopo, the facet of this which confuses and fascinates me is the astonishing amount of money at stake.

No comments: