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Reality television has sunk to a new low; and given its history, brief though it may be, that’s saying something. Australian documentary maker Justin Sisley says he has found at least four people willing to auction off their virginity. The Daily Telegraph of Australia has video interviews of these misguided young people.

However, let us start with Mr. Sisley. How did he advertise for virgins willing to be auction bait sold to the highest bidder? In the most bigoted way he could; he took a picture of the Virgin Mary and imposed “Virgins Wanted” “A Documentary made for the 21st Century” and “$20,000 ea.” over it to make posters. Strike one: Blasphemy.

Mr. Sisley wanted to hold his auction in Melbourne, Australia. Australian officials told Mr. Sisley he would face a prostitution charge if he holds the auction on Australian soil. Presented with this problem, Mr. Sisley decided to take his “show” on the road and set up shop in one of the legal brothels in Nevada. Strike two: Prostitution

Each “contestant” will receive $20,000 from Mr. Sisley in addition to 90 percent of the amount paid by a john for taking their virginity. The brothel will keep 10 percent of the sale price. What do you call someone like Mr. Sisley who supplies bodies for sale in commercial sex acts? The answer is a “panderer,” “procurer,” or “sex trafficker.” Strike three: Pandering.

So who decided that Mr. Sisley was the kind of guy they want as their exploiter? Well, the first group of virgins dropped out, so he had to go hunt down some more. Surprisingly, of the second group, 75 percent of them are male – Alex, John and Ronan.

Alex is concerned about who will bid on him. He does not want to “do it” with someone older than him (he is 20), someone he doesn’t like, or someone who doesn’t like him. He is afraid he’ll make a mistake, as it is his first time, and he fears the person who buys his virginity (in common parlance, called a “john”) will laugh at him.

I’ll bet there are many prostitutes the world over who would tell him never to get into this in the first place, but also tell him they do not have the ability to turn down their johns. And, getting laughed at is the least of the abuse hurled at them.

John identifies himself as homosexual, so he says he would be more comfortable with a man buying him, but he is okay if it is a woman. He seemed curious as to what kind of woman would want to buy sex from a “gay” man.

The better question it would seem is what kind of person buys someone else’s virginity?

Poor Ronan, he seems confused as to what this all means. He is not willing to be bought by a male bidder. He is in this for the money, to get his virginity “off his chest,” and to meet someone.

A word of advice Ronan: This is not a dating service. Someone who is willing to buy you in order to deflower you is not someone who makes good dating or marriage material. While this will be your first time having sex, you can bet the farm this is not their first time buying sex.

Rounding out the field of humans for sale in this show is Veronica, so far the only female who has agreed to this travesty of an idea.

When asked why she would do this, she says to the public, “Try to find a good man.” (Veronica, see the advice given to Ronan above). She says she is tired of holding on to her virginity and that by selling it to the highest bidder, she hopes to challenge society’s perceptions of sex – you know, the sex she hasn’t had yet.

“Technically I’m selling my virginity for money, technically that would be classified as prostitution, but it’s not going to be a regular thing, so in my head I can justify that I’m not going to be a prostitute.”

Oh Veronica, this is a wake-up call. If you sell yourself for money, you are a prostitute. Deluding yourself is not the same as fooling the public. You are announcing your intentions in the papers and will appear at a face-to-face auction that will be filmed. Trying to deny you are not prostituting will be very difficult in the face of the evidence.

In the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the definition of a commercial sex act was included: “The term ‘commercial sex act’ means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.”

Veronica, John, Alex, and Ronan: You all have value, far beyond a dollar amount attached to your virginity. Before it is too late, please rethink your decision to sell yourself, because if you go through with it, you will have sold yourself short.

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