In case you missed it, a teenage model claims she sold her virginity for $3.9 million dollars online to a wealthy (you don’t say) businessman from Abu Dhabi.
According to The Sun, the American 19-year-old, known only as Giselle, said she had no idea she was selling something so valuable, nor did she have any inclination the bidding would get so high.
“I would never have dreamed that the bid would rise so high and we would have reached 2.5 million euros. This is a dream come true.
“I think the trend to sell your virginity is a form of emancipation and I am shocked about people who are against allowing a woman to sell her virginity.
“If I want to spend my first time with someone who is not my first love, that’s my decision.”
It’s a story that has been unceremoniously splashed across international headlines as if it’s the ultimate cheap – not in a literal sense, of course – transaction: Here’s a woman willing to sell her “innocence”, as one publication put it, to pocket a sum most wouldn’t see over the course of a lifetime.
The inferences in the nature of the widespread reporting of the story are clear: It comes down to morals and values and self-worth. The fact the story has gone viral says a lot about the content we’re willing to share and read. The very essence of a viral story is in the remarkable. This – a story about virginity being sold – is remarkable, apparently.
And yet, sex is sold every minute of every day. It doesn’t make headlines. Virginity, it would appear, is at the crux of of this fetishised narrative.
Giselle herself says she is more than happy to “be part of this new trend” that “finally breaks the taboo about a woman’s virginity”.
Because although we’ve come so far in proving female sexuality is just as legitimate as male sexuality (shock, horror, wild etc.), there’s something telling about the value of virginity in this story.
Mostly, it's the suggestion there's nothing more important or valuable in a woman than purity. Than keeping herself nice and polite and well-kept and far from the male gaze.
Make no mistake, the real winner here is Giselle.
This is a story that shouldn't be sensationalised or splashed across the tabloids with a salacious tone and gossipy headline. This a story we should cut through the crap on: Here's a woman willing to take advantage of a man so clearly caught up in his own misogynistic and misguided thoughts about female sexuality, he's willing to spend millions of dollars to see those thoughts come to life.
She cashed in on his backward views. Good on her. She now has $3.9 million dollars to her name - more than enough to set up her life.
Here's a woman who has, for lack of a better term, seen a gap in the market and ran with it. A woman who, in the process, has sought to redefine the conversation about virginity and every stereotype that has ever come with it.
A woman who knows two things: Business is business and sex is sex.
And for that, someone needs to give her a round of applause as she goes to pick up her cheque.