This is what the Internet was created for.
“Musings of a Virgin Whore,” the blog created by a 28-year-old self-proclaimed virgin named “Elizabeth Raine,” was initially set up as a quick cash grab to help pay for medical school. Then, when the woman who describes her virginity as something that “fits me like a glove” posted a photo of herself, the bids kept pouring in. Men (and/or women) who may have initially assumed that anyone with their virginity still intact at 28 mustn’t be attractive would have been shocked to discover what “Elizabeth” looked like.
Once bidders were given a visual clue as to what they were tendering, the numbers rose to just over $800,000.
The plan: once the auction ended and the highest bidder was revealed the actual sex would go down in Australia. Because, as laws would have it, a transaction of this type wouldn’t exactly be legal in the United States. Apparently, would-be suitors hailed from Serbia, Japan, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. (Canada was somehow absent from the list). Upon completion of her end of the bargain, 35% of it were to be donated to education for women in developing countries. Furthermore, the virginal blogger was to base her future medical practice on the health and rights of sex workers.
Yet none of this came about. In a very dramatic turn of events, Raine pulled out of the deal. On May 8, in a blog post that has since been inexplicably removed from her site, she wrote:
I have the ending for you today, at least the ending to my virginity auction.
The bidding closed yesterday as planned (high bid was $801,000), but I am here to tell you that the terms of the auction will not be fulfilled. With the blessings of my management and the high bidders, I have decided to put a stop to this kerfuffle (to describe it nicely) and return my focus to my medical training. I still do possess some spitefully strong beliefs about virginity, prostitution, and a woman’s right to do as she damned pleases, but school is my first priority (as it has been for my entire life). At this point, I no longer care about the auction, at all. This was a very easy decision.
However, this does not mean I do not care about the people I have met along the way, the heap of life lessons I have been given, the personal transformation that could not be helped, and the social causes that I have discovered. All of these things have real meaning, as opposed to the money. And while this experience has had its ups and downs (and yes, this past week was a down), I am truly so much better for it.
And this is not the end of my story, only the end of my auction. I will continue to be here blogging, reflecting on this journey, dissecting social issues, and documenting my return to “normal” life. While there are so many things I have loved about this experience, this blog is unquestionably one of my favorites. I hope you will continue to visit!
Like me, many in the media—and I’m sure most who read this site as well—aren’t sure what to make of this. How can we be convinced this whole concept and corresponding arrangement were even real? Not that Raine isn’t a real person; we know someone saw it through to (almost) (de-)fruition, from her first post in February of this year until just this week. Was she ever going to go through with it, or was this an elaborate PR scheme established solely for the purpose of getting a book or movie deal?
I’m not sure which notion is more shocking: that the blog was a PR stunt or that someone was willing to sell their virginity online to the highest bidder. Likely the latter. With all the memes created online recently, book and movie deals seem to be rewarded to those with much less of an intriguing story. “Sh*t My Dad Says,” an often-amusing Twitter handle that tweeted out quips from the dude’s father, was given a sitcom series deal with CBS starring William Shatner. The show failed miserably, both by comedic standards and ratings. And of course there’s the movie deal for Grumpy Cat, one of the greatest and most successful Internet memes of all time. Tardar Sauce (that’s Grumpy’s real name) sure is cute, but a quality film is pretty much out of the question.
If this is all a carefully crafted cunning plan, we’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Like I said, deals with Hollywood have been made for Internet creations much less deserving. Real or not, she kept with it and garnered massive publicity. And at the very least, it’s sparked some truly heated debates about sexuality and female empowerment; peruse the comments following this Gawker article and you’ll see what I mean.