The commodification of sexuality
‘Veronica’ is a 21-year-old Australian woman who has taken up film director-cum-pimp Justin Sisley’s offer to auction her virginity for his film.
“I need to do something with my life” is one of the justifications she gives here:
Being paraded in a meat-market style display in a Nevada brothel in an auction for her virginity is ‘something’ alright.
Veronica also says she’s never done “anything out of the ordinary” and that it’s a “good opportunity” to “challenge the way people think about sex”. In addition, the money could help her family.
She also says she finds it “hard to find a good man”. A rich sleeze who bids for her virginity is going to solve that problem?
Veronica’s interview feels terribly scripted, especially when she talks about challenging prevailing views about sex. I wonder if Sisley helped with her lines?
Veronica seems to think she will be involved in a one-off that will have no further bearing on her life.
“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,” she said.
But it will be a regular thing. The film will go viral in seconds and Veronica’s prostitution will be what she will always be remembered for. Regularly. It is unclear if Sisley plans to film this enchanted evening between two strangers. If he does, then it means she has been used to make pornography.
And what are the terms and conditions of the arrangement? What if the man who buys her wants to do things to her she hadn’t expected? What if he’s into torture, bondage, S&M? What if wants to access-all-areas? What if he wants to knock her around a bit? What if he stalks her after the event?
Where are the protections for her?
Perhaps Veronica needs to find out why the other candidates have dropped out of the project and why the filmmaker (who, incidentally, is advertised on a Government website) had to start from scratch and hunt for some fresh new virgins?
There are apparently some male ‘virgins’ (really, how would you know?) also taking part. Alex, 20, says he wants to “meet someone”. And John is “excited about the journey” that will lead him to his male or female buyer (he doesn’t mind which). It’s all about the journey. My amazing journey to the Nevada cattleyard where I was sold. By John.
The film makes a mockery of moves to address the global slave trade, which especially prizes young virgins. ‘Defloration’ websites are distressingly popular. And Veronica will be contributing to the spin of the global sex industry which paints sex selling as an exciting career move for young women.
If it goes ahead, this film will further entrench the commodification of sexuality. And Veronica may find herself wishing she’d found something else to do with her life.