So this morning, while I was searching the Internet for news about the looming civil war in Bolivia, I came across a story in the "you gotta hear it to believe it" category.
A 22-year old college student in California, "Natalie Dylan", is planning to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder to pay for her college tuition. On the Howard Stern show. The act will take place at the "Moonlite Bunny Ranch", a legal brothel in Nevada. She's willing to undergo a polygraph to prove that she is in fact a virgin.
But don't think Ms. Dylan is looking for just anyone. No, she has hopes that this could lead to the love of her lifetime. "Through this process I'm not just looking for the highest bidder," she says. "I'm looking for someone who is a genuine, overall nice person." Her mother, a fourth grade teacher, disapproves of the idea but says she will "support her daughter". Ms. Dylan is reasonably attractive so I'm sure she will make fairly well out of the deal, at least in a financial sense.
I forgot to add....Ms. Dylan wants to go into "marriage and family therapy" as a career. I s---t you not. I wonder how she would counsel the Spitzer family?
This is.....well, wow is all I can really say. I suppose given my somewhat "Christianist" social views and my penchant for lamenting the decadence of modern society, I should be decrying this as a horrible sin. And well, yes, doubtlessly it is a sin, falling under the species of prostitution (although generally prostitution is a greater sin for the client than the prostitute), and if she asked me whether I approve or not, I would have to say that I don't. But moral disapproval aside, I have to say that there's something that makes you grudgingly admire this girl's creativity- and oddly, her touching innocence even in the process of doing such a salacious thing. This is really far out....in the shake-your-head, aren't-people-amazing-creatures kind of way. Here you have a girl who's innocent enough to keep their virginity until they're 22 (it may be social timidity rather than moral conviction, although that's more the case with guys than girls)....and then jaded enough to throw it to some guy with a few dozen grand to spare. Someone who's innocent enough to consult her mother (!) on the virginity auction, and to actually hope to meet a "all around nice person"..... and someone who wants to find him through an auction on the Howard Stern Show. Someone who wants to devote her career to counseling husbands and wives, and parents and children, how to get along with each other better.....and wants to jump-start her career at the Bunny Ranch. Jesus Holy Christ.....never was the complex mixture of good and bad in the human heart more evident. To tell the truth, the mixture of sweet innocence and amoral calculation reminds me of those aristocratic families in medieval Europe- the same culture that gave us the concept of courtly love, and the invention of the modern romantic ideal, also saw noble families effectively auctioning off their daughters' hands in marriage in a way that was not so different than this.
I think poor Ms. Dylan is making a bad choice, but she's doing it with a weird mixture of panache and sweet innocence that is, frankly, more than a bit endearing. I don't think anything good is going to come to her out of this....but I really hope it does. If any blame is to be attached in this weird situation, and their must be, then it should probably be cast on a society that has been so schizophrenic in its moral ideals, and that has failed to give Ms. Dylan better guidance. I hope that someday all of the lost, in our society, who are looking for guidance and inspiration will find it....and I hope and pray that against all odds, Ms. Dylan manages to preserve her innocence, and finds, at the end of the road, her "genuine, overall nice person", with whom she can experience l'amore che muove il sole e l'altre stelle.
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