Auctioning off virginity on the Internet. How did sex become the one skill for which no experience is highly valued?

by David Spark on January 18, 2009

Friday night, I appeared on The Curtis Sliwa Show on WABC Radio (audio up soon) to talk about 22-year old Natalie Dylan (not her real name) auctioning off her virginity on the Internet. The media circus frenzy on the virginity auction and the extremely poor public validation for any of this information makes me question the validity of this virgin auction.

The auction began during September 2008, and I believe what made it huge news now, in January, 2009 is that according to Dennis Hof, the owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Nevada, where the deflowering will go down, they have received 10,000 bids for the auction with the highest bid reaching $3.7 million. That’s what has been reported. Now for the questions and issues which make this story highly questionable.

  • Why has this auction going on for FIVE MONTHS with no published end date to the auction?
  • Whatever happens, she’s already made her 15 minutes of fame and probably a small fortune. She’s already made appearances on Howard Stern, The Tyra Banks Show, and supposedly signed a book deal with the David Black Literary Agency. That’s how that last item was reported. You don’t sign book deals with literary agencies. You sign book deals with publishers. The literary agencies make the deals for you. I only found one source of that information so it could just be bad reporting.
  • Where is the public report of the 10,000 bids or the highest bid of $3.7 million? It’s not on their Web site. You have to just take Dennis Hof and “Natalie Dylan” at their word.
  • Dennis Hof said that Natalie took a lie detector test in New York and that she’s open to a medical test to prove her virginity. The only “test” I know of is if the woman still has a hymen. But a woman can still be a virgin and have a broken hymen.
  • Who invests $10 let alone $3.7 million without knowing for sure they’re getting what they paid for?
  • Where do you actually bid? Except for sending Natalie an email, there doesn’t appear to be any formal bidding process on the site. All you get is a single page introducing Natalie Dylan. It’s not even hosted by the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. It’s being hosted by someone’s .Mac account.
  • Natalie Dylan appears to actually be working at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch as a regular prostitute. She has a booking page.
  • It’s not a true auction. She’s not taking the highest bid. She says for her first lover, “I’m looking for intelligence and an overall nice person.”
  • What’s wrong with all of the other first time prostitutes out there? Why don’t they announce they’re selling their virginity too?

Sex, the one skill for which no experience is highly valued

Natalie Dylan’s story is not the first case of a woman selling her virginity online. Close to five years ago, Rosie Reid, an 18-year old lesbian university student in Britain sold her heterosexual virginity for £8,400. Her auction began on eBay (her younger brothers posted it there for her) and then were forced to take it off. Rosie continued the auction on her own. eBay refused to post Natalie Dylan’s auction.

Of the virginity auction, Rosie Reid said, “I’ll leave university £15,000 in debt. That’s why I am taking this drastic action.” When she actually went through with the act, News of the World asked her how it was and she said, “[It was] very uncomfortable but over quite quickly.”

There was another Internet virginity auction just a month before the Rosie Reid story of an interior designer Cathy Cobblerson, 24, who offered her virginity for $100,000 on eBay to pay off credit card bills.

Plus, ten years ago there was the infamous hoax ( that was picked up by tons of media outlets as a legit story of two teenagers that were going to broadcast their first sexual experience on the Internet.

Why are we fascinated with virginity? Why are people willing to pay so much for it? And why do we believe people when they tell us that they are a virgin?

Duping people into paying more for virgin sex has a long history. During the Barbary Coast days of San Francisco, also known as the gold rush era of the mid to late 1800s, all vice, especially prostitution was rampant. Men were constantly being duped into believing they were going to have sex with a virgin. And for that right to deflower the young lady, they’d have to pay a severe premium.

But what’s most intriguing about this whole virginity premium nonsense is that I can’t think of one other industry for which complete lack of experience is favorable and people will pay an insanely high premium for it. It’s like making an intern the CEO of IBM. Help me out, is there another industry for which someone will pay a fortune for having absolutely no experience?

This news item is for the Spark Minute week of 1/19/09 which can be heard daily on Green 960 and 910 KNEW in San Francisco, CA.

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