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Costing and commoditising virginity

By Matthew Holloway - posted Monday, 19 December 2011

Anyone travelling on public transport in an Australian capital city on Monday, November the 21st may have been struck by a front page headline of the free MX paper 'Virginity for Sale'.

The article discussed two friends, both hospitality workers, aged 21 and 22 from Sydney's west who have decided to auction their virginity online.

The auctioning of virginity is not a new phenomenon and has been gaining a lot of attention in the media of recent years.


The pair stated the intention of auctioning their virginity was to set themselves up for life, including investing in property and travelling.

One of the women stated, 'Girls just give away their virginity for free these days; they just sleep around with whoever it is. We thought it would be a smart business decision. We're not religious, so our virginity doesn't mean anything to us.'

Taking pointed aim at a loaded statement, it is very naïve to believe virginity only has meaning amongst the religious.

There is no disputing that traditionally, religion has viewed the loss of virginity as a significant step in a journey of marriage and parenthood.

For some people virginity is not given away, there is no consent, and for these people this is a traumatic experience they will live with for the rest of their lives.

In a broader secular context, the loss of virginity still marks a passage into adulthood and an experience of trusting a person with something that will forever be etched in their memory.


In stating that people give virginity away for free, these women show they assign no deeper value or understanding to virginity.

Just because someone does not assign a monetary value to their virgin status, does not mean there isn't a cost involved.

It is sad that two young women are so caught up in the materialism of modern society that they see humans stripped of humanity and made into a commodity.

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About the Author

Matthew Holloway is a freelance writer and social justice advocate from Tasmania, where he stood for state and federal parliament and co-founded Tasmanians for Transparency. He has previously written for Tasmanian Times and Eureka Street, Matthew currently lives in Melbourne where he works as a Counsellor in Aboriginal Health and a Social Worker in Catholic social services.

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