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Maiello: Re-free Martha Stewart
A couple days ago, I noticed a story making the rounds on the Internet about a young Brazilian girl that had agreed to sell off her virginity to the highest bidder. This “auction” is being held by one Justin Sisely, who is apparently in the process of making a documentary about her experience, as well as the experience of a male who is also auctioning his virginity.
Sisely has been at this project for more than two years now, as Sisely made news in his native Australia in 2010 by announcing his search for virgins.
Bidding apparently began on Sept. 18 and has now risen to $190,000 for female virgin Catarina Migliorini by an American bidder named Jack Miller, who just edged out another American, Martin Robinson, who bid $180,000. The highest bid for male virgin – Russian Alexander Stepanov – is currently at $1,300.
Now, thus far, Sisely’s planned film has drawn reams of criticism, mostly of the moral indignation variety.
Myself, I have no moral qualms about what Sisely is trying to do. Mostly, because I think it’s probably all bollocks. The reasons are numerous and have sent my Debunk Alert to level Red. Some of the reasons I find the whole “Virgins Wanted” project hard to believe:
To Film or Not to Film
In 2010, Sisely made it clear that the “documentary” would definitely include video of the “virgins” having sex. From the New York Daily News:
“Our camera follows the principal cast … as they shed their virginity to a complete stranger in front of a worldwide audience.”
From Migliorini’s statement:
“Of course, my first time will not be filmed. This is not porn, otherwise I would die of shame. The producer will shoot until I get on the plane.”
While the latest stories about “Virgins Wanted” came out on Oct. 1, the “bidding” for the virgins started on Sept. 18. In just two weeks, Migliorini’s virginity has received seven bids of more than $50,000, with the leading bid (made on Oct. 1) is at $190,000. There is no way to validate this.
The Production Company
The production company behind the documentary – Thomas William Productions – has, at best, done some wedding videos.
Web Sites and Social Media
About the Virgins
Thus far, the media has had little to no access to either of the two “virgins.” Migliorini gave Fohla de Sao Paulo a statement, and that statement is where all her quotes have come from in other stories. Stepanov has been included in a story with Russia Slam, but it is impossible to know if he was personally interviewed or released a statement like Migliorini.
Other Issues and Questions
Why do all the promotional videos (well, all three of them) feel staged? You can see them all here.
Basically, let me wrap this up as I see it: An unheard of director is working with an unheard of producer. Two years ago, they floated out the idea of auctioning off virgins and filming the sexual encounters. Two years later, they are back and say the sex will happen by the end of the month.
We know nothing verifiable about Migliorini, and in her video she does not mention “Virgins Wanted.”. Stepanov, we know a little from his video, a video that included his mother telling him “you’re not adapting to life.” We know nothing of the bidders, who are supposedly up to $190,000 for one hour with the female. The two “virgins” are right now in Indonesia being filmed. They will then go to Australia, to fly a private plane to the U.S., so they can have sex in the air without being arrested for prostitution.
The sex may or may not be filmed. The sex may or may not actually happen. The two “virgins” may not be virgins. The bids may not exist. The entire enterprise may not even exist.
It’s very possible that Sisely is trying to do exactly what he says. It’s also possible he’s just doing a porn and getting it some great publicity. It’s also possible that he’s just hoaxing everyone for the hell of it.
My personal opinion is that something stinks with this story.
But I don’t really take issue with Sisely, and have made attempts to contact him. My issue is with a careless and foolish media that sees a story titled “Brazilian Girl Auctioning Off Her Virginity!” and decide to run with it, regardless of how many holes there are in the story or the fact that they can’t verify any of it. It’s a story for Internet hits. Accuracy be damned.
I’ll revisit this topic soon as I research more on it and hopefully will speak with Mr. Sisely via e-mail in the near future. I currently don’t know the full truth behind “Virgins Wanted,” but I will.
Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles