Last September, Howard Stern finally met a virgin — well, the first one that would get near him since high school probably, and even then I’m sure they were dubious. But Natalie Dylan, 22, isn’t a blushing, chaste, wallflower who is just too shy to let someone stick it in. She’s an outspoken self-proclaimed feminist with a degree in Women’s Studies who is selling her hymen to the highest bidder and even explain herself to Howard Stern. She was introduced to the sex obsessed shock jock by Denis Hof, the owner of the infamous Nevada house of hos, The Moonlite Bunny Ranch, where her sister is already a working girl. But Dylan is the apple of Hof’s eye because she’s decided to put her hoo-ha up for sale on the brothel’s website. While her starting price was a cool million dollars, the ante has been upped to 3.8 million over the past few months. Hot damn, this girl’s got a bidding war and to think I just laid down and did it for free! While Dylan’s clearly going to cash in, it seems she’s got her mind on more than money. In a letter to the Daily Beast, Dylan answered her critics and offered up some explanation for her fascinating decision to sell her most private possession.
After spending four years in college studying the way things were for women in ye olden days, how economical virgin marriages were with fathers profiting from dowries, she decided not to let any man earn the money her chastity was worth. Or in Dylan’s words, in early European matrimony, “Dads were basically their daughters’ pimps.” But 2009 is hardly Medieval Times. Still, Dylan is trying to prove that one thing remains the same over all these centuries: the value of virginity.
Sure, Dylan’s idea may seem weird, but I don’t think the auctioning of her hymen is the strangest part. Isn’t it odd how much our modern society, post the sexual revolution, appreciates virginity? It’s like a shiny new car — the minute you take it for a spin and drive it off the lot, it depreciates. Dylan, outraged by that notion that had defined women of the past, decided to take action to reclaim her own sexual rights. She wrote: “When I learned this, it became apparent to me that idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place. But then I realized something else: if virginity is considered that valuable, what’s to stop me from benefiting from that? It is mine, after all. And the value of my chastity is one level on which men cannot compete with me. I decided to flip the equation, and turn my virginity into something that allows me to gain power and opportunity from men.” And for the record, she adds, “…the winning bid won’t necessarily be the highest—I get to choose.”
While Dylan sees herself as breaking through a glass ceiling, perhaps we should be asking ourselves why there’s one there in the first place. Is the wear and tear on a woman’s private collection really worth the price — especially at the cost of degrading the vast majority of women who have sex freely? The so-called distinct pleasure of screwing a virgin vag can be bought, now directly, as opposed to indirectly, like the class and position it brought back in the day. Yet, the fascination with being the first in our society is so out of wack it’s worth nearly four million dollars during the worst recession the world has seen in decades. At most, this deal will be a one-night experience. You’re not “buying the prize cow,” you’re just getting the first glass of milk.
Dylan is clearly a clever woman whose message should be taken seriously, as she is about to earn more than her weight in gold all for a splash of blood. Her shrewd business sense and ability to wield her sex appeal into an international frenzy is admirable. “I’ve been congratulated for my ‘entrepreneurial gumption,’ as one CEO of a Fortune 500 company put it,” Dylan brags. She considers herself to be an inspired trailblazer, “I might even be an early adopter of a future trend, if the ads that clutter Craigslist are any indication of the direction we’re headed in.” Although, Dylan, I pose to you this question — isn’t making virginity this blatantly a commodity also forcing sex to become a class issue and therefore even less within the woman’s control? When you can literally put prices on womanhood, doesn’t that devalue all women? The only difference from Europe’s darkest days is the marriage contract, but the means to an end are just as tied to economics.
However, Dylan is used to criticism by now. She argues she’s just ahead of her time. “I knew this experiment would bring me condemnation… One conclusion my experiment has already borne out is that society isn’t ready for public auctions like mine—yet.” Well, while the rest of the country clips coupons and tries to enjoy the simple things in life, one can only hope love won’t come with a more overt price tag. Although, it remains to be seen if this kind of “product” will inspire a trend in personal economic stimulus packages.