Brazilian Woman Auctions Virginity for $780,000

More than two years ago, an Australian filmmaker devised project based on a concept as old as time: virginal value.

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Don Farrall / Getty Images

Australian director Justin Sisely is surely familiar with the cardinal rule of sensational filmmaking: Sex sells. Now, all he has to do is avoid giving the impression that he’s selling sex.

Two years ago, Sisely came up with the idea for “a documentary made for the 21st century” — in which a man and woman offer their virginity online to the highest bidder, while a camera follows them through the entire project. PerthNow reported that Sisely, facing criticism from the Australian government — one politician called the project “absurd, ridiculous and disgusting” — and from countless parents, recruited virgins willing to sell their first sexual experience to the highest bidder, offering each individual $20,000 and 90 percent of his or her final sale price.

(WATCH: Nepal: Escaped from the Sex Trade, Unable to Go Home)

“The hardest part is telling the parents,” Sisely, who represents the film company Thomas Will Productions, told PerthNow in 2010. “They hate me.”

The government went so far as to warn Sisely about potential legal repercussions from the auction — selling sex would appear to put Sisely and his actors in violation of prostitution laws — which caused him to move the sale to the United States, PerthNow reported.

Despite the controversy, Sisely continued to work on his documentary, titled “Virgins Wanted,” narrowing his list of featured virgins to two: 20-year-old Catarina Migliorini from Brazil and 23-year-old Alex Stepanov from Russia. The two flew to Indonesia for filming, and now, Sisely’s magnum opus is finally nearing its climax. Bidding to deflower the virgins began on Sept. 17 and ended on Oct. 24, with Migliorini’s top bidder — a man from Japan known as Natsu — offering $780,000. Stepanov’s virginity will go to a Brazilian woman known as Nene B, who bid $3,000. As stated in the terms of the auction, Stepanov and Migliorini will meet their prospective suitors in less than 10 days. The waiting period allows enough time for the winning bidders to submit to a medical examination and a police check, virgins to provide evidence of their purity (a gynecologist’s examination in Migliorini’s case and statements from relatives in Stepanov’s case) and filming to be completed.

But Sisely has changed his mind about how much his masterpiece will reveal. Neither sexual encounter (which will occur on a plane flying between Australia and the United States,  in a bid to evade prostitution laws) will be filmed. Instead, on-camera interviews will occur before and after, the New York Daily News reported.

Migliorini, a student who wants to study medicine in Argentina, told Brazilian newspaper Folha that she considers Sisely’s project as an opportunity to better the world. She said she plans to start a NGO and help impoverished families by investing in a public housing project in Santa Catarina, where she was born.

(MORE: Girls on Film: How Innocent Pictures Feed the Internet Porn Machine)

“For me, it’s not prostitution,” Migliorini told Folha. “When someone does something once in his or her life, this is not considered a profession. If you take a picture and it comes out good, you are not a photographer because of it.” She added that she wouldn’t want her sexual encounter — during which Natsu must be sober, wear a condom and refrain from kissing — to be filmed, saying she would “die of shame.”

Critics have raised doubts about Migliorini’s benevolence. Cleon Daskalakis, a former professional hockey player who runs Netraffle.org, a company that raises funds online for charities, told the Huffington Post that even if the Brazilian woman wants to donate some of her winnings, the charity may refuse the money.

“This type of transaction is setting a dangerous precedent, not to mention a call for global prostitution on a one-time basis,” he said.

Even Sisely has voiced his concerns about his subject’s claims, telling HuffPo he had believed at first that Migliorini’s motives were profit and self-promotion. Regarding her intention to give some of the money to charity, Sisely said, “I was surprised she said that because in all my dealings with her, she made it clear that it was a business decision for her. Now, given how big this story is in Brazil, she’s trapped. If she doesn’t give any money to charity, she’s going to look bad.”

WATCH: Objects of Sex: ‘Wired’ at the Kinsey Institute

21 comments
ohsnap
ohsnap

Actually there used to be a custom in Japan, of men purchasing the virginity of women (called 'mizuage'). It has been illegal since the 1950s but since the highest bidder was Japanese, well...

Verify1st
Verify1st

Are you sure this is a woman?

ILikePancakes
ILikePancakes

“For me, it’s not prostitution ... When someone does something once in his or her life, this is not considered a profession". If you take a picture and it comes out good, you are not a photographer because of it.” 

In life, it's our isolated choices that define us. Choosing not to make a profession out of something doesn't lessen its impact. There will always be chances to make good money in life... but harmful choices cannot be unmade. No amount of money is ever worth one's integrity.

simaenajr
simaenajr

...now noisy pro-feminists won't speak.

OzarkGranny
OzarkGranny

It's too bad that in our impoverished world, this is all some people have to sell and give themselves a chance to improve their economic standing. 

commonsense!!!
commonsense!!!

If a person decides to sell their virginity and really means it and carries through with the act, they are already unchaste and hence not a virgin. All this "documentary producer" will be filming is some tearing of tissue and not the loss of virginity. True loss of virginity requires chaste partners in the context of love. It is not humanly possible to keep a photographic record of it because it is as much spiritual as well as physical. This producer should not be prosecuted for perversion, but rather for fraud. Loss of virginity (innocence) is an intensely personal experience that can not be captured on a photograph. Ask anyone about it.

tedtulan
tedtulan

the degradation and commercialization of women's body have begun. From now onwards, many women and even man will think of selling their innocence, it will begin as a trickle and will be flood later on.

Dachman
Dachman

How sad, she clearly sees the shame when she says she says if it was filmed she would "die of shame" and no kissing. This is an intimate thing that she is trying to justify for $780K. Many guys who know her story throughout her life will be thinking of what would she cost now. She also has now opened the door to when she needs money she knows how to get it. She is prostitute star now...

frankwall1965
frankwall1965

Its a good idea for a TV show but I still find it disgusting and sad for the people involved.

Bigdawg
Bigdawg

$780k vs. $3k! Need I say more?

ruraynor
ruraynor

Your virginity and your body belong to YOU. In this world of free markets, you should be able to sell them in a safe way.

Mr.357
Mr.357

@tedtulan That's what happens when you live in a patriarchal society.

WilliamBarnes
WilliamBarnes

@tedtulan "have begun" is just a little recent, wouldn't you agree? This "degradation and commercialization" has been going on probably since humans existed.

mackenzie
mackenzie

Yes, there's quite a big discrepancy there. It seems that between a woman's legs is a potential goldmine, while between a man's legs is a dime-a-dozen. Now that's equality for you.

simaenajr
simaenajr

@ruraynor ...what's your point. You're neither here nor there. You're either encouraging your child to embrace prostitution or not. Get off the fence!

mackenzie
mackenzie

If the subject were not a virgin and the market was ebay, would the subject be labeled  'used'? If sex is indeed a material commodity, then maybe every woman and man should have a [public] file recording their accurate sexual history, so that anybody who gets involved with them knows EXACTLY what the market value is of that person they're interested in 'consuming.'