How much did you get paid for your virginity? I’ll venture to guess a lot less than the $27,950 (or 900,000 rubles) an 18-year-old Siberian teen received late last week. Shatuniha, the Russian teen who auctioned off her virginity online, described herself on the Russian auction website 24au.ru as “new-not used” and proclaimed that “I am in urgent need of money, so I am selling the most precious thing I possess.” The winning bidder, Evgeniy Volnov, ended up paying $3,000 above the original asking price.
The police in Krasnoyarsk found that this exchange was legal, and have no plans to interfere. A law enforcement spokesperson told the Siberian Times, "This situation is neither an administrative nor a criminal violation…Nor does it fit into a description of the 'Prostitution' clause from the Code of the Administrative Violations," and that the police had "no right to give a moral assessment of girl's actions."
If it’s her body, it is her decision? Virginity auctions are nothing new, and in the scheme of things, Shatuniha didn’t even make that much for her virginity. Alina Percea asked for $75,000 in 2009, and Catarina Migliorini received a whopping $780,000 in 2012. But can you put a price on your first time?
This all goes back to the idea that a woman’s virginity is valuable — a harmful notion that has perpetuated sexual oppression and the ownership over women throughout history. Notions of sexual purity enforce the current ideals behind slut-shaming and victim blaming. When women are denied the same ideological sexual freedom as men, everybody loses; men are pressured into being sexual aggressors and women are forced into a Madonna/whore complex. The fact that Shatuniha believes that her intact hymen is the “most precious thing” she has is really quite depressing. Not only does this invoke arcane ideas about the commodification of women, but she also clearly didn’t read my article about how much money she could make by selling her kidneys.