Brazilian girl auctioning off virginity for a documentary? I doubt it

October 2, 2012 by  

It seems like every four years or so, a story or person comes to my attention. In 2008, it was Martin Eisenstadt. In 2012, so far, it’s “Virgins Wanted.”

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 type.

Myself, I have no moral qualms about what Sisely is trying to do. Mostly, because I think it’s probably 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.”

The Bids

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) 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

The Virgins Wanted Web site as it currently stands was created just a couple months ago. The young Sisely, Migliorini, Stepanov, as well as “Virgins Wanted” have minimal exposure on 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

  • Sisely says the sexual encounters with the virgins will take place on a private plane between the U.S. and Australia, thus getting by any nation’s prostitution laws (say what you will, but this is prostitution). International airspace is not a free-for-all zone of sin and lawlessness.
  • Migliorini said she and Stepanov are currently in Indonesia filming the documentary. Why Indonesia?
  • How exactly are Migliorini and Stepanov being tested to verify their virginity?
  • Stepanov was one of the original virgins selected in 2009 when “Virgins Wanted” was originally conceived. After Australia made it clear that the filming of such a documentary would be illegal, the encounters were supposed to be filmed in Las vegas. Why did the first female “virgin” pull out of the project and when and how the Las Vegas angle fall apart?
  • 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.

–WKW

 

Comments

12 Responses to “Brazilian girl auctioning off virginity for a documentary? I doubt it”

  1. Phil Perspective on October 24th, 2012 7:14 pm

    You’ve hit the big time!! ;-) As I think you know, this story was linked to by HuffPo. Why it took them two weeks to cover this, after your blog post, I don’t know. T & A is right up their alley after all.

  2. Marcel on October 25th, 2012 12:12 am

    If I may, there’s another huge issue: checking the buyer’s credentials and securing the payment. It’s easy to bid online, but $ 780,000 isn’t something that can be transfered internationally by anyone at the wink of an eye.

    Through common friends, I met a young woman in Ukraine five years ago, who was actually auctioning her virginity through an online prostitution service. The first attempt was a failure, as the highest bidder simply didn’t show up. Yet the price was much lower, low enough to be dealt with in cash (it’s still showing on archive.org).

    Eventually, she and the pimp – ooops, the escort agency manager – decided to drop the whole ‘online auction’ stuff, and resort to more confidential, and reliable, channels.

    So indeed, you’re not the only one to think that this is just another celebrity hoax.

  3. Martin Eisenstadt on October 25th, 2012 7:03 pm

    Dear Mr. Wolfrum – I take serious umbrage to you dragging me into this sordid “Virgin Airlines” scandal. As anyone who’s read my book “I Am Martin Eisenstadt” (Farrar, Strauss, Giroux – out next week on Kindle!) knows, you sir are a patsy high-paid Washington operative at best, and a tranny-loving Brazilian golf blogger at worst. It would shock me not the least to find that are acting as a secret shill for these so-called obscure filmmakers (hmm, not the first time you’ve been called out in the media for your association with “obscure filmmakers” – I encourage your readers to Bing the New York Times to see what I mean!). Or perhaps, maybe you ARE the real documentarian and/or Brazilian virgin yourself? According to the NYT, your own existence has been called into question, so nothing would shock me. But then again, very little shocks Martin Eisenstadt (except perhaps for Anderson Cooper coming out – if you’ve read my book, you’ll see why I still have my doubts about that).

  4. dgun on October 26th, 2012 8:46 pm

    Martin Eisenstadt, Senior Fellow at The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy, checking in with various denials.. Hmm…

  5. Jenna Vartina on October 29th, 2012 6:19 pm

    Ooops I gave my virginity away for free. I was such a dumb-ass :(

  6. Catarina Migliorini: Still A Virgin, But Now A Playmate? (NSFW PHOTOS) | Political Ration on December 26th, 2012 9:31 am

    [...] first announced the project in 2010, it’s been marked by skepticism from all corners, such as Brazilian-based journalist William K. Wolfrum, and hoax experts like Joey Skaggs and Alex Boese, and doctors like Dr. Elizabeth Lyster, a [...]

  7. Catarina Migliorini: Still A Virgin, But Now A Playmate? | Eagle Online on December 27th, 2012 12:41 am

    [...] announced the project in 2010, it’s been marked by skepticism from all corners, such as Brazilian-based journalist William K. Wolfrum, and hoax experts like Joey Skaggs and Alex Boese, and doctors like Dr. Elizabeth Lyster, a [...]

  8. danny bloom on December 31st, 2012 5:17 pm

    Good backstory reporting, and good future story reporting here. What is important too is that the news media worldwide already reported the fake faux headlines and fake story back in October, which generated buzz worldwide, but not one media outlet that reported the news, other than at HuffPo, thanks to your goog gumshoe legwork, has reported the true “facts” of the faux media story. There never was a virgin deflowering in store, the entire story was made up to further the careers of the film director and the Playboy wannabe model, and voila, they achieved their aims. When will the media wake up to these hoaxes BEFORE the news spread out worldwide, without corrections ever being published? This just adds to our media forgetfulness. But maybe the next time a fake news story is published, more reporters like Moye at HuffPo will be at the ready to deconstruct and explain the hoax BEFORE the news goes viral. Good job, here!

  9. danny bloom on December 31st, 2012 5:19 pm

    exactly! re ”But …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.”

    The story appeared in over 5000 newspapers blogs and websites and not one has issued a correction. Welcome to the Inter Nut age…

  10. danny bloom on December 31st, 2012 5:22 pm

    and look up google the number of newspaper EDITORIALS that wrote damning signed and unsigned editorials about the virgin sale story, most from a damning religious POV, and none of the story was even true! Here is one example:

    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/the-china-post/daniel-j.-bauer/2012/11/04/359801/Virginity-for.htm

  11. Catarina Migliorini | LawdiRazzi on January 9th, 2013 11:18 am

    [...] like William K. Wolfram are skeptical of the project for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the production company behind the film, Thomas Williams Productions, seems to have little more than experience doing wedding [...]

  12. Outbreak of Brazilian virgins has imaginary bidders lining up « Brazil « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on January 27th, 2013 5:50 am

    [...] When Justin Sisely announced that he planned to film a “Virgin Sells Virginity” porn, the media went wild, endlessly repeating a story based on nothing. [...]

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