Virginity for sale.

A woman with a peculiarly mercenary streak is auctioning off her virginity for a considerable sum of money: $3.7 million, according to this Telegraph report. It’s one way to beat the recession, I suppose. The idea of enterprising degradation came to her, it is further reported, because her sister was able to pay for “her own degree after working as a prostitute for three weeks.” Ain’t that nice?

Don’t miss the remarkable statement that concludes that Telegraph report: “It’s shocking that men will pay so much for someone’s virginity, which isn’t even prized so highly anymore.”

It’s rare for so much irony to be packed into a single sentence. One could note that only in the modern age could someone claim that it is “shocking” for men to prize purity and chastity, which are exemplified above all in virginity. One might observe that the whole impetus for her offer was a keen insight into how highly prized purity still is, even refracted through a distorting lens of degradation. One might therefore observe that the subordinate phrase in this poor woman’s statement is, strictly speaking, horse puckey; and that all the force of mercenary instinct, of licentiousness, of free love and all the other heresies of the modern age — in a word, all the force of that ponderous amalgam of Capitalism and License which has become the very mark of our society — cannot efface what human sexuality actually is. Even the most hidebound evolutionist or materialist can arrive at the truth of the importance of chastity, which is the source of the power of female sexuality.

Even the evolutionist can discover that female chastity is a thing of extraordinary power. Even he must realize that when a man proceeds to estimate the chances of carrying his genetic features into the next generation, a great portion of the estimate must hinge on the fidelity of his mate. And the only true surety in this estimate is virginity. Fidelity is built upon that.

In base economic terms, this woman is selling herself short. Her virginity, her purity, her chastity is worth much more than 3 or 4 million dollars. Ten times that amount would probably fall short. And the puzzle is how exactly it came to be that the modern age convinced so many women to throw away their most prized asset, all the while calling it a grand liberation.