By Maya West. Photos: YouTube, Courtesy of Twitter.
This week, 18-year-old model Aleexandra Kefren auctioned her virginity to the highest bidder. The unnamed businessman from Hong Kong has pledged to pay almost £2 million, or around $2.5 million, the Daily Mail reports.
Kefren first made headlines last November when she appeared on ITV show This Morning, where she explained that she first got the idea for selling her virginity at age 15 when she watched Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal, the 1998 film about a man offering $1 million to sleep with a married woman. The teen put the wheels in motion by contacting a famous escort agency, Cinderella Escorts, who told Daily Mail it has since been swamped with requests from nearly 300 other women who all want a shot at selling their virginity, too.
Hailing from Romania, Kefren explained that her plans for the money include helping her parents buy a home, as well as funding her own education. It was later reported in the Daily Mail that the family was not under any serious financial constraints. "[Her parents] begged her not to do it, but she told them, 'I'm 18 and I can do what I like with my body,'" the Daily Mail reports that Kefren's uncle, Radu Raducu, told them. 'They have threatened her and said if she goes ahead with selling herself they will not consider her their daughter anymore. It is a terrible situation. Her mother was in tears and it was a terrible atmosphere. Just awful. I tried to be the peacemaker and to see both sides, but they are very angry." The Mail also writes that her parents have declined to comment.
Predictably, the internet has a lot of thoughts and feelings about her decision that range from general support to hand-wringing outrage. The Sun claims that she is "losing her innocence." This Morning host Phillip Schofield said to Kefren in their interview, “I’m a father, I have two girls your age…are you out of your mind? You haven’t thought of the health aspects, you haven’t thought of the safety aspects. What are you thinking?” (Side note: Regardless of intent, can men stop using the "I'm a father" argument as a justification for instructing women what to do?) Twitter users have expressed shock, concern, and judgment, too — both after her segment on This Morning and after the auction concluded.
It’s probably safe to say that decoupling sex and shame is a cause most of us can get down with. What gets tricky in situations like these is ensuring safety and consent, though it's important to note that Kefren has stated that this is her decision. “I wanted to sell my virginity with Cinderella Escorts rather than giving it to a future friend who might have left me anyway. And I think many other girls have the same attitude," Kefren is reported to have written on the Cinderella Escorts website, on a page that has since been taken down. "How many would possibly forgo their first time in retrospect if they could have 2.3 million euros instead?”
Considering multiple news outlets are now reporting that the hotel room is booked, there is little doubt that this is the last we have heard of the story.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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