Virginity for sale! Online auction sparks debate
Is it a hoax? A publicity stunt? Or just what it looks like: A 22-year-old woman auctioning off her virginity on the Internet.
In any case, the California woman who goes by the pseudonym Natalie Dylan has created an online sensation. She is the latest in a line of shocking online hawkers who are selling everything from organs to human eggs.
Its going too far, and itll go beyond that, said Katherine Ramos, 35, of Harlem. It all has to do with morality.
Whether its the kidney or baby that went up for sale on eBay or the man who sold everything he owns for nearly $400,000, the online auction craze has produced some startling offers and responses. Dylan is not even the first woman to sell her virginity online.
Jeremy Saland, a Manhattan criminal defense attorney, said he has seen the Web used for a variety of dubious transactions.
I have witnessed people selling things ranging from counterfeit money, fake passports and fraudulent diplomas to drugs, stolen electronics and even a tortoise that was an endangered species, he said.
Though there is nothing novel about selling sex, Dylans brazen offer seems emblematic of an age in which virtually anything can be sold and buyers easily found.
In the world of cyberspace, its very disembodied, said David Salvage, a Manhattan psychologist. This woman would not do this in her local community center.While the ethics of selling things like organs online can be debated, legally, there are clear rules: If a person sells or buys something on the Internet that is illegal in the jurisdiction theyre doing it from, they can be charged, Saland explained.
Dylan may have entered a legal gray area. She lives in San Diego, but says she will seal the deal at the Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada.
Assuming this woman is violating the laws of her jurisdiction and a man soliciting her is violating a law in his home state, they are both looking for trouble, Saland said.
Dylan says she has received more than 10,000 responses to her offer since September, when the auction began, the highest coming in at $3.7 million.
Francisco Gonzalez, 26, of Queens, said he has no problem with what Dylan is doing. In fact, he called her a good businesswoman.
Shes just being smart, Gonzalez said. Nowadays, kids are giving it up for nothing.
Emily Ngo contributed to this story.