Virginity For Sale And Everybody’s Buying?
In American society, just about everything is up for sale. This is true.
Knowing this, I was still somehow taken aback when I got the headline about a new reality TV series on MTV rooted in people losing their virginity. Check out the premise per MTV’s website:
Virgin Territory follows the lives of fifteen young adults, all of whom are trying to maneuver the often tricky world of virginity. Messy love lives, awkward parental sex talks, sexually active friends, and the pressure to give in to their temptations – all can make for a very tumultuous journey for these abstinent adolescents. Each hour long episode explores four different v-card-carrying cast members from all walks of life. Some of them are hanging on to their virginity and others are desperately trying to lose it.
The show first aired this week. I admittedly didn’t see the show, but I must take exception to a show of this sort, under the understanding that nothing is sacred as long as you can sell ads against a premise. But, it would seem that in a society that is plagued with STD’s, teen and unplanned pregnancy, there would be some considerable restraint in cranking out a show centered on people viewing with anticipation on who folds and just has sex.
Honestly, it reeks of exploitation even if the kids are technically adults, which I suspect they all are.
Us grown folks know that we did some pretty dumb stuff in our youth and that if said acts were pushed out of reality TV on a network like MTV, we’d be more than upset and/or embarrassed. I had a very brief stint on reality TV and it was an eye-opening experience to say the least. First of all, I saw people change in the most dramatic ways to get a bigger look on television. The editing process is to create the most salacious content possible, most times at the expense of the participants. Last but not least, oftentimes these people are scripted into scenarios without their knowledge to illicit a reaction or a response that is most desirable by the creators of the show. I clearly don’t know about “Virgin Territory” and their producers’ aims, but we know they aim to entertain and make money. Remember: anything is for sale -even your virginity.
Believe it or not, I liked “The Gossip Game,” the reality show I was on a couple of times. Similarly, I know why it didn’t make it. It simply wasn’t ratchet enough. I was encouraged by some of the cast mates to “turn up.” I think about the younger Chuck Creekmur, nearly a completely different person and the consummate late bloomer. Would I do a show like “Virgin Territory”? I’m not so sure considering the fact that after my dad died, I wanted nothing more than to shine in this wretched world. Would I regret it? Probably. TV makes people do things they otherwise would not do – like put their virginity up for sale.
To take it a step further, I’d probably run up in MTV’s offices like I was possessed by the spirit of Mike Tyson if my daughter showed up on the show. To me, it sets a dangerous premise, like when Montana Fishburne, Laurence’s kid, decided to follow in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps in porn. EPIC FAIL. MTV’s producers insist this show is an attempt to do the right thing by supplementing a press release with sexual health issues and statistics on what kids actually want in their television shows. They need more people, to paraphrase Jay Z. “Virgin Territory” certainly isn’t as sinister as critics have lambasted it for, but it is just another show on a slippery slope.
I believe people also eventually want a reality show where fight in the wilderness to the death – Lord of the Flies-style. There is no evidence to support this theory yet, but I’d bet good, hard-earned money that people will watch it if it could get green lit. Everything is for sale at a discount. Lives. Integrity. Virginity.