The people at BDSM-porn giant Kink.com enjoy controversy and pushing bound-aries when it comes to sex, but lately they pushed things even further than usual. It began when they announced a special event: the live-streaming of a virgin being "deflowered." The star of this show? A 21-year-old named Nicki Blue. The widely issued press release read like Saint Augustine meets high-tech porn: "A trained expert will insert Kink.com's official Hymen-cam to validate that Blue's hymen is still in place and she is a true virgin." Fans would vote for one of three male performers to "take her innocence," and the other two men would join in and "make her airtight." Meaning: all three of them penetrating her at once.
I'm not easily offended, but even I was revolted by the language and tone of this. Online, sex-positive-feminist outrage exploded. Kink.com model Maggie Mayhem wrote an emotional blog post critiquing the ad campaign and debunking common myths about female virginity. (For example, the notion that every woman has a hymen, and that its presence or absence proves whether she's had a penis inside her. Wrong!)
To everyone's pleasant surprise, Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth quickly acknowledged that they'd bungled the promotion. He posted a graceful apology and stated, "We're deeply honored Nicki wanted to celebrate this event on Kink.com." Ad text and banners were changed to less controversial wording.
How touching. And how puzzling that a mature company like Kink.com would carelessly distribute such offensive advertising, create such an uproar—and then so smoothly and sweetly change its tune. Or perhaps it's not so puzzling. Perhaps it's simply a clever manipulation of the blogosphere.
So, a publicity win for Kink.com. But what about Nicki Blue? Critics were quick to assure us they supported Blue's choice to do the show; it was just the promotional language they deplored. I cannot say the same. If Ms. Blue were a friend of mine, I'd say, "Don't do this." True, Nicki Blue didn't just fall off the turnip truck—she's modeled nude and performed solo in webcam shows. She says having her first vaginal intercourse live on camera is her fantasy, and obviously she has the right to choose that.
But has the right is not the same as a good idea. An inexperienced woman getting into Big Porn to "explore her sexuality"? That's a seriously bad idea. Porn is a business. It doesn't exist to create a safe place for models to fulfill their fantasies; it exists to create entertainment for paying customers and to make money.
The concept of female virginity being something that is "lost" is archaic. But experiencing vaginal penetration for the first time is not a silly little nonevent. Whether it's enjoyable or anticlimactic, it's a physical, social, and emotional milestone that influences your feelings about sex in the future. So don't do it on a porn set. Do your sexual exploring in a private, no-pressure environment with someone you're crazy-hot for—and save your porn-virginity until later.