MTV made a splash recently with a online casting call for a provocative reality show about young, sexy people (I’m venturing a guess) on a quest to lose their virginity. But who wouldn’t want to follow the existential journeys of post-adolescents as they attempt to experience humanity’s most intimate and society’s most glorified act?
“DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL? LIKE, ARE YOU READY TO HAND OVER YOUR V CARD? OR DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS READY TO LOSE IT?
Young adulthood is a time for exploration. New relationships, fresh experiences and sexual firsts…
Now MTV is looking to frankly capture that journey in a new series called My First…We’re looking for adults who are ready to go all the way. Let MTV come along on your journey… as you try to lose your virginity! (Note: We will be filming whether or not you accomplish this goal… but NOT the act itself. Duh.)
If you are 18 years or older and are willing to candidly allow MTV to accompany you on the journey toward “losing it,” please send us an email.”
I’m not given to chasing MTV shows around with a shaking Bible. If savvy execs want to subject curious, bored eyes to the high fashion of Jersey Shore, so be it. These features of popular culture offer a way-too-easy target for irritable Christians, when there is plenty of serious injustice in the world (and in our neighborhoods) to get riled up about.
We can perhaps give credit to MTV for yanking the idea after some heated reaction from the public. But had they pressed forward, this would have taken reality TV to another level. This is not just about cranky, holier-than-thou folks trying to protect their children from “the real world.” This is about the commodification of sex in the mainstream: young people are lured by the promise of five minutes of fame to “sell” their potentially most precious, most intimate experience of human development and relationality. Sex, or in this case the loss of virginity, becomes a commodity to be bought and sold, like sugar, wheat, or cell phones. Are you ready to hand over [sell] your V-Card? For now at least, the better angels of mainstream society still recognize that virginity is not a product to be bought or sold. Nor is sex a quest to achieve, under the watchful eye of the public.