A medical student in the US is auctioning her virginity online, having been inspired by the figures offered to Natalie Dylan, who received bids of $3.7 million dollars (£.2.2 million) for hers in 2009.
The student, who has adopted the name Elizabeth Raine to conceal her true identity, has set up a website for prospective bidders to learn more about her and place bids. The auction will open on 1 April.
Raine is offering the winning bidder a 12-hour date and the opportunity to take her virginity in a deal she describes as "primarily financially motivated".
The 27-year-old has taken an extremely business-like approach to the auction by enlisting the help of an agent and even offering to undertake a medical examination to provide evidence of her virginity.
Her website features numerous shots of herself in her underwear and with her face obscured, alongside detailed information about herself and how the transaction would proceed.
Despite the obvious risks to both her physical and mental well-being, Raine insists she will not feel “violated, degraded, or of lesser value in any which way” after the experience, but admitted to feeling “a bit jittery about it”.
She denies being concerned that her auction will be considered tantamount to prostitution, instead countering that “prostitute is a very simple and stigmatised label for a complex and diverse profession".
“There are truly all sorts of prostitutes (sadly many are very oppressed, but some like me are not) and lumping them all together and condemning them all equally serves no right purpose,” she explains on her website.
Her reasons for deciding to lose her virginity in such a dramatic fashion are detailed in a biography, but she summarises them as: “money, the adventure, the eroticism, the scandal, the absurdity”.
“My primary motivation remains financial,” she admits, “and I can’t insult you by pretending otherwise.
“I have never viewed myself to be a materialistic person, at least no more than is natural, but the potential sums involved are too large to be dismissed.”
However, she also discusses the possibility of somehow "being led into the arms of a gentleman" in the form of the winning bidder, who Raine hopes will have "similar appreciation for these unique circumstances, and make my first time worthy of both the wait and lasting memory."
Unlike other women across the world who have put their virginity up for auction, Raine is “97.7 per cent” certain she will go through with it.
“I have never been very religious. This probably explains in part why I am able to do this without moral objection”, she said.
“I am not devoid of a moral code though, as some might like you to believe. I have just formed my own code - one I like to believe is founded on a world education and human emotion.”
Raine also plans to donate 35 per cent of the winning bid to charity bringing education to women in developing countries.