Virgin art student offers insight into plans to have sex publicly

Clayton Pettet poses in a picture promoting his performance piece 'Art School Stole My Virginity' (claypettet.tumblr.com)

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Clayton Pettet, a 19-year-old art student, is taking sexual exhibitionism to new heights. He'll be losing his virginity publicly next year, before a carefully selected live audience, as part of a performance art piece that reflects on society's obsession with the sexual rite of passage.

Jian speaks with Pettet from London about his controversial project, how outrage over an act of queer virginity inspired his plans, and what made him decide to turn a normally intimate moment into a public spectacle.


Pettet says virginity, or the loss of it, is "used to value people all over the world." He stresses that his piece, which will involve his partner in art and in life, is a carefully crafted piece of performance art -- much more than sex on stage.

"I want this concept to be broken. For me virginity is just a concept," he told Jian.

Before and after?

Jian also speaks with Toronto-born filmmaker Therese Shechter about her most recent film, How to Lose Your Virginity, and delves into why virginity is still such a cultural lightning rod.

Shechter says that virginity has long been seen as a heterosexual idea, too often defined by porn, pop culture and longstanding mores.

"We do have this idea that it's this one time thing. Becoming sexual is a long process."

Check out the trailer for Shechter's film below, and tell us: how do you think about virginity? Have you ever felt anxious about having or losing your own? Share your story below.



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