Off the clock with The Checkout Girl: All tied up

The Checkout Girl offers up commentary on Nicki Blue, the aspiring adult film star who chose to lose her virginity in front of an Internet audience.

21-year-old Nicki Blue has the world on a string. She’s a model, she’s an actress, she’s a virgin who was “deflowered” in front of an Internet audience for money., a website known primarily for it’s non-traditional pornography (BDSM, bondage, fetish) held a pay-per-view event this weekend during which aspiring porn star Nicki (also, inexplicably, spelled “Nikki” on the site, from time to time) Blue lost her virginity. The promotional copy read like this:

Nicki Blue’s Deflowering

We will start the evening by tightly binding Ms. Blue and introducing three legends: Mark Davis, Jack Hammer and James Deen. Fans will vote for which of them will take Nikki’s virginity. Once the voting is complete, we will move to the sanctum, where the winner selected by fans will deflower her. The other two will then join the ceremony and make her airtight.

First, I want to say that I’m a feminist and I’m pro-pornography. The two are not mutually exclusive. I recognize the fact that the industry can be exploitative, but I also think that it can be empowering. And I’d say the same thing about any industry. You don’t think the wait staff at TGIFriday’s could go either way? How about the hygienists at your dental office? And your local checkout girl? Forget it. We all have our own tricks and it’s up to us whether they are turning us or we are turning them. Additionally, I recognize porn as an art form. And also as a way to get off. Again, not mutually exclusive. I’ve seen “naughty” movies that rival much of the crap that Hollywood is churning out on a weekly basis. The Dilemma? No thanks, Kevin James and The Thing That Ate Vince Vaughn, I’ll fish something out of my nightstand drawer and fire up the DVD player instead.

So, while I’m not opposed to a woman deciding that she wants to market her sexuality, I’m annoyed by the whole idea of her “losing her virginity.” It’s 2011. Are we still defining virginity as never having had a p in her v? A few of the pictures associated with the event show Nicki (A lovely strawberry blonde girl-next-door-type) dressed demurely and sporting pigtails — sure signs of innocence. Meanwhile, the site boasts “Prior to the event, a trained expert will insert’s official hymen-cam to validate that Blue’s hymen is still in place and that she is a true virgin. Once her hymen is confirmed, the evening will proceed.” Really, What about those women who haven’t had sex but were born without hymens, those born with only partial hymens, or those whose hymens ruptured in some other way? Are they not “true” virgins? In some cultures, women are examined before marriage and can be humiliated, tortured, or even killed, if their hymen is not intact. So a woman with extensive experience in all other forms of sexual pleasure but a hearty hymen is still considered “deflowered” when finally vaginally penetrated? So you’ve been in the rodeo for years but never ridden a bull? Isn’t that a little bit like saying “Yes, but I never inhaled”?

It’s sort of a disappointment to see a website that is mercifully without a French tip or fake orgasm in sight playing up the virginity myth. I think it’s time we let go of dangerous, outdated ideas, based in faulty science, that keep women down. You want to call yourself a virgin? Go on. I’ll call you one, too, if you want. Even if you’ve ridden a bull. Even if you’ve inhaled. But not based on a technicality, and certainly not based on anything called a hymen-cam. Still, I’d rather see hours of footage from that than five minutes of Yogi Bear 3D.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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