Last time a cash-strapped college girl auctioned her virginity, bidding reached $3.8 million. This week, cyberchick "Unigirl" accepted a paltry $30,000 for hers. Welcome to ECON202: Comparative Studies in the Pricing of Hymen.

Is Unigirl's virginity one thousand times inferior to that of Natalie Dylan, the college girl who snagged a Tyra Show appearance and Daily Beast column for the sale of her snatch last year? Here's the statement Unigirl made yesterday: "I have accepted an offer in excess of NZD $45,000 (USD $31,500) which is beyond what I dreamed." That's not enough money for one year at Eugene Lang. (Not even counting dorms and books!) Three lessons Unigirl could've used:

1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Though New Zealand's culture isn't so far off from America's (First World remnants of the British Empire, raise da roof) Kiwi prostitution laws are among the most liberal in the world (according to the article I read about Unigirl's auction) whereas in America, the demand for deflowering more thoroughly outpaces the supply of supples. Natalie's deal with one of States' rare legal brothels, Moonlite Bunny Ranch, provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for law-abiding American perverts.

2. MARKETING The golden rule of stunt prostitution:

  • Titillation => Tit Price Inflation

Unigirl refused to reveal her true identity, thereby crippling her ability to market the goods. She refused media requests and advertised herself with a website that "30,000 people viewed." Natalie, on the other hand, granted interviews to anyone who would listen. She distributed nude photos, talked about her sex life ("everything but"), and described her auction as a feminist experiment. How could bloggers and pundits resist? And as Natalie's profile rose, so did the bidding. (There is a joke to be made about "media whores," but I'm not sure how to strike the right tone.)

3. KNOW YOUR NICHE It's the oldest business in the world, yet co-ed hookers continue to draw headlines and oodles of money. On the one hand, you've got the virgin/whore thing (without the icky pedophile stuff) since college girls are simultaneously Girls Gone Wild and nubile pillow-fighting naifs. There's also class snobbery: Since upper education is a tool of the upper class and upwardly mobile, college girl prostitutes belong (or will some day belong) to the same social class as their rich johns. What's more, Natalie and Unigirl portrayed their virginity auctions as one-time things—they'll go on to professional careers, respectable marriages, maybe even white picket fences. The fantasy that these girls are different (better, even, than Tiger's mistresses!) keeps their value high. [ABC] [Pic via]