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Gay Art Student Will Lose His Virginity In Front Of An Audience For Project

My college-level art class projects involved lots of sketching fruit in charcoal on various mediums. One of 19-year old Clayton Pettet's art projects will involve losing his anal sex virginity in a performance art piece in front of a live audience. Did I attend the wrong school?

Clayton (pictured above) will perform "Art School Stole My Virginity" on January 25, 2014. In the piece, he plans to bottom for the first time with a close friend taking the top. 

"The key thing about performance art is that it should only be performed once, and this is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime performance," Clayton said. 

He adds:

"I've held on to my virginity for 19 years, and I'm not throwing it away lightly. Basically it's like I am losing the stigma around virginity.

"I want the audience to see if anything has changed between me and my partner.

"Since culturally we do hold quite a lot of value to the idea of virginity I have decided to use mine and the loss of it to create a piece that I think will stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject."

Critics include the U.K.'s Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, whose spokesperson Rev. Sharon Ferguson says that Clayton's gallery performance "cheapens our own sexual relationships."

What do you think of Clayton's upcoming show?

(h/t: Huffpo)



What would be novel and really wonderful is if he wasn't actually planning to  perform the act, but rather, the entire thing was an experiment in reaction to the possibility of the act. As many people have already said, its ALREADY generating much more conversation and debate about what art is and what virginity is and it hasn't even happened. It would be hilarious (but also thought-provoking and a wonderful experiment) if everyone showed up to watch his sex act (his performance art) and he said, "this ain't gonna happen, I just wanted to see who would show up, why, and ask you why my virginity is so interesting to you all."

What would be novel and really wonderful is if he wasn't actually planning to  perform the act, but rather, the entire thing was an experiment in reaction to the possibility of the act. As many people have already said, its ALREADY generating much more conversation and debate about what art is and what virginity is and it hasn't even happened. It would be hilarious (but also thought-provoking and a wonderful experiment) if everyone showed up to watch his sex act (his performance art) and he said, "this ain't gonna happen, I just wanted to see who would show up, why, and ask you why my virginity is so interesting to you all."

Having sex in front of an audience is neither original nor interesting nor creative.

More importantly, in Clayton's desperation to get attention and publicity for himself, he's also giving homophobes all the ammunition they could ever want. This is like an illegal alien trying to make a case for immigration reform by using a knife to hold up a grocery store on live TV. It fuels all of the stereotypes and ultimate damages the community.

I would not be surprised if Clayton's "performance" ultimately results in one of more states being UNABLE to pass gay marriage laws because this faux-art will be such fuel for conservative fundraising.

"I would not be surprised if Clayton's "performance" ultimately results in one of more states being UNABLE to pass gay marriage laws because this faux-art will be such fuel for conservative fundraising."

Since the performance and funding, if any, are in the UK, I shouldn't think so.

very little that an art student produces is original, interesting, or creative--at least in the manner in which you make your claim.  

beware of projection with your claims of attention and publicity seeking.  it's just reading a bit into the story.  also, your comparison to the illegal alien is horribly flawed: no one seemed to suggest he was doing this for "support of gay issues."  and "all of the stereotypes?" ...hyperbole, much?  

and not buying your claim for gay marriage failing (potentially) because of this performance.  

jeff your a dickless idiot

^...I wish I could "like" this comment... Go fuck who you want in front of whoever. Your VCard isn't all its cracked up to be. I wouldn't relive mine if you paid me....

Wait, The article described the intent of this performance art piece as wanting to stimulate discussion with regards to the, "value to the idea of virginity". I have seen a lot of discussion which is good, though it has been surrounding the either gay sex or the validity of public sex (which can been seen in any men's bathhouse on a regular basis) as art. On that note the intent of the piece is already off point. I would ask Clayton how, if the value of virginity is what you want to inspire a discussion about, can you modify your concept to bring that as the focus? Or, is the fact that your loss of virginity not being the main focus of others statements commentary enough to say that not many people put much stake in virginity any more rather it is just a vocal few? (I'm not saying that is reality rather supposing if one can interpret the response that way). I think it is brave to be willing to go to all ends to shine a light on things that have been taboo.

this is art. it's creating a response.

Its not art. Its just not art. Its porn. Dress it up whatever way you like. Im a 3D modelling and motion graphics artist. Ive had to study past masters. Nobody will have to study this and why? COS IT'S NOT ART! Its insulting to art.

If I fart out loud in a crowded elevator, is that art?  Please explain the difference. 

The first time isn't easy (hurts) douche , lube lube lube , and hope his friend isn't hung lol

He may be brave for wanting to do this in front of people but this is something you don't take lightly. In my opinion this is the same as porn. Sexual intercourse is only suppose to be done behind closed doors and not for the world to see. Me as someone who serves for this country see this as disgrading for them

If he wanted this to be more thought provoking and artistic... make it about 4 couples... 1 Straight, 1 Gay, 1 bi (2 guys 1 girl), and one lesbian... and make one in each group a virigin... and then show how "same" or "different" it is... this kid seems to be trying to hard imo.

a bisexual relationship doesn't involve two of one sex and one of the opposite... a bisexual is someone who is attracted to both sexes but still maintains a monogoamous relationship... the word you're looking for is polyamorous. 

this "performance" isn't about intimacy or relationships. it's about sex and virginity... 

obviously. But you also can't really show Bi-sexuality any other way in a one time shot of experience. you gotta have the person with both sexes to show that, otherwise it would just look like Straight or Gay sex. 

Lol better not poop!

Hey if this guy is brave enough to do it in front of an audience then more power to him. art is supposed to make you talk and think, not to mention shock and sometimes appall you. i say lets not judge this kid. he is letting people in on his deepest darkest moment. this is a vulnerable place. in turn it can be beautiful and ugly at the same time. that to me is art. so let the artist create. if you don't like it then don't watch! maybe not so original though, i am sure this has been done before. but still a beautiful thing to see, in a grotesque way! 

Yeah, but if it was a it art or is it just a horny girl trying to get an A? I"m gay, and i think it's a bit awesome. But i'm gay. The idea of someone having sex in front of me is hot. But if it was a girl getting fucked in the butt is it the same thing? No.

I agree. This piece contributes to the art world, and is about more than the vanity of the performer. Although his little blurb in the above article is quite lacking, this is something worth doing.  It does seem to add a bit to the "art is dead" movement, but I'd like to see the performance, or at least see how it turns out.

i have a degree in art by the university of barcelona and i think is is a great piece of art, if you don't know anything about art just don't talk about it, you don't have the right.

everyone has the right to respond to and talk about art.

That's not art..its not's bullshit.  It's attention grabbing and everyone under 20 thinks that they need to grab 15 minutes of fame and will whore themselves out to do it (pun intended)...and no one will remember him 20 minutes after....

And you're obviously a homophobic, uncultured Philistine. Go back to your mindless television and Jack Daniels. There is no room for people like you on the internet.

and you're so cultured for believing that anyone who would think this isn't art is a homophobe. 

This discussion is incredible.  It's amazing to see the opposing views.  This event hasn't even taken place yet & it has us all so very passionate about it.

Art, among other things, is supposed to provoke thought & discussion.  This idea clearly does that.

Judge not lest ye be judged (or some shit like that).

@ Clayton Pettet... Have you considered live suicide.  It can only take place much and it will contribute far more to Art and its future if you are not in it.  F*cking Hack, get a life.  You bring utter shame to gay men and artist every where!!! PS being criticized by thousands does not count as "facilitating conversation" either

Many famous artists have actually done that already. So it's already been done.

We can always count on Anonymous, the Coward, to say just the wrong thing.

You went too far.  Suggesting someone commit suicide is abhorrent.  You should be utterly ashamed of yourself.  You're a coward to say this and not have the guts to include your name.  Digusting.

Ha! I put up my comment before seeing you saying the same thing.

He's 19. At 19 I thought "Flashdance" was art.

Then I grew up.

This has been done before - when I was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 1980's, a fellow student did an almost identical performance art piece. Aside from the shock value, there is nothing interesting about this. 

So fucking ignorant.. Its not "art" its porn. Might as well get fucked in a park in broad daylight

Freedom of expression and the love and showing of art go hand and hand. I thank it's a great way to show freedom of expression and love.

sounds like something you'd do when you're not really creative or artistic enough to come up with something original and thought provoking

If he wanted to destroy the stigma, he'd get gang-f*cked by as many guys as he could possibly stand, get up, and walk away with his dignity in tact.

I think this is kind of cool. Who is anyone to say that it is NOT art? Art is subjective. Fear sure is real and who wouldn't be scared out of their mind to do this in front of some one? Fear makes people mean- and that is why there are nasty comments on here.

In terms of an artist trying to make a name for himself, the "shock and awe" value of this piece is obvious. Performance Art is an incredibly competitive industry and this artist cannot be blamed for playing the game. Nonetheless, I question what this performance will add to the discussion of "virginity" in today's society, if not deem it banal enough to lose it in front of an audience.

eh... shock and awe is still "shock and awe" let your work speak for its self, bot a publicity stunt. Art isn't about fame or attention

let's not confuse things by calling this art.  if i took a shit infront of people is that art too?  the answer is, no, it's not.

apparently it would be if you only did it once.

I dont expect you to understand my art warren

Ill advised.  PS Live sex act does not equal art.

Dude...terrible fucking idea, I mean good for you wanting to destroy the stigma that is sex and being gay and all, and for making a mockery of virginity (let's be honest though it's pretty much a mockery already), but I don't think this is the way to go about doing it.  First unless you're paid to have sex it should be an intimate thing (I understand art's intimate yada yada), but let's look at the facts, most porn stars are emotionally damaged common fact, what kind of impression do you think this will give all the straight people out there of gays (sooo they're emotionally damaged which is why they're gay?).  Second you better have an admirable performance, timing will be critical too long and people will get bored or grossed out (who doesn't switch porn videos every 2-3 minutes?) too short and people will feel like they've been short changed, and you'll probably suffer a bunch of jokes about how quick you are or how small your dick is (unless it's large than..ok).   Not to mention you'll be having sex in front of a bunch of people you KNOW, it's not happening online once and you're over it, no your friends will see it, your family may see it, if you're trying to get a job they might see it, there is really no one you would want to sit down and watch this.  Lastly you're only 19 years old, I get it man you think it's a good idea and it's an expression of something deeply personal to you, hooray for you, but in 5, 10, 30 years when you're sitting there and you're married to some other dude and he brings this up are you really going to be proud of this or will this end up as an embarrassing part of your past that you NEVER speak of.  This is just a huge catastrophe waiting to happen, I hope if you decide to follow through with it you have the intestinal fortitude to ignore all the shit that gets flung your way.

shuuuut up already. clearly you watch too much Lifetime romance television for women.

Nah just not an idiot who thinks 2 people, gay or straight, railing each other in the ass for friends and family to see is worth the ramifications.  Just because you don't have the foresight to bring a gun to a knife fight doesn't mean someone that does is being dramatic.  

There's a fine line between art and pornography. If there is time in the piece before and after where we get to see the 2 interacting non-sexually, I think it could be an extremely interesting developement in artistic expression. If it's sit down, wham, bam, thank you sir, then I'd classify it as a live sex show. If it's the former, I'd be extremely interested in being a part of that audience. Art is supposed to make you feel something, that level of intimacy, off the top of my head I can't think of something more stirring.

OH PLEASE!!! Its a performance, but it’s not art. I can see hundreds just like him doing the same thing on a mis-click on the internet. If you want art….do something that hasn’t been done before! Want to be brave? Find someone and love them as long as you can. Please!!!! I’m now going bathroom to make some what your calling"art". Wanna watch? 

The true reality is he desperately wants attention, end of story.

yep hipster BS.


Quite simply is brave beyond most and I look forward to great reviews.

It is very brave. I don't believe this has ever been done. It will be a one of a kind piece. I love this courageous decision.

Your first time getting fucked sucks. I'm sure there are naturals out there. But for most of us, it's a mess. I just hope someone taught this kid about douching. 

yep, he's got 'chocolate pop' written all over him.


"I've held on to (my virginity) for 19 years," he says, as though it was really hard for him to resist fucking someone for those first 13 or so.... 

Sorry kid. This isn't original, it isn't meaningful, it's not particularly good, and it definitely ain't art

Now, maybe if you were being raped by an obese black man wearing a Ted Cruz mask while "Ride of the Valkyries" plays.... Hold up, I think I know what I'm submitting to the next Armory show... 

Better have an experienced bottom teach him how to douche properly,  otherwise may turn out to be a very "Shitty"  peice of art!

I applaud you Clayton.  Bring into the light the true act of a one time performance.  

It is truly amazing to bring into question the morals of the Victorian era still hovering over a community in 2013.  Virginity is simply a humbled colloquial phrase for having never. This has nothing to do with intimacy and everything to do with art.  I find that this has nothing to do with the question that revolve around sex and sexuality but that rather of the human and the change in perception and mental status before and after.

Truly truly well done.  Art is not simply the product more so the process. You are unique and I welcome your vision in this world of cynics.  

I think this is incredibly brave.  As a concept, I totally get it.  His apparent intentions & purpose for this are really interesting.  I applaud his point of view & boldness.  In theory this is a daring & smart.

I hope that he has the maturity to keep this in it's place & doesn't later regret it, or suffer shame based on others opinions.  He is likely to hear a lot of negativity, possibly from people he cares about.

I really hope that he is more than an exhibitionist with a need for attention, or a victim of abuse with esteem issues, crying for help.  That would be terribly sad.

I guess it remains to be seen whether he, or his partner will suffer performance anxiety.  This could all go limp (pun intended).

If this is as pure as it seems to be, it's genius.  Good luck!


I hope he remembers what my mom told me, "It might hurt the first time"

Anyone know if there will be a video of the event? He's cute ...

Good for you buddy... Go for it be proud of what you do... Express yourself and be a role model for young and upcoming artists....

On one Hand as an artist, i totally get it... however... on the other... I don't necessarily believe full heart-idly that people do a live sex performance art show for much other than "Shock and Awe" attention. 

1) you probably arn't going to notice a "change" that quick, they're going to get off, it will be over, and everyone will go home either aroused or grossed out.,

2) when it's all stripped away it's just 2 people having public sex for you to watch. I really doubt his message is going to be nearly as strong as he assumes it will

I think both of your points have highlighted the point of the piece in its entirety.  That is to say, the conversation evoked brings into the light the non importance of "virginity." Is it truly just something that is not as strong as we would hope to perceive it?

meh, I don't think you need %^#@ in front of a live audience to make it thought provoking... the guy's only 19... he's hardly lived or for that matter been out on his own yet. It screams "im different and i want to shock everyone and get my name out there. Here let me perpetuate the stereo type and of course do something sexual... because, let's face it.. being gay means we're all sexual deviants... (no no we are not) If he wants to be creative with sex... look at Black Spark's music videos.. that essentially combines music, film making and pornography and actually make something kinda beautiful. 

It just honestly sorta seems like a bs artistic response to be able to do essentially what you want to do in public.

Bottoming for the first time... In front of people? Oh, he's in for something alright. 

Sick and silly and gives Gay people a bad name.

What gives gay people a bad name is calling this sick and silly and then identifying it as "gay." I see this as sex, a human act, not gay not straight not black not white, sex between to human beings.  Sex amongst animals is not dolphin sex, or monkey sex.  Labeling anything gives anything a bad name.

no, its gay


Bitch please. Gay media and culture make everything about sex, all the damn time. Now some idiot kid is making his art education into being about sex. That is a very, VERY "gay" thing to do.

So, Rygar, what YOU'RE saying is "straight" media rarely, if ever, makes everything about sex.  Crawl out of the cave you grew up and live in and open your eyes.  All media, period, makes everything about sex.  Quite some audacity you have for calling it a "gay" thing to do.  Bitch, please - grow up.

Then being gay is pretty fricken brilliant.

yeah....  i don't think this is that awe inspring or brilliant.

Human Sexuality is beautiful, and we shouldn't be ashamed of it. However all communities are sexually active and have there own "mating rituals" if you will..

this performance (as a gay artist myself) just screams "attention" to me, i don't think he's old enough or mature enough to properly handle the topic at hand. He's making it all about virginity.. which really most people know is a crock anyway. It's really not that thought provoking. 

If by brilliant you mean vapid and predictable, then... okay.

haha i agree.. 

Oh look another nude sexual piece of art from a gay man.. whooot somebody throw confetti.. first time i've ever heard or seen that. Oh what? there's arousal involved? cross dressing? whips and chains? Body paint? Oh i've never seen that before. How brilliant!

I think ultimately art is in the eye of the beholder. Some people might not view it as such but I have to agree with the artist on this, it is a once in a lifetime performance - he's taking it seriously. I applaud him. 

Gay or straight sex isn't something to be ashamed of. We hide sex, as a culture in general we put a stigma on it that simply should not be there. I genuinely hope the future generation coming up is able to crack some of this because it's not healthy for our society. It leads to lack of education and fear to ask thing when uncertain. This only adds to the numbers of sexually transmitted diseases and the fear that people will judge you when something does happen.

I think it is a brave thing to do. The only problem I see is that the first time is not something that should be a public event. That is a frightening experience. Not only is it happening for the first time but you don't know how you will feel during. I do however feel like this is a creative idea. Just may be to.

I want to watch.

I have to agree with the artist.  It is the epitome of unique art--it can never be repeated or will most definitely inspire all sorts of feelings, which is at its heart, the meaning of art.  I'm sure there will be discomfort, embarassment, excitement, fear--it actually sounds not just like art...but like great art.

As an artists am I thrilled and completely behind a piece of work that makes people think or rethink. As a gay man it seems a bit sensation. Just proving that gay men are nothing more then our sexuality.

Isn't porn considered first amendment free speech? Isn't art viewed in the same vein? I don't see anything wrong with it, and doing something like this as performance art is just that, performance art. I like how Clayton has a message to this, trying to bring down or change the vision of what we think of in virginity.

I think there are some things that should be held private and should be cherished. Just my humble opinion, but to me it cheapens the act of intimacy. 

I have been on your side of the argument in times past and perhaps may still pitch my tent in the same camp but this opportunity to bend the norms seems interesting in that the young man is not on the same parameter of "intimacy" as are those of us from the "old school" and I think that's the crux of the act. 

What I want to know is, where can I stream it live?

Cool.  Go for it!

Go for it. Art is art. It is meant to express something the artist wants to say and trigger some sort of reaction. It's serving it's purpose beautifully. We can make personal value judgments on it all we want, but it doesn't change anything. Good art, bad art, weird art, whatever, its all art. 


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