Jonathan Higbee's picture

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)



I believe what will make this "performance" art or not is all the extras. The lighting, the setting, the sound, narration? I can see it being really cool if we were hearing their thoughts over a loud speaker. I just hope he's practices with a dildo first or he may be in for a big (or not so big) surprise. It's not so pretty. As far as "saving" it for 19 years, I don't buy it. Saving it would be someone that was in their late 20's or 30's. If he has been saving it, it's really only been for 5 or 6 years, anything before that would be molestation. I'm all for art and I do appreciate that he's stirring thoughts up for people, even myself. I wish him the best of luck. Personally I would love to see this show. But I know that my desire to see it comes from a purely carnal desire as I believe will be the case for most people wanting to witness the show. Good luck kid. Hope it's bareback with a creampie otherwise... YAWN!

Personally i do commend him for the idea and intention behind his "art piece"... with that being said the act of losing ones virginity is more of a personal stigma then a stigma of others since most people keep how they lost it personal and private. Yes some do label people whom lose their virginity at a young age a whore, slut, or the like. My question is, is this how you want to remember your first experience. Yes its wit ha friend and i am sure you care for them deeply, but that is not the type of love that should be answered with this act. If persay the person to which you are performing this piece with was the love of your life and both of you were virgins and wanted for the world to see that first expression of physical love, it would be almost sweet. However you are doing it for art, which i feel is something years, month, weeks, days, or even moments after you will forever regret. The lose of something so person so final, i hope you have thought this thru to its fullest extent. You wish to change peoples views, well people already believe homosexuals will do anything as an excuse for sex, tho that is not your intent it is however what you are showing. Small minded people will not see your message, not hear the beauty that you intend to show, or change there opinion by any stretch of the imagination. An yes even if you change even one persons point of view on the matter your project is technically a success. But, in the long run what have you done, what will this show people, what is truly learned in the end if such a precious thing that can only be given to one person and one person alone isn't for love. You wish to open their eyes an i understand that, but how is this in the long haul going to accomplish that. Artists have been using nudity and sex in art since the time of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci , and perhaps even earlier. I just hope you know what you are getting yourself into, both physically and mentally. Sex is also not pretty, as much as tv, movies, and porn would lead us to believe. Its ugly and messy and tho it may be beautiful to you and your partner to others it could look like nothing other then smut, unless this is carefully choreographed piece of work in which every step is planned out and every moment is quote un-quote perfected. In which case it is then nothing special and nothing meaningful and will harm the integrity of the are you are trying to express. I say all this out of concern, not just from me but the countless people who wish they could go back in time and make that moment perfect, with the perfect person, their one true love, the one they could say they are spending the rest of their natural lives with. I'll end this long ramble with this, imagine you have already done this, you get off the stage and you look in the mirror, are you truly going to like what you see, are you truly going to like how you feel, you expect applause, but what is there is none, are you prepared for the coincidences and aftermath if this isn't a success..... I wish you luck in this endeavor and wish you well



My thoughts exactly.

is this art or   exhibitionism?  As for "unique'" a "once in a lifetime"event, strikes me as a post modern theme- how repetitive it really is..As he tries to exhibit this most  'private'of moments,as the audience anticipates and desperately attempts to witness something unique, authentic, true,personal, intimate..etc...all that actually  gets revealed in another porn act, that everyones seen ..yawn..a thousand times before...When we look for the real, we discover only simulation...

I guess I don’t really see the value in further sensationalizing/fetishizing both virginity and queer sex. But what I do find profoundly interesting is this collective queer cultural amnesia. Queer artist have been making art from the act of sex for a really long time. But one new hot bodied boy steps on the scene and we all just forget that Mapplethorpe and Warhol ever existed.

And and and...

And the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

And Bruce LaBruce

Modern/Contemporary Art pisses me off in general as an artist.. I get it... it's not all about the What, it's about the How and the Why...  which yes, sometimes is interesting... but most of the time just makes one look pompous and self indulgent. 

How is authentication possible?  However, I already regret missing its upcumming.

hmm....the words slutty gay attention whore/ making amateur porn or voyeur hosting a sex party, come to mind... but not art.

More than reading the article, I'm getting a kick at reading the responses. I marveled at how label oriented as a culture we are, we see something, read something, hear something and in a split second we are able to say—without much or any thought— it's porn, it's smut, it's art, it's childish, misguided, brave etc.... Perhaps the purpose of Art, is to challenge those very labels, notions, and speak directly to the gut, to the heart, and each one if you decide for yourself, did it speak to my own human experience and journey? If I hated it, why do I feel that way? What does it say about me that triggers those intense feelings inside me? I'd say, especially if you react negatively ask your self why?!?!? 

Personally, I believe any virginal experience is a very sacred thing to share, and I'm impressed at the student's generosity. May he have many more virginal and ah ha moments, most people never notice them.

Ok at y'all. If the student wasn't a gay guy y'all wouldn't be saying half the shit y'all saying. Plus how could you say nudity and sex aren't art? When a huge percent of the most honorable  art pieces includes nudity and sex. Y'all acting childish. I think it's an amazing and artistic idea, he held it for 19 years and he wants it to be special and memorable. This is art, something unique different and memorable  

i don't really see anyone saying nudity isn't art it certainly can be, I think it's the public sex act people  are debating... I see alot of people over-reacting, but many are also those over-reacting or assuming things from people who think this is a little ridiculous. And labeling just as much as the people they're trying to argue with

I think it's cheap. Or hopefully affordable, at least. 

From what I have learned and I am not an artist by far.  Art is passion and inspiration.   When I look at any picture, drawing, or any piece of art I have a different interpretation than the guy next to me.  I Think that art is all about your perspective and interpretation.   Who is anyone to judge.  Art is what the artist is feeling.  

How do I get tickets, and may I provide the spit?

HaHa! That's what I was thinking.

That was funny.  But seriously how do I get in on that?

I guess sex is still exciting for people!

The framing of everyday acts (and as there are something like 8 billion people in the world, I'm pretty sure this is an everyday act) as art is touch-and-go as regards successful work...

He is doing a good job at making people think hard about banal acts!


The actual action at this point isn't really very important, is it?  He could probably do more with it, the actual action, I mean, lighting, sound, will there be a monologue? A dialogue? A commentator?  Will the documentation *really* be the piece? Does it matter if anyone watches?

If I was his teacher, I would take issue with the odd statement, "performance art should only happen once" but that's not really what we're excited about here, is it? Anyway, let a thousand flowers bloom. Beats the heck out of the military industrial complex that "we" spend trillions of western money-units on.


M.C. Schmidt


I don't believe that porn is art. Not saying that nudity is not pleasing to the senses or mind aesthetically, but sex is sex.

Interesting. I think I resonate most David A.'s comment: 

"I strongly doubt there will be a serious reflection coming out of this performance. OK, he is testing the people's ability to stand in front two males having sex, OK his idea is to demystify some aspects of the anal virginity... But then what? Which are the questions that could arise from seeing this show with or without knowing the intention of the author? Does this generates a new conscience of the body? What kind of political proposal does public sex offers to us?"

On the other hand, there is so much deep-seated sex-negativity in our culture that I'd like to see go away so that we can just be free humans and things like this will be a non-issue. We're clearly not there yet, so I say, go for it. Just be very aware of what you're calling "art", and just make sure you don't erode your ability to feel intimacy, whether that intimacy is intimacy in front of an audience or intimacy in the bedroom.

This is nothing but a gay porn in the making. The only people that will attend such debauchery are those looking for a front row seat to a cheap peep show..  This is not art.. And I understand the whole "art is in the eye of the beholder" but seriously, I highly doubt this would ever win some sort of prize and a spot in a sophisticated art gallery.! It's just smut. 

I strongly doubt there will be a serious reflection coming out of this performance. OK, he is testing the people's ability to stand in front two males having sex, OK his idea is to demystify some aspects of the anal viginity... But then what? Which are the questions that could arise from seeing this show with or without knowing the intention of the author? Does this generates a new conscience of the body? What kind of political proposal does public sex offers to us?

I only see a kid trying to have fun and thinking this really has relevance to anybody. I'd like him to train himself in an actual artistic discipline. 

Very Well said.  I have questions like that too.  Specifically, who is this friend that will be topping.  Has he ever topped before?  How many times?  Has his friend ever bottomed before?  How many times?  If these are two virgins then I see a spectacle of pain and embarrassment.  If his friends is not a virgin is he going to wear a condom?  Has his friend ever preformed this way in front of people.  Nervous jittered will shrink his manhood with all those faces starring at him.  What is people get inappropriate and start heckling or yelling out advice.  This is a huge disaster in the making and you're right... to what artist depth would this display affect the audience.  "Hey you guys.  I just got back from watching this twinky lose his cherry.  I feel so sophisticated now."  I weep for the future.

They should auction the tickets and donate all profits to a cause (ex. AIDS Foundation, HIV Research) This process will maximize your art's value and meaning.

This is just dumb and I'm not impressed by his mention that its a "college-level" class.  Here is another queer looking to shock and awe the world with his inflated ego.  Anal sex has been around as long as vaginal and ain't nothing about this kid and his butthole so freaking special that it needs to be on display.  Maybe the "college" educated child ought to consider his wider community and how this might effect them, instead widening his butthole for all to see.  I'm down for some art, so when the kid actually makes some let me know.

He is a performance artist so you would have to go to a show, it is not something you hang on your wall...and I am sure a lot of people would have no problem if a girl said she was going to lose her virginity as an art project, I am sure he has thought of lighting and such to make it artful and get his point across...and I do not agree with anyone that he is some kid just looking to have some fun...he is 19 if he was a typical kid looking to have some fun he would have lost is virginity years who are we to judge do not like it do not go see it or support it but leave the kid alone.

I for one would complain, and a hell of alot of people complained when a girl was selling her viriginity on Ebay several years ago (and even then that was proabbly more artistic than this)...  it just reeks of cheap attention

I'm amazed that this sounds like the first such performance.... there's no way this is an original idea, is it? That aside, i say if he says it's performance art, then it is.

LeNair Xavier's picture

No, it's not an original idea. In fact, if I remember correctly from an interview some years back, former porn actor Cole Ryan claimed that he lost his virginity by doing his first porn scene.

Even if it was just the director, he still had an audience.

There are literally hundreds of porn sites that specialize in this kind of "art" so it is most definitely not original and even more so not actual art.  No matter if he says so.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the egotistical underdeveloped mind of this ignorant child.

thats hot

Ill only consider this art if his parents and grandparents sit in the audience and watch it with everybody else. 

hahahahahahahaha I agree....


Getting fucked in the ass for the first time or the three hundredth time is NOT art.

Depends on who's doing the fucking...

it would be more original if it was don behind a rice paper screen tastefuly lighted from behind so see but not see the actual act but be a part of it

Glad to see a young artist getting attention for his ideas.

This idea is very brave, and I worry about the pressure he will be under in this vulnerable time. An interesting project, but perhaps not worth the intensity.

Not to mention how different it will be as a public event than if it happened privately. I hope that he will be conscientious of the impact of "publicness."

It will likely be short and not too exciting.

It'd be "art"-ier if he didn't douche, ate a lot of chili, and got DP'd and/or DF'd whilst a top a large canvas. The resulting spray from the pull-out would likely be the envy of every budding Mapplethorpe in the audience; the memory of his screams bouncing about in their skulls, a leitmotif that they can remember for the remainder of their days, anytime they consider wasting everyone's time with such insipid drivel and nonsensical haberdashery.

Which, I can only assume, will be more times than not.

But good on him -- I hope he gets an A. 

Or whatever pretentious artists with Non-Ideas need to get to pass to the next level of Hipsterdebaggery.

ahahaha front row seats would be the splash zone

LMAO ... I just died. 

bitch, that was it. jejeje

I like what you say, B-pat.
Chili fisting over a canvas is the right idea.

Where do we get tickets?

you want tickets to the chili fisting?


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