The 29-year-old virgin

Jane magazine launches deflowerment campaign.

Published August 23, 2006 5:01PM (EDT)

We're getting a bunch of e-mails about this one, but forgive me if I'm not getting my knickers in too much of a twist over Jane magazine's current campaign to help 29-year-old Sarah DiMuro lose her virginity. Sure, Sarah's decision to take part is not a choice I would make, or one that I'd want my friends to let me make. Nor am I sure it's the healthiest way to launch one's post-virgin sex life. (She: "Will he respect me in the morning?" He: "Will she blog about me in the morning?") Or the most excellent this-could-be-YOU! message to send to Jane's younger readers, who defected from Seventeen when they were 11. And of course, I can't rouse much excitement for any insinuation -- especially a glossy, high-profile one -- that some lady "needs to get laid" before she's an old maid. I could talk about the unpleasant Pretty Baby meets Desperate Single overtones; I could even get into a whole bunch of (valid) gender theory stuff about the sense that it's somehow heart-stirring when Steve Carell does it, and somehow lame when she does, and (yes I know the movie was fiction) what's that about? But come on. This is so obviously a stunt -- one with enough publicity potential to trump matters of "message" for those leaping at the opportunity. And, not surprisingly, it's working, which is partly why I'm loath to give it much more ink than 200-something words right here. In a rather icky report, Lloyd Grove called the Jane campaign a "PR bonanza." Indeed. Naturally -- fresh out of news about, say, women making a difference in their communities -- the media's beating down DiMuro's (and thus Jane's) door, promising exponentially cringeworthy coverage. So let's leave it at that. And hey, you never know: Maybe she'll meet a nice reporter.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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