A 19-year-old student is to lose his virginity at an art gallery in London during a live gay sex show watched by 100 people.
Clayton Pettet, a student at Central St Martins, London, is set to have gay sex for the first time in a gallery full of spectators for a project entitled "Art School Stole My Virginity".
He believes his public deflowering, to be held at the Orange Dot gallery in Bloomsbury, will earn him rave reviews for challenging the idea of sexuality.
Clayton, who has been planning the event for three years, said: "The key thing about performance art is that it should only be performed once, and this is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime performance.
"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."
Clayton at work in his studio
But not everyone sees eye to eye with Pettet's project.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement argues the performance is not art and cheapens the special relationship of sex between loving partners.
Spokesperson Rev Sharon Ferguson said: "I'm not quite sure how that's art. My issue is around is this the right expression of someone's bodily sexuality? As an art project in front of an audience, where is the love, respect and mutuality in that?
"Stunts like this cheapens our own sexual relationships."
Pettet, who says he didn't set out to be controversial
Pettet says he will be losing his virginity with someone he "trusts", although he is not in a relationship with him. Speaking to the Daily Beast, he says his parents know all about his piece.
"My mum doesn’t care, but then she’s crazy anyway. My Dad got quite worried about how the press had taken it. He was like: 'I want to know that you’re in control.'
"And I said: 'I’m in control.' At first my dad was maybe a bit worried but they‘re so chill about things like that and they’re quite creative themselves.
"I’m trying to vet the people who get tickets," he adds.
"I don’t want perverts or people who just want to come and see a boy lose their virginity. I have a mix of people, I just want people who show a genuine interest."
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