Art School “Virgin” Clayton Pettet Finally Performs Hyped Deflowering, Doesn’t Have Sex At All

1070067London artist Clayton Pettet, the “Art School Virgin” who touted losing his virginity as a performance art piece for the past five months, finally hosted the event at 35 Marylebone Gardens in London last night. Guests were surprised to find out that it was actually just an elaborate April Fool’s joke a half year in the making.

Pettet announced back in October that he would be losing his virginity to an unnamed “partner” in a London performance space in front of an audience. “It will be aesthetically pleasing,” he said, and confirmed that “My partner and I will both have a light smattering of paint on our bodies while we’re having sex on an unstretched piece of canvas to create a permanent piece of the performance.”

He sold tickets, he pushed back the date several times, he scoffed a fellow artist that claimed he inspired the piece that Pettet aptly titled Art School Stole My Virginity.

Last night, Pettet performed the piece in front of a gallery of 120 viewers. He did not lose his anal virginity to a man, but asked patrons to insert a banana into his mouth six times instead.

Dazed Digital reports:

Four topless people – one women, three men – marched out wordlessly, holding up signs that read “ANAL VIRGIN”. One of the men was Pettet; everyone else wore white shrouds. They were all in black pants, I guess because black goes with everything, including and especially performance art.

Scrawled all over Pettet’s body were words like “NSFW” and “TEEN WHORE”. Pettet scrubbed the words off him till his skin turned red. One of the boys grabbed him and started to cut chunks of his hair off. The crowd gasped. The woman daubed black paint on all over Pettet’s mouth.


Finally, we were led into the basement and taken to a small room. The topless woman sat cross-legged on the floor, solemnly regarding graffiti scrawled on the walls, with lines like “MY NEW ANUS, PUT IT IN” and “Performance art is shit. Get a grip and pick up a fucking paintbrush”. One just read, simply, “#trending”. Well, you can’t accuse Pettet of not being reflexive.

The hooded man pointed to me and asked me to follow. As I walk out, I catch a glimpse of another line of graffiti that reads: “Part 2 – penetration booth”.

The booth was very, very small. I crouched to get in. Pettet was sat inside, still in his pants, with two piles of bananas in front of him.

“I am your anal virgin,” he said. “You are my partner. Pick up a banana.” I immediately started to panic: penetrating a 19-year-old was not on my to-do list tonight, even if it’s with a piece of fruit. “Now penetrate with my mouth eight times.”

I gratefully slid the banana into Pettet’s mouth as he stared me down. Then he took the banana out of my hand, snapped it in two and told me to leave. I scrambled out and was guided to another gallery space, with three-foot-high canvases featuring cartoonishly bright, primitive illustrations of girls being fingered, hacked-off limbs, mirrors with cum on them, and self-portraits of Pettet. They were all available to buy on Instagram, a poster told us.

He later told DD that it was never his intention to have sex. “I’ve always said I didn’t believe in virginity, so it kind of defeats the point if I’d actually lost my virginity for my art show!”

He claims that he’s “still a virgin” and “will never have sex,” which is allegedly a technical lie. He slept with his inspiration two weeks ago, no bananas involved.

One gallery-goer describes the performance as “brilliant,” claiming “the performance was the press“:

‘Art School Stole My Virginity’ was the finest showcase of media and PR hype as art, a comment on modern day humanity. From one mere tumblr post and image, Clayton created a global hysteria and panic that he then showcased tonight at the launch. It was a ploy which is in essence a huge commentary on society on their obsession with sex and virginity. It was an exhibition within an exhibition, played out within the exhibition. It would have been so anticlimactic had Clayton just been fucked on stage, the void of this was so much more. It was the biggest “fuck you” and rebellion against the world’s expectations played out artistically and maturely.


Photo via Willow Garms

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #artschoolstolemyvirginity #claytonpettet #johnbingham stories and more


  • tophyv

    This is an OUTRAGE! There needs to be more public sex, not less. Who do I sue?

  • Razmos

    Wow, and I thought the losing his virginity thing was a stupid example of “art”.

    In what world can what was just described be considered art? it’s stupid these days that people look at a line on a piece of paper and make up a bunch of ridiculous theories about what it represents.

  • DistingueTraces

    Golf clap for the kid – I am slightly more amused by this than I expected to be.

    He’s gotta know someone at Queerty though, right? He’s one of your old interns or something?

  • Reluctantwhore

    @Razmos: I always love it when someone writes this comment. There is always someone. There always has to be someone who gets angry that all art isn’t just a painting of a sad clown. It amazes me that people think their outrage at art “today” is somehow different from outrage about art 100 years ago.

  • Jake357

    I have to agree with Razmos and I’m an artist myself. This sounds lazy, contrived, and totally pretentious. I suspect his original ambition may well have been his public deflowering as a statement on our voyeuristic culture of some such tripe. Unfortunately, this sounds like a last minute amendment meant to be clever. I agree with the critic who said the real art was conjuring up the press.

  • Razmos

    @Reluctantwhore: I understand that Art is about talent and expression. What exactly about this shows his talent as an artist? what was the message he was trying to express with his “art”?

    Just because something is pretentious doesn’t make it artsy and creative.

  • hotshot70

    This was a joke. He was not a virgin! He should have just been naked, legs open, and let people penetrate him. End with a huge orgasm (with visual proof), then everyone smoke a cigarette!

  • Paulie

    Perhaps I just don’t understand art, or I understand hot gay porn better, but this is RIDICULOUS!
    Talk about false advertising! If I’m promised anal sex, I want to see anal sex, but that’s just me….

  • Fang

    @hotshot70: You don’t have that idea patented do you? I’m gonna use it! ;)

  • jwrappaport

    As though it’s possible, the artiste is even more a media-hyped fraud than he would have otherwise been.

    @Reluctantwhore: Look at you – aren’t you edgy and forward thinking. No, I don’t think that me or someone else saying this isn’t art is analogous to Saint-Saëns storming out of Rite of Spring. The grotesquery and fraud that we call contemporary art will be as wildly unpopular in 100 years as it is now. You heard it from me, and feel free to quote me on it. We’re not philistines, we’re just not willing to semantically overextend the word “art” so that it can be made to encompass literally everything. By meaning everything it would stand to mean nothing.

    It’s the same song and dance (as it were) in music: Schoenberg and integral serialism are as popular now as they were when they were new, which is to say not at all.

  • redcarpet

    I’m relieved he didn’t go through with it. And shame on us for reading the articles the media foaming at the mouth over.

    But the attention-whoring masquerading as Post-Modernism is still annoying as hell.

  • jonjct

    the real art here was making the audience succinctly aware of just how dead and indifferent we felt about the whole thing. nobody cares.

  • rickgould

    “Who wants to die for art?!”

  • Reluctantwhore

    @Razmos: Oh, totally! I agree with you there. It’s pretentious and really typical of what you’d expect from a young art student, for sure. That is – self important and melodramatic or whatever, it’s immature – let’s just say that. I just don’t agree that you can be frustrated with one piece and then say that all contemporary art is meaningless. Also, art doesn’t something that can be conveniently decoded to be meaningful. It also doesn’t have to be a comprehensive display of all the technical skill the artist possesses to be worthwhile.

  • Reluctantwhore

    @jwrappaport: My problem here was with the sweeping dismissal of contemporary art as meaningless smoke and mirrors. I didn’t say this piece was an example of something important. I don’t feel comfortable dismissing Schoenberg on the basis of his popularity. And frankly, I don’t see the point in some kind of vigorous campaign to decide what art is and what it isn’t.

  • mcflyer54

    So while Pettet is “technically” still a virgin he managed to screw 120 people if these “guests” paid to attend.

  • jar

    What a coward. He clearly just chickened out. But apparently the art world circle jerk with orgasm did take place right on schedule.

  • Billy Budd

    Publicity whore. he is worse than the hollywood stars who adopt 200 kids from Africa in order to make the headlines and get more attention from the press.

  • biscuit_batter

    somewhere kris kardashian is congratulating him for a great PR moment.

Comments are closed.