Like a virgin

It's funny how these things work out. Last week, Madonna's drowned, sexless sexuality cold-showered my newfound single-guy virginity before it could hit its private sexual revolution. Now, I'm set to cover an abstinence convention ("Respect," at the Tupperware Center... Really!), interviewing none other than Virgin Julie from MTV's New Orleans "Real World" fishbowl.

"In the seventies there were 15 strains of STDs," icks Julie's PR lady, as if she's talking about container lids. "Now there are more than 70!"

Ooooh, I'm itching as we speak. Thankfully, Julie bounds into the Hard Rock Hotel lobby before anybody notices. Dear Prudence, whatcha been up to?

"Nothing too glamorous, but definitely worthwile. I do a lot of speaking. I work with the TRUTH campaign -- have you seen the ads with the body bags?"

Just then, my cigarettes poke out of my shirt. I'm as good as dead. "Actually, we're more anti tobacco-companies," puffs Julie. "There are a lot of kids in the higher ranks that smoke. What we don't like is that they target younger kids."

OK, so I'm old. Let's move on. How does somebody who stumbles around moralism for the enjoyment of the basic-cable masses become involved -- or qualified -- to preach the pamphlet gospel?

"What happened was, I got done with the show and I started watching it," she preaches. "I didn't like what I saw. I hadn't watched a lot of MTV beforehand."

Just then, the everpresent, ever-appropriate speakers of the Hard Rock lifestyle start blaring George Michael's coming-of-age anthem, "Faith."

"Oh my god! I love this song!" perks Prudence, before entering into an uncomfortable karaoke of its opening verse of "Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your body," then "but I gotta think twice ... " and so on.

I'm living "The Real World." This is the soundtrack.

"I didn't know if I agreed with everything that MTV presents to the youth," she says, snapping back into Real mode. "Even the way my show was edited, y'know, that's not a very positive message to send to people. MTV's such a huge corporation, and I thought it was very irresponsible on their part to have a station that is so ... so ... dirty."

Do you have any fun, dear?

"It's not that I'm completely on a moral crusade," she lies. "I host a show on the Discovery Channel which is purely for fun. It's called "Electric Playground," and it's about video games. I have a lot of fun with that. And I play drums in a band, and that's fun."

Sounds like it. Back to no fun, then. What was the hardest thing about reality TV, survivor?

"I can't pinpoint one thing that was the hardest," she needles. "Actually, living there wasn't that hard. The only hard thing was being away from my family. You felt like you didn't even want to bring them into the environment. I mean, you saw what happened when I brought my family down for a week ... "

No I didn't.

"I mean, it was really dramatized. They made it out to be this huge dramatic thing ... with Kid Rock playing in the background."

Oh, I'm wishing for a little Bawitdaba right now. Anyway, Julie wasn't always on camera. Sometimes she was just having fun: Y'know, at church. "I had a three-hour sanctuary on Sundays so I could go," she hosannahs. "They wouldn't mess with my church life."

How do you react to the decayed sympathies of the public, knowing that they've now watched 10 seasons of rich kids in Ikea squalor arguing about their sexual preferences. "The rich kid thing, I love that when people think I'm loaded," she loads. "I'm like, dude, I'm wearing Goodwill clothes just like y'all."

Am not. That attitude will win you no friends, missy.

Seeing as Virgin Julie is on a mission of abstinence, I figure a question is in order about Brit's bodacious virginity.

"I don't respect a woman like Britney Spears and how she presents herself to the world," she stumbles. "But no, I don't completely fault her, because there's a lot of people behind the scenes that are making her do what she does. I don't think she wants to be the sex symbol of the world, but she's found it's the best way for her to go. To get fame, she sinks to that level. I won't judge her."

Methinks you just did. "I know, with my situation, I didn't want to come across the way I did. But the bottom line, I had no control over that. I don't blame the performers so much. Although they do have responsibility."

And yours is to talk about rashes and bumps, so let's get back to it.

"I'll talk about genital warts until the cows come home!" she enthuses in what is, pants down, my favorite quote ever. "I love talking about it because they've never heard it ... You should see them; they get all like 'eewww.'"

You're something of a freak, then.

"I used to watch "The Real World" and wonder why everybody was such a freak!" she pops. "In real life they're not crazy. It's just the way they're edited ... "

Wish I could say the same.


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