Hello and welcome to the First Annual Bachelor Virgin Shaming Conference sponsored by Trojan condoms and that tub of off-brand vaseline you found in your older brother’s bedroom in 1998.
Last night, The Bachelor premiered with a three hour episode. You’d think that three hours would be indicative of some kind of special season kickoff, but no. It’s just season 23. And yet, for some reason, this season premiere involved live feeds in four different cities hosted by Bachelor alumni. But while I was making some nice chicken curry, I noticed that somehow the episode hadn’t started after an hour. What did they fill that entire first hour with? A discussion. A discussion about how Colton, an alleged 26-year-old virgin, is a virgin who hasn’t lost his virginity because he’s a big ol’ virgin.
That’s about what it sounded like.
Over the course of about 70 minutes, the majority of the discussion was mostly about how football player Colton Underwood has not had sex. He’s not had sex in a house. He has not had sex with a mouse. There were virgin puns, interviews with random fans about how they felt about a 26-year-old virgin, and ultimately a sit down with Underwood himself to discuss what it’s like being so incredibly handsome and yet not using it for sex. In short, the whole thing was super weird. The conversation actually went:
“How much of the negativity and the ‘he’s not ready’ has to do with your virginity?” host Chris Harrison asks.
Colton responds, “That’s sort of the stigma around being a virgin. Oh, he’s not romantic. Oh, he’s not going to be a good bachelor—”
“He’s not a man,” Harrison interjects.
Yeah, screw it! Let’s just get to the point, you half-person.
Anyway, before a single contestant ever emerged from the infamous limousines that bring them to The Bachelor mansion, there had been at least a half-dozen conversations about the bachelor’s virginity, including one really poorly delivered joke from former bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe, where she said, “Did you know that dolphins are the only mammals other than humans who have sex for pleasure… other than Colton.”
Point understood, but also, why? If the news is any indication, I’m actually kind of pleased that there is a guy out there not feeling the impulse to put his penis in and around everything. Every lead figure on this series has a shtick, but usually it’s just that he’s hot or a race car driver or rich. But this year’s Mother Mary edit with a Mary Magdalene-shame twist seems exhaustive already. I’m tired. My virgin-shamed memories from college haunt me. And in this weird franchise where virginal women are typically good and virginal men are a mystery, it makes you think that either there are some very tired women out there or, perhaps, we have a double standard on our hands.
Then again, virginity has always been a bit of a punchline for The Bachelor. Former contestant Ashely Iaconetti was also a Famous Virgin whose chastity eventually became her moniker, but it wasn’t out of the gate. From moment go, Colton’s season has been a low-key investigation into why this Hot Virgin hasn’t taken his pants off and screwed the first thing coming.
Other people seemed to be in the same boat, confused why the whole virgin among us bit was going on so long:
Eventually, the episode got started and a few girls were sent packing (Australian accent girl is safe), but not before at least a few of them metaphorically “popped his cherry.” That’s the bit The Bachelor is going with this season. And as the unofficial tagline says, Stick around long enough, Karen, and you might get to see a virgin lose his virginity of national television.