In case you’ve been living in a bunker, or repeatedly smacking a set of cymbals next to your ears for the past week, Colton Underwood is the next Bachelor! Also, just in case you’ve been living in that bunker for several months and managed to miss this narrative entirely, Colton is a virgin!
The “I’m a 26-year-old virgin” narrative was apparently not quite exhausted on Becca Kufrin’s season of the Bachelorette, where we first met Colton. You may recall Becca literally standing up and leaving the room when Colton finally told her about his sexual status, and then promptly dumping him before the infamous fantasy suite dates. But as the Bachelor, a trip to the fantasy suite is now seemingly inevitable for Colton—unless the show dramatically alters the formula it’s followed for 22 seasons.
In the interest of preparing Colton for the fantasy suites, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel (whose show airs on ABC, the same host network as the Bachelor) gave the first-ever virgin Bachelor a brief primer on how sex works on his show Wednesday night.
“Has anyone ever explained the birds and bees to you?” Kimmel asked Colton.
“I have never had that talk in my life,” Colton replied, echoing what’s probably true for most people in the United States.
Kimmel proceeded to give a sex ed lesson that is more comprehensive than most in-school lessons, and also extremely narrow and insulting. For instance, Kimmel showed actual diagrams of reproductive systems and explained that a penis goes into a vagina (or as he said, “ver-gina”), and that’s sex. Which is a hell of a lot farther than my own Texas sex ed went.
But, even for a lame joke on late-night television, the premise of this whole bit is off. Just because someone hasn’t yet had penetrative, hetero sex doesn’t mean they don’t necessarily know what an erection is. And aside from contractual obligations from ABC, it doesn’t make sense why Colton would go from defending his choice to remain sex-less on Men Tell All, to letting Jimmy Kimmel explain boners and “ver-ginas” to him on TV. It’s infantilizing, and probably just the very beginning of a months-long virgin narrative we’ll be forced to endure from this season of the Bachelor.
More than it’s borderline offensive, this virgin narrative is boring. Sex is cool but it’s also just another thing you can either do or not do. Which is an ineloquent version of what Colton said in his emotional interview on Men Tell All. Colton speaking openly about how hard it was to be a virgin as an athlete, and admitting to the difficult of talking about his virginity as a grown man, was one of the best moments we’ve seen from him so far.
The Jimmy Kimmel sex ed bit reduces all that refreshing vulnerability to a punchline for a joke that didn’t even really land. Here’s to several more months of the first ever virgin Bachelor. Godspeed!
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