I do not watch any shows in ABC’s Bachelor franchise (which includes The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor In Paradise) with any regularity, but thanks to its exhaustive coverage by the media feel as though I do. Conversations surrounding the franchise are far more intimate than similar ones about other network reality shows like The Voice or Dancing With the Stars. My perceived familiarity is less about the amount of information I read about them than it is about the type, and when Bachelor contestants talk about their virginity, I suddenly feel like I’m being opened up to by a close friend. And I’m not alone!
There are a handful of out and proud virgins who have competed on ABC’s long-running franchise, and each time one is in the news, my favorite celebrity news outlets (like People, Us Weekly, and E! Online) remind us that they exist. Why? Presumably because adult virginity is a reliable traffic driver.
Take this week, for example. Hours after ABC announced a virgin named Colton Underwood would be The Bachelor’s next bachelor, my favorite celebrity news outlets (People, Us Weekly, and E! Online) went absolutely nuts. “WE NEED THAT LIST OF VIRGINS,” editors scream in the version of this that plays out in my mind. “WHERE’S THE GODDAMNED VIRGIN LIST? THE VIRGIN NEWS BROKE A GODDAMNED HALF HOUR AGO AND WE’RE STILL DRAGGING OUR ASSES. GET THAT VIRGIN LIST UP! NO TIME FOR EDITS.” Just look!
And, my favorite:
“Virgins Through the Years” would be a good short story, I think.
Anyway, what I’m saying is that virginity is obviously a compelling subject to everyone. Not necessarily because we’re shocked that adult virgins exist (who cares), but because the revelation that another famous virgin exists always opens conversations about slut shaming (are non-virgins less desirable?), virgin shaming (are virgins weird!?!?!), gender (do men and woman perceive virginity differently?!), sexuality (is it sex if it’s two guys and a handy?!?!), and the fact that no one can ever agree on what it means to lose one’s virginity because sexuality is way more complex and personal than people like Chris Harrison are equipped to make it seem. ABC knows that. The media knows that. I know that. Hence this blog. And everyone else’s!