It's Official: The Bachelor Is Going Through Puberty

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
I'm going to declare this now: 2017 was the year The Bachelor went through puberty. Last night, the show hit this huge maturity benchmark: Raven Gates brought up the female orgasm. This isn't the first major sex mention, either. She told our Bachelor that her ex-boyfriend, whom she dated for two years, never once gave her an orgasm. Was this an appropriate thing to say on a date? That's arguable. But it was definitely one of the more sexually forward moments of the season so far.
From the January 2 premiere, season 21 The Bachelor has been sexier than its forebears. Contestant Corinne Olympios talked about her "platinum" vagina. Liz Sandoz told the cameras — and other contestants — that she'd already done the deed with Viall. And that was just in the two-hour premiere. Gates's comment in episode 9 goes even deeper. She broached the topic of sexual mechanics, something we never expected to hear about on the show.
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This isn't the Arkansas native's first mention of her sex life, either. On her first one-on-one, Gates recounted discovering her ex-boyfriend mid-coitus.
"I saw her vagina," she told Viall, flat-out. This was the same boyfriend who never once earned a climax from Gates. Her confessional tale was actually so explicit that it was censored in Arkansas — gasp! You know you've hit something special when the censors come running.
The orgasm comment, which comes in the first half of the season's finale, cements the show's sex-positive narrative. This is a show about love, so it's about damn time they started talking about sex. And good sex, at that. The show is 15 years old now, so it's due time the reality program underwent some hormonal changes and personal growth (although we could do without the angst or the braces).
Longtime Bachelor fans will know that Gates's orgasm comment isn't the first time we've heard about female climax. When Andrew Firestone reigned as Bachelor during season 3, contestant Trista Rehn confessed that she'd never climaxed from vaginal sex. This was a different era of the show, before the show put on its glossy, traditional garb. Throughout her confession, Rehn snacks on a salad. Firestone slurps a cocktail. It's messy, honest, and a little more real than what we see today.
In the intervening years, though, the show has seemed to put on its chastity belt. When Ben Higgins, Sean Lowe, and Chris Soules enjoyed their time as Bachelor, the show couldn't have been described as "radical." The cast was largely white, sex was left to innuendo, and orgasms might as well have been verboten. These days, Raven Gates wants to get off, Corinne Olympios has "top-notch sex abilities," Alexis Waters is celebrating her new boob job, and, hey, the next Bachelorette is a woman of color. Hang on — is The Bachelor getting a little progressive?
After 15 years, this staunchly traditional show (after all, it centers around the institution of marriage) is finally getting a little radical.
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