Well, it’s official. After months of speculation that Colton Underwood has been jockeying for a leading role in Bachelor Nation, he got it. Colton Underwood will be the next Bachelor. Yes, the man who led two of the most boring love triangles in the history of reality television will be handing out roses come January when The Bachelor season 23 premieres.
While fans are less than enthused about the news on Twitter, there is one thing we can all expect the producers will use to drum up interest in Underwood during winter 2019: his well-publicized virginity. Everyone on The Bachelorette season 14 loved talking about Underwood’s sexual history so much — even the athlete’s parents jumped into the discussion during the hometown dates episode.
Although Underwood’s lack of intercourse experience will likely be a forced topic of conversation during his intro package, many of his dates, and countless confessional interviews, it will likely come the most into play during The Bachelor’s fantasy suite dates. After all, everyone is convinced the late-in-the-game overnight date is basically fueled by sex.
But, considering everything we know about how fantasy suites actually run, it’s unlikely they’ll actually be all that dramatic for Underwood and his virginity.
The most important thing to remember is that the fantasy suites aren’t always about sex. While some people do get physical during the dates, oftentimes people are far too tired from weeks of filming, adventuring, and sobbing in front of the camera for wild sexcapdes. After speaking to Bachelorette No. 4 Jen Schefft, Vanity Fair wrote, “By the time she got back to the room, she said, it was 4 a.m., and she had to be up in four hours to resume filming. So she passed out instead.”
Or, as Claire Crawley, who competed on Juan Pablo Galavis’ Bachelor season and returned to Bachelor Nation with this year’s Bachelor Winter Games, told the publication, “I was so worn out from having to be ‘on’ the whole time that I just wanted to sleep so bad.”
That’s why many couples spend their first night truly away from producers by simply getting to know each other. They ask the ultra personal questions one would only bring up in private, as Vanity Fair confirmed, rather than knock boots.
And even when sex and virginity come into play in the suites, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Just ask the 2013 Bachelor Sean Lowe, who was nicknamed “The Virgin Bachelor” (despite the fact that he slept with women before going celibate at 24 and remaining that way until he wed Bachelor winner Catherine Giudici roughly seven years later). Way back in season 17, Sean invited all three of his finalists to the fantasy suite portion of their Thailand dates, and all three women accepted. Yet, Lowe later explained no sex was had behind closed doors.
“The bottom line was that I wasn’t going to have sex with any of the remaining three women that week,” the reality star wrote in his 2015 memoir For The Right Reasons. “I wanted to use that night, alone, without any distractions, to really connect with the women. Plus, I wanted to know how they’d act when the cameras weren’t rolling.”
Again, it’s really all about fostering the connection away from prying eyes. That’s why host Chris Harrison assured Colton Underwood during The Bachelorette that he shouldn’t feel pressure to sexually perform if he made it Becca Kufrin’s fantasy suite round (he didn’t).
Even The Bachelor’s most famous virgin, Ashley Iaconetti, had a blast in the Winter Games fantasy suites earlier this year with then-boyfriend Kevin Wendt — all without sex being at the center of the experience. As Iaconetti stressed during the post-show tell-all, the date was mostly about eating cheeseburgers, drinking Champagne, and getting to know one another. That's why she wouldn't even answer questions about the pair's possible sex life. As Wendt added at the time, “I just wanted the fantasy suite to be about me and her finally getting along and having some alone time to talk and have fun together.”
So if Colton Underwood wants to have sex, he’ll be free to — as many former contests say, there are literal bowls of condoms in the suite. If he doesn’t want to have sex, he’ll be free to go deep, emotionally, with his final contestants. And, no matter what, the junk food and bubbly booze will be plentiful.
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