This past week on the Bachelorette there were twists and turns like every episode. From Wills leaving to Blake stressing out, to Colton being a virgin: it's another day in Bachelor world. For me, however, it wasn't.
The franchise handled Colton's virginity in the wrong way.
Colton explained that he was a virgin and then Becca, the Bachelorette, got up and left for a while. In doing so, she made him think that it will be a deal breaker. When contemplating Colton's virginity, Becca said that he "hasn't experienced life yet." While the date was going on, other contestants were talking about how they would never get into a relationship with someone who is a virgin and that physical intimacy is an important part of a relationship. I have three main problems with how this was handled.
First, Becca shouldn't have dramatically walked away and then told him she respected his choices because at that moment, she didn't show respect. Becca has also not received any backlash from her actions. If a female contestant told the Bachelor that she was a virgin and he walked away, there would be a major problem. Becca's choices and the franchise brings in a bit of a gender problem here.
Second, physical intimacy and attraction are important to have in a relationship, but it isn't the only part. You should know that someone likes you for more than your body and the contestants' comments illustrate otherwise. There needs to be a balance between emotional and physical, but going as far as to say you wouldn't date someone who is a virgin is pretentious and demeaning.
Third, The show perpetuated the media, society standard that being a virgin is wrong. It presents the image that waiting for the right person to have sex, waiting till marriage, or just being a virgin, in general, is something that shouldn't happen and you're missing out on life if you do so.
The franchise made virginity even more of a taboo. Today, there are dating apps and constant hookups that have made sex more mainstream. Every piece of the media portrays stories of people's awful first times or starting a relationship with sex. If you have chosen differently or want to choose differently, that's okay. There are good people out there who will respect you waiting for the right person (and not walk away). You don't need to have sex to experience life. That's like saying that you need to have a relationship to experience life.
We all experience life differently, but not respecting or crushing how someone lives their sex life isn't right.
So Bachelor Franchise, Becca, contestants, and anyone else who would act like they did: you need to change how you treat those with opposite thinking and give them the respect they deserve.