Every fan of The Bachelor franchise is familiar with how the process works; the lead picks someone at the end of their season, and one of the other contestants (usually from the top four) becomes the next lead. After Becca Kufrin's season, we were left wondering who that could be. The obvious choices were Jason Tartick or Blake Horstmann, or maybe even Peter Kraus, or Ben Higgins. Many of us were surprised when Colton Underwood was announced, especially because he had made an appearance on Bachelor in Paradise, where he had dated Tia Booth.
It quickly became apparent that Colton was chosen for one big reason; to exploit his virginity. During Colton's last week on Becca's season, Colton revealed that he had never had sex because he had never felt deeply connected to someone enough to share that with them. That should have been the end of the topic.
While I hope for everyone's first time having sex to be a comfortable experience, virginity is not a big deal, and by no means should it be a reflection of someone or their character. Having it or losing it won't change who you are or what your values are. It is not something tangible that you can "give" to someone, it is just an experience that you will have.
Colton has every right to do whatever he wants with his body, and I respect him for waiting because he wanted to just as much as I respect anyone who's had sex because they wanted to. The heavy focus that is being put on Colton's virginity, as well as the sexual innuendos that a lot of his contestants made on the first night is disturbing. The show is putting humor on this aspect of Colton's life, and I can't imagine how bad the backlash would be if this were happening to a female lead.
Even more upsetting are the rumors (and to be fair, they are just rumors), that the women that will accompany Colton to the Fantasy Suite were offered a large sum of money to reveal what went on.
It is up to Colton when/if he will have sex, who he will do that with, and whether it will be in the Fantasy Suite or not. The fact that Colton is a virgin does not make him less of a man, and it certainly isn't why many viewers think he is not ready for this experience.
Three episodes into season Colton's season of The Bachelor, and we are finally down to only one (minor) mention of the leads virginity. Hopefully, that will continue, and the audience will be able to focus on who Colton and his contestants are as people, rather than on something that shouldn't have been harped on in the first place.