Colton “The Virgin Bachelor”

Sigh, this season of The Bachelor is really going to be a drag. The ironic part this time around, though, is that despite Colton being a virgin, the biggest theme is going to be sex. How much do I care about Colton’s sex life? Not. At. All. I don’t care what he does or doesn’t do, and I certainly don’t need to be hearing about it over and over again. Something that bothers me about some of the conversation around Colton is that people are relieved to find that Colton isn’t weird — he just hasn’t found the “right person” yet. Some girls went into the season wondering what was wrong with him, and about a quarter of the introductions revolved around sex.

One point I am going to drill home in this, and a few upcoming blog posts, is that sex is a verb. It’s not an adjective you use to describe someone, and its presence or lack of is not going to drastically change someone’s personality. Sex is an action. It shouldn’t be a word that is used to completely define someone. ABC clearly disagrees, though. They’ve promoted him as “the first virgin bachelor” and have been hyping this entire season around the fact that Colton has yet to sleep with a woman. In the months leading up to the show they have made an ad based off of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, sent him on interviews where he has to explain over and over again why he hasn’t had sex yet, and have been using phrases like, “what does he have to lose?” constantly referring to his v-card.  It honestly feels like The Bachelor franchise has just completely been exploiting Colton for his [lack of] sexuality. He poses in next to nothing, then is filmed showering and rubbing himself all over while the camera slowly and awkwardly pans from his face to his waist. He excitedly says that yes, he might lose his virginity to one of these girls, and that he had been ready to give it to Becca Kufrin, but his time just hasn’t come yet.

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Photo Credit: ABC

It bothers me that Colton has been completely playing up the virgin thing with the network and is still going along with it as his primary storyline. At some point wouldn’t you get fed up with the narrative and just scream at the producers, “Yes, I am a virgin, but let’s move on from that! I also love dogs, football, The Chargers, and hiking.” There are six billion other things they could be talking about, yet every other scene involves yet another crack at Colton or Chris Harrison asking if he feels like “less of a man” for being a virgin. Like, what the hell?! Imagine if he asked one of the bachelorettes that. We would all be up in arms saying that her sex life does not define her worth as a human being. Rude, Harrison.

I’m predicting that this is going to be one of the lowest-rated seasons of The Bachelor. I really really hope I’m wrong, because I don’t want to be wasting every Monday night for the next 13 weeks, but unless they can find another topic to discuss, they’ve lost me entirely. I already can’t take it anymore and we’ve only had one episode. If this season goes as I think it will, ABC will need to reevaluate how they choose a lead next season if they want to gain a larger fanbase. Instead of choosing someone based on one thing, they will need to find people who are dynamic and have depth, then bring that out on camera. We love watching people with big personalities find love, and I’m not really for this whole cheering for a man to lose his virginity narrative. It feels incredibly creepy, invasive, and frankly, just downright boring. Here’s to hopefully learning more about Colton’s personality next week, and in the meantime enjoying some of the drama that is bound to ensue with twenty women living in the same house, dating the same guy.

Hooking Up Is Easy

Dating is easy, hooking up is easier.

In a world that finds sex before it looks for love, we find ourselves settling for mediocracy. I can’t tell you how many young women I have spoken to who feel broken and confused from the dating world. They have tried desperately to find “the one,” but keep getting chewed up and spit out by the vicious cycle that is the hookup culture.

Neither men nor women are solely to blame for what dating has become. We have both played an integral role in shaping this new reality. If you want to have sex, you can download an app. Maybe the first few matches won’t oblige, but there are endless possibilities of people who are looking for the same casual encounters.

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Something that bothers me is the way people don’t have to work for intimacy anymore — at all. You can find someone you’re attracted to and swipe right. If you have a match who is on there for the same reasons, you have a near immediate hookup. People don’t have to court each other or even know each other to use each other to have a few minutes of pleasure. Our generation has been conditioned to want things quickly and with ease. When it comes to sex, we have both of those things. Whether it’s at the tip of our fingertips with porn or a “dating” app, this generation knows that sex is accessible for anyone at any given time.

You know what sucks about all of this? Something that is common and easy to get isn’t special. 

Sex isn’t special anymore because our virginity isn’t something that’s cool to hold onto, and because we’re taught that watching men and women have an intimate moment on a computer screen is normal and okay. We are taught from movies that even the goofiest of comedians who make a living on playing “social outcasts” on the big screen can get in bed with a sultry actress. Instead of alluding to the fact that couples have slept together, we watch it all play out on screen. We watch drunken hookups, naked women prance around the bedroom playfully, and lots and lots of casual sex.

When did this kind of media become the norm? Why does something with a story line as incredible as Game of Thrones feel the need to fill it’s airtime with nudity and excessive sex scenes? Like I’ve said before — it’s because sex sells. People lust over the flawless bodies they see on screen and are desensitized to this being an intimate, special act. Instead of sex being saved for someone you really care about, it’s thought of as a purely physical act of making both parties “feel good” temporarily.

Having sex so available in the world hurts real life relationships. Instead of seeing your partner for how perfectly imperfect she is and having eyes and a heart only for her, other bodies are tossed around like confetti. They are stuck under the glow of faux candlelight, flaunted in front of a captive audience, and teach that it’s okay to look and lust, just not touch.

I strongly believe your body is your own, and you should be able to do what you want with it. I’m not buying the bullshit that casual sex isn’t hurting the greater population, though. I think it leaves us brokenhearted, confused, and hurt more than anything. Casual sex might not be something that you think hurts you until it’s already affected your life. Whether you meet someone you love more than anything and wish you hadn’t given so much of your own body to others before, or you realize that sleeping with someone didn’t fix the problems in the bond you have with someone, regret is often a symptom that comes with casual sex.

I want to encourage you to make decisions for yourself. Don’t buy in to the fact that “everyone” is hooking up, don’t listen to the man who tells you that if you were into him you would want to give him pleasure, and hold tight to your own morals — even if everyone around you appears to be doing the same things. It isn’t easy living differently in such a sex-saturated world. I promise you, though, at the end of the day you will never regret not having a casual encounter with someone, whereas the regret that can come after a hookup can be life-changing. Our hearts are built for love, they’re created to attach, and it’s normal to want to have a personal connection with the person you’re sleeping with. Don’t let society tell you that you’re weird for wanting these things. Sex is such a beautiful thing, but if it’s given away at every fleeting desire, it becomes something that, by definition, isn’t special anymore. How different would life be if we thought more about the really incredible person we are going to end up with, rather than giving in to the temporary desires of our bodies? What would the world be like if instead of saying its “just” sex, we taught the next generation that it’s actually an incredibly intimate and special action that should and does have feelings attached to it? I might be in the minority, but this is something I think we should start teaching our children and encouraging in our peers. Sex is a special thing, and you aren’t wrong in saving it for someone who means something to you.

Let’s Talk About Sex

That’s a headline I’m sure grabbed your attention. I try my best to keep this blog very PG/PG-13. If you know me in person you know this isn’t at all difficult for me. I don’t usually curse (Unless I get frightened, stub my toe, or something bad happens in a competitive game of Mario Kart), and I throw around the word “inappropriate” for a decent amount of the shows you see on TV.

Sex isn’t something that I talk about very often, and although I am happy to speak to friends about it freely, it isn’t something I would typically like to touch on in my little corner of the internet. After logging onto SnapChat for the first time in months, though, I feel like I want to speak out to some of my younger readers. Heck, maybe some of my twentysomething readers will even be able to relate. I was certainly a late bloomer — I didn’t have my first real boyfriend until I was 19 — so if there are any other Krista’s out there, you are not alone.

I’ve been wary to write about sex for a few reasons. First, because just about everyone I know reads this blog — including relatives and people I haven’t spoken with in years. There are people who I would cringe if I knew they read this. The second reason is incredibly selfish, though. I’m afraid of being judged. I don’t want to lose my readers who disagree with me, and I also don’t want people to think that I believe it’s my way or the highway. I have friends and family from all walks of life, and I couldn’t be prouder and happier for each and every one of them, no matter how they’re choosing to go about dating. My Single in The Suburbs family has been one that I’ve grown to love and care about deeply, and I never want to hurt anyone by the words I choose to piece together for a post.

What I don’t want to do, though, is keep quiet about a subject that makes so many people feel so alone. I’ve had interesting life experiences that have left me feeling by myself on both sides of the spectrum. I think I understand each twentysomething’s heart, and I’ve felt broken enough that I want to be able to share my experiences to better other people’s lives.


Anyway, back to SnapChat… Most of you probably already know that there are a bunch of pre-followed accounts on your Snap homepage. Some of those include Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Self, and Esquire, to name a few. More than half of the stories that are preloaded on my feed are about sex. Whether it’s something like, “The Drunken Hookups You’re Happy to Forget,” “Bringing Him Home, And Blowing His Mind,” or “how to” instructions, the articles all scream the same thing. Sex is meant to be casual, it’s everywhere you look, and there aren’t any consequences for your one night stand. The pictures to get you to go to the story take everything a step further. This once-PG-app now has women in Victoria’s Secret lingerie sitting on men’s laps or lying in bed with a sultry look on their face — and they’re just dying for you to click on them.

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The media does a beautiful job of making sex look glamorous, carefree, and casual without taking note of the consequences that it can bring. It wants you to think that sex is purely physical, and there aren’t emotional strings that get tied up when you get that intimate with someone.

Friends and Seinfeld are two popular TV shows* a lot of us grew up watching, and though they are pretty mild, they are incredibly casual about the romantic encounters that take place. Jerry has dozens of girlfriends throughout the series, many of which have encounters with him that are later recounted to friends. There is an episode called, “The Virgin,” where the friends all discuss what it must be like for Jerry to be dating someone pretty who he’s not sleeping with. Someone on Reddit decided to count how many people the main characters of the beloved Friends slept with, and the number reaches almost 140.

Then we have shows like Sex And The City, How I Met Your Mother, and even Gossip Girl for young teens. Everything we watch has a common theme: most of the characters are having a lot of casual sex.

“Okay Krista, I get it, we watch sex on television. So what? Why are you so bothered? They’re all consenting adults and it isn’t even real.” This is what I’m imagining many of my friends are screaming back at me. I understand that sex is a very real, everyday part of the world, and I do like television shows I feel like I can connect with. My question for Hollywood, though, is where are the real consequences of casual sex in the shows we consume? Rarely do you see a character on the big screen going to get tested for STDs or worrying about being pregnant, and having the result be a little plus sign that changes their life forever. What about the emotional attachment sex creates with someone? When you really think about it, sex is an incredibly special and interpersonal experience that could actually end up creating a human life. It’s something that I believe connects most people with their partner in a much deeper way anything else in this world.

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I recently heard about a reality television contestant I have always thought seemed cool getting a girl pregnant on a one night stand. He will remain nameless, but he was interviewed about his experience and told us that he was going to try to make things work with the mother so that his child could be raised in a home with a mother and father. Wouldn’t it be so much easier choosing a partner, then creating a baby, rather than the other way around? The thought of marriage and commitment scares a lot of twentysomethings — and rightfully so with the divorce rate pushing 50% in the United States — but raising a child is such a crazy feat that I can’t imagine doing it with a near stranger. Maybe it’s because of all my goofy first date experiences, but seeing just how few people make it to a second, then a third date makes potentially raising a child with one of them an incredibly terrifying thought.

Now, if I haven’t lost you yet, I’d like to leave you with this. What exactly is benefiting us by having such a heavily sex-saturated media? You’ve heard the phrase “Sex Sells” before. The media isn’t our friend, rather they are trying to make a living off of consumption. Sex is such an easy thing to sell, why not integrate it into their business model?

When I worked at Seventeen you would be shocked with some of the questions young girls sent in. The questions wondering about health and safety weren’t always answered, but the interesting ones sure were! Of course, this magazine is one of the “better” ones, since their goal audience is young women and their pledge is to help encourage and strengthen them. Magazines like Cosmopolitan take things a step further to boost sales and increase entertainment value. They don’t care about you as an individual. The media is out for themselves, and they prioritize sales above your health and wellbeing. Instead of putting your faith in the things you read online, find friends and family you trust to have open conversations about your love life.

So, I encourage you if you are young and feel alone in the world to know that not everyone out there is built for casual hookups, and you aren’t the only one who feels too emotionally connected to other human beings to have that as a healthy part of your life. I actually don’t think we’re the minority; I think we are just enormously underrepresented. This is why I decided to finally speak out on the matter, and I will continue to share my viewpoints so that others who feel like the minority will realize that sometimes people are just quiet about their choices if they aren’t what seem popular — you are absolutely not alone


*Friends and Seinfeld are two of my favorite shows on television, but I do cringe at the thought of youngsters watching them and shaping their brains to think that dozens of casual hookups are the norm.