Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping this season of The Bachelor for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what’s going down both in front of and behind the cameras, read on for her thoughts.
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM EPISODE SEASON 24, EPISODE 9 OF THE BACHELOR
At the top of the episode, Madison tells Peter that it would be very hard for her to continue to date him if he were to have sex with someone else. But she doesn’t flat out say, “I’m saving myself for marriage,” until later in the episode, so when she first brings it up, it sounds like she just wants to be the only woman he sleeps with this week. She never brings up her faith in this conversation, which would have made him understand better why she was asking him to do this.
An important side note…
Madi only uses the phrase “saving myself for marriage.” She doesn’t say the word “virgin.” Interpret that as you will. For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume it means the same thing.
Maybe Peter should have asked directly.
Following Madi’s hometown dinner with her family and her discussion about religion a few weeks ago, I would have put two and two together and asked Madi if she was a virgin during this conversation. I don’t want to accuse Peter of being oblivious though. I’m seeing this all through my perspective as a woman who has had to tell a man about my virginity on TV. It’s AWKWARD! The sad truth is that 20something virgins often see their lack of experience as a turn-off or a burden for those they’re dating. In my experience, men thought of me as someone they couldn’t casually date, like it was total commitment or zip. This frustrated me because I felt like I wasn’t always given the time for them to get to know me and learn all the reasons I’d be worth the wait.
I’ve actually been there.
A year before I went on The Bachelor, a guy I was infatuated with beyond belief had told me that he couldn’t see me anymore because he knew that he was enjoying playing the field and didn’t feel it moral to mix me into his roster of women. He didn’t want to lead me on, cheat on me, corrupt me, hide things from me, etc. In part, it was respectable of him, but I cursed my virginity for a while after that. I remember writing in my diary that of course the one guy I actually wanted to lose my virginity to wanted to protect me from that. I remember when the producers were telling me on my season that it seemed like the appropriate time to tell Chris Soules, I was petrified thinking my virginity would once again become a relationship road block.
It can be hard to find the right words.
When I was first encouraged to tell him, like Madison, I didn’t feel comfortable blurting out, “I’m a virgin.” I beat around the bush and said something like, “I don’t think you know how innocent I am. I don’t have much experience in any facet of dating.” One of my best producer friends said he didn’t think Chris understood what I was getting at, and I had to be clearer later in the week.
Madison is having a hard time telling Peter about this part of her life.
I can’t speak on her behalf as to why it’s proving so difficult, but I can speculate. Maybe she’s has had similar experiences to my own. Maybe she’s concerned after seeing Hannah B.’s season that Peter seems like a sexual guy who may not want to wait until marriage to figure out what kind of sexual chemistry he and his partner have. Maybe Madison feels as if this information will make Peter realize that they are too different to be together. I understand if Madi had any of these worries, but Peter doesn’t come across to me as a guy who’s going to write her off because she’s waiting until marriage to have sex. He’s gotten to know her well and fallen in love with her. At dinner, he says he respects her decision even though it’s not the path he’s chosen for himself. Will her waiting to tell him about, um, waiting, be a fatal decision in their relationship? We’ll have to *wait* until next week to find out as we are left with a cliffhanger when Madison walks away from their date.
I know the “ultimatum” Madison gave Peter will be the hot topic this week.
Was her asking him not to have sex with the other women exactly the same thing as Luke P. asked Hannah last season? Fundamentally, it was. For me, the big difference between the two scenarios is that Madi didn’t make it seem like she’d be judging or shaming Peter’s character if he did decide to sleep with the others. Luke, on the other hand, made it seem like he would be, and that Hannah’s choice to do so would be wrong. Madi spoke with her heart when she told Peter that his sleeping with the others wouldn’t sit well with her personal moral code but didn’t tell him that what he was doing was either right or wrong.
People will definitely say Madison’s in the wrong here, but…
I know many will argue that Madi shouldn’t have signed up for a show knowing she’d be dating a man who slept with a woman four times in a windmill without being in a committed relationship. I’ve always been conservative when it comes to sex, so I personally see Madison’s side of this argument. I’d think, If you love me and you’re going to pick me, please forego your last, single hurrah for your future virgin bride. If Madison had so blatantly stated this, the whole fantasy suite episode may have been different. That being said, maybe Peter truly doesn’t know who his heart is with and maybe for him, sex can help determine that. I feel like this is the only reasoning that will work if he wants to end up with Madi and she forgives him. At this point, he can’t say, “Don’t leave because I know you’re the one!” That will make it seem like he disregarded her request just for the sake of having sex with other women before getting engaged.
I think that if Peter truly valued his relationship with Madi, he wouldn’t have slept with Hannah Ann or Victoria.
It wouldn’t have been worth risking things with Madison. It also demonstrates to me that maybe Peter doesn’t think sex can wait. I think it’ll be lame if Peter claims he needed to test the sexual chemistry. I personally think that you can tell the type of sexual chemistry you can have with someone without going all the way.
I know I had a lot of “what ifs?” and “maybes” for you guys this week. I can’t wait for the “unspoilable” season finale to give us answers!