The Bachelor: Chris Teaches Kaitlyn a Painful Lesson on Sex and Love

The Bachelor: Chris Teaches Kaitlyn a Painful Lesson on Sex and Love

The Bachelor: Chris Teaches Kaitlyn a Painful Lesson on Sex and Love
Image courtesy of The Bachelor
Image courtesy of The Bachelor

Today’s generation of women have been conditioned to think of sex as cheap. It’s something to be easily given away, as opposed to something that should be guarded. And whether or not a person should save sex for marriage can certainly be debated, but it’s generally a wise decision to not just give sex away without requiring any kind of commitment from the person who’s benefitting from the good time. Rather than being realistic about how degrading cheap sex is, though, we’ve packaged it as empowerment. And unfortunately, for most women, it ends up in heartbreak, not lighthearted fun.

Nowhere was this truth more evident than on this season of the Bachelor.

This season’s eligible bachelor is Chris Soules, a farmer from the very small town of Arlington, Iowa. While most viewers of the show tune in for the train wreck potential — drunk contestants, cat fights between the girls, tear-filled eliminations — the network maintains that it is all about finding real love between two people. So contestants do what they can to get the lead’s attention, through corny gimmicks or attention-grabbing outfits. Once they start inching closer to the final four or so, they almost inevitably start making unreciprocated declarations of love. Bachelor contestant Kaitlyn Bristowe was no different.

Kaitlyn made raunchy sex comments to Chris right from the beginning, starting with this gem of an opener.

I don’t know much about you. I know your name is Chris, I know you are a farmer, and, uh, you can plow the **** out of my field any day.

Well, that will certainly get a guy’s attention. Throughout the show, her raunchy streak continued, from jokes about how a walrus was trying to find a “tight seal” to stripping at one of the group dates. She was also the lucky recipient of a date with Chris and comedian Jimmy Kimmel. When asked about the prospect of her potential future fiancé having slept with two other women in the fantasy suites, she said she wouldn’t be angry, because hey, it’s only natural.

I don’t — no. I can’t be! It’s part of the process. You can’t take out a car without test driving it.

Kaitlyn ended up going all the way to the final three, where the aforementioned fantasy suite dates take place. Each season and each contestant is different, but Kaitlyn was undoubtedly one of the contestants who slept with the lead during the overnight dates. She said so herself, after all — you’ve got to take the car out on a test drive before you buy it. Unfortunately for Kaitlyn, though, the exact opposite happened. Chris sent her home. Apparently, Kaitlyn didn’t consider that Chris could take her out for a test drive, and then decide not to buy her.

After last night’s elimination, Kaitlyn didn’t have much to say on Twitter about being sent home. Just three short words to express not only her heartbreak, but in her own words as she was driven to the airport, her humiliation.

Herein lies the problem with Kaitlyn’s entire philosophy. The idea of using sex as a “test drive” is inherently problematic. What is the entire purpose of a test drive? It’s for the thrill of the ride, to be able to enjoy the car without having to actually commit to buying it. The other reason is to look for problems with the car, so you again can have a reason to avoid committing to buying it. Using sex as a test drive for commitment is a bad, bad idea. Kaitlyn just got a harsh lesson in both love and sex, and sadly for her, she had to learn it on national television, in front of millions of viewers.

So what can women learn from her example?

We tell girls that they can sleep around like men and will be happy, empowered. No one mentions how very easy doing so makes it for men to use the girl and then throw her away. When sex becomes so degraded that it gets compared to fast food, there’s a problem. Girls are now raised with the attitude that it is normal and healthy to have sex as young teenagers, that experimenting and sleeping around is a natural part of growing up. The reality is that not giving away sex like it’s a cheap taco at a taco stand gives women an extraordinary amount of power. It forces men to earn the right to be with them. And it teaches women that they are worth more than a quick stop through the taco stand by some guy who will enjoy his cheap meal and then never come back again.

Does Kaitlyn not realize that she is more valuable than being relegated to some guy’s test drive before he finds the dream car that he really wants to buy? It’s sad, but for so many women, it’s true. I was there once. I know what it’s like, to not realize that you are worth so much more than this. That these men do not deserve the honor of being with you. That they should have to work hard to prove themselves worthy before they get the privilege. And the problem is, for so many girls, this cheapening of sex has devastating consequences. Feminists like Jessica Valenti argue that a woman shouldn’t tie her self-worth to sex, and they’re right — but that doesn’t mean that a woman who is slept with and then thrown away will not have any emotional consequences from that heartbreak and hurt. Kaitlyn described being dumped as “humiliating”, and she’s right. You give a man so much of yourself only to have him choose someone else, and it’s going to have an effect. To claim that it doesn’t is to ignore reality.

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3 Comments
  • Dana says:

    The lovely Miss Bristowe has not just “given away” sex on television, she has told every other man who might wind up being interested in her that she gives it away to one and all. If the assumption is that she wants to find a husband eventually — and appearing on The Bachelor would seem to so indicate — the guy whom she eventually marries is going to know that he’s like 126th in line; there’s nothing particularly special about their relationship.

  • Miss Ladybug says:

    I lost my virginity at age 43 on my wedding night. While I was not my husband’s first (for one, he’d been married before), he was mine. That meant a lot to him, that I had waited until marriage to give that away. But, I knew myself enough to know I would be unable to separate the act from thinking commitment. If I had done it with someone without the commitment (I did have other opportunities previously), I know I would have regretted it.

  • Kim Quade says:

    Not the type of girl to take home to meet Mother, that’s certain.

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