If you're a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette or any of the spinoff shows, it's not news that Ashley I. is a virgin. It's always been a major plot point (why the show has harped on this for seasons and seasons is a whole other essay), and the subject of Ashley's virginity has come back up, this time on The Bachelor Winter Games. But this time, Ashley and Kevin talked about her virginity on Bachelor Winter Games, and all of it was totally cool. Much more relaxed than any previous conversations we've heard about stamping Ashley's v-card, in fact.
The first time Ashley was on television and told a guy she was a virgin, it was Chris Soules. And that farmer's eyes went so wide that he could probably see into the next galaxy. He wasn't judging Ashley, necessarily, but he definitely didn't seem to know if he wanted to keep progressing their relationship (he wasn't really into Ashley to begin with, so it's kind of moot). Then, on Bachelor in Paradise, Daniel was a little too into her being a virgin.
But now, Ashley has found Kevin on The Bachelor Winter Games, and everything (so far) is going well. On their one-on-one date, Ashley approached the topic of her virginity, because, you know, it's not like a secret? She said, "I think the whole virgin thing really turns guys off. They always think it’s baggage, like it’s a lot of pressure on them."
Instead of screaming and running out of the room, Kevin — wait for it — acted like an adult. I know! An adult. On a reality show! "I’m 33, and I don’t think I know… two virgins? The other ones that I do know are just very religious, and that’s just their beliefs, which I respect, too," he told Ashley. "It’s just something that I personally couldn’t do." Ashley understood, saying, "You have to know that aspect [sex] going into marriage." Kevin agreed. He said:
It’s hard to imagine ever marrying someone, let alone even proposing — even being in a long term relationship… because I feel like sex in a relationship is one of the most important things. But you’re not waiting for marriage — you’re just waiting for a nice guy. That’s something I respect about you. If anyone were to take someone’s virginity that waited for so long… any decent guy would make sure you feel very good about it all, for a long time.
Flash to Ashley actually feeling respected and understood for once. Imagine that! Ashley was overjoyed that someone took into account her wants and thoughts and didn't think she was a weirdo because she's not having sex yet. Then, Ashley and Kevin went on a Ghost-esque date where they made pottery together and kissed a lot. Like a lot a lot. It was the perfect date, and one of the best mental connections I've seen in my many, many years of watching The Bachelor and its various spinoffs.
The Bachelor can be weird about sex. Ashley was treated as a novelty on the show for a long time, and it's nice to see that she's getting her due on The Bachelor Winter Games. There tends to be less pressure on these spinoff shows than on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, so relationships move at a nicer, more thoughtful pace. Kevin and Ashley are clearly into each other, and his respecting her decisions in a way that we haven't seen others do could mean that these two are in it for the long haul. Only time will tell how it all works out, but so far, so good.