'The Bachelorette' bachelor Nick Viall: We need to be more honest about fantasy-suite sex and its repercussions
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/08/2014
The Bachelorette bachelor Nick Viall, who shockingly disclosed he had sex with Andi Dorfman in the fantasy suite, is opening up about why such a reveal on the show shouldn't have been so groundbreaking.
"There's an unwritten rule that no one really talks about what happens on those nights. However, what happens there actually affects the relationships in profound ways. It's a time when a couple can be together and share special time with out the cameras. It doesn't have to mean sex, but, of course, we all know that happens," Viall wrote in a blog post on a Christian website.
"When people are hesitant to discuss sex, especially in the context of The Bachelorette fantasy suites, it feels a little inauthentic... I'm speaking out about this incident because I hope Bachelor Nation will have a more honest conversation about the Fantasy Suites and the emotional repercussions of sex."
During The Bachelorette's tenth-season After the Final Rose special, which aired live in late July, Viall assumed Dorfman had "made love" to him because she had been "conflicted" about whether her feelings were stronger for him or winner Josh Murray. However, he was surprised to learn that wasn't the case.
"I figured... [it] must've been a tough decision. The world of The Bachelorette is a complicated one, after all. However, she started explaining away our relationship in the tidiest terms... Her demeanor and perceived disregard for the relationship that we had her took me back... In her explanation, she confessed that she had never loved me. I let that sink in. She never loved me," Viall explained.
"As I sat there on national television, I tried to process this information. In my mind, I went back to that night in the fantasy suite. Though she couldn't tell me that she loved me, I'd told her in no uncertain terms how I felt. I loved her. This was no fling for me. As far as I was concerned, we'd be engaged in a few days."
Viall admitted that having sex with Dorfman was "a big deal" -- to him at least.
"And she knew it," Viall noted. "That's why I feel Andi's decision to have sex with me was not appropriate. Either she was unsure about our relationship or -- worse -- she was certain she was choosing Josh. In both of those circumstances, I felt as if she didn't respect my feelings and that she should not had sex with me."
Viall continued, "Why? Well, once we had sex, my feelings of love would be solidified in that scenario. That's not unusual -- that's normal."
During After the Final Rose, Viall apparently chose his words carefully when revealing his sex secret with Dorfman.
"I used the phrase 'make love' because that's how I felt. It was more than just physical. It was an act -- I thought -- of love. Whatever your beliefs about sex, we live in a very sexual world. To me what's most important is that the two people involved have a clear understanding of what sex means to the other person," Viall wrote.
"If the emotional attachment to sex isn't equal, sex can be hurtful. Consequently, it should be treated with the greatest amount of respect. Yes, both men and women need to respect it. Sometimes people laugh off any emotional damage that sex can do to guys."
Viall also acknowledged how he doesn't appreciate the notion that sex is typically just a casual event for men and generally means something far less to them than it means to women.
"The boys-will-be-boys mentality suggests the majority of men are really just looking to add another 'notch on their belt.' Because of this unfair -- inaccurate -- stereotype, it's often considered unmanly for a man to speak about the emotional repercussions of sex. But I'm here to attest that men fall in love just as hard as women do and that sex can be just as powerful to a man as it is to a woman," he explained.
"Sex, when enjoyed in the right context, is a wonderful way to solidify a relationship. But when expectations aren't the same for both partners, it can be devastating. Let me say this: don't shame Andi to support me. We all make mistakes, I've made mistakes."
Viall added, "In a culture where sex has no bounds, it's hard to figure out how to fit it into your life without hurting each other. That's why it's important to be sensitive to the emotional attachment that sex has to your potential partner and to treat it with the greatest amount of respect."
Dorfman and Murray, now her fiance, told reporters late last month they believe Viall's fantasy-suite sex comment was "classless and disrespectful."