O.K., I watched this week’s episode of “The Bachelor.” Set in beautiful San Francisco, the fifth episode of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love starred Jake Pavelka, the bachelor, and the five “ladies” that remained from the original 25 contestants. Jake said several times during the program that he is “in love” with all of them and agonized over the “impossible” task of eliminating one from the competition for his affection. Ultimately, Corrie Adamson, a 23-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama, was the one “sent home,” leaving four girls remaining for the subsequent episodes. In the limo as she leaves, Corrie explained, "You know, I don't do good dating a guy who is dating other girls at the same time. I think that if me and Jake had been dating just each other and he hadn't of been dating four other women that things would have definitely been different."
I’m not so sure about that.
Scenes from Jake’s date with each of the final five women were depicted on screen. All the girls, except Corrie, were giddy with excitement and anticipation before their opportunity to spend a day or evening with the bachelor. Corrie was obviously uncomfortable with the fact that Jake was “making out” with all the other girls –– during the same time period. During this week’s episode, for instance, one of the girls slipped out to go to Jake’s room to crawl in bed with him, with the intention of seducing him in order to have an advantage over the other girls. Jake asked her to leave with the explanation that her being there in his bed was not fair to the other girls.
Several of the girls believe that they have a “special” connection with Jake and that the “chemistry” between them is more real than his relationship with the others. While not prudish, Corrie clearly did not fit in with the fast and loose sexual games; nor did she indulge in the giddy silliness and gushy, saccharine nonsense of the other girls or entertain wildly romantic delusions about Jake falling hopelessly in love with her. In fact, Jake privately complained that Corrie was “moving too slow” and there did not seem to be a “connection” between them.
There definitely were connections between him and the other women. Viewers had to worry about the fact that they were all emotionally falling for Jake. The tension in the girls’ faces was obvious each time one of the girls left them behind to go on a date with the bachelor.
Corrie was eager for her date with Jake so that he could see her “fun” side. Sadly, the fun scenes (available on YouTube) were mostly cut from the final episode. Instead, the scenes portray an uptight Corrie and Jake questions her about her reticence. She tells him, “I’ll tell you anything you want to know.” He asks her where they’ll live if they get engaged. She tells him that they will live wherever he wants, but in separate apartments until they are married. He shows surprise and asks “Are you saving yourself for marriage?” She replies that she is. Jake responds, "I completely respect where you're coming from and that's not an issue for me." After all, he explains, it is not about “sex appeal,” it is about “heart appeal.”
Let’s run that by again.
Is he saying that Corrie does not have sex appeal because she is a virgin? Is he implying that her status as a virgin is because she doesn’t have enough sex appeal? With the other “ladies” throwing themselves at him, has he lost the ability to connect beyond sexual activity? Does he judge “connection” purely by sexual activity?
When he decided to send Corrie home, Jake explained that Corrie was “taking so long to open up” that he “really, really worried” that she would “never open up fully.” What’s the message? If a girl is not jumping into bed immediately with a guy, she might be the kind of person who never “opens up fully.”
The very popular Bachelor series continues the myth that “love” is all about jumping in bed as soon as possible –– skipping all the steps along the way –– and if anyone balks at that approach to relationships, they are the problem. Corrie expressed a desire to know Jake “on a deeper level,” but Jake and the other girls are only interested in sexual escapades.
I frequently give speeches at colleges and universities about promiscuity –– its false promises, searing pain and tragic problems. The contestants on these shows would do well to listen to my warnings; the individuals are overwhelmingly hurting young adults who are experiencing searing pain, but drawn to the possibility of true love by the false promises of finding Mr. or Miss Right.
A simple truth has been proven through countless relationships through decades and decades: Promiscuous sex impairs the ability to bond. Humans seek permanent and exclusive emotional bonds through sexual intimacy, but mere momentary excitement and the transitory pleasure of temporary relationships are unsatisfactory and insufficient. When the natural human desire to bond is stirred by sexual activity but is repeatedly denied, the person becomes hardened and the capacity to bond is weakened. Promiscuous sex causes pain before marriage and lingering problems later on during marriage. Sexual intercourse is constructive ONLY within marriage.