Intimacy Within the Bachelor Franchise

Katherine Merisotis, Photographer

“[We] f***** in a windmill. And guess what? We did it a second time,” Bachelorette Hannah Brown admitted to Luke P., one of the final contestants, after he infamously told her that she couldn’t have sex in the fantasy suites. Later, Brown came clean about her statement, confessing that, “it was actually four times”. 

Intimacy is an important part of many relationships, which is why the Bachelor franchise repeatedly has a week called “Fantasy Suites” for contestants to explore their chemistry on a deeper level. Although there is always drama throughout every season of the Bachelor, the fantasy suites episode brings out notable jealousy from the contestants. 

“Fantasy Suites” is one of the infamous weeks within the Bachelor franchise, where the last four contestants left are given the option to go into the fantasy suite. For obvious reasons, the fantasy suites are not filmed, and the couples have the choice to stay in separate rooms or share the same room and spend the night together. 

What happens on these dates is up to the audience’s imagination, and only the couples know the truth of what happened during their night. While “Fantasy Suites” are known for providing a setting where the bachelor or bachelorette explores intimacy with their contestants, there is also another aspect that is often forgotten about by the franchise – this moment is the first time the cameras are not on, and the couples are free to discuss important issues. 

While the fantasy suites are an important time to explore the sexual chemistry between couples, it is also significant in having real conversations about the couple’s connection. Many contestants must deal with the reality that their significant other is having real relationships with other individuals that may involve intimacy too. This heartache that contestants deal with always causes tension between the host and their relationships. Often, this jealousy comes from having a real connection with the host and shows how the show is able to create real relationships and connections. 

This type of emotion can directly translate to the real world whether that be with cheating or having an open relationship. Jealousy is described as a complex emotion where a person perceives a threat to a valued relationship from a third party. There are many ways to deal with this behavior, and contestants within the franchise primarily deal with this through communication with their partner. Often, their relationship becomes stronger after the experience by gaining validation within their own relationship; however, when this is not the case, often the tension between the couple is due to differences in religious values.

Religion often plays a huge role in intimacy in general because individuals who are passionate about this spiritual connection with their version of God, often share the belief that sexual intimacy should be withheld until marriage. This has often been an ideology that is highlighted within the franchise by individuals such as Hannah Brown and Madison Prewett. 

Brown had the most controversial conversation with contestant Luke P. when he shared ideologies of waiting until marriage and expressed that his wife should do the same. Brown responded by saying that she “has had sex and Jesus still loves me.” After sending him home, he continuously attacked her faith, leading her to share on television that she had intimacy with another contestant, Peter Weber, in a windmill. 

Prewett was a contestant on Peter Weber’s season who expressed that she was saving herself for marriage; however, it became difficult for her to forgive Weber for his choice to have intimacy with previous people. She shared with Peter her feelings explaining, “I just can’t wrap my mind around in a week from now, if you’re down on one knee, and six days before that, you slept with somebody else.” After Prewett explained that she was virgin, it led to a divide in their relationship because of Weber’s past intimate relationships. Prewett decided to leave the show because her ideologies differed from Weber.

Overall, intimacy within the Bachelor franchise is exemplified within this week due to the untold story of what actually occurs within the Fantasy Suite. Fantasy Suites, however, are an important part of the show because within its fast paced timeline and the goal to be engaged by the end, it is important for the couples to build not only an emotional connection but a physical relationship.