While “Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman is busy posting pictures of her fiancé Josh Murray on her Instagram, her number two choice Nick Viall is preoccupied with something else. Getting dumped by Andi, yes, but also why she slept with him in the “fantasy suite” (AKA the place on the show where the couple can be together without the cameras around for an entire evening).
We all watched on the “After The Final Rose” episode as Chris Harrison explained that twice after getting dumped, Nick tried to contact Andi to talk in person. Both times, she refused to see him. The two finally saw each other for the first time on live TV and Nick got the opportunity — prodded by Harrison — to ask Andi what had been weighing on his mind. What he asked wasn’t necessarily what anyone expected a good-looking 30something dude to ask and it dominated headlines the next day: ”Why did you make love to me if you didn’t love me?”
Andi acted like a snot and huffed that his question was “below the belt.” However, as Nick wrote in a long essay on ex-”Bachelor” Sean Lowe’s blog for the religion website Patheos.com, it was very much a question on Nick’s mind all along. He was expecting to have gotten engaged to Andi in a few days hence. He was deeply in love and sex, clearly, meant a lot more to him than it did to her.
By now, everyone knows what happened in the fantasy suite between Andi and me. In the “After the Final Rose” episode, I had no intention of confronting Andi with my now infamous question about why she had sex with me. I figured she had been conflicted about what 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. In her explanation, she confessed that she had never loved me.
I let that sink in.
She never loved me.
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.
To me, sex between us was a big deal, and she knew it.
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.
Nick then goes on to actually bust gender stereotypes, writing that yes, there is an emotional component of sex that can matter greatly to men. He asks that no one “shame Andi to support me” (a reference to all those who claimed “slut-shaming” during that part of “After The Final Rose”) but instead implores readers to “be sensitive to the emotional attachment that sex has to your partner and treat it with the greatest amount of respect.” Nick writes:
To me what’s most important is that the two people involved have a clear understanding of what sex means to the other person. 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. 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.
I have to say that Nick Viall was always my favorite choice on that show and I’m impressed with everything he wrote here. He has realistic expectations for modern day sexual mores — even for a TV show based on highly traditional ways of dating — and obviously he was just not looking for “casual sex” with Andi. (Although casual sex, in and of itself, is not something I have a problem with.)
It’s a shame that in 2014 Nick even has to say all this; it should just be a matter of having decency towards one another. If Andi were Andy and Nick were Nicole, everyone’s head would be exploding over Andy being a sleaze. I give Nick a lot of respect for writing this — more, I’ll say, than he ever got from Andi.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.