Bachelorella: The Men of The Bachelorette Teach Sex Ed and It Isn’t a Total Disaster

Ryan helps middle schoolers locate the clit. I’m not kidding.

Quick Bachelorette recap this week because let’s be honest, not a lot happened. Tony weirdly showed his temper when he had to sumo wrestle and left the show because he’s a pretentious little pissbaby. Clint and JJ are faking a gay romance to get more screen time and it’s kind of biphobic and would make for great television if they were, you know, less obvious about being manipulative idiots (anyone who thinks their attraction to each other is real is a moron and has not hung out with bros for very long). Ben Z. and Kaitlyn had a super dumb date involving a scary puzzle room which I fast-forwarded through because #noonecares. Blah blah drama drama Kaitlyn really enjoys confronting men who are assholes, which I respect but sometimes you gotta just take the high road, girl. Not every petty manchild deserves your attention. You are The Bachelorette, you have producers to walk the discards down the long driveway of shame.

I would have skipped recapping this week entirely, but one of the group dates involved making the men of The Bachelorette teach sex education to a room full of child actors as a funny prank. The sad thing? They made better sex education teachers than the volleyball coach who taught me about the birds and the bees my senior year of high school.

It was oddly beautiful. “Sex and physical chemistry with somebody is a huge part of a relationship,” Kaitlyn said to justify the concept of the date. “I need a guy who knows what he’s doing.” I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard such a realistic statement about sex on this show, ever, period. And while the discussion of sex (in front of the kids, at least) focused on love and heteronormative relationships, there was no slut-shaming, and no judgment of Kaitlyn for being a human woman who enjoys sex.

Ryan had the enviable job of explaining female anatomy to the little actor tots. Some ambitious kid, who must have been like twelve, asked what the [bleeped expletive] is, and judging by Ryan’s answer, the kid was asking about the clitoris. “Probably, arguably one of the more important parts of the female anatomy,” Ryan rambled. “If you want girls to like you, you should know where that is. It’s what is stimulated on the female, and that’s what makes her want to have sex with you again.”

Laughter, laughter, jokes from the actual teacher about how some men have difficulty finding it. Did we just have an actual conversation, albeit weirdly bleeped, about female pleasure? And women enjoying sex? Because that’s.. that’s actually super rare. I WISH my sex ed class had acknowledged the existence of the clitoris. I had to learn about it from Harry Potter fan fiction. I’m imagining how different my entire life would be if I’d learned what the clit was at age twelve.

Side note: why is this show bleeping the names of body parts? Are we not allowed to say clitoris on television? Or penis? I’m really confused, guys.

Moving on, Welder Joshua had the unenviable job of explaining female puberty, despite having no real familiarity with the subject. “Girls, don’t be freaked out, but the lining of your uterus is going to shed. It kind of, like, dies.” The children screamed, Kaitlyn cackled. That was pretty much all Joshua knew about menstruation, which in fairness is more than most dudes.

The funniest part was when Joshua inserted the tampon into the plastic model of the vagina and ABC PUT A BLACK BOX OVER THE FAKE PLASTIC VAGINA AS THE TAMPON WAS INSERTED. Because apparently inserting a tampon into a plastic disembodied figure you’d find in the waiting room of an OB/GYN is too intense for ABC viewers. I just… how is this segment both progressive and frightened of itself? Who decided they could joke about the (bleeped out) clitoris but not show a plastic tampon being pushed into a fake vagina?

Moving on, motherfucking Ben H. crushes it. “When I explain sex to my kids it’s going to be straightforward, it’s going to be honest, it’s going to be open,” he says, when explaining why he wasn’t quaking in his boots before putting on his teacher hat. “Getting to know somebody physically and spiritually are extremely important elements in any relationship.” He explains how babies are made while hitting on Kaitlyn and being super cute. It’s no surprise he and the leading lady wind up slow dancing and then making out on a roof at the end of the group date. He god damn dips her while kissing her. Like, I’m sold. Can I date Ben H.?

In conclusion: sex is great, we made some progress by talking about the clitoris but not a lot because we bleeped it, I want to make out on a rooftop, and tampons go where exactly? Also Clint and JJ, please go on Bachelor In Paradise. Please. Your intense, sabotage-based homoerotic bonding appeals to me on a deep level but not at the expense of Kaitlyn finding her husband aka her five-minute fiancé (RIP Chris/Whitney, we were rooting for you to make it in Iowa).

I know bisexual bros. These are not bisexual bros. These are men enjoying their 15 minutes of fame.
I know bisexual bros. These are not bisexual bros. These are men enjoying their 15 minutes of fame.

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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.

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