MAFS: If Talking About Sex Brings Iris To Tears, She Needs To Figure Out Who Or What She’s Really Holding Onto Her Virginity For
As someone who went well into my 20s a virgin, I understand Iris, but she needs to take a deep breath.
Or better yet, she may need to address the reasons she really chose to hold onto her virginity for all of these years, and what role that plays into why talking about sex leaves her ready to jump out of a window.
During last night’s episode of Married at First Sight, the couples were given exercises, questions and actions, to get better acquainted with one another. When Iris and Keith were going over questions, one of them was to share what their favorite sexual positions were. Granted, we all knew that would be awkward because Iris is still a virgin, but it literally brought the girl to tears, which was unexpected.
While she answered (after squealing) by saying that the question wasn’t applicable to her, Keith admitted that he best appreciated “doggystyle.” When he was getting ready to explain why, which was part of the question, she got more and more uncomfortable, to the point that Keith said, “You look disgusted.”
When he inquired as to what ways Iris would like him to initiate sex, it just got worse and worse.
“I don’t…I wouldn’t know,” she said. “I don’t know how you initiate sex. Like…do other things first? I don’t know.”
Iris admitted she was having a hard time having the conversation because her virginity is so important and it’s hard to put it on blast on national television.
“I’m definitely taking steps to open up to Keith, it’s definitely something I would like to do in a private way,” she said. “This is my virginity, this is something that’s very near and dear to my heart, so just coming out to the world is something I don’t really want to talk about [cries].”
It was also rough for Keith, though.
“Seeing my wife cringe every time a sexual question comes up, it makes me feel like I’m a child again,” he said. “Makes me feel like I’m back in middle school or something, but we’re not in middle school. We’re all adults, and these are important conversations that we have to have if we’re looking to have a successful marriage.”
Keith has been nothing but patient with Iris through her virginity and her hang-ups about sex, but when asked later in the episode if her virginity could be an issue, he admitted that her lack of “sexual maturity” was an “obstacle” and a “concern” since intimacy is important to him.
Again, I get that Iris is on TV, and to talk so openly about sexual intercourse and when you’re going to be ready to engage in it, has to be like…yikes. However, she was well-aware of the fact that millions of people would be watching her and that sex is a pretty huge part of marriage when she signed up for this whole shabang.
I also get that she still doesn’t know Keith that well. They may kiss and what not, but as she said on the show, there is a level of “trust and comfort” that is still missing in order for her to feel fully confident in giving up her V-card. That’s fine, and it wasn’t expected that she would be ready to hop in bed with him ASAP after not having sex her entire 27 years of life. Still, she is behaving somewhat immature about it. The visceral reactions to inquiries about what she thinks could get her in the mood is a lot to watch. She’s clearly attracted to Keith, so why is the idea of sleeping with him something that leaves her feeling so uneasy?
When I spoke to Iris before Season 9 aired, she told me that she looked at her virginity as “only one little piece of me.” She didn’t want to be defined by that or only be seen by the world or her husband as “the virgin.” However, from the moment we met her on the show, her virginity has been a huge piece of her. It’s brought up every episode. She couldn’t just buy a normal white bridal gown because she wanted to make it clear, “I’m a virgin.” She literally said in this week’s episode that her virginity is “near and dear to my heart.” Granted, it should be, but it shouldn’t be everything.
I just get the impression that while Iris didn’t want to be defined by her choice to hold onto her virginity, it’s a much bigger part of her identity than even she realizes. Though she admitted that she has done a number of sexual things, just not intercourse, it’s as though if she loses her virginity, she will feel as though she’s losing a major part of herself. Perhaps, that is due to her upbringing in the church, as plenty of people tend to feel a sense of shame because of what they were told growing up in the faith about sex and sexuality. In some households, the way to look at sex is as wrong, and that can follow you all the way into marriage. For Iris, I get the feeling that she might feel as though she would lose her purity, and like she would have done something wrong if she had sex, so the idea of it even happening leaves her visibly upset. The concept of having a libido and even thinking about having sex, from the back with her husband, whom she’s clearly attracted to, leaves her uncomfortable based on what she’s been encouraged to believe about the action.
I do empathize with Iris because I know what it’s like to hold onto something you deem so important, and to feel guilty about simply thinking about letting it go. Still, I do hope in the coming episodes that experts can help her unpack the discomfort surrounding her sexuality. I also hope she will let down her walls and eventually feel comfortable and even excited about sex with Keith in the future. But in the meantime, I just hope that she will put on her big girl panties and stop cringing, crying and complaining about sex sooner rather than later. It’s really not that bad, sis…
Check out people’s thoughts on that awkward sex conversation below: