Colton Underwood’s virginity was a major talking point on The Bachelorette this season, and it looks like Men Tell All will be no different.
ET’s Lauren Zima spoke with the former NFL player at the special’s taping earlier this month, where he opened up about how the talk about his virginity (including some jabs by Jean Blanc) affected him — and revealed he found some of the commentary “disrespectful.”
“Some comments caught me off guard and really triggered something in me and I felt like I spoke my truth tonight,” Colton said. “[It] took a lot of self-restraint to stay seated [after Jean Blanc’s comment]… I can’t even understand where that comment comes from and in the manner that it came off was so disrespectful.”
Fans will have to wait for Monday’s episode to see how much of the exchange makes it to air. Colton, whose virginity was questioned by several guys on the show before his elimination, said he’s also received some backlash online, but that he tries to approach the criticism “with nothing but love.”
“I can respect that they have their opinion. I hope that at least I started a dialogue and I started a conversation in which they can understand what makes me, me. And I’m not here to prove a point, I’m not here to defend myself, I’m not here to say I’m better than anybody else,” he explained. “What I am here to do is be true to who I am, and The Bachelorette has helped me do that. So I can’t thank them enough.”
“This has been so good for me and so therapeutic for me,” he added, sharing that there was no “plotting” or “scheming” to get on the show — despite his past relationships with Bachelor alum Tia Booth and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman.
“There’s a double standard, isn’t there?” Bachelor host Chris Harrison chimed in on Colton’s virginity. “Why is it different that when a woman talks about it, it’s respected, and then when a guy talks about it, he should be shamed? … We will probably be talking about [this] now because of Colton.”
Colton, 26, was candid on The Bachelorette about the reasons why he was still a virgin (saying he focused more on football than relationships), and revealed that some members of his own family — including his dad — probably didn’t even know the truth. There was no hiding after America watched his confession on TV, however, but Colton said it was “relieving” to finally be honest.
“I can’t tell you how many athletes and players and former teammates have reached out to me and said, ‘Man, I wish I knew you were going through this. I was going through something similar.’ And for me to hear that means the world, because that is where I felt the deepest and the darkest is at those times,” he shared.
As for what it would take for him to lose his virginity, Colton said he’s “waiting for the right heart.”
“It sounds a little cheesy,” he admitted. “I’m waiting for someone to match my intensity, someone that’s going to be into me as much as I am into them, somebody that I am so madly in love with and that I can share that special moment with. That’s what I’m waiting for and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
For now, fans can look forward to seeing Colton, who founded The Legacy Foundation to support people living with Cystic Fibrosis, onBachelor in Paradise— where he’ll reunite with Tia.
“I think that your gonna have to see how Paradise plays out,” he teased, before commenting on his Bachelor chances. “If the timing is right in my life and if ABC’s ready for it, it would be something that you know I would consider. But first we’re gonna have to get through Paradise.”
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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