Among the most intriguing pairings on this season of Married at First Sight is Keith and Iris, two commitment-oriented people who both do community outreach work. They were both super relieved to discover a strong mutual attraction on their wedding day, but there is one tiny detail they were anxious about: Iris' virginity. Tweets about Iris and Keith on Married at First Sight launched a debate about the topic when it was revealed that, although Iris proudly (and loudly) identified as a virgin, she strictly defined sex as "sexual intercourse," suggesting she had done ~other stuff~.
Remarkably (considering the nature of Twitter), MAFS fans didn't really seem to care about Iris' virginity one way or the other, despite the fact that she had understandable anxieties about revealing the news to her husband on the day she met him. Instead, much of the backlash was a result of what a big deal the show made about it and the potential obstacle it would become, only to reveal that Iris had actually experienced sexual intimacy in other ways after all. Whether it was Iris herself or the show's editing that put such a huge emphasis on her virginity, fans were quick to call out MAFS for its contrived drama.
Obviously, virginity is a social construct and everyone has a right to define and/or maintain it however they want if it's important to them. But MAFS' framing of Iris' virginity made it seem like there was going to be a critical experience gap between her and her husband, when, in reality, Iris already had some sexually intimate experiences under her belt. That Iris chose to define her virginity by abstaining from penetrative sex is fine, but the implication that she had saved all sexual intimacy for her husband didn't reflect the actual circumstances in play.
Needless to say, Twitter felt more than a little duped by this season's much-hyped virginity storyline. It's the first time in MAFS history that one of the contestants entered the social experiment as a virgin, and the show obviously ran with that as Keith and Iris' defining characteristic as a couple.
"This choice was something on a religious standpoint for me," Iris revealed to Keith's mom at the wedding. "It's been hard, for sure. But it was for my husband, it's a big deal."
For his part, Keith has been nothing but accepting of the news, if a little eager to drill down to what "virginity" actually meant to his wife, which, given the circumstances, is understandable. Said Keith in one episode:
I never in a million years imagined that my wife is a virgin...That means something special, and it’s definitely something that’s going to require patience. I don’t ever want her to feel like she’s being pressured in any kind of way.
But fans are clear on one thing: sexually experienced or not, they are super tired of hearing about Iris' virginity. Hopefully, MAFS can come up with some other storylines for this couple.