Strange things happen on Married at First Sight. A strange thing so strange that even the hair gelled, shaved skulled, beer wrangling male contestants at the pretend stag party can sense it.
A virgin is on the loose.
The virgin – lets call him Matthew Bennett and put him on national television to protect his identity – has that look about him. That look every man knows when we see it.
Normal people and hopefully share-tanking razor blade companies think that men are just insensitive bastards looking for the next cage fight tournament so we can ogle the bikini model holding up the round cards – but we are so much more than this. We also like to virgin-spot and provide counseling at nightclubs.
Letting a virgin loose on MAFS is dangerous. Like the introduction of rabbits to Australia – the only thing able to cure it is myxomatosis and the other future husbands or maybe TV-vet Dr Chris from rival show I’m a Celebrity is ready to deliver the dose unless he’s busy putting Sam Dastyari down.
Virgins are like racehorses. Like a serene thoroughbred with bloodlines back to the Arab stables of Osama bin Laden or the journalist abattoir of Mohammed bin Salman. They are a flighty lot – and Matt has already confessed to his pretend-wife Lauren that he feels unwell and not ready to service her. Matt really needs to have the jiggers attached to him before the stewards show up or Peter Fitzsimons writes an op-ed about the morality of it all.
Meanwhile Ines – the pretend wife of Bronson the ex-stripper who will not be defined by his former career but practices his pole dancing moves on the hotel balcony – is taking it to the other extreme. Revealing scruples weirdly out of place on this program she is ashamed of her partner’s former career, brow-ring and green and gold cricket onesie. And yet at the first couples dinner she broodily tells everyone that maybe this should be a wife swapping party instead (which is much more on theme).
She keeps eyeing off the pretend husband of Elizabeth – ‘Hot Sam’ – who is clearly the best looking of the pretend husbands and should be an underwear model if he wasn’t such a prick though maybe you have to be a prick to be an underwear model. It’s the whole Western Canon chicken and the egg thing – maybe Anna Wintour can resolve this for us too?
With her brooding Bosnian looks, black hair and piercing blue eyes Ines looks a lot like Ramsay in Game of Thrones which probably explains the desire for kinky sex and aversion to a husband with a name like Bronson which is more like something Ramsay would call his Rottweiler and we know that didn’t end well. She should get out more – which is what her partner Bronson tells her when she won’t go paragliding with him and then she tells him to ‘shut the fuck up’ – just like loved-up new wives and Daily Life columnists do.
To add to the moral and physiological confusion is Nic. Nic has revealed that due to previous serious illness he can orgasm but cannot ejaculate. This is actually quite a poignant moment and biting political commentary all at the one time.
A lot is happening in MAFS and not all of it makes sense. I’m reminded of another famous virgin until he got tattoos and a record deal and he wasn’t – Justin Bieber. In his new Vogue interview he talks about his marriage with Hailey and reveals, ‘it’s like, if you had the money that I had, why wouldn’t you get a monkey?’
It’s a fair point and I hope both Scott and Bill are listening.
MAFS is a fairy tale for lonely singles unable to pass the IQ test to get on The Bachelor/Bachelorette juggernaut and so each episode must end happily. Just when you think Matt is going to feel ill every time Lauren starts putting rose petals in the bathtub she takes him in hand and he is no longer a virgin. Just Like That.
Apparently he is five months pregnant and they’re hoping it’s a reality show contestant.
Michael Scammell is a freelance writer.
Illustration: Channel 9.
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