TLC’s Latest Target: Chaste Singles


An awkward first kiss in TLC's "Virgin Diaries" has gone viral

Moving past the Duggars and the Sister Wives, TLC has identified its latest bizarre subculture to document: virgins.

Virgin Diaries is an hour-long special showcasing 20- and 30-something virgins (interesting that it doesn’t aim for any older ones) that premieres Sunday. A trailer for the special begins with these comments:

“I’m 30 and I’m a virgin.”

“I’m 29 and I’m a virgin.”

“I’m not a virgin entirely by choice.”

“We’re saving our first kiss for our wedding.”

The trailer then shows an awkward, flailing first kiss between a bride and groom, which quickly went viral. This version of it on YouTube has generated 1.7 million views since it was uploaded Nov. 27. Comments range from cruel (“Is she trying to swallow him whole?”) to sympathetic (“How said is it that you all make fun of someone’s wedding day?”).

It’s hard not to cringe for these earnest newlyweds when you consider the feedback their wedding day has generated. Critics have already blasted TLC for exploiting them. The cable network was quick to defend the show:

“Losing one’s virginity is a big life decision,” TLC’s west coast vice president of production, Timothy Kuryak, told ABCNews.com. “It seemed like one of those seminal life moments that’s interesting to follow for TLC.”

So was born “Virgin Diaries,” an hour long reality special starring a group of 20 and 30-something virgins that premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC. A trailer for the show features Carey, a 35-year-old bachelor who confesses that he’s “not a virgin entirely by choice” and three 30-year-old female roommates from British Columbia who Kuryak said are “saving themselves for when they meet their husbands.”

But the show’s must-see factor comes from Ryan, 31, and Shanna, 27, a couple who decided to save their first kiss, let alone their virginity, until their wedding day. “It was a religious choice for both of them,” Kuryak said.

Shanna had kissed other people before Ryan; Ryan had not. That fact becomes sweetly apparent when Ryan lifts up his bride’s veil, plants his lips on hers, and sucks vigorously away.

Some critics have dubbed “Virgin Diaries” “TLC’s newest gawk-fest” and its participants “exploitation victims.” Kuryak countered, “We’re not trying to make light of this or treat it in a sort of trivial way. We want to document these peoples’ stories and why they make this decision.”

“A lot of stories about later in life virgins talk about it like a problem,” he said. “We want to show that this is something that can be celebrated.”

What do you think? Is this an earnest celebration or a ratings-fueled mockery? Do you know any couples who saved their first kiss for their wedding day? Would you?






6 Comments

  1. I don’t think the channel intends to make fun of virgins. They’re going to make money on this, yes, because it’s an interesting topic and people will watch it. However, I think that a lot of these virgins are remaining virgins for bad reasons, just as the Duggars are with their frantic drive to produce children- the novelty, the publicity, maybe a fetish. I did watch the video and I’ve got to say it’s uninspiring- they chose to wait that long and then their first kiss I must say IS extremely ugly, a very large long sloppy open-mouth French kiss. I think that says a lot about the fact that perhaps they were waiting just to show off, rather than from any particular desire for purity or privacy. I could be wrong. It’s certainly required by the church to wait for sex until marriage, and so obviously these people should be imitated in that.

  2. Tammy-492301 December 3, 2011

    Well… that kiss is certainly an attention grabber. I think many fear that they will have ‘that’ if they wait. I hope the show is able to express those who wait due to their faith and not focus on socially dysfunctional people.

  3. Andrea-357340 December 5, 2011

    I think that saving the first kiss for the wedding day is very special and I’m sure there are many in life who have had wonderful, treasured memories of waiting until their wedding day. Unfortunately, TLC decided to capture a very awkward moment with the jellyfish kissers and that gives waiting until the wedding day a negative view which is a shame. Hopefully, TLC can get virgins on the show who are proud of their decision and who can show the dignity and honor of virginity.

  4. Katie-600979 December 6, 2011

    Its not normal anymore to keep one’s V-Card these days. TLC thrives on keeping their programing focused on the “abnormal”. Why would anyone watch socially apt, well-adjusted, unawkward virgins? They won’t and the TLC execs know it. I think its a business decision that reflects our society. When spoiled girls that make sex tapes are no longer placed on pedestals, only then will show content change.

  5. Debbie-791932 December 6, 2011

    The error here is that only virgins are chaste. That is simply NOT true, not even by any CHURCH standard. If a woman remains a virgin, then is faithful in her marriage, and then is not physically active outside of marriage, she is just as virtuous and chaste as a technical virgins. I wonder how many so called virgins have petted heavily whereas many previously married women haven’t even touched someone outside of marriage? Think folks! :)

  6. Paul-359514 December 24, 2011

    I don’t necessarily consider an awkward first kiss, to be a big deal (even on your wedding day). The result, simply indicates a need for additional practice.

    Speaking for myself, I happen to be a 45 year old virgin and very proud of my successful resistance, involving temptations of the flesh.

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