In case you missed TLC's Virgin Diaries commercial of a couple greedily fish-kissing during their nuptials, watch it now, or forever hold your laughs. That couple, thirty-one-year-old Ryan (also a kissing virgin up to that point), and his bride, twenty-seven-year-old Shanna, were featured on the reality special Sunday night, and are now old pros after having sealed the deal.
The Virgin Diaries (which could have more to come, depending on the ratings) almost seemed like it was intended to balance out the network's usual roster of busy-bedroom programs, like Jon and Kate Plus 8, 19 Kids and Counting, etc. A number of twenty and thirty-something virgins were introduced, but Ryan and Shanna really seemed to captivate viewers from the beginning, largely based on "The Kiss."
We learned how Ryan and an admittedly-nervous Shanna dreamily plotted their big night.
Shanna: "I think that you should take a shower first, and then I'll take a shower, and then I'll put on my lingerie, and I'll come into the room."
Ryan: "And I'll have a surprise waiting for you."
Shanna: "We'll have our robes on, we'll slowly take our robes off, then do foreplay, and then have sex."
But, as it turns out, the experience for the couple was less than mind-blowing. Ryan said, "It was good, but not as good as I was expecting. It was not really like in the movies." Shanna confided that it was "an amazing experience," but also said that she found intercourse "really painful."
In the run-up to the show, there had been talk of of it being a "gawk-fest" and exploitative, but I don't buy it. TV's vast wasteland is now so littered with reality-TV programming we hardly notice it anymore. Whether you find the idea of The Virgin Diaries sweet or exploitative, no one forced these people to put themselves out there, and the market for this stuff exists for a reason. As Timothy Kuryak, TLC's west coast vice president of production, put it, "Losing one's virginity is a big life decision. It seemed like one of those seminal life moments that's interesting to follow for TLC."