‘Sex-positive’ 'Bachelorette' star brought to tears by Christian contestant who reveals he is a virgin

"The Bachelorette" star Katie Thurston listens to a poem read by contestant Mike Planeta in an episode that aired in June 2021. |

The season 17 premiere of “The Bachelorette” premiered this month and features former Baltimore Orioles prospect Mike Planeta, who, despite the season’s “sex-positive” spin, is open about his faith and quest to refrain from sex until marriage.

“The Bachelorette,” Katie Thurston, made a memorable entrance as a contestant in the last season of “The Bachelor” after sharing a sexually explicit item in her introduction to the franchise.

Although she did not find love that time around, the ABC dating show selected her to take a stab at love again as a “sex-positive” bachelorette, as she is described throughout this season’s opener. Thurston has received that title because of her willingness to be open about sex.

“You’ll see it incorporated throughout my journey, conversations around sex,” Thurston shared on Us Weekly's “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “Because it is important in a relationship. And it’s important to be with me to be able to talk about those things. And if you’re not ready to talk about sex, you’re certainly not ready to get married.”

Thurston made it clear that she was on the show to find her husband. Among the 30 men introduced on the premiere episode that aired on June 7, viewers were introduced to Mike Planeta, who unashamedly revealed that he’s a virgin.

Born in Arizona, the 31-year-old is a former baseball player who now works as a personal trainer. He “grew up in a very loving family where the cornerstone of his upbringing was his faith,” his ABC bio describes. He also shared more details in the introduction video package.

“Most people when they see me, they think I’m a huge player,” the athlete, who was drafted in the MLB at the age of 19, disclosed.

“But that’s not morally where I’m at, so I’m waiting for marriage. I’ve never had sex. The stigma is, like, ‘Oh, you can’t connect with that.’ But I disagree with that. I want Katie to understand that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being sex-positive. I personally want to share that within marriage, that’s me. I mean, if I fall in love with Katie, maybe that’s something that we can take that road together.”

Concerning Planeta, Thurston told Us Weekly that viewers will “have to find out how that relationship goes, but I was pleasantly surprised.” 

In the second episode of the new season, the contestant, whose introduction video showed him reading the Bible, is asked out on a group date in which Thurston required the men to describe what makes them “the greatest lover of all time.”

“I’m more worried about showing her how much it means to me. This is not something I take lightly, and I won’t compromise that,” Planeta shared in tears concerning how he felt about the activity.

During the group date, he publicly shared a heartfelt poem with Thurston dedicated to his “future wife.”

While reading the poem, he disclosed that he would make his wife feel “so loved and honored." He said the “best way for me to show you this is by saving myself for you.”

Thurston was brought to tears and even awarded Planeta “the greatest lover of all time” trophy. 

There is no telling whether or not the Washington native will keep Planeta around. But his bio on ABC explains that he "is looking for a woman who loves staying active, will make him laugh, and most importantly, has the same set of values as he does.”

Christian sexual ethics has been a topic of discussion in the “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchise over the past few years.

In the “fantasy suites” episode of “The Bachelorette” season 15, Christian contestant Luke Parker told Bachelorette Hannah Brown that he wanted a wife who believed what he believed regarding sex, which is found in Hebrews 13:4.

Brown, also a professing Christian, immediately took offense to Parker’s comments and confessed that she'd had “physical relations” with some of the other contestants, but “Jesus stills loves her.”

The phrase "Jesus still loves me" is a coined phrase in the media and social media platforms despite the biblical stance on fornication.

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