Our columnist and comedian takes a look at why so many marriages fail on the TV Show ‘Married at First Sight’ and asserts ‘never mind no sex before marriage, what we really need to worry about is no sex after marriage.‘
‘Married at First Sight’ should be renamed ‘Just Exactly How Desperate Are You To Not End Up Alone?’
If you don’t know anything about this critically acclaimed show, (‘A riot!’ The Sun), then allow me to explain. The basic premise of ‘Married at First Sight’ is that single people marry each other at first sight. (Oh yes, that’s probably why they went with that title). Contestants on ‘Married at First Sight’ don’t know anything about the person they are about to marry. The only information producers give them is their first name. This explains why anyone called ‘Barry’ need not apply.
Now, fret not, ‘Married at First Sight’ is not actually as mad as it sounds. They’re not marrying a complete random. How it works is a panel of ‘experts’ conduct ‘extensive’ scientific research, (cut to a contestant getting her boobs measured) and ‘intensive’ interviews, (cut to a producer asking, ‘So, apart from a pulse what else are you looking for in a partner?). This information is then collated and used to match contestants with their ‘perfect partner’.
Despite this rigorous and meticulous and highly scientific match making process most marriages on ‘Married at First Sight’ end in divorce. Which begs the questions can we ever really, truly trust Science? And just how much riskier is it to marry someone at first sight?
To put it into perspective, 50 per cent of traditional marriages end in divorce, compared to 85 per cent of marriages on ‘MAFS’ end in divorce. That’s a whopping 35 per cent riskier, guys.
So why is it so much riskier to marry someone at first sight? After all, couples on theshow have been paired up because they haves a wealth of things in common. For example, Rachel and Pete both said they were looking for someone ‘committed’ and both said they were fed up of being single. They also both expressed a deep rooted desire to settle down with their life partner. With so many similarities between them to bond over why did their marriage and so many others like their’s ultimately fail?
Rachel even commented on the authenticity of the social experiment.
Rachel: This marriage feels legit. It feels so real. Just like my parent’s marriage.
Producer: Is that because you’re not having sex?
Rachel: Yes!! (Breaks down and cries)
This is precisely the problem. The lack of sex might seem synonymous with marriage but it is indeed the tumour which left untreated that can grow into the cancer of divorce. I realise that sounds like something Gwyneth Paltrow would have wrote on her website ‘Goop’ when blogging about her conscious uncoupling from Chris from Coldplay, but it’s true.
It’s not exactly the lack of fucking but the fact that that all the couples despite clearly giving a fuck about the institution of marriage, oddly give zero fucks during their marriage. This is why the marriages fail. If I had one piece of advice to people taking part in the TV Show ‘Married at First Sight’ it’s this: GUYS, YOU NEED TO FUCK and ideally: YOU NEED TO FUCK STRAIGHT AWAY.
I cannot stress this more. (I literally can’t, I mean I put it in bold and in caps. What’s frustrating is every couple on the show always expresses a desire to wait to have sex. They say things like, ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea to rush into anything’ and ‘I think it’s good to form a friendship first’. I mean what are they waiting for? Marriage? GUYS, YOU JUST GOT MARRIED (AT FIRST SIGHT). That’s like taking a bunch of cocaine and ecstasy and then turning down a Red Bull because you’re worried about heart palpitations. I am not sure why they feel the need to abstain, perhaps the guy doesn’t want to come across as a predator and the girl doesn’t want to come across as a whore. Whatever their motivation, it is my belief that it is the lack of fucking that is ruining their chances of a successful marriage.
Even in traditional relationships I think it’s important to fuck sooner rather than later. Society tells us to make the guy wait, we are told it will mean more and that it will be so much more special if we wait. BULLSHIT. This ideology was spread by The Patriarchal Catholic Church to control women and the amount of children people had. This makes no sense really as, well, aren’t priests were really into kids? The truth is the longer you wait the less you see them as a sexual being and this is certainly the case with the amount of failed marriages on ‘Married at First Sight’. Never mind your ‘WLTM’ and your ‘GSOH’ it’s all about being ‘DTF ASAP’.
I know it’s hard to get DTF ASAP because the first time the couple see each other is at their wedding. The contestants don’t even know where they’re getting married (it’s all organised by producers), so it’s not like you can do a quick recce the day before for a disabled toilet or a serviette cupboard or something. So the next best thing is to manipulate some sort of sexual spark between them straight away otherwise they will probably never see them as sexually attractive. Might I suggest a sly hand job under the table during the speeches. Or slipping her the tongue during the photographs? Never mind married at first sight, or even love at first sight the most important thing is lust at first sight.
The problem is the show presents their partners to them in a very unsexy manner. Weddings are romantic, beautiful, ethereal, wondrous occasions but let’s face it they are not sexy. Maybe for the fit best man copping off with the hot bridesmaid but not for the bride and groom. The wedding for them isn’t sexy at all. It’s traditional and transactional and a little, tedious. Seeing your prospective life partner exchanging pleasantries with your Aunt Edna is NOT SEXY.
The lack of sexy vibes at the wedding sets the tone for the rest of the marriage. The contestants have a 3 month period in which they go on honeymoon and move in with each other and after this they then have to decide whether they want to stay married. This process is fascinating. And proves that when you eliminate the dating process you eliminate the sex. And if you eliminate the sex, is it really a marriage? Take Rob and Steph: on paper Rob is absolutely perfect. He’s good looking, he’s rich, he’s sweet, he’s sensitive, he’s certainly committed. In reality he is so desperate to win Steph’s affection it’s pathetic. He’s doing nothing wrong which means he is doing everything wrong. Of course she doesn’t want to have sex with him, let alone stay married to him.
The show has made me realise we actually don’t want our perfect match. We want imperfection, we want danger, we want someone who is with us not because they are scared they’re going to end up alone but because they feel drawn to us. In short we want imperfection, passion and excitement. We don’t want the predictable. We want the precarious. The authentic, the un -orchestrated, the improvised and the unplanned. Deep down that’s what each contestant realises. You can’t manipulate these things. You have to have faith in serendipity. You can’t try too hard. The harder you try the more you push it away. And I think that’s ultimately why most marriages fail on married at first sight. You can’t plan passion. Science can only get you so far. The rest is chemistry.