Celebrity Updates

Katie Thurston Teases She’s ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ by Virgin Contestant

There’s still a lot to unpack from the season 17 premiere of The Bachelorette — and Us Weekly is breaking it all down on our “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

Katie Thurston, who was described as a “sex-positive” Bachelorette throughout the season opener, met 30 men on the Monday, June 7, episode and quickly found physical and emotional connections.

Katie Thurston.
ABC/Andrew Eccles

“You’ll see it incorporated throughout my journey, conversations around sex,” the Washington native, 30, exclusively told Us. “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.”

As a result, fans may think Katie wouldn’t be into Mike Planeta, who revealed during the premiere that he’s a virgin (and appears to open up about his lack of experience throughout the season), but that may not be the case.

“I will say, you’ll have to find out how that relationship goes, but I was pleasantly surprised,” Katie teased to Us.

Mike, a 31-year-old former baseball player turned personal trainer, “grew up in a very loving family where the cornerstone of his upbringing was his faith,” per his ABC bio. During Monday’s episode, he spoke about being a virgin in his intro package.

“Most people when they see me, they think I’m a huge player,” Mike, who was drafted in the MLB at the age of 19, told ABC cameras. “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 in within marriage, that’s me. I mean, if I fall in love with Katie, maybe that’s something that we can, you know, take that road together.”

One thing was clear during the premiere — Katie is ready to rock a Neil Lane diamond.

“I just know where I’m at in life, and it really shows how serious I am about falling in love and finding my person,” the Bachelor season 25 alum told Us. “And if the thought of being engaged scares you, then you’re not ready to be with me.”

She added that her parents’ divorce will “definitely” play a part in her journey.

“For me, even now at 30, I had never got to see what a healthy marriage looks like. And so that has caused me to kind of learn as I go things that I should be looking for [and] things that are considered red flags,” Katie told Us. “And so this was perfect because now being exposed to 30 guys and really trying to figure that out.”

For a complete recap of the season 17 premiere, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

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