The Bachelor: How Zach's "No Sex" Fantasy Suites Week Threw Things Into Chaos

On March 20's penultimate episode of The Bachelor, Zach Shallcross went into Fantasy Suites Week with one very specific goal in mind. Find out how it all blew up in his face.

By Daniel Trainor Mar 21, 2023 2:00 AMTags
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Fantasy Suites Week on The Bachelor turned into a very real disaster.

On the March 20 episode, Zach Shallcross bucked the trend of the Fantasy Suites—in which the Bachelor finally gets to spend some overnight time with his final suitors, away from the cameras—by telling host Jesse Palmer that he vowed to have "no sex of any kind" with the three remaining women.

Zach acknowledged that the "animalistic desire" would be hard to ignore, but argued that sex in the Fantasy Suites is "not how I imagine a healthy engagement should start."

But right off the bat it's clear Zach and his remaining suitors may not be on the same page.

The first date belonged to Ariel who, before she met up with Zach at one of Thailand's famous night markets, said in a confessional, "Being physical with someone is a big part of loving someone and getting to know them."

Not off to a great start.

After sampling a bunch of different bugs at the market, Zach and Ariel were barely able to keep their hands off each other. "When I kiss Ariel, my body just gets hot," Zach said. "Turn on the A/C, please!"

Despite their chemistry, Zach broke the bad news to Ariel later that night at dinner.

"I was a little disappointed," Ariel said of Zach's revelation. "I think it's important to keep it sexy, so I definitely want to have those physical moments, as well. But I always want him to feel supported, to feel cared for." 

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Though things got hot and heavy once they got to the Fantasy Suite, the next morning, Zach revealed that he managed to keep his promise.

"I came into this week not wanting to involve sex and with Ariel, it was more difficult than I could have ever imagined," Zach admitted. "But we both agreed on it and it was very important to just have conversations and not have sex involved."

Next up, Zach and Gabi took a boat to a private island, during which Gabi opened up about always "feeling second" in her relationships, and revealed that some of those feelings were starting to creep back in her relationship with Zach.

"I feel very stupid and foolish and I hate this," she said while hiding behind a palm tree with a glass of champagne in her hand. "I feel disgusting, I feel ugly, I feel all sorts of things. Why can't I be happy? I don't even feel like I can go back there."

Zach managed to comfort Gabi and make her feel secure—until he told her about his rule "no sex" rule at dinner.

"I wasn't expecting him to make that decision," Gabi said in confessional. "I wouldn't say that it brought me relief, to be honest with you."

The following morning, Gabi insinuated that all she and Zach did was "cuddle." However, Zach looked ready to burst apart at the seams with guilt.

"The whole night was a very passionate night for Gabi and I," he said. "It was really special. But my whole perspective on how I thought the week was going to go changed because something really special happened between us in the fantasy suite and now I feel like I'm holding in a secret."

With a bombshell like that, Jesse simply had to visit Zach in his room, where the Bachelor came clean about what went one in the suite.

"We both agreed and wanted to have sex together," Zach told Jesse. "It was very special. It was important. It was what we both needed and wanted for the relationship. I feel terrible, obviously, because I've gone against my word. I have fears about how would Kaity feel, how would Ariel feel, how would all the women feel?"

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Well, time to find out!

A guilt-stricken Zach visited Gabi and told her he let their little secret slip out while talking to Jesse—and the admission didn't exactly sit well with her.

"I do feel like my trust was broken because I did feel like it was between us," Gabi said in confessional. "Now it's between us plus everyone else."

Everyone else including Kaity—who had the final Fantasy Suites Week date with Zach. After a brief kayak trip down a Thailand river, it started to rain and Zach couldn't hold his secret any longer.

"I have been intimate this week," Zach told Kaity. "It was a decision between us that made sense to further the relationship."

Sitting side-by-side in the rain, Kaity was taken aback.

"I get that you wanted to tell me and I know you're saying that because you respect me," she responded, "but I could have honestly went without hearing that."

Kaity, though visibly upset, mostly managed to hold it together while chatting with Zach—but it was a different story in confessional. 

"Well, I'm crushed," she said. "The first thing I basically hear come out of his mouth is, ‘I set boundaries and parameters about coming into this and not being sexual with other girls, but hey, I want to let you know I was.'"

After a tense conversation with a member of production—in which Kaity said she was "so f--king confused, the simmering tension was alleviated at dinner when Zach said he just can't keep secrets because "it will literally make me sick to stomach."

"I feel a lot better," Kaity said after dinner. "In relationships, things aren't going to be easy all the time. Obviously, this is a very strange circumstance. But I had the clarity I needed and wanted from him. It feels good."

Suspiciously, however, it was not revealed if Zach and Kaity broke the rule later that evening themselves. And ultimately, the rose ceremony saw Zach offer roses to Gabi and Kaity—sending Ariel home.

"I'm hurt because I know how great of a person he is," Ariel said. "I know that I felt this way for the first time in a while for a reason."


ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

But the chaos wasn't over.

Despite receiving a rose, Gabi revealed she was still having second thoughts about how everything went down.

"I thought I would be in a much different state of mind," Gabi said after the rose ceremony. "I thought I'd be a lot happier. Right now, I feel like I am wearing a big ‘A' on my chest. It's a very uncomfortable feeling and he's only making eye contact with Kaity when I feel like I've just been put through the wringer here."

And as she put it, this may prevent her from being able to take her relationship with Zach to the next level.

Gabi continued, "I have questions that are running through my mind that I need answered before I can confidently move forward with an engagement."

Find out if she gets them when the season finale of The Bachelor airs March 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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