It’s not what you think! Bachelor in Paradise star Maurissa Gunn received backlash for going to the boom-boom room with Riley Christian after their first date, but she defended her decision, pointing out how it helped them expand on their already strong chemistry.
“We got back to the beach and we wanted to continue our conversation. So, as two consenting adults, we went into the boom-boom room together, which is fine,” the reality star, 25, explained during the Wednesday, September 22, episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. “The difference between my situation and other people’s situation is that it’s not on national TV and I’m not afraid to talk about it.”
Maurissa noted that “the conversations” that came from her time with Riley, 32, in the “air-conditioned room” strengthened their relationship.
“It was nice also because it allowed us more time together too, so that’s why we were able to build a connection so fast,” she said. “We would have more conversation[s], get deeper sometimes.”
“I was that person that was like, ‘There’s no way you can fall in love with someone this quick on TV. It’s gotta be fake,’” she recalled. “Especially ‘cause I didn’t go through it before and just with Riley, when I knew, I knew. And we spent all day, every day together and [had] no phones, no access to the outside world, none of that. So we have no distractions, no outside influences — like family or social media — and so we really get to know each other, we get to have conversations and find out about each other’s lives.”
Maurissa and Riley hit it off when he arrived on the beach and asked her on a date during an August episode. The pair have been going strong on the show ever since, but some fans came for her after their trip to the boom-boom room aired.
The Georgia native clapped back at slut-shamers in an August Instagram post. “It’s OK FOR WOMEN TO LIKE SEX!” she wrote at the time. “Sex is a 2 person act, so there shouldn’t be a double standard regarding which gender can openly like it, and which gender should be timid about their enjoyment. What’s even harder to believe is that the majority of the negativity and hate is coming from women. It’s already hard enough being a woman in today’s society, so we as women should do everything to lift each other up rather than bring each other down.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.