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Married at First Sight exclusive interview: Keith Manley reacts to Iris Caldwell’s virginity and learning about it from his mom

Iris Caldwell and Keith Manley on Married at First Sight
On Season 9 of Married at First Sight, Keith Manley married virgin bride Iris Caldwell. Pic credit: JCM Photography – Asheville, NC

Season 9 of Married at First Sight saw something that has never happened before in the history of the Lifetime series. They matched a virgin bride when Keith Manley was picked to marry Iris Caldwell and ever since this MAFS couple has been the talk of the season.

Many fans of the Kinetic Content-produced hit series have already pegged Keith and Iris as the fan favorite couple this season due to their good looks, their family interactions and their commitment to each other early on. Naturally, Iris Caldwell’s virginity has intrigued viewers, who have questions about why she would put her marriage and future in the hands of the relationship experts after saving herself for so long.

It was at their wedding at the beautiful Alexander Homestead, and while Keith and Iris were still essentially strangers, where she filled his mom in on the reason for her white dress. From there, Keith’s mom spilled the beans as Married at First Sight fans wondered if this information would make Keith happy or freak him out.

Monsters & Critics was given the opportunity to exclusively ask Keith about his reaction to the news of Iris’s virginity and what his first thoughts were. Here is what he had to say.

Monsters & Critics: Why did you choose to apply for Married at First Sight? Were you surprised when you got matched?

Keith Manley: Well, I didn’t actually apply for Married at First Sight. A casting director reached out to me explaining what it was about and the possibility of finding the love of your life was not something I could pass up on! Honestly, I was very surprised. Throughout the whole matchmaking process, I kept telling myself, “There’s no way I’m getting matched.”
Monsters & Critics: When you first met Iris, were you happy with the wife that the relationship experts picked? Are you still?

Keith Manley: When I met Iris, I’m not sure I could’ve been happier. She’s beautiful and has such a welcoming personality, we clicked straight out of the gate. I’m thrilled that we were matched.

Monsters & Critics: When your mom told you Iris was a virgin, what was the first thing that went through your mind?

Keith Manley: When my mom told me about Iris’s virginity, my initial thought was, “Wowww! Virgins in their late 20s still exist?” It takes a very strong person to save themself for marriage. It made me see how truly special Iris is.

Monsters & Critics: Are you glad that your mom gave you a heads up or would you have preferred she didn’t know?

Keith Manley: It was kinda weird hearing that my wife was a virgin but after I found out Iris told her, I appreciated my mom telling me. I figured maybe Iris told my mom so that she could share it with me.

Monsters & Critics: Did Iris’s sexual inexperience worry you?

Keith Manley: Iris’s sexual inexperience did concern me early on. To me, sex is a big part of intimate relationships. It also takes quite a while to learn yourself sexually (what you like, what you don’t like, etc). In a way, sex can help you get to know yourself better.

Without any point of reference, you have no way of knowing what’s going to satisfy you or a partner. I’d like to believe I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well at this point. So to find out my wife had no sexual experience, I knew it’d present a big challenge for both of us.

Married at First Sight airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on Lifetime.

Shaunee Flowers is an editor and a writer for Monsters & Critics. She primarily writes about reality TV and has watched it since the very... read more
Shaunee Flowers

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