On Sunday, May 16, the former NFL player, 29, answered fan questions via Instagram. When he received a question about how many men he had hooked up with, he decided to share the question — and his lengthy answer — to his Story.
“Let me vent for a second. Questions like this are inappropriate. I understand you might know me from The Bachelor where I shared a lot about my personal life,” Underwood wrote. “I have set boundaries and I’m respecting myself in a way that will lead me to a healthier life.”
He then reflected on his time on Bachelor Nation. The First Time author first appeared on The Bachelorette in 2018 before briefly appearing on Bachelor in Paradise. He then became the lead of season 23.
“I never asked to be labeled as the virgin bachelor and have people feel the security to ask me questions about my sex life,” he shared on Sunday. “It just happened and during that time I thought I had no other choice but to just go with it the network would be mad. I know differently now. I’ll share what I want and this won’t be one of those things.”
Underwood came out as gay during an April interview on Good Morning America. Earlier this month, he detailed his choice to live as his true self in an interview with Variety, revealing that he was previously blackmailed, receiving an anonymous email threatening to release photos of him at a spa known for its gay clientele.
He also shared that at one point in his life, he was on a gay dating app under an alias and had some interactions with men over the years.
“I’ll say this. I was ‘the Virgin Bachelor,’ but I did experiment with men prior to being on The Bachelorette,” the Indiana native shared. “When I say ‘hookups,’ not sex. I want to make that very clear that I did not have sex with a man, prior to that.”
After becoming famous, Underwood was worried one of the men would out him. “I remember feeling so guilty, like ‘What the hell am I doing?’” Underwood said of his encounters. “It was my first time letting myself even go there, so much so that I was like, ‘I need The Bachelorette in my life, so I could be straight.'”