It’s been six months since Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell got married, but today, many Duggar fans are thinking about the last days of the couple’s courtship.
That’s because Monday night’s episode of Counting On featured the couple engaging in behavior that doesn’t quite align with the Duggar rules of courtship.
A joint bachelor/bachelorette party allowed the young couple to – gasp! – engage in premarital physical contact, and being human adults with genitals, they took advantage.
“We were on John’s boat and whenever we were back on the tube he was definitely working pretty hard to get us off the tube,” Joe said in a voiceover.
“It was pretty tough not to break the rules of engagement just for the fact that when you’re tubing your closer than you normally would be,” he added.
“When they put you in a turn, you’re trying to counter for the turn so I had to move from side to side so therefore I was crawling over top of her and definitely in close quarters.”
It was a nice attempt at explaining away behavior that would have gotten a female Duggar locked in the basement until her wedding day, but fans weren’t buying it.
On social media, viewers expressed shock that Joe and Kendra allowed themselves to be shown “climbing on top of one another.”
Many pointed out that Jim Bob and Michelle appear to be getting more lax with age, as physical contact of the variety that Joe and Kendra engaged in last night would have been the stuff of scandal a decade ago.
One of the downsides of making such a big deal of your ridiculous dating guidelines is that millions of people now know the Duggar courtship rules by heart.
Not only are Duggars forbidden to engage in premarital sex, they’re not allowed to kiss or hold hands for a period of time exceeding 15 seconds.
In order to maintain full compliance with Michelle and Jim Bob’s rules, unmarried Duggar couples can’t even hug face-to-face lest their fully clothed genitals come into contact.
Fortunately for Joe and Kendra, their scenes were overshadowed by the news of Joy-Anna Duggar’s pregnancy.
Still, the fact that such a racy (by Duggar standards) scene was permitted to air is a sign that either Jim Bob is desperate for ratings, or he’s finally easing up on his beleaguered adult children.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.