“I thrive in drama.”) She falls for Kai early on, and they enjoy an interlude in the self-explanatory “boom boom” room.

But then horny Kai also hooks up with Remy (a “proudly promiscuous” bisexual).

“I’m so used to going after people like you; it’s hard for me to get out of that mindset,” she tells him.

“I was playing it safe, and I fucked up and I’m sorry.”The theme of unlearning the kinds of desire dictated by a heteronormative culture permeates the show.

“I have no idea if I’m going to be attracted to a male or a female,” says blonde housemate Kari in one of the show’s commercials. I’m ambidextrous.” Sexual fluidity often gets reduced to this trope of “will this (conventionally hot) woman ultimately pick a man or a woman?

” in a way that seems designed to turn on straight men — or at least, the trope is designed not to offend straight logics about desirability. aren’t just fluid in terms of their sexual orientation, and the actual show doesn’t limit itself to that straight-gazey question of “which gender will they pick?

The concept of sexual fluidity itself is often deployed in reality TV as a strategy through which shows can hint at queerness for mainstream viewers — without actually exploring queer culture outside a straight gaze. is challenging the dating genre’s conventions, foregrounding experiences and conversations about love, desire, and relationships from a nonheteronormative perspective that, in today’s pop cultural landscape, are still rare.

Queerness on reality dating shows has mostly been treated superficially, like with the trope of the sudden reveal.

But in the current, eighth, iteration of the show, which debuted June 26, MTV flipped the shtick by including only sexually fluid participants who are attracted to all genders, so that, in the parlance of promotional materials, anything goes!

Despite the somewhat sensationalizing premise and its potential land mines, the resulting show — four episodes in — is already one of the more provocative entries in reality dating TV, where queerness has previously been treated as the topic of a “special episode” add-on or as a scandalous plot twist.

(Host Lance Bass possessed all the shiny, plastic charisma of a grocery store green apple.)These shows were not explicitly focused on the actual challenges posed by dating as a queer, gender-nonconforming person in a straight world.