Married at First Sight

MAFS' Matthew Bennett opens up about being bullied and deciding to reveal his virginity so publicly

After keeping his virginity a secret for so long, Matthew made the confession in the most public way possible.

It's not easy to admit you're a 29-year-old virgin, let alone reveal it on national television. But that's how videographer Matthew Bennett decided to do it.
The Married At First Sight Australia groom says his on-air confession came as a shock to friends and family.
"I suppose they could have made an educated guess, but I've never straight out told them," Matthew told TV WEEK. "It wasn't an easy thing to talk about, but at the end of the day, it's my choice, and all they can do is support it."
"For so long, it was something that I was scared of and ashamed to admit and embarrassed to tell people," Matthew revealed on the Today Show. "The more I hid from it, the bigger the fear got and the more embarrassed I became, and speaking about it sort of releases its grip and suddenly it gets easier and easier to talk about it."
Matthew's younger sister, Ash – who he describes as one of his closest friends – is particularly anxious about her brother discussing his personal life on screen.
It's for good reason. Her sibling was tormented by bullies as a teenager and she doesn't want to see him suffer a second time.
"She knows how hard bullying hit me at school," Matthew says. "So she's terrified it'll happen all over again, but on a much bigger scale. She's been quite worried."
Matthew was bullied as a teen (Image: Supplied)
Despite his reserved demeanour, Matthew says he was somewhat of an extrovert growing up and always wanted to make people laugh.
"I was the class clown," he says. "But I think that also made me an easy target.
"From about the age of 13 until when I finished high school, it [the bullying] got really bad. There was a large group who really didn't like me. They called me names and threw food and bottles at me every time I'd walk into the canteen. I started to think there was something wrong with me."
The bullied schoolboy's saviour turned out to be his neighbour, who Matthew describes as being like a "big brother" to him. Tragically, the neighbour died in a boating accident when Matthew was just 16.
"My mum says that was the moment my personality completely changed," he says.
"I cut myself off and wouldn't let anybody in from that point on."
It wasn't until nine months ago that Matthew decided he needed to do something drastic to change his mindset.
He put his heart on the line and signed up to MAFS, and he says he couldn't be more grateful for the experience.
As for what he'd like to say to his bullies?
"Probably 'Thank you'," Matthew says. "I don't hold any grudges. It was terrible at the time, but it's led me to where I am now.
"They have been instrumental in making me the person I am today, who is someone I'm fast becoming proud of."