Sex is a highly personal subject, but being famous often means that elements of your private life aren't so, well, private. Whether it comes out via a probing interviewer's questions, or on national television via a reality show, there are many celebrities who practice abstinence. Some have not only been super vocal about their decision to hold off on sex, but even used their platform to encourage others to follow suit.
There are plenty of reasons a person might decide to practice abstinence. Some made a promise to themselves to hold off on sex until they found "The One." Others embraced abstinence after years of being sexually active because they wanted to focus on other types of intimacy. Abstinence can be a temporary decision to take a step back from sex or a long-term pledge that a person only breaks when they tie the knot. Regardless of the motivation behind this choice, it's one that some stars are super proud of.
While a number of the celebs on this list have all but shouted their abstinence pledges from the rooftops, others have kept their decision a tad more on the DL. Here are some famous faces who have put their sex lives on pause for a period of time.
Ciara and her current hubbs Russell Wilson have spoken publicly about their pre-marital abstinence multiple times. In a 2015 interview, Wilson revealed that it was a decision they made while Ciara was on tour — and he asked her, "What would you do if we took all that extra stuff off the table?"
Ciara later told Access Hollywood that she was committed to holding off on sex "until the deal is sealed," and it seems she stuck to that.
"I really believe that when you focus on a friendship, you have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for a relationship..." Ciara told Cosmopolitan. "Knowing that you’ll always have the friendship and that you can always go back to it is very important, and very powerful. You shouldn’t feel like you have to give your body away to get someone to like you."
Ciara and Wilson wed in July of 2016, and, just a day later, they joked on Snapchat about finally getting frisky.
"So, baby, you know what we're doing tonight," Ciara told Wilson in the video. In the background, Wilson can reportedly be heard saying, "And what we did last night, I want to do multiple times."
Jessica Simpson's decision to remain a virgin until marriage was hardly a secret — the preacher's daughter was pretty outspoken about it.
"Virginity can be cool and sexy," she said in a 2000 interview with People. "My virginity is something I stand strong in."
Simpson married Nick Lachey in 2002, and in an episode of their show Newlyweds, she said: "Of all the things about myself, staying a virgin until my wedding night is the thing that makes me most proud." She also added that it was "hard" at times to stick to her guns, but that Lachey "respected" her decision.
Even though Simpson and Lachey's marriage didn't pan out, Simpson ultimately seemed to feel that it was well worth the wait.
"It was the most amazing moment of my life," she told Blender about losing her virginity.
When Jordin Sparks began rising to stardom on American Idol in 2007, she sent a strong message about her virginity by wearing a purity ring through the duration of the competition. In October of 2014, while she was dating Jason Derulo, Sparks appeared on The Wendy Williams Show without her purity ring. When the host called her out, she admitted that the ring was gone, but didn't comment on her personal life any further.
However, leading up to her July 2017 wedding to Dana Isaiah, Sparks announced on Instagram that she'd decided to recommit to abstinence. In the post, Sparks can be seen holding a book called Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex. She opened up a dialogue by asking her followers: "Have you ever consciously been celibate? Why or why not? Are you celibate now? Why or why not? Did you plan on doing so, life happened & now you've recommitted? (Me!)."
When Mariah Carey first started dating Nick Cannon in 2008, she decided to take sex off the table until they were officially husband and wife — although they only dated for about six weeks before saying "I do." BTW, just because they weren't having sex doesn't mean they weren't getting physical at all.
"It's not that we had no intimacy, we just didn't have complete intimacy," Carey clarified in an interview with the Daily Mirror. "I definitely don't want to push it on anybody else, but we both have similar beliefs, and I just thought that it would be so much more special if we waited until after we were married. And it was, and it still is."
For years, Kevin Jonas wore a purity ring as a symbol of his decision to abstain from pre-marital sex. While both of his younger brothers admitted to taking off their rings before their nuptials, Jonas kept his on until he wed Danielle Deleasa in December of 2009.
Though his younger brothers both said they took off their purity rings well before their wedding nights, Jonas kept his on until he and Danielle had said "I do" in December 2009. Apparently, it wasn't easy holding out, either.
"I could've gotten married the day after we got engaged," he joked at the time. "We'd have gone crazy waiting any longer."
If you listen closely to the lyrics in Andy Grammer's tun "Holding Out," you'll realize it's about waiting for the right person to comes along to lose his virginity to — and it's based on his real-life experience with his now-wife. He sings: "When I met you, love, I hadn't done the dirty yet / Called me a unicorn, said that I didn't exist ... And a couple times, thought I might not make it / Laying on the bed, both of us half-naked / Looking in her eyes, something in my heart said save it / Here we go again, another awkward conversation."
During a 2016 appearance on The Talk, while the hosts were discussing a recent study about millennials' increased celibacy, Grammer admitted he waited till marriage — but not without some help from watching porn.
Carrie Underwood declared in 2007 that she intended to wait for marriage to have sex, citing her strong Christian faith as a reason. She met her husband just a year later and they married in 2010.
In 2008, Julianne Hough told CosmoGIRL! that she planned to hold onto her virginity until she was married because she wanted it to be with "that special person."
"I think [the choice] to have sex before marriage is an individual one, but if you're just with one person, it's only for one good reason, and [waiting to have sex] will strengthen that relationship," she explained to the magazine at the time. "I'm not trying to preach consequences here, but I think when you say no, down the line, it will be a better decision."
She's hasn't commented on her decision since then, so it's unclear if she stuck with it — but she's since been super open about her sex life with Brooks Laich.
Remember when Nicki Minaj was romantically linked to Nas back in early 2017? *Sigh* — if there was ever a rap power couple to stan. Anyway, despite the fact that her then-boo was often referred to as "Nasty Nas," Minaj made it clear that they hadn't had sex yet during a May 2017 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"I'm just chillin' right now," she told DeGeneres. "I'm celibate. I wanted to go a year without dating any man. I hate men."
ICYMI, Lady Gaga is another pop star who decided to try a self-imposed sex ban. In 2010, she told fans in England while on a tour for MAC's Viva Glam campaign.
"I can't believe I'm saying this — don't have sex," she said. "I'm single right now and I've chosen to be single because I don't have the time to get to know anybody. So it's OK not to have sex, it's OK to get to know people. I'm celibate, celibacy's fine."
Gaga also reassured all the little monsters in the audience, "It's OK to be whomever it is that you want to be."
"You don't have to have sex to feel good about yourself, and if you're not ready, don't do it," she added. "And if you are ready, there are free condoms given away at my concerts when you're leaving!"
Yvonne Orji may have had quite a few sex scenes while playing Molly on HBO's Insecure, but in reality, the actress has opted to stay a virgin until getting married. She told People in 2017 that she came to this decision while doing some serious spiritual soul-searching before becoming famous. She also explained that she's made an effort to be open about it so she can control her own story around her virginity.
"People ask about it because they’re curious, or they may not understand," she said in the interview. "How will they ever understand if I don’t talk about it? I can inform your curiosity, as opposed to everyone being in the dark and just sort of creating their own narrative about it."
If you watched season 24 of The Bachelor, you're well aware that Madison Prewett's abstinence was a hot topic on the show. Prewett waited until the fantasy suite week to reveal to Peter Weber that she planned to remain a virgin until marriage — a decision that weirdly seemed to upset his mom, the infamous Barb. She felt so strongly about it that decided to self-eliminate after finding out that Weber had been physical with other contestants in the fantasy suites. In her first interview about Thee Bachelor since After The Final Rose aired, Prewett opened up about the challenges of opening up about saving herself for marriage.
"It's something I'm extremely proud of and so grateful for in my life, but it's still something that's intimate to talk about," she explained to the Off the Vine podcast hosts. "That's something I wasn't just discussing with Peter, but I was inviting millions of people into that vulnerable place."
While Colton Underwood wasn't the first virgin Bachelor (that would be Sean Lowe), his virginity was still a popular subject throughout his season of The Bachelor, as well as his appearance on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. During The Bachelorette's "Men Tell All" special, he admitted that discussing his virginity on national television was "the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life."
"Growing up and, you know, being an athlete, it's something that I was ashamed of because it was so openly talked about, you know, in our community," he said. "So, I made up a lot of lies, and I hid it."
Underwood also added that being a virgin "doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time."
"It doesn’t mean you can’t be passionate and romantic and sexual still in your relationship," he explained.
Earlier this month, Ally Brooke revealed she's a proud 27-year-old virgin — something she elaborates on in her memoir, Finding Harmony. In an interview with Hollywood Raw's Dax Holt and Adam Glyn, she explained that she felt "brave" for opening up about her decision to save sex for marriage.
"I was really happy to be able to share that with my fans and readers, and show them the choice that I made, and have them receive it however they want to receive it — but letting my true heart shine was the goal of this book," she said.
Still, Brooke admitted there have been times when her virginity wasn't well-received.
"I have had those moments where people would make fun of me or question me, like 'Yeah right,' but I just have to hold that in my heart and know my truth and kind of just let that be that," she told the co-hosts. "It's awesome feeling that respect. I've never felt any pressure, and that is the great part about it."
During Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor, Ashley Iaconetti became known for many things — mainly, crying a lot, getting embroiled in drama, and being a virgin. Later, during Bachelor in Paradise, she and her now-husband Jared Haibon faced the fantasy suite and kept it PG-13. While she made some thirsty comments leading up to the big event, she assured fans that their overnight date was totally innocent. "Y'all's know I'd never lose my v-card to a guy that wasn't all in," she tweeted on Aug. 31, 2015.
She also admitted to then-boyfriend Kevin Wendt on The Bachelor Winter Games that her virginity had been a "roadblock" in some relationships in the past.
Iaconetti has never shied away from sharing her stance on abstinence, either. She once proudly rocked a t-shirt that read "Virginity Rocks" in an Instagram post, and in the caption, she shared some background. She wrote: "For years I felt left out and awkward when the topic of sex would come up ... I just thought I'd use this shirt as a means to say, it doesn't matter why and it doesn't matter how old you are. You're not weird and you're not alone."
Even though Higgins definitely took full advantage of the fantasy suites during his season of The Bachelor, he told Nick Viall during a podcast interview that he and his fiancée Jessica Clarke were holding out until they say "I do." The subject came up on The Viall Files while Higgins was talking about sleeping in separate bedrooms during quarantine at Clarke's parents' house in Tennessee.
Before meeting his now-fiancée Katy Perry in 2016, Orlando Bloom made a choice to abstain from sex — something his friend Laird Hamilton advised him to do since he "wasn't happy" at the time.
"Laird said, 'If you want to be serious about a relationship, go celibate for a few months and figure it out,'" he recalled in his interview with The Sunday Times.
Bloom admitted that taking sex off the table totally transformed his relationships.
"I was really enjoying the way I was relating to women, and to the feminine within myself," Bloom told the publication, adding, "I know that sounds crazy."
When asked if he used porn to help him get through, Bloom clarified that he did "completely nothing" during that six-month period.