By Alex Warner
You might assume—whether because of their many on-screen sex scenes or their sexy song lyrics—that celebrities are having tons of great sex. That's not always the case. Sex is a very intimate moment between two people, and whether or not a couple abstains from it is deeply personal. A handful of celebrities have candidly shared the reasons why they chose to wait until marriage—some made faith-based decisions, while others were looking for the right person. See which of your favorite stars remained celibate until after they said, "I do."
The Victoria's Secret Angel opened up to GQ in 2006 about why she was waiting. “Sex is for after marriage,” adding that her boyfriends “have to respect that this is my choice." And in Lima's wise, girl-power words: "If there’s no respect, that means they don’t want me."
At the time, she was dating NBA star Marko Jarić, whom she married in 2009. Sadly, the two are divorced now.
Ciara and Russell Wilson
Just a couple of months into their relationship, singer Ciara and NFL star Russell Wilson vowed they'd be celibate until the day they were married—which was July, 6, 2016.
“I really believe that when you focus on a friendship, you have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for a relationship—and once you know you’re really great friends and you’re what we call ‘equally yoked,’ where you share the same values or the same outlook on life, it kind of sets the tone," Ciara said in an interview.
Jessica Simpson has the best message for people thinking about waiting until marriage: "Virginity can be cool and sexy," she said in an interview with People in 2000. Simpson has never been shy about her reason for staying abstinent until marriage.
“My virginity is something I stand strong in,” she said. Her then-boyfriend, now ex-husband, Nick Lachey chimed in and admitted, “It’s not always easy. But I do respect it."
Jordin Sparks—who is now pregnant with her first child with husband Dana Isaiah—made a vow to remain abstinent until marriage. The American Idol alum grew up in a very strict Christian household, and even wore a purity ring to represent her commitment.
"I don’t want to give away bits of my soul to lots of different guys—I want to give all of myself to the right man on the right night," she said in an interview. "And the right night is my wedding."
Just because you're waiting to have sex doesn't mean you can't explore your sexuality. Although Julianne Hough waited until she walked down the aisle to have sex, her mind wasn't abstinent. Hough admitted that she had steamy phone sex sessions with her now-husband, Brooks Laich—but she said she wasn't very good at it.
In an interview about waiting for that special someone, she said, “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. I’m not trying to preach consequences here, but I think when you say no, down the line it will be a better decision.”
Kevin Jonas is another celebrity who wore a purity ring as a symbol of his commitment to remaining a virgin until saying, "I do." He got married to Danielle Deleasa in 2009 after a two-year relationship. “I could’ve gotten married the day after we got engaged," Jonas joked with People. "We’d have gone crazy waiting any longer.”
Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr
The Snapchat founder and model revealed they would wait to have sex until after they were married—which was in May 2017. "Not until after we get married," she told The London Times. "[Spiegel] is very traditional. We can't…I mean we're just…waiting."
Shortly after they were married, Kerr announced she was pregnant. Kerr has a son, Flynn, with Orlando Bloom, but it's unclear if Spiegel remained a virgin until his marriage to Kerr.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Because they shared a similar faith, Mariah Carey suggested that she and Nick Cannon abstain from sex until they were married. “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," she told Daily Mirror in an interview in 2008, adding that it was and still is special to her.
Despite his nickname, "Virgin Bachelor," Sean Lowe had sex while single. But when he began a relationship with his now-wife, Catherine Giudici, they decided to wait to be intimate until they were married.
"I didn’t have sex in college. And honestly, I don’t even know if I knew at that time why I took that stance. After graduating college, I moved back to Dallas. I was dating other girls and I started having sex, and I would feel extremely guilty afterwards," the former Bachelor star said in an interview. "But after that guilt faded, then I’d start talking to some other girl and go down that same path of destruction….At the age of 24 I finally became a man. I said, ‘Okay, Jesus, let’s do it again.’
Tamera Mowry-Housley married her husband Adam Housley in 2011, but when the first started dating, they chose to honor their faith by staying celibate. “We felt God wanted us to do it,” she told Ebony. “Whenever you’re feeling discouraged just pray together.”
The former New York Jets quarterback is a devout Christian, and admitted that he was saving himself for marriage. “It’s about finding a girl who likes me for me, and not because of what I do, or who I am, or the name,” he said in an interview.
In a different interview with People in 2016, he reiterated that he's anxious, but still waiting. “I think it’s something that I’ll have to trust God for,” he says. “He’ll bring someone along at the right time."
Hilary Duff has had a lot of feelings about pre-marital sex—for one she says people don't really make it sound that special. And that's one of the reasons she waited until she said "I do."
"It's harder having a boyfriend who's older because people just assume. But [virginity] is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn't mean I haven't thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in," she told Elle magazine in 2006. "But when they talk about it, it doesn't sound special, like you would imagine it to be. It just seems like everybody has slept with each other—you know what I mean?"
Sarah Drew could easily relate to her Grey's Anatomy character, April, the devout Christian who refrains from pre-marital sex. “For April, the first thing that was revealed was she was a virgin,” explained Drew in an interview. “I waited until I was married to have sex so I understood April’s motivations. The writers thought it would be a really cool and interesting story to tell that isn’t seen too often.”
When she was 13 years old, Selena Gomez asked her father to get her a promise ring, vowing that she would wait to have sex until after she was married. However, when Gomez started dating Justin Bieber, the ring came off, and she was highly criticized by fans for going back on her promise.
In response, she said, "I'm not embarrassed to say that [I had a promise ring]...I'm also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off," Selena said in an interview with U.K.'s Sunday Times. "I got it was I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone."
Despite filming multiple sex scenes for the HBO TV series Insecure, Orji has never had the experience in real life. She was inspired by her faith to make the promise to herself long before landing the role of Molly Carter.
“Before any of [the fame] happened, I sat down with myself and with God and thought, when I make it, how do you want me to represent you while I’m here?” Orji said in an interview with People. “It was like, okay, I know why I’m here. It’s to make you proud.”
The comedic actress recently revealed to David Letterman that she didn't lose her virginity until the age of 24 after marrying her husband, Jeff Richmond. The late show host was reading off a couple of names of celebrities who hadn't had sex before marriage, and when he brought her name up she said, "[I] couldn’t give it away. That’s just good, Christian values, or, being homely.”
The Friends star swore off sex until she was married to her husband, Michael Stern, in 1995. In an interview, she explained,"I don't know if you'd characterize me as uptight, but I understood what it is to be so afraid of sex—of your sexuality. For me it was just, 'No, I'm saving myself because I have to make myself worthy of the kind of man I have in mind.'"
Ali Landry—who was previously married to Mario Lopez—wanted to be extra careful in her relationship with Alejandro Monteverde, who became her second husband in 2006.
“I was just treading lightly, and did not want to make any mistakes in this relationship,” she said on The Wendy Williams Show. “We abstained from having sex until we got married.”
The U.S. track and field star vowed to remain celibate until she walked down the aisle. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Harder than training for the Olympics,” Jones said on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
She went on to say that she was always tempted, especially when men would try to convince her that having sex would make her run faster.
Since his time on season 11 of American Idol, Dixon has had two albums top the Christian music charts. And his religion may be why Dixon and his wife Annie reportedly didn't even sleep in the same bed until they were married in 2016.
“It was kind of strange: we checked into the room and realized, ‘We actually get to go to sleep side by side! This is so cool!’” he said. “Anywhere we’ve traveled before, we’ve always gotten two hotel rooms. We wanted to remain pure in that area.” Dixon admitted that it wasn't easy, but he knew he wanted to wait.
DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good
The actress and her preacher/film executive husband were so dedicated to the idea that you should wait until marriage to be intimate, they wrote a book about it. "As a man, if you can be disciplined in your sexual life, there's nothing you can't do," Franklin said in the book.
In an interview with Essence, he said, "We held each other accountable because we honored the commitment."
Justin Bieber's mom, Pattie Mallette has reportedly reclaimed her virginity since giving birth to the singer. "When you lose your purity at such a young age, you start think that you are not worth it. And when you lose your self-confidence, your self-identity, and your purity, you kind of attract what you believe you were," Mallette said in an interview.
She's known for taking that vow very seriously. "I wrote it down on a piece of paper, had somebody witness it. It means a lot, I made it this far, I’m not stopping now," she said.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard
Jill Duggar, the first daughter on the show 19 Kids and Counting to get married, waited until that day for any kind of intimacy with her partner—which was expected by her family. The Duggars require their kids to enter into a "courtship" with a partner, during which they can only give side-hugs. Jill hadn't even kissed her now-husband Derick before getting married.
“We’re just really trying to keep our relationship focused not on the physical but really just more on communication and continuing to learn more about each other. We’re saving our first kiss and things beyond that for our wedding," she said in an interview.
Josh and Anna Duggar
Josh Duggar is the eldest son of the 19 Kids and Counting reality TV show family. He, along with his other brothers and sisters, are required to remain abstinent until marriage, which it's believed he did until he married his wife Anna in 2008. However, he didn't have a clean conscious going into his marriage. He reportedly molested several of his sisters as a teenager, touching their breasts over their clothing.
The "Honey, I'm Good" singer is among the handful of celebrities who has been extremely open about why he remained abstinent until marriage. During an interview on The Talk in 2016, Grammer revealed he hadn't had sex before marrying his wife Aijia in 2012.
“I actually waited until I was married to have sex. That was not without some porn, unfortunately," Grammer said. He continued to discuss the accessibility of porn on the internet, saying, “I do think that, as a culture, we don’t understand the effects of that. I feel for men right now because it’s never been this easy to do something so destructive to yourself.”
Bethany Hamilton, best-known for losing her arm during a shark attack at the age of 13 and inspiring the movie Soul Surfer, is outspoken about waiting until marriage to have sex. "I think growing up I was blessed to have parents that stayed together, and have that husband and wife image of I want—an awesome husband one day that will love and support me until I die,” she said in her book, "Body and Soul."
She continued, "And I also wanted to honor God with the way that I approached [marriage]. I definitely was patient and I didn’t mess around and [my husband is] the only guy I’ve ever kissed.”
The former child television star is now traveling from church to church to express his extreme Christian views about marriage and intimacy prior to marriage. He reportedly waited until he married his Growing Pains co-star, Chelsea Noble.
"Sex within marriage is the only kind that’s truly fun and exciting—the kind that lasts for a lifetime. I’m glad I waited," he said in an interview.
Jase and Missy Robertson
In a 2014 interview, the Duck Dynasty stars opened up about how difficult it was to stay abstinent until their wedding night, but they were glad they did it. The two have very conservative Christian views, which they cite as the reason for remaining celibate. "I've never had anything else in my life requiring that amount of self-discipline and self-control," Jase said in the interview.
Unlike the celebrities who remained celibate until marriage for faith-based reasons, Brooke Shields attributes being insecure about her body as the reason she didn't have sex until she was 22.
"I had the public and all this pressure, and I wish I had just gotten it over with in the beginning when it was sort of OK," she said. "I think I would have been much more in touch with myself." She had sex with her longtime boyfriend, Dean Cain for the first time several years into the relationship. She thought she'd marry him, but they ended up breaking up.
Good and her preacher/film executive husband vowed to remain celibate when they began dating in 2011, and have even talked about their decision to wait to have sex in their book, The Wait.
"As a man, if you can be disciplined in your sexual life," Franklin wrote, "there's nothing you can't do."
Their decision to remain celibate was for religious reasons, but they say they found respecting a commitment to celibacy to be a strong grounding space for their relationship.
In a very cringeworthy interview with Howard Stern, Hanson tries to dance around the topic of sex as much as possible, but Stern manages to get Hanson to admit that he and his wife, Kate Tucker, waited until they were married to have sex for the first time.
"Everybody’s got their own preference. I’m not telling everybody, 'Don’t have premarital sex,'" he told Stern. "I’m just saying, I didn’t. And that seemed like the right thing to do for me."
Kathie Lee Gifford
Gifford's choice to remain celibate until her wedding night may have backfired when it came to her first marriage to Paul Johnson—she quickly realized she had zero sexual compatibility with her new husband.
"It was, like, YABBA-DABBA-DOO! I lost every inhibition I'd ever had. It was time for candles and romance, time to boogie and swing from the chandeliers," Gifford wrote in her 1992 autobiography. "And yet we just couldn't seem to get relaxed with each other."
Giffford added, "We saved ourselves for so long and expected it to be so good because we had done it 'right.' It was not passionate, and it was not successful, but it was polite."
Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin
The newlyweds revealed in a February 2019 interview with Vogue that they waited until their New York City courthouse wedding to make it into the bedroom.
“[God] doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” said Bieber. “He’s like, ‘I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain.’ I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that."
“I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul,” Bieber also shared. “And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior.”
The outspoken actress and talk show host has been very open about the fact that she and her (now ex-) husband waited for their entire courtship to have sex. But it wasn't easy for her: Before the wedding, Shepherd was ready and roaring to go, even in a romantic place like Grenada.
"I was horny as a loon and I’m chasing [my husband] around the hotel room saying, ‘We can make a mistake!’ And he was like, ‘Jesus is in Grenada too!’ Many, many times I was like, ‘Why did I say this?’"
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