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You’re having the sex. I’m having the sex. We’re all having the sex. And it’s fun, right? So, why aren’t more people talking about it? For far too long, sex has been a taboo topic, a dirty little secret that everyone’s in on and no one can talk about — and we don’t need to look far to see where that creates major problems in how we think about sex. Luckily, where celebrities go, we follow, and stars have been more and more vocal with their sex-positive views in recent years, from Jane Fonda explaining the best sex positions for her fake knee to Eva Longoria sharing her late-in-life discovery of masturbation. By highlighting not just sex but sexual pleasure, these celebrities aren’t just speaking to the fact that everyone has sex, but that getting pleasure out of it is the whole point.
Actors like Will Smith and John Krasinski have opened up about their sex lives in recent years as well, in notably different ways than John Mayer’s 2010 reference to ex Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm.” Unlike Mayer, these actors spoke to their own sexual taste and tendencies, and how they’d noticed themselves changing. Could it be that today’s A-listers are leaving toxic masculinity in the past and inspiring a new generation to get in touch with their sexual needs? We’ll have to wait and see.
If you need a role model to help boost your sexual self-awareness, we can’t think of a better place to start than the celebs on this list, from Chrissy Teigen to Tori Spelling, Kurt Russell, and more. They’re funny, they’re frank, and they’re inspiring, so read on for all our favorite moments when celebrities were totally unafraid to talk about sex.
A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.
Lionel Richie wasn’t afraid to share some steamy details in a recent appearance on The View. “When I wrote ‘All Night Long,’ it was truly all night long,” Richie said referencing his classic song. “Now my ‘all night long’ is down to a fierce 15 minutes.” Next to him was fellow American Idol judge Katy Perry, who seemed quite impressed. “Fifteen minutes? That’s long, bud,” she replied, to which Richie quipped, “And don’t you forget that, alright?”
Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos
Though they’ve never been shy about their relationship, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos took the extra step and dished some TMI details on their sex life during the debut of Ripa’s new podcast Let’s Talk Off Camera. At one point, the two remembered when Consuelos was under strict COVID protocols in Canada filming Riverdale and they would see each other only a couple of times during 10 months.
“We had sexual rituals,” she recalled. “They were so ludicrous over FaceTime. I became so alarmed at my appearance over FaceTime that I started rigging the computer to hang from a ladder. I hung the computer over a ladder so that I could look up to Mark and he did not have to see what gravity was actually doing. You get really close to yourself in situations when you’re separated from your husband for long periods of time.”
In a recent episode of her podcast Broad Ideas, Rachel Bilson opened up about having her first orgasm from sex at age 38, per Us Weekly. “Isn’t that crazy?” Bilson told her guest Whitney Cummings. They then clarified that they could do it “with their hands,” but no from actual penetration.
With the arrival of his self-title memoir, Will Smith really opened up about his sex life — specifically the beginning of his romance with wife Jada Pinkett Smith. At the start of their romance, Smith and his then-girlfriend would often sneak around and spend time together alone, so their romance wouldn’t be exploited by paparazzi.
“We drank every day, and had sex multiple times every day, for four straight months,” Smith wrote in his memoir, Will. “I started to wonder if this was a competition. Either way, as far as I was concerned, there were only two possibilities: (1) I was going to satisfy this woman sexually, or (2) I was going to die trying.” Ok, now we’re blushing.
Chrissy Teigen’s NSFW contribution? Her explicit story of how she and hubby John Legend joined the Mile High Club.
“We were on our way to Thailand to see my parents, flying commercial first-class. We were under a blanket. We weren’t even in one of those pod things. I feel like we should get a trophy for that,” she told Cosmopolitan in 2014.
“We’re by no means freaky-deaky, but let’s just say, we’re open to things,” she added. “We’re very okay with PDA. When we go to a restaurant, he loves when I wear a dress, so he can do some upper-thigh rubbing. I would love to see more husbands and wives making out!”
John Krasinski admitted that his sex life changed up a bit when he got super-ripped for action movie 13 Hours — but not because wife Emily Blunt was suddenly more interested.
“I don’t think she’s going to kick the eight-pack abs out of bed,” he admitted to Elle in 2016. “[But] totally selfishly, it is so much better for me being jacked because you feel so much more confident and you see yourself as this much more sexual person, which is really fun.”
Lady Gaga is known for being vulnerable where others would shy away, and that extends to every aspect of her sex life too: sexual health, orgasms, self-love, and more.
“I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 17,” she told Grazia. “But I have to say even then I wasn’t ready and it was an absolutely terrible experience. It wasn’t good at all.”
“I have never not had safe sex, I have always asked a guy to be tested and to use protection, which was always my rule. Otherwise you’re playing Russian Roulette,” she added. “I never actually enjoyed sex until two years ago. It was a proper monogamous relationship in which I felt free enough to trust and I had enough self love.”
Sex with a fake knee? Tons of people are having it, and no one’s talking about how to make it more comfortable — except Jane Fonda.
“While I am quite flexible and I can kneel, [sex is] not quite as comfortable for me as it used to be before I had a fake knee,” she said on The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet in 2012. “[I prefer to be] either lying down or sitting up on a couch with him coming on to me, no pun intended.”
Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott
Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott have both gotten detailed about their sex life in the past, often on McDermott’s podcast Daddy Issues. For example, here’s their takeaway on the art of vajazzling.
“If I knew you were going to watch [our sex tape], I would vajazzle,” Spelling told a co-host on the podcast. “I did it once for [Dean].”
“You can have, like, designs, little shiny jewels and stuff put on,” McDermott added. “It was the sexiest thing ever. It was so fantastic.”
“It can become a ‘choking hazard,'” McDermott added as to why she doesn’t do it more often.
Later in the conversation, Spelling added this about her sexual style: “I’m not a top, I am an aggressive bottom and I am very competitive.”
Kate Upton learned the hard way that her athlete fiancé’s schedule was sometimes going to take precedence over her sexual needs.
“There’s no sex before a game,” she said on Watch What Happens Live in 2017. “Absolutely none. And also what I’ve found out is that if he plays well, there’s no sex after either. He’s exhausted! It’s kind of a buzzkill for me.”
Robin Thicke is notorious for talking about sex in his songs, but it turns out he’s happy to talk about it in person too.
Asked by Essence what he would be most likely to whisper in his then-wife Paula Patton’s ear, here’s how Thicke replied: “I can’t wait to get you home and love you up for two to three hours. I like to try to get her into double-digit orgasms as much as possible. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when I’ve got my mojo and my swag, it happens. Every few months it’s just like bam — repeated. Repeated! I like her to just be going crazy in the bedroom.”
Kurt Russell’s been with the same lady a long while, but he’s not embarrassed to say sex was part of the equation from day one for him and Goldie Hawn. Russell once described their first date checking out a house she had just bought that ended in two unexpected surprises.
“We eventually found our way upstairs looking at imaginary furniture and we were in the imaginary bedroom now and we are realistically having sex when the police walked in,” he recounted. “We had to break into the place to get in so the next thing I see is a flashlight and Goldie and I are like ‘What?’ It was bizarre and weird. We were told to go get a hotel room which we did. That was our first date. It was a lot of fun. I can’t believe it was a long time ago.”
Discussing her HBO series Insecure with Huffington Post in 2016, Issa Rae explained how important it is for her to destigmatize sexuality for women.
“I think there’s a constant stigma when women try to explore their sexual freedom in the way that men do,” she said, adding, “I definitely want to depict [sexuality] in a raw and authentic way and show us being uninhibited and unafraid of judgment.”
Halle Berry is a woman in charge of her own destiny… and that includes her sexual destiny.
“You know that stuff they say about a woman being responsible for her own orgasms? That’s all true. And in my case, that makes me responsible for pretty damned good orgasms these days. Much better orgasms than when I was 22. And I wouldn’t let a man control that. Not anymore. Now I’d invite him to participate. I’ll tell you this: I’ve learned my tricks. I know what I like. I do not wait around. I initiate. And I’m not all about frequency. I favor intensity,” Berry told Esquire in 2008.
The fact that Miley Cyrus discusses sex and sexuality in a frank and unapologetic manner likely surprises no one. You’ve got to admire her honesty.
“I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with,” she told Paper magazine in 2015. “Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
From her “Dirty” days to the present, Christina Aguilera has never been ashamed of her sexual drive.
“I’m an artist, and expressing myself in a sexual way, no matter how that changes throughout the years, is something that has always come naturally to me,” she revealed on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno back in 2013. “At this point of my life, I’m 32 and I feel sexier than ever because you know what you want.”
Bad girl RiRi makes no apologies for her sexually charged music or for enjoying sex.
“To me, sex is power. It’s empowering when you do it because you want to do it,” she told Elle in 2012.
She has also admitted she likes when a partner takes charge, telling Rolling Stone in 2011, “Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge of your shit. That’s sexy to me.”
Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana doesn’t shy away from sex talk. In fact, she’s an open book.
“For a long time I was a bit lazy, so I didn’t like to be on top, but I’m really digging it,” she revealed on the Lifetime TV series The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet.
Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection
Eva Longoria believes that sex is a natural expression and should be enjoyed, and self-pleasure certainly falls under that umbrella.
“I didn’t begin enjoying sex until I started masturbating,” she told Contact Music in 2005. “It’s a shame I didn’t discover it sooner..
In an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2013, Sofia Vergara opened up about the pressure of being sexually “on” all the time.”No one can be a sex kitten every day, and anyone who tells you that is lying. But I do wear negligees and Japanese silk robes. For a long time, I lived alone with my son and only saw my boyfriends in a hotel. So at home, I slept in old T-shirts. I realized when I moved in with Nick that I couldn’t do that. Now, I only keep nice pajamas around, because whatever is there, I’m going to wear.”
“At the end of the day, if you want to fuck a guy, do it,” Amber Rose, who founded SlutWalk to promote sex positivity, advises in her book How to Be a Bad Bitch. “A bad bitch isn’t ashamed of her desire. Men go out and get some all the time, without anyone making a fuss about it. It’s not our problem there’s a double standard in our culture.”
Ariana Grande isn’t afraid to call out the sexist bullshit. In an interview with Billboard in 2016, she quickly defended female pop stars and how they choose to express themselves and how they’re treated for showing off their bodies.
“If you’re going to rave about how sexy a male artist looks with his shirt off, and a woman decides to get in her panties or show her boobies for a photo shoot, she needs to be treated with the same awe and admiration,” she said. “I will say it until I’m an old-ass lady with my tits out at Whole Foods. I’ll be in the produce aisle, naked at 95, with a sensible ponytail, one strand of hair left on my head and a Chanel bow. Mark my words. See you there with my 95 dogs.”
Jada Pinkett Smith
When you’re married for two decades, you know how to spice things up. And Jada Pinkett Smith doesn’t mind sharing her sexual insight because, hey, sharing is caring.
“Be sneaky… your girlfriend’s house at a party. The bathroom. A bedroom,” Pinkett Smith told Redbook in 2009. “Think of places outside that are comfortable to have sex. Does he have access to his office? Have a fantasy date. Be his secretary! Pull over on the side of the road… Just switch it up.”
In Vogue’s Ageless Style issue in 2010, Cameron Diaz made it clear what keeps her young.
“The fountain of youth [for me], let’s see… I guess it’s exercise, healthy diet, lots of water, lots of sex. Yes, sex, we need that as human beings. It’s healthy, it’s natural, it’s what we are here to do!”
2023 SCAD TVfest
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 09: Rachel Bilson attends the “Accused” press junket during 2023 SCAD TVfest at Four Seasons Atlanta on February 09, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
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