“I’m bluffin’ with my muffin.” Do these sound like the words of a chaste woman? Despite the sexually explicit images Lady Gaga conjures up when she sings about wanting to “take a ride on your vertical stick,” the singer recently announced that she’s celibate: “I’m celibate. Celibacy’s fine…It’s not really cool anymore to have sex all the time. It’s cooler to be strong and independent.”
It’s entirely conceivable that celibacy is just another bubble suit Gaga is trying on, attempting to sheath her personality under ever-increasing layers of fan-base feints. Of course, Gaga wouldn’t be the first notable musician to dodge hypersexuality by subverting the possibilities of actual, physical sexual expression. Considering the level of sexuality expressed in some of these musicians’ music, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised if they gravitate towards celibacy; it’s like the butcher who is a vegetarian just to avoid taking the stench of flesh home with him. After the jump, see our list of notable musicians who are or once claimed to be celibate, some more surprising than others.
“I’m single, celibate, and sexy,” the singer proclaimed in a 2008 USA Today interview. Prince attributed the change to his conversion to Jehovah’s Witness, and has since sworn off singing many of his old sexually-charged hits like “Darling Nikki” or “Do Me, Baby.” Digging through Prince’s catalog provides endless fodder for lyrics that would make celibates cower, such as the dripping candle imagery and “I’d rather do you after school like some homework” in “Shhh.” Then there’s the Lovesexy album cover above…
2. Lenny Kravitz
Kravitz announced a self-imposed sexile nearly five years ago, explaining that he felt the need to separate himself from the groupie-toting rock star lifestyle and his father’s legacy of philandering. This bout of celibacy must have started shortly after Kravitz bragged about his new penis piercing in 2004, when he raved that the piercing “hits the lady where she likes it.”
3. Rivers Cuomo
The lead singer of Weezer underwent a period of celibacy coinciding with his return to Harvard, and has claimed in various interviews that the physiological effects of his celibacy positively impacted his singing voice and songwriting skills. The celibacy was only supposed to last for two years, and though Cuomo momentarily extended the time frame, he married shortly after his graduation. Cuomo’s celibacy isn’t necessarily that surprising, considering the hapless and confused sexual sentiments that show up in so much of Weezer’s best material.
The Smiths’ lead singer and icon of asexuality actually gives a straight explanation in attempting to reconcile his overtly sexual image and adherence to celibacy: people who are sexually promiscuous can’t really write about it, they “want to get away from it because flailing flesh is very much part of their lives.” He announced his celibacy in 1983 and maintained the stance until 2006, when he announced he was no longer celibate but (luckily) never gave any specific details. Pictures like this one from his Years of Refusal promotional blitz seem to be a far cry from a celibate lifestyle.
5. The Jonas Brothers
Kevin Jonas has since gotten married, but Joe and Nick Jonas remain steadfast in their celibacy vows/wearing of purity rings. That’s probably for the best. We imagine plenty of JoBros groupies wear dangerous headgear.