Contrary to what the mating behavior of, say, George Clooney, might suggest, being a celebrity doesn't mean you get a lot of action -- or want a lot. Tim Gunn admitted to the world on ABC's makeover show "The Revolution" this Monday that he hasn't had sex in 29 years, inspiring lots of discussion of his possible asexuality and some mockery -- see The Wrap's "10 Ways the World Has Changed Since Tim Gunn Last Had Sex" (Berlin Wall, anyone?).
What's really extraordinary about this is not that Gunn has had a rather long dry spell. After all, he revealed that while discussing the statistic that 15 to 20 percent of people have no sex or are in low-sex relationships. He has lots of company.
The remarkable part is that someone with Gunn's visibility admitted how long it's been. We live in a moment when sex is ubiquitous -- from YouPorn to Anthony Weiner's electronic missives to video games to advertisements that obediently fulfill the old idea that sex sells. Against that backdrop, confessing that sex isn't part of your life makes it unclear exactly where you belong. Of course, Gunn is a unique case; not being into sex probably enhances his image as the embodiment taste and good judgement, a man impervious to temptation. But his explanation seemed very human and very sincere: "I was in a very intense relationship for a long time. And my partner ended it, saying that, quite frankly, he was impatient with my sexual performance." After that relationship ended, he said, the AIDS scare led him to abstain for good.
If more people with Gunn's influence shared stories like these, would we have a more realistic sense of what "normal" sexuality is, in all of its diversity, and the variety of emotions that underpin our sexual experiences?
If you feel like sharing a little bit about your own experiences, what's the longest you have gone, or would go, without sex and why?
Follow Jessica Pearce Rotondi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lanewyorkaise