Celibate Celebrities from Tim Gunn to Lady Gaga (PHOTOS)

Tim Gunn announced that he hasn't had sex in 29 years. From Jessica Simpson to Colin Farrell to Isaac Newton, see more stars who talked about their periods of chastity.

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Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn has talked about his sex life—or lack thereof—before. But in January 2012, on the ABC talk show The Revolution, the Project Runway icon didn’t mince words. "I haven't had sex in 29 years,” Gunn said. “Do I feel like less of a person for it? No. Not even remotely." The audience applauded. Gunn explained that his three-decade bout of celibacy began after a difficult breakup, when his former partner dumped him over his “sexual performance.” Gunn has described himself as asexual, but he indicated that label might be misleading. "I have feelings. It's not as though I'm some barren forest," he says. "I don't want to imply to anyone that I have a mandate that says no sex. I don't. I don't know what's around the corner." He described his “last chance” at love in a 2011 essay for Newsweek.

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Lady Gaga

Although the current princess of pop sings about wanting “to take a ride on your disco stick,” Lady Gaga shocked the world recently when she announced she’s single… and celibate. Pantless stage costumes and see-through red-carpet gowns aside, the “Poker Face” singer told reporters in London, “I haven’t got time to spend on the road to get to know anyone,” according to the U.K.’s The Mirror. “Even Lady Gaga can be celibate. You don’t have to have sex to be loved.” Sounds like all the love games and bad romances have finally taken their toll.

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The Jonas Brothers

Millions of tween, teen, and even legal girls may be drooling over Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas in their uncomfortably tight pants, but the pop idols have made a vow to keep those skinny jeans zipped until marriage. Middle brother Joe—who is now 20—told Details magazine in February 2008 that the three brothers wear purity rings, which are, he says, “promises to ourselves and to God that we’ll stay pure till marriage, to prove it. Younger heartthrob Nick added, “The rings are just one of the ways of being different than everybody else out there.” Mom Denise stood by her trio of sons in Good Housekeeping, “What’s the criticism? They don’t want to go out there giving everyone an STD? What’s so terrible about that?” In December, oldest brother Kevin, 22, traded in his purity ring for a wedding band when he wed his girlfriend Danielle Deleasa.

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Lenny Kravitz

Despite having dated a long list of A-list women —Nicole Kidman, Adriana Lima, Madonna, and of course, ex-wife Lisa Bonet—Lenny Kravitz decided, while touring for his album, It Is Time for a Love Revolution, that he wanted to take a break from sex. At 43, the rocker told Maxim in 2008 that he hadn’t had slept with anyone for three years. “It’s just a promise I made until I get married. Where I’m at in life, the women have got to come with something else, not just the body, but the mind and spirit. It usually trips them out, but that’s the way it’s going to be,” he said. Five years in, however, the “American Woman” singer admitted to The Telegraph, “For some periods of time it’s easy, and then it’s really hard. It goes back and forth... Right now I’m just kind of sailing and watching and waiting and trying to be patient. There are times when I’m patient and there’s times when I’m, ‘Come on, Lord, bring this for me…’”

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Paris Hilton

While the homemade porn tape 1 Night in Paris DVD made hotel heiress Paris Hilton famous, it also caused her to put up a NO VACANCY sign for a while. “I’m not having sex for a year,” Hilton told British GQ in 2006, adding that she’d only slept with two men in her lifetime. “I’ll kiss, but nothing else.” She later told The Guardian, “It’s sexier when a girl is flirty but she doesn’t do anything.”

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J.M. Barrie

Though Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie married actress Mary Ansell in 1894, their relationship reportedly remained unconsummated. And while Barrie may have been content with a sexless union, Ansell was not prepared to stick to a purity pledge. Nearly 15 years into their marriage, she began sleeping with her husband’s secretary, Gilbert Cannan. When Barrie learned of the affair a year later, he demanded Ansell end it, but she refused. He eventually sued for divorce on the grounds of infidelity, which was granted later that year.

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Jessica Simpson

Long before she became “ sexual napalm” for John Mayer, pop star Jessica Simpson vowed not to have sex until marriage. “Abstinence for me is about romance. It has nothing to do with my relationship with God,” Simpson said of her decision. “It’s about giving something special to that person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.” Her former husband, 98° frontman Nick Lachey, reportedly respected her chastity wishes until their wedding night in 2002. “It was the most amazing moment of my life,” Simpson told Blender of the experience. “I’m so lucky I didn’t lose my virginity in the back of a Jeep or something.”

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Terrance Howard

Terrence Howard’s turn as a rapper in Hustle & Flow scored an Oscar nomination, and his memorable film performance of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” helped Three 6 Mafia nab an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006. Two years later, however, Howard let the world in on a little secret—he’s far from a pimp. In an interview with Elle, Howard confessed he moved on from his “wild years” and that “sex ends up masking your real feelings… when what you really need is a lifetime partner and friend." Howard said he is now “completely chaste through a relationship unless I get married” and doesn’t believe in premarital sex. He does admit his self-imposed rule enabled him to date three or four women at once. Apparently, it’s not hard out there for an actor—celibate or otherwise.

Soren Kierkegaard

Nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was a proponent of taking a leap of faith, but not of leaping into bed. The strongly Christian theologian reaffirmed his connection to his faith by taking a vow of celibacy in his early 20s. After losing his lifelong love Regine Olsen at 27 when he did not follow through with his engagement, Kierkegaard also lost any chance of consummating his first true romance. “When one loudly protests that he cannot live without his beloved but will hear nothing of love’s task and demand, which is that he deny himself and give up the self-love of erotic love,” the forever celibate bachelor once wrote in The Diary of a Seducer. Erotic love, for Kierkegaard remained untouched throughout his 42 years. “I gaze only at my love and keep its virginal flame pure and clear,” he wrote in Fear and Trembling.

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The lead singer of The Smiths became the voice of asexuality and celibacy in the 1980s. “Morrissey doesn’t participate in sex at the moment and hasn’t done so for a while,” former bandmate Johnny Marr told Record Mirror. “He’s had a lot of girlfriends in the past and quite a few men friends. The rest of the band, however, are all sex maniacs.” Morrissey, for his part, confirmed Marr’s statement: “Sex is actually never in my life,” he told Details a decade later. But confusion ensued over the years as Morrissey reportedly made claims about losing his virginity at 13, but then also claiming not to have had any sexual experience until he was 28. Though no one knows exactly what’s going on between Morrissey’s sheets, in his first interview in over a decade, he told NME in 2006, that he gave up on love long ago. “How old are you? 29? Forget it. Buy yourself a nice budgie.”

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A.C. Green

While groupies are a way of life for most NBA stars, Los Angeles Lakers’ power forward A.C. Green went the opposite way throughout his 16-year career. The well-known virgin stayed that way despite his teammates’ best efforts. During Green’s ‘85-‘86 rookie season, several fellow Lakers started a pool to see who could make the kid crack. “It got up to about $600,” former teammate Michael Cooper told Sports Illustrated. One player even sent a particularly beautiful woman to Green’s hotel room, Cooper recalled. “But he came downstairs the next morning with a big smile on his face and told us he was going to have to start quoting the Bible to us.” The Lakers’ Iron Man vowed to abstain from sex until marriage and kept that promise until marrying his wife Veronique in 2002. “Remaining celibate was the best decision for me to have a level of self-confidence to reach career goals on and off the court,” he later told Jet.

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Colin Farrell

Reformed bad boy Colin Farrell rarely makes headlines for partying anymore, and in 2009, after breaking up with writer Emma Forrest, he reportedly swore off women, telling pals,“I’ve had enough.” His vow didn’t last too long—several months later, he was dating Alicja Bachleda-Curus. The couple now have a child together and Farrell made a complete turnaround—he recently called fatherhood “a lovely little adventure to be on."

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Stephen Fry

England’s modern-day Renaissance man, Stephen Fry, had acted, written, directed, and dipped his toe in almost every aspect of the glamorous industry—except one. As a young British boarding-school student, Fry had a short-lived aspiration of joining the church, but “his marathon 16-year spell of sexual abstinence that lasted until the mid-1990s was entirely secular,” according to the comedian’s Web site. The now-openly gay Fry looks backs on those lonely years, telling The Sunday Mirror, “It was much easier to say, ‘I can live without love’ and I really thought I could.” Now that he’s just saying yes, Fry’s glad he quit quitting sex. “I certainly feel more cheerful now. My friends tell me I am much more relaxed.”

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Carol Channing

If anyone can understand the definition of a dry spell, it’s Broadway legend Carol Channing and her third husband, manager, and publicist Charles Lowe, who spent decades in an essentially sexless marriage. When she filed to legally separate from then 86-year-old Lowe in 1999, Channing said in divorce papers that the two only slept together “once or twice in our 41-year marriage and that was 41 years ago.” While there’s no word on how her fourth husband--junior high school sweetheart Harry Kullijia--is faring in the bedroom department, there is one area of the 89-year-old Channing’s life in which she will happily prostitute herself: As she wrote in her autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess,. “I’ve been making love to an audience since the fourth grade. It’s interesting to me that what I do onstage is legal, whereas what’s done in bed is not.”

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Sir Isaac Newton

The physicist who established the three laws of motion, Isaac Newton, put a stop to any and all sexual activity throughout his 84 years. One of history’s greatest thinkers did give some insight into his sex life (or lack thereof) in a message to philosopher John Locke, according to Newton biographer James Gleick. “The way to chastity is not to struggle with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some imployment, or by reading, or by meditating on other things,” Gleick quotes Newton. Considering he was the first to describe gravity, build the first practical reflecting telescope, formulate a law of cooling, develop differential and integral calculus, and contribute many other mathematic and scientific discoveries, Newton clearly had other things on his mind