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We’re entering the era of overshare when it comes to the sex lives of celebrities — but is it really such a bad thing?


By Sarah Gill
12th May 2023
We’re entering the era of overshare when it comes to the sex lives of celebrities — but is it really such a bad thing?

Did you know that Ben Affleck is ‘technically excellent’ in bed? Or that the star of Spy Kids is devastatingly well endowed? Or that Robbie Williams’ sexual appetite isn’t what it once was? Welcome to today’s episode of We Know Too Much.

Over the past number of decades, tabloids and paparazzi have been invading the privacy of A-listers, riffling through their bins, stealing sex tapes, and generally taking away the agency and autonomy of famous women. From speculations on who’s dating who, to mega fans cobbling together breadcrumbs to decode some new revelation in the lives of the elite, the public’s fixation on the life and times of our favourite celebrities has, quite literally, known no bounds.

We all know that sex sells, and in recent years, celebrities are swapping their overly sanitised, expertly media trained interviews with no holds barred tea-spilling sessions. They’re getting candid, letting their freak flags fly, and quite frankly, I’m kind of into it.

Whether it’s due to the fact that they’ve become jaded by the expectation to remain mysterious, or a resignation to the reality that their personal lives are seemingly destined to be made public, the rich and famous have started loosening their lips and letting it be known that they are, in fact, human. They have sex, sometimes it’s awkward or perfunctory, other times it’s ‘technically excellent’.

Historically, women speaking candidly about sex and owning their sexualities has been frowned upon. It somehow taints the virginal purity we’ve been conditioned to cling onto, and with Madonna-whore complex essentially dividing all women into two distinct categories: saint or prostitute, invoking feelings of love or lust, never both. Thanks Freud!

In a society where the lives of celebrities are viewed as a magnification of our own realities, how could women owning their sexuality and speaking about what happens behind closed doors in their own words be a bad thing?

You can pretty much draw a straight line from Kourtney and Travis Barker’s NSFW PDA to this new era of oversharing. While they and the equally amorous Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly brought French kissing reminiscent of a teen disco to the front pages of tabloids and the forefront of our minds, conversational podcasts have birthed an all-new illusion of intimacy between interviewer and interviewee that allows them to open up like never before.

In a recent episode of Call Her Daddy podcast, Gwyneth Paltrow let the people know that Ben Afflect is ‘technically excellent’ in bed, which reads like a compliment, but more than likely came as an earth-shattering revelation for him. On that same podcast, Christina Aguilera proclaimed herself “a promoter of the swallow,” noting that “there’s something to be said, after you put in the hard work, I think swallowing is a good thing, it’s got a lot of protein.” Good for her.

Now, while these disclosures may make you think, ‘my eyes, dear god, please make it stop’, let’s just try to have a little perspective.

Meghan Trainor recently drew her fair share of flack when a clip from her podcast Workin’ on It went viral in which she said that her husband — Spy Kids child star Daryl Sabara — is a “big boy” and that “[It’s gotten] to the point where [she’s] like, ‘Is it all in?’ and he’s like, ‘Just the tip.’”

Where many took this and ran with it to mean that she was bragging about the size of her partner’s penis, what the ‘All About That Bass’ singer was actually addressing was her struggle with vaginismus. She described feeling a “stingy” and “burning” sensation when having sex. “I thought that every woman walking around was always in pain during and after sex,” she explained. “I was like, ‘Doc, are you telling me that I could have sex and not feel a single bit of pain?’”

In another instance of celebrity comments being taken completely out of context, it began circulating that Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field don’t have sex any more, and that he wasn’t happy about it. Quick to clarify, the ‘Angels’ singer elaborated, saying that his libido had waned since coming off hormone replacement therapy, which he was using to treat depression.

This uptick in open conversation surrounding sex can also be credited to Jada Pinkett-Smith’s ‘Red Table Talk’ show, where NSFW topics regularly come to the fore. In 2020, Pinkett-Smith admitted she had an “entanglement” with musician August Alsina with husband Will Smith sitting directly opposite her.

Emily Ratajkowski’s podcast High Low with EmRata recently went viral when American DJ Diplo revealed that he’d had sexual experiences with other men. Given a platform to talk openly about sexual fluidity and experimentation without shame or secrecy will doubtlessly help many listeners who may be questioning their own sexuality.

On an episode of her podcast Broad Ideas, former OC star Rachel Bilson spoke about having her first orgasm from sex at age 38, a discovery that likely resonated with many women.

We are absolutely in an age of oversharing, and while it can absolutely verge on borderline excessive at times — Kim K did say that she and former beau Pete Davidson had sex in front of a fireplace in honour of her grandmother on an episode of The Kardashians — a growing openness and frankness surrounding sex and relationships can only mark a step in the right direction.