“I can’t believe I’m saying this — don’t have sex,” Lady Gaga told a British crowd while promoting MAC’s Viva Glam cosmetics line. “I’m single right now and I’ve chosen to be single because I don’t have the time to get to know anybody. So it’s OK not to have sex, it’s OK to get to know people. I’m celibate, celibacy’s fine. … It’s OK to be whomever it is that you want to be. You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself, and if you’re not ready, don’t do it. And if you are ready, there are free condoms given away at my concerts when you’re leaving! … I remember the cool girls when I was growing up. Everyone started to have sex. But it’s not really cool anymore to have sex all the time. It’s cooler to be strong and independent.” That is a fantastic message for young people!
It is also a hard one to swallow.
Gaga has, in a short burst of just a couple years, built her fame credentials on overt sexuality, making pants-less and transparent costumes as relevant to her brand as catchy dance hooks. She performs on stage with her cooch on full display. She has a song called “Disco Stick.”
But what she’s doing here is separating sexual expression from sex, and it’s something “family values” advocates have always argued is impossible. If you promote sexiness, you’re encouraging sex, and there’s just no two ways about it, they’ll say.
Is Gaga, then, the best advocate for celibacy? No. But she’s a decent one. Like they did with Britney Spears a half decade ago, and Madonna a generation before that, young girls respect and swoon over this collision of New York knocks and fame whoring. She has their ear. And telling them to save their lady flower — not because there’s anything wrong with having sex, but because it’s wise to stay safe and healthy and get to know your partner before screwing — will do more than a thousand MTV campaigns.
Now don’t go calling her a hypocrite: