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Neil Patrick Harris Poses Completely Naked for Rolling Stone, Talks “Awkward” Sex

Neil Patrick Harris
Posing naked on the cover of Rolling Stone, Neil Patrick Harris opens up about coming out and jokes about awkward sexual experiences 

Neil Patrick Harris may play a transgendered glam rocker in the Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but offstage, he's all man. The proof is in the May 22 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, for which he posed completely naked, save for a black bow tie and a strategically hung top hat.

The cover shot, taken by famed, edgy photographer Terry Richardson, shows Harris' impressive abs and long, lithe body, which is now 21 pounds lighter thanks to his preparation for Hedwig. "I need to eat more," he confessed in the accompanying article. "That's becoming apparent. I'm so intent on looking feminine, on changing my silhouette. But I'm running out of energy, and it's affecting my mood."

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Femininity is actually something the 40-year-old How I Met Your Mother alum tried to avoid for most of his life. "I have always been highly aware of how I was presenting myself," he told Rolling Stone, noting that his previous "desire to not seem overly effeminate" seems like a "stupid concern" now that he's "playing overtly feminine and loving it."

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The former child star, who came out as gay in 2006, says he realized early on that he had "crushes on boys" but didn't know "how that would be manifested" as he got older. "I think it would be easier to make that leap at that age now, because there are so many examples," the star, who has two kids (twins Gideon and Harper, 3) with his longtime partner David Burtka, explained. "But not back then, in a tiny town in the middle of the mountains of New Mexico."

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That said, "I wasn't troubled by it," he clarified. "Playing footsie with a friend under the table at school was very charged, to me, but I didn't know then what to do about it."

His public coming out eight years ago improved both his personal life and, in some ways, his professional life. "Once all cards were on the table, I got more opportunities than ever," the former Doogie Howser star told the mag. "Some actors don't get hired because you can't look into their soul and see what they're like, because they're kept guarded."

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Harris doesn't have that problem. "I do think it's important to take ownership of those type of things. I'm intoxicated and turned on by people who are really honest about themselves," he explained. "And so the coming-out process, given that, is a great move. Because people know that you're sexual and that's who you like, and you're not guarded and sketchy and awkward."

He continued: "No one likes an awkward lay. You want to lay someone who wants to lay you; you want to say who you like and get to lay that person. That's good sex. You don't want to lay some girl that you're supposed to lay, who you don't like, but you don't want anyone to know that. Like, neither person is having good sex. You might as well beat off."

For much more from Neil Patrick Harris, pick up the May 22 issue of Rolling Stone, on stands May 9.

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