It had him in chains. Nick Jonas opened up about his now-broken virginity commitment and the origins of his purity ring during a loaded Reddit Ask Me Anything on Thursday, March 31, telling commenters he was too young to realize what it meant.
“I’m not being snarky when I ask this, I’m seriously curious,” one Reddit user wrote. “Was the whole purity ring thing a part of your marketing to families and young kids? Or were you seriously about abstaining from gettin’ down and it was just publicized to give you guys a cleaner image?”
The youngest Jonas brother, 23, and his older siblings, Kevin, 28, and Joe, 26, famously wore purity rings during their breakout years on the Disney Channel. In November 2014, Nick finally explained why he no longer wore his once-beloved ring, and yes, it was because he had lost his virginity. Since then, Jonas’ romantic life has been a hot topic among fans; the pop star broke up with former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo in 2015 after nearly two years of dating, and subsequently started hooking up with Kate Hudson. Still, he doesn’t forget his roots.
“I’d like to start by saying this: I came from an incredibly religious home,” Jonas replied to the user on Thursday. “Growing up, my dad was a pastor, and much like The First Family or people in front of the public eye, we were highly scrutinized as a family within the church and looked at as, well I guess you would call an example of what that family image should be. So long before our career started in music, that was what we were dealing with.”
“There was a person in the church who at one point demanded that all the kids in the youth group put these purity rings on and make this commitment,” Jonas elaborated of his choice at age 15. “So without a full understanding of what we were stepping into, we all made this commitment. But as you do, you grow up, you live life, you gain some world perspective and you develop your own views and opinions as it relates to faith, as it relates to sex, and everything that falls under the bounds of what your parents teach you and what comes from religion and you get to make your own choices.”
This included exploring physical boundaries. “So I started making my own choices, fell in love with somebody, made the choice to have sex with them,” Jonas revealed. “And from that point on it was about me being a man and being OK with my choices. And then it related to my art and people’s view of me and the public eye. I think it’s always about being comfortable and confident in who you are.”
However, Jonas in no way resents the rings and what they represented. In fact, they taught him something valuable about intimacy.
“I’ve got a lot of perspective and real care about sex from those days, and specifically because people were watching us, because it was such a strange thing to a lot of people to wear these purity rings, especially as young men in a pop boy band,” he said. “But I think when I’m looking back on it, although it was challenging to live with that, to be seen and have that attached to our name was very tough. I think it was a good thing. It gave me a really good perspective, to whereas now my main thing is about being OK with who I am as a man and the choices I’ve made, and I think everyone should have a good and solid conversation with either their parents or loved ones about sex and about what they want to do with their life, because it shouldn’t be taboo. It’s a big part of who we are and what makes us human, and if we can’t address these things head on, then I think that it can really be challenging.”
He isn’t the only Jonas brother to discuss his sex life publicly. In a December 2013 interview with New York magazine, Joe Jonas revealed he lost his virginity at age 20. “I did other stuff before then, but I was sexually active at 20,” he told the mag. “I’m glad I waited for the right person.”