Drew Barrymore Clarifies Complicated Views On Intimacy After Talk Show Comment Sparks Sex-Hating Rumors

Drew Barrymore on The Drew Barrymore Show
(Image credit: CBS)

Drew Barrymore has rarely ever abstained from discussing her personal life, and that level of candor has seeped into her eponymous talk show. During the series’ run, the media personality has shown a particular willingness to discuss matters involving sex and intimacy. Both topics came up just a few weeks ago when Barrymore humorously responded to Andrew Garfield’s six-month celibacy stint. However, it would now seem that those comments have spurred rumors that the actress hates sex. With that, she provided some clarity regarding her complicated views on the subject. 

In September, Andrew Garfied revealed during an interview that he remained celibate for six months while preparing for his turn in Martin Scrosese’s 2016 religious drama, Silence. The Oscar-nominated actor explained that he tried a number of different practices to fend off any mental need to have sex. And when the Charlie’s Angels alum caught wind of his statements, she said that she understands abstinence, musing that “I did that my entire 20s, right?” She also said six months didn’t seem like a long time to be without love-making. 

This past weekend, via her blog, the actress opened up about an exchange that she had with a woman in her workout class. Said person told the star that she looks “just like Drew Barrymore except for you look like you have mental wellness and besides …she hates sex!” Initially puzzled by the sentiment, Barrymore later learned that it was her comments about the Spider-Man alum (who wasn’t named in the blog entry) that stoked up those assumptions. She went on to say that she can now see why celibacy must’ve been “challenging” for the actor. And while she admitted that she probably would’ve felt the same about sex at some point in her life, that’s not the case now: 

At nearly 48 I have very different feelings about intimacy than I did growing up. I did not have role model parents and I engaged with people in grown up ways since a tender age! I was looking for companionship! validation! excitement! pleasure! hedonism! fun! And adventures!! Now, because I can’t get in the time machine and change my history. So I now choose to look at it through a positive lens, which is that I lived! I lived a very rich full life. However, after two kids and a separation from their father that has made me cautious, I have had the pleasure of shifting my focus when it comes to love for myself and my two daughters. I know that does not include a man nor has it for a while. I’ve come to realize through working in therapy (with Barry), he said something and I had to write it down. He said, ‘Sex is not love! It is the expression of love.’ I have searched my whole life to have words like that to help me understand the difference and now, thanks to him, I do.

Based on the Hollywood veteran’s comments, it would seem that she doesn’t have anything against intimacy. She’s simply come to the realization that it’s not the only way to express love to someone. Not only that, but it also sounds like she’s come to understand the value of self-love after searching for companionship during her years as a child star. The talk show host doubled down on these sentiments later in the post: 

So for the record, I do not hate sex! I have just finally come to the epiphany that love and sex are simply not the same thing. I searched my whole life for, which is to be a calm woman and not a bombastic party girl. Also, when you grow up and are in a marriage with kids and you think you’ll only be with this one person for the rest of your life and then that doesn’t happen? It rocked me to my core, to put it lightly. But I am lucky enough to have my cup runneth over in the love department: I have my two daughters, and for the first time ever in my life, I’m actually including self-love, too.

It’s honestly very interesting that some would assume that Drew Barrymore has something against sexual intercourse based on her comments about Andrew Garfield. After all, she has referred to herself as a “lover.” (Though during her adorable interview with Keanu Reeves, the Matrix actor declared that she could be a lover and a fighter.) Barrymore even had no problem joking about her and Rob Lowe’s parents possibly hooking up.

You also have to give the Santa Clarita Diet alum credit for handling the rumors and public exchange with such grace. But again, I suppose that all lines up with the fact that she identifies as a “lover.” If anything, it’s nice to get her refreshing insight on sex, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if she shares even more thoughtful sentiments on the matter should it come up on her show again.

The Drew Barrymore Show airs in syndication on weekdays, and past episodes can be streamed with a Paramount+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.