Former model and video vixen Amber Rose appeared as a guest on the Sofia With an F podcast. She discussed a wide range of topics, from growing up in a poor family that lived in Philadelphia, to falling in love with Kanye West. She also discussed how she and her ex-husband, Wiz Khalifa, are now the best of friends, despite his heartbreaking infidelity, which prompted her to file for divorce. But she made one revelation that seems to have caught people off guard – and it’s that she’s done with dating and sex.
“I want to be single for the rest of my life,” she said. “I don’t want penis, I don’t want to share my house or my life with anyone. I don’t want anyone around my kids, I don’t wanna have sex.”
When Sofia asked what got her to this point, she suggested that it had to do with the quality of men out there these days, adding that most of them are far too promiscuous for her liking and that she’s fine being by herself and very happy to not share her bed with anyone.
Hearing her thoughts, I wondered what it was that got people so caught up on what she’s expressing. We’ve heard other celebrities express a sense of asexuality – which doubles as a term used when one does not have a sexual orientation and for someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction. And while Amber has described being attracted to both men and women and even dating a trans man in the past, I’m not entirely certain that what she’s saying about her current lack of desire for sex fits the other definition of asexuality.
“I’m extremely open with my sexuality. I can be in love with a woman, I can be in love with a man,” she originally said during an interview back in 2012. “I definitely find beauty in everybody, whether they’re heavy-set, super-skinny, if they’re white, black, Indian, Asian, Spanish. I can see beauty in anybody. If I see a woman and I think she’s beautiful and I like her, and she likes me back we can definitely try to be in a relationship together."
But then there’s the thing she’s saying about not wanting to have sex anymore. Is that because she, like people who identify as asexual, does not experience sexual attraction? Or is it because she’s tired and fed up of prospective sexual and relationship partners?
Back in November, I wrote about Julia Fox’s asexuality, which she proclaimed on EmRata’s podcast, HighLow. The sentiments she described seemed to stem from genuinely not having an interest or affinity for sex at this point in her life. But despite the differences in why they’ve stepped away from sex, the similarities in their pasts are striking – and seems to paint a bit of a picture at how both women ended up with a similar disposition towards sex.
First, Amber described becoming a stripper at the age of 15 when she was homeless. Things got really rough after her parents divorce and she had to find a way to make money for her family. As we know, Julia Fox also spent her teen years serving as a dominatrix in a Chelsea dungeon.
“I danced one time when I was 15 at a sh-tty ass club. And then I got a fake ID and I went to a gentlemen’s club where they were not allowed to touch you,” Amber said during the podcast. “Heavy security, it was a very safe environment where they’d walk you to your cab or your car or whatever.”
Then, the two both dated Kanye West for a period of time (which would mess anyone up). And the aftermath of that relationship that they both describe seems to be a very hateful, women-blaming mob of internet trolls. Amber described being labelled as a slut following her split with Kanye – a relationship that catapulted her to fame, something she never quite envisioned for herself.
“I remember we took a picture together and the photographer asked me for my name. I said, ‘Amber Rose’, and he wrote it down and said ‘thank you’. And that’s when my life changed,” she said, while Julia described losing a lot of work opportunities due to the controversies that surrounded Kanye during and after their relationship.
Following that split, Amber says she was called every name in the book. She didn’t understand the vitriol coming from this swath of people that she didn’t even know. People insisted she was hungry for fame and that her relationship with Kanye was really just a way to put herself on the radar – claims that were also made against Julia.
“I was the first girlfriend-turned-famous-celebrity. I was the first for a few things. And when you’re the first you get all the f--king backlash,” she said. She then went on to say that in recent years, it’s become easier for women to slip away into obscurity after dating a famous person, progress she says she’s happy about.
Now, though, both women have moved on to mothering their sons – and perhaps that is also a part of the shift in sexual preferences they’ve experienced – especially considering Amber’s statement about not wanting anyone around her kids.
What I love about both Amber and Julia is how they serve as a reminder to everyone that wanting to look and feel sexy is not synonymous with wanting or needing sex. The idea that wearing “provocative” clothing must mean you’re promiscuous is a thought that they challenge and counter on a daily basis, and Amber has done a lot of this work through her involvement with the SlutWalk.
In 2015, she founded the Los Angeles chapter of the annual feminist protest march, originally founded in Toronto. That same year, she filmed a short video called the Walk of No Shame, which follows her as she leaves the house of a man she slept with the night before. The video drives home the point that having sex, hooking up and having one night stands does not need to be this taboo topic that often has a negative connotation, particularly for women, which can impact their relationship with sex.
Amber has long been a champion of trying to shift toxic perspectives about sex and women. She’s been on countless radio and talk shows to suggest that most of these toxic perspectives are often rooted in men’s jealousy for not being able to utilize their bodies to make money in the same way women can, without even having sex, adding that classism plays a role, too.
“Halle Berry can win an Oscar for doing a sex scene in a movie but if you have an OnlyFans you’re gross. Most of the girls on OnlyFans don’t even have sex. It’s just classism. It’s all bullsh-t,” she said during the podcast.
She also paints her stripping career in a different light, saying she had a great time doing it – sentiments echoed by Julia Fox about her time as a dominatrix.
“It was just fun. It was like a party, being young and having a bunch of friends and making a sh-t load of money. You’re just like, not only can I pay all these bills but I can buy clothes and shoes and get my hair done. It was just fun. I don’t have any horror stories. It was just a blast,” she described.
One interesting comparison she makes is how many A-list male celebrities turned to dealing drugs in the same way many women, like Cardi B, turned to stripping or sex work in order to make money. She touched on how different the narratives can be.
“There’s a million rappers who were drug dealers at that age, but now they’re ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘businessmen’,” listing off rappers like Jay-Z, who has described his history of drug dealing in his music. “All the biggest guys in the business were drug dealers. But God forbid you used to be a stripper. I mean, it’s just blasphemy,” adding that stripping, unlike drug dealing, is legal.
It’s interesting to hear Amber speak so candidly, not that she hasn’t in the past, but about her heartbreak in particular. In describing Wiz Khalifa’s infidelity, you can really appreciate the profound impact it had on her.
“I cried everyday for three years straight,” she said. “I’m getting bullied all over the internet for loving someone that hurt me. And now I’m getting bullied? Not only did I have to mourn my marriage and my relationship but I was also getting blamed for something I didn’t do.”
Following her relationship with Wiz, she dated AE, who is currently dating Cher. The two had a son before she revealed that he had cheated on her with as many as 12 women, something he admitted on an Instagram live. She posted an Instagram story calling him and the women he cheated on her with out, saying they knew he was in a relationship with her. In another post, she also called out her “raging narcissistic mom”, a relationship she spoke about during her podcast appearance.
“I watched my mother be heartbroken by a man and never recover. So I forced myself to date people while I was not recovered. I look back and I shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t have dated anyone,” saying she should’ve taken time to heal instead.
It sounds like that’s the root of what Amber is saying here - she’s taking time out to heal. Do I think she’s completely turned off of the idea of sex and partners right now? Absolutely. But do I think that the root cause of that is asexuality? No.
I think like so many women, she’s experienced a lot of pain, a lot of heartache and more than her fair share of infidelity. And when you lay everything out on the table, it’s clear why both women have taken a step back from sex. But for Amber in particular, this is more about needing time away from a world she’s been so closely tied to, since the age of 15, in order to heal.
Being exposed to sex and the world around it at such a young age can complicate your relationship with sex. I know this because I lost my virginity at a young age, and though it was entirely consensual, I wandered through my teenage years attaching my value to my desirability. When you fit into society’s beauty standards, desirability is not hard to come by and can therefore inflate your ego, while deflating your sense of self. It took years and years of unlearning, and I only stumbled upon a true sense of healing when I stepped away from men and stepped toward myself.
That’s why I think it’s great that both Amber and Julia are expressing a desire to just take a step back. In Amber’s case, I can only imagine the difficulty and nuances that come with trying to advocate for more equality in the landscape of sex and sex work when it’s inherently male-oriented. It’s exhausting work to do, especially when you’re not seeing the progress in society that you’d like to.
Whether it’s temporary or permanent, stepping away from anything we’ve been tied to for most of our lives is a great way to let the dust settle and decide how we really feel, what we really want and what we really need. And more often than not, it’s healing.