The Jonas Brothers have come a long way since they first arrived on the music scene more than 10 years ago. Back then, things were very different — and people were hyper-focused on the fact that all three of them wore purity rings, vowing to abstain from sex until marriage. But in a new interview with The Guardian, Nick Jonas opened up about their purity rings and how inappropriate the conversation was around that topic at the time, pointing out that publicly debating the state of his and his brothers' virginity as teenagers wouldn't be acceptable today.
When he was asked about how the purity rings ultimately shaped his sex life as an adult, Jonas said that it was upsetting to him to have something like this openly debated when he was 13 years old, while he was still trying to figure out what it all meant himself at the time.
"What’s discouraging about that chapter of our life is that at 13 or 14 my sex life was being discussed. It was very tough to digest it in real time, trying to understand what it was going to mean to me, and what I wanted my choices to be, while having the media speaking about a 13-year-old’s sex life. I don’t know if it would fly in this day and age. Very strange.”
Jonas is right — it's incredibly inappropriate for anyone's sex life to be up for discussion, but it's especially not OK for people to talk about a child's sex life, especially to the extent that it was at the time. In fact, a 2009 South Park episode even centered around the brothers' purity rings, and it's hard to imagine what it must have been like to process the world talking (and even mocking) something that was obviously so personal to them.
Jonas also said that the open discussion of their purity rings has informed the way he plans to talk about sex with his future kids someday. “The values behind the idea of understanding what sex is, and what it means, are incredibly important," he said. "When I have children, I’ll make sure they understand the importance of sex, and consent, and all the things that are important."
This isn't the first time that on one of the Jonas Brothers has mentioned how uncomfortable their buzz around their rings made (and still makes) them. During an appearance on Carpool Karaoke in March, Joe Jonas admitted that they were pushed into talking about the rings in an interview early in their career — before they fully understood what it all meant — and it became a "running joke." Then, they finally decided it was better to just stop wearing the rings altogether.
"We just kind of decided at one point that, 'Look, this is not who we are. We don't need to be wearing these anymore,'" he said. "People are making fun of it anyway, and we can make fun of it ourselves."
The Jonas Brothers have changed and grown a lot since the original iteration of their band, and the world has changed since then, too. It was never OK for their sex lives to be discussed back then, and hopefully, young celebrities and musicians won't have to go through anything similar in 2019.