Hans Christian Anderson (1805 – 1875)
The wonderfully weird writer of fairy-tales declared his love for many prominent, ultimately unavailable women. He enjoyed visiting prostitutes, but only to sit and chat with them. He died unmarried and a virgin and was so terrified about being buried alive he insisted in his will that one of his arteries was to be cut before he was put in his coffin.
Sir Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727)
One of the most influential scientists of all time, he was a lifelong bachelor with some very peculiar views on life. He was said only to have laughed just once in life, when someone asked him what he saw in Euclid and during his time as a member of parliament, he spoke only once, and that was to tell someone to close a window. He famously never spoke to a colleague at the Royal Society ever again after being told a rude joke about a nun.
Henry Morton Stanley (1841 – 1904)
He of “Dr Livingstone, I presume fame” married the high-society portrait painter Dorothy Tennant at the age of forty-nine in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The marriage was never consummated, for on his wedding night he told his wife that he considered sex “only fit for beasts”
Mahatma Ghandi (1860 – 1948)
When in his thirties and the father of four children, he decided to take a vow of celibacy, thus giving him more control over his ”vital fluids” which in turn would enhance his spiritual powers and give him strength during his many bouts of fasting. Posterity does not record Mrs Ghandi’s response when, in his seventies he took to sleeping with naked young women to sleep nude with him to “test” his celibacy. This did not go down well with his followers and he later abandoned his nocturnal experiments.
Edward Lear (1812 – 1888)
Living alone with his cat, the Victorian nonsense poet and artist wrote limericks about men (as in there was a young man from St Ives etc) who he drew with long, unmistakably phallic noses. The closest he came to marriage was with Augusta Bethell, a woman 46 years his junior, his proposals were sadly not accepted and throughout his adult life he suffered from what he called “the morbids” – a mild form of epilepsy which he believed was caused by his excessive masturbation.
Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943)
The inventor and futurist who designed the first alternating current (AC) electrical supply system, also died a virgin. This extremely eccentric individual would work from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm every day and have his dinner served at exactly 8.10 pm at the same restaurant and insisted that he always had the same waiter to serve him. When being asked by a reporter why he never married, Tesla replied “I do not think you can name any great invention made by a married man”.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)
Widely regarded as the first existentialist philosopher, he considered sexual relations as an abomination; “My depression,” the gloomy one wrote, “is the most faithful mistress I have known” In his early twenties he fell in love with a fourteen year old school girl named Regine Olsen. They were briefly engaged before he broke it off believing that his “melancholy” made him unsuitable for marriage. Over the following years he tried to woo her back by sending her books of his sombre poetry, to little avail. Even though she never wrote back, he named her his sole beneficiary.
Edgar Degas ( 1834- 1917 )
The famous French Impressionist painter and sculptor seemed to spend most of his waking hours looking at naked women climb into and out of baths; art historians now suggest that he was probably impotent. One day a society hostess asked him “Why do you painf women so ugly , Monsieur Degas?” He replied,”Because, madam, women in general are ugly”
Britney Spears (1981 –
The original Pop Princess vowed celibacy until marriage when she hit fame in 1998. However, five years later she broke her promise and slept with young love Justin Timberlake . Paraphrasing her song “ Oops, she did it again, and again, and again”.
Paris Hilton (1981 –
The woman who appears to be famous for being famous pledged that she would have no sex for one calendar year in 2006. Whether or not this promise was kept is debatable due to her famous, (polite cough) home movie background.
Peter Andre (1973 –
The darling of the gossip columns PeterAndre, emotionally revealed that following his marriage breakdown with the pneumatic Katie Price, aka Jordan, in May 2009 . that he would be remaining celibate until his divorce came through.
His steely resolve lasted an impressive eight days as The Daily Star then reported that he had been romping with a Jordan-look-alike in an exclusive(!) pull out and keep centre page spread.