Harry Styles (Photo: Mike Marsland/Getty Images)

Even sex symbols like Harry Styles occasionally have to confront their internalised issues related to, well, sex.

In a new interview with Better Homes & Gardens, the “As It Was” singer opened up about past feelings of “shame” when it came to his sex and dating life.

“For a long time, it felt like the only thing that was mine was my sex life. I felt so ashamed about it, ashamed at the idea of people even knowing that I was having sex, let alone who with,” he said, referring to the highly publicised time in his life when he was in One Direction.

“At the time, there were still the kiss-and-tell things. Working out who I could trust was stressful,” he continued. “But I think I got to a place where I was like, why do I feel ashamed? I’m a 26-year-old man who’s single; it’s like, yes, I have sex.”

Related article: Harry Styles Is Definitely Hubby Material In These New Photos From ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

He added that the culture of fame and tabloids is due for a revamp. “I think we’re in a moment of reflection,” Styles said. “You look back, especially now there’s all the documentaries, like the Britney documentary, and you watch how people were abused in that way, by that system, especially women. You recall articles from not even five years ago, and you’re like, I can’t even believe that was written.”

On keeping his privacy as a celebrity, Styles also got candid about his sexuality—namely, the public’s curiosity about how he labels himself. To him, the expectation to publicly identify his sexuality is “outdated.”

“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine,” he explained. “The whole point of where we should be heading, which is toward accepting everybody and being more open, is that it doesn’t matter, and it’s about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you’re checking.”

Styles is currently dating director and actress Olivia Wilde. Reports of their romance first emerged after photos of the two holding hands at a January 2021 wedding were published.

This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US