Jane Fonda Reveals Why She Never Wants to Be in a "Sexual Relationship" Again
In a new interview, the 83-year-old star opened up about her emotional and physical insecurities.
At 83 years old, Jane Fonda has lived a lot of life, making her mark on film, TV, and theater, inspiring generations of activists, and learning and growing through marriages and relationships. And while she shows no signs of slowing down in her work as an actor or a crusader for social justice and the environment, the two-time Oscar winner is finished with the dating scene. In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, the icon explained why she never sees herself in a "sexual relationship" again. Read on to find out what she said, and for more stars who aren't looking to commit, here are 15 Celebrities Who Say They're Never Getting Married.
Fonda opened up about her issues with intimacy.
In the interview, the Grace and Frankie star is candid about what she sees as her limitations—one of them being how willing she is to be vulnerable in a romantic relationship.
"One of the painful things that I've realized by 80—I don't even know how old I am—83, and single now," Fonda said. "What I've had to really think about is that I'm not really capable [of intimacy]. It's not them. It's me. If a guy had come along and said, 'Come on, Fonda, show up,' I would have run away scared. I was attracted to men who never would have done that to me because they couldn't necessarily show up themselves. I didn't know that at the time, but now I know."
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That's part of the reason she never sees herself getting into a "sexual relationship" again.
When asked about regrets, Fonda again brought up her aversion to intimacy. She also said that her awareness of it has helped her realize that there probably isn't another romance in her future.
"I've kind of come to terms with that. I don't want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again. I don't have that desire," Fonda said of embarking on a new love affair at this point in her life. "Do I fantasize? Yes, here's my fantasy. I'll just put it out there. That I meet a professor or a researcher, somebody in that line who is really capable of loving, of cherishing a woman, so that I could test myself and see if I could show up."
Fonda went on to say that "maybe now" she could achieve that intimacy, "but the problem is that, like a man, I would want a younger man. Isn't that awful? It's a thing about skin. I would want a younger man, and I'm too vain."
The star opened up further about the pressure she's always felt to "look a certain way," even as she ages.
"I'm very grateful that I don't have to get naked in front of anybody again ever, even in candlelight," she added. "And if I did, I mean in my fantasy, the man is younger than me, so that would make it even harder. I'm being perfectly honest. I wish that wasn't true."
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She doesn't regret her past relationships, however.
Fonda was married three times: to French director Roger Vadim from 1965 to 1973, to activist Tom Hayden from 1973 to 1990, and to media mogul Ted Turner (above) from 1991 to 2001. She was also in a relationship with record producer Richard Perry from 2009 to 2017. She had daughter Vanessa Vadim with her first husband, and welcomed son Troy Garity (who also became an actor) and adopted daughter Mary Williams with her second.
Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, Fonda partially credited her former partners for her adaptable quality.
"Part of the reason I get into a relationship with a man is because I feel that he can take me down a new path," she said. "I'm attracted to people who can teach me things and whose lives are different from mine, and so I give myself over to that."
She recognized that her desire to "please" them was "a problem," however.
"When I married Ted—I mean, marrying Ted is like marrying 15 people—you have to learn how to hunt, so I did," she went on. "You have to learn how to fly-fish, so I did. He liked me to dress sexy, so I did. And so forth. I wanted to. Why be with Ted Turner if you're not going to allow yourself to be absorbed in his reality and learn from it? And I'm glad I did."
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Fonda called it on dating when she turned 80.
In 2018, not long after news of her and Perry's split became public, Fonda told Extra at the premiere of her movie Book Club, "I'm not dating anymore, but I did up until a couple of years ago."
"I'm 80," she added. "I've closed up shop down there."
She echoed that sentiment in a 2020 interview with The Guardian, stating, "I'm extremely happy on my own."
For famous couples who haven't actually tied the knot, check out 16 Celebrity Couples You Didn't Realize Aren't Married.