Interview: COSMOPOLITAN (1996)

April 08, 1996

The following article by Adrian Deevoy appeared in the April 1996 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine...

Sting - He's one of the world's most wantable men. He likes sex that goes on for hours. But, unlike your average rock god, he's proud to love his wife. Sting reveals all about love, life and tantric sex.

A shirtless Sting eases off his trousers to reveal a tiny pair of black underpants. "Emporio Armani," he says, proudly twanging the elastic before getting down to the matter in hand.

He lies face down on the floor in a semi press-up position, taking the weight of his torso on his outstretched arms. A passer-by looking at this human suspension bridge of tanned flesh and costly undertrouser, could be forgiven for thinking an international celebrity is about to attempt sexual congress with the carpet. Then Sting beings to move, quite slowly at first, until he is back on his feet but bent double, with his palms of this hands flat on the ground at either side of his feet, and his face touching his knees. He is inhaling and exhaling ferociously. And this , he says, is just the warm-up...

Sting, a dedicated yoga student, runs through this punishing routing for an hour - sometimes more - every day. Afterwards, he has a bath and then spends some time in quiet contemplation. "Or sometimes," he says, "I just have a half a bottle of wine and get pissed out my head."

But, as he moves on to contort himself into an abstract variation on the lotus position, it is very clear that Sting has gained from his pain. At 44, he has the physique of a 20 year old - and a very fit 20 year old at that. "I can do things with my body now that I wasn't able to do as an 18 year old athlete," he says. Later, as he reveals a few of his more thought-provoking hobbies, we'll find out precisely what he means.

We are in the bedroom of Sting's handsome Highgate home, in North London. It's a large, warmly romantic place, all exposed beams, oil paintings and dark wood panelling. In keeping with his Geordie working-class roots, Sting claims it was London's first semi-detached house. Throughout the late Eighties, this served as Sting's base but he's since bought "your average rock-star mansion" in Wiltshire where he and his family spend most of their time. But today is a Highgate day, as there is business to attend to in town.

The business in question involves some promotional chat about his fifth solo album, 'Mercury Falling', having his photograph taken in compromising positions, hosting a splendid lunch and then returning to the log-fired library to discuss exactly what it's like to be Sting these days.

But first there is a small cause for celebration as Sting's wife, Trudie Styler, has recently given birth to their fourth child - and Sting's sixth - a boy, Giacomo. "All of my kids have been accidents," reflects Sting, who was present at Giacomo's birth (a Caesarean, as it turned out). "I never planned to have any. But six accidents over 20 years isn't that bad."

Talk of conception turns to talk of sex: could he remember the very first stirrings of the Sting loins? "I used to climb lamp posts a lot as a child," he says, "and I had no idea why I was doing it! I seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of my early youth up lamp posts. So I guess an unyielding piece of metal was my first love! Then I developed a huge crush on Brigitte Bardot. I had a beautiful picture of her in my desk. I'd look at it every morning for ten seconds. She gave me great solace because we didn't have any girls at school. Just 2,000 boys."

When the young Gordon was growing up, sex was something you did outdoors. Hence, he lost his virginity in the most precarious fresco situation. "It was at the end of Tynemouth pier," he laughs. "I came away from the experience thinking sex was great but highly dangerous."

In May 1976, Sting married the fast-rising actress Frances Tomelty. He was 25. By October of the same year, they had a child, Joe. (He is now a 6ft, 19 year old who accompanies the old man to football matches and plays in a band.) But, by the time Sting's own band, the now legendary Police, had begun to disintegrate in 1984, so had his marriage.

"That was the only real failure of my life," he says ruefully. "Nothing has been do devastating as that failure. I don't regret it because I have some beautiful children from that relationship. But I learned that I don't want to break up a marriage again. And I'm sorry I hurt the people involved."

Therapy, analysis and a great deal of soul-searching ensued. For over a year, he simmered in his own personal hell. Then he found his feet again and just as his solo career began ignite, fell in love again.

"There's something very absolute about falling in love," he says. "When your first fall in love with somebody, it is a chemical reaction without a doubt - I realised that straightaway when I met Trudie. I couldn't resist her. I was chemically, emotionally and spiritually in love with her."

They lived together for many years before marrying in grand style in August 1992 and they haven't looked back since. "I feel much happier right now than I've ever felt," he smiles. "Without wishing to be too corny, a lot of that is down to having a really great relationship with the woman I love. We've been together now for 14 years and it's become increasingly solid. You have to work at a relationship, though. It's no good just having all the right factors - you have to renew the relationship on a daily basis. Your lives are constantly shifting, so you have to constantly re-evaluate and readjust."

Last year, Sting and Trudie acted together for the first time - in the film 'The Grotesque' (scheduled for release this month). Although that meant living and working in each other's pockets 24 hours a day, Sting says he remained in awe of his wife. "I'm afraid women are brighter than men," he says with a shrug. "They certainly have a much higher emotional intelligence than men. You can't lie to them. I thought I was a good liar but can't lie to Trudie. There's simply no point."

Does he still fancy her? "Oh yeah, I'll still look across a room and think 'Phwoar!' She gives me great pride. I love to make a fuss of her. She's funny and she holds herself so well in company and ... I love her."

This is all sounding a little too perfect. Surely they must disagree about certain aspects of life. Does he, for instance, nag her?

"Yes, I do," he confesses. "I have a phobia, which I probably inherited from my father, about turning off lights and taps that are left running. So she leaves them on and I go around turning them off and that, in turn, drives her nuts. But, hey, we get over that."

Would he be unfaithful to his wife?

"No," he says immediately. "I'm red blooded and I can appreciate other women but I wouldn't be unfaithful. I still play those flirting games - I enjoy flirting. I've no idea if I'm any good at it but I still do it. But I wouldn't want the stress of an affair. I think all that lying and timetabling ultimately destroys you. Sometimes, other women can be attractive idea for a day or two but reality always comes back and takes a hold."

And would he be heartbroken if Trudie was unfaithful to him? "Totally. Literally heartbroken." He stares sadly into the flickering flames, then checks himself. "But life really does being at 40. From my teenage years to my early thirties, I was just adrift. I hadn't a clue about anything. I was driven to succeed as a musician and that's what kept me in a straight line - but I was still lost. Now, I know: I love making music and I have to do it to keep me sane. And I'm of the firm opinion now that no one should have sex until they're 40. You enjoy shagging so much more."

Ah yes, shagging. During a drunken conversation between Sting, Bob Geldof and me a couple of years ago, Sting publicly admitted to being an energetic exponent of tantric sex and it came to light that he enjoyed nothing more than a non-orgasm-orientated, five hour sexathon.

"Where's the f***ing fun in that?" spluttered Geldof, with characteristic charm and candour. "It's a bit boring for the boiler, isn't it? Why don't you just come? Ten seconds is about my max."

"We tend to think that the whole point about sex is coming and ejaculation," replied Sting serenely. "I'm not sure that's a good attitude. So you stay erect and make your stomach go as near to your spine as you can make it while still allowing you to breathe and, that way you never lose control. It ends when you choose. It can go on for four or five hours."

Toasting his well-toned buttocks before the open blaze, Sting has a quiet chuckle about that tantric outburst of his. "That quote has followed me around the world ever since. My name seems to have become synonymous with having sex for long periods of time. 'He was shaggin' her for ages, doin' a right Sting!' I remember being on the 'Tonight' show in America and inevitably this question about five hour sex came up and they asked me if it was true. So I pulled Trudie out of the audience and said, 'Tell them,' and she said with this huge smile on her face, 'Of course it's true!'"

So, just to recap - purely in the interests of research - what exactly is it you have to do again?

"It's just control of ejaculation," he says, as he gives the fire a Freudian poke. "It involves this muscle a lot of men aren't trained to control. Most blokes just like to shag for the shortest amount of time possible and then get on to the next one. But that isn't really good for relationships. Anyway, it's not all about penetration. Penetration for a woman isn't the most satisfying thing. Stimulation of the clitoris is the thing - it's vital."

And presumably, Sting, global superstar and overlord of love, knows where the G-spot is?

"I hope so," he frowns thoughtfully. "Of course, when you're married to an actress, you're never quite sure."

© Cosmopolitan magazine



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