Justin Bieber says he and wife Hailey Baldwin stayed celibate until marriage

Justin Bieber married Hailey Baldwin last yearReuters

Justin Bieber has talked about the benefits of abstaining from sex until after marriage in an interview with Vogue alongside his wife Hailey Baldwin. 

The Canadian pop star, who surprised the world by tying the knot last year, spoke candidly about his 'legitimate problem with sex' that led him to embark on a self-imposed season of abstinence. 

He believes that the decision led him closer to God and that marrying Baldwin was a reward for his efforts. 

'He doesn't ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,' Bieber, a Christian, told the magazine.

'He's like, I'm trying to protect you from hurt and pain. I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don't feel good enough.

'Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that. I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul. And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior.' 

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Baldwin, a model and the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, admitted that marriage had its challenges but that she also believed it was worth the hard work and effort. 

'I'm not going to sit here and lie and say it's all a magical fantasy. It's always going to be hard,' she told Vogue.

'It's a choice. You don't feel it every single day. You don't wake up every day saying, "I'm absolutely so in love and you are perfect." That's not what being married is.

'But there's something beautiful about it anyway—about wanting to fight for something, commit to building with someone.' 

Bieber took some flak for his decision to go celibate, with The Telegraph's Rebecca Reid writing that it was a 'terrible idea' that he 'shouldn't preach to his fans'. 

Others defended him, though, with Harry Benson, research director at the Marriage Foundation, saying in response to the piece that there was 'a ton of research on sex before marriage and cohabitation before marriage, mostly concluding that there are negative knock-on effects on happiness/stability unless you cohabit with plans to marry'.