October 14, 2015


Yoko Ono: John Lennon "Had a Desire" for Same-Sex Experimentation

Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

In a long new conversation with the Daily BeastYoko Ono has shared some startling new information about one of the most thoroughly documented and well-known musicians to ever live, John Lennon

Along the course of his talk with the 82-year-old artist, writer Tim Teeman steers the conversation toward relationships and sexuality. (Background: Ono is receiving an Icon Award at the Attitude Awards in London, "in recognition of her art, of being an outsider, of doing things defiantly her own way and of supporting LGBT people.")

Ono says she's especially proud of adding this accolade to her shelf. "There was a closeness I felt to gay people," she says. "We both suffered a lot for being different.” By we, she means she and her husband, the Beatle. The couple "had a big talk" somewhere along the road, one that resulted in the conclusion that "basically, all of us must be bisexual."

Teeman goes for the specifics:

"Did Lennon have sex with other men?

'I think he had a desire to, but I think he was too inhibited,' says Ono. 'No, not inhibited. He said, "I don’t mind if there’s an incredibly attractive guy." It’s very difficult: They would have to be not just physically attractive, but mentally very advanced too. And you can’t find people like that.'

So did Lennon ever have sex with men?

'No, I don’t think so,' says Ono. 'The beginning of the year he was killed, he said to me, "I could have done it, but I can’t because I just never found somebody that was that attractive." Both John and I were into attractiveness—you know—beauty.'

None of it's a big deal to Ono; she doesn't really "make anything out of it." "Both John and I surprisingly were very passive people," she says. "Unless somebody made a thing out of it, if they made a move, I wouldn’t even think about it.”

The full Daily Beast interview is a highly recommended read. Ono also gets into rumors that Lennon supposedly had a sexual encounter with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, giving her own behind-the-scenes interpretation of John's on-the-record comments on the matter. There's also discussion of Ono living in the building in front of which Lennon was shot, and what it's like to continue living in fear of murderer Mark David Chapman.