The XX Factor

Katy Perry Adds Emotional Complexity to Orlando Bloom’s Naked Paddleboard Moment

Katy Perry performs at the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday in Glastonbury, England. 

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

As the dog days of summer begin to slip by, America fast approaches the one-year anniversary of the day we saw Orlando Bloom’s penis for the very first time (for most of us). Last August, Bloom simply mounted a paddle board in Italy, neglected to cover his privates, and rowed away with a smile.

At least, that was what everyone assumed at the time. In lieu of any definitive oral history of the moment we learned one of the biggest heartthrobs of the mid-2000s has a pretty average-looking penis, Katy Perry has stepped up to tell her side of the story. Perry, perched a mere 2 feet from Bloom’s genitals, had a front-row seat to history, and here’s how she remembers it: “He wanted to show off for all the people back at the shore. He thought it was funny,” Perry told a Sydney radio show.

In NSFW images of the incident, Perry looked fully covered in her bikini and far less stoked about the situation. “He had the willy out,” the Australian radio show reminded Perry of her then-boyfriend. “Why weren’t you also nude in that? Did you have the foresight to realize there could be photographers here, but he was like, ‘Nah, they’ll be none, pet’?” Apparently, Bloom tried to get Perry on board. “He asked me if I wanted to [be naked], and I was like, you know, it was one of those things where I was like, ‘Ah, no,’ ” she said.

She also provided a nugget of insight into the way making out works when you’re a celebrity. “You know when you’re dating someone sometimes, it’s exciting to be like, ‘Ooh, should we try and make out over here in this place?’ or, you know, what have you,” she said. Perhaps each various and sundry new make-out place is more exciting when people are watching? But “I was just not in the mood,” Perry said. “I saved it for the boat.”

The radio host would not be deterred. “Normally when one is not in the mood, the other stays clothed,” he pressed. Not Bloom! He was determined to show his junk, and Perry was just along for the ride. Though Perry was barely complicit in the act of exposure, the ensuing social media frenzy about Bloom’s unobstructed penis—and its exaggerated shadow—changed the course of her life forever. “I’ve had lots of therapy about that moment, actually,” Perry said. Yeesh. Kudos to the intrepid morning-show hosts at KIIS 1065 for unveiling the bleaker underside to this seemingly sunny story. May we continue to process the emotional nuance of the paddleboard penis moment for years to come.