Benedict Cumberbatch: “Sherlock is a sexual person”

The actor says his “damaged” character may not be romantic but there’s definitely a sexual element to his relationship with Irene Adler


He’s seen as cold, calculating and utterly focused on the case at hand, but despite some viewers’ assumptions Sherlock is not an asexual character, says the show’s star Benedict Cumberbatch.


“Well, I see no reason at all why he shouldn’t be sexual,” said Cumberbatch. “Everyone recruited him to their perspective, their interpretation. I’ve had asexuals come up to me and thank me for representing asexuals. I don’t know how that came about. I mean, the man’s too busy to have sex. That’s really what is it.”

Cumberbatch says his character deliberately puts such thoughts to one side as part of his job.

“Not every man has a sex drive that needs to be attended to. Like a lot of things in his life where he’s purposely dehumanised himself, it’s do to with not wanting the stuff that is time wasting, that’s messy. That goes for certain relationships, as well as sexual intimacy,” Cumberbatch told

But the actor believes there is one relationship in particular that demonstrates Sherlock’s sexual side. Dominatrix Irene Adler (played by Lara Pulver) – the detective’s respected female adversary – shares certain traits with him, and while romance is a step too far for Sherlock, Cumberbatch thinks Adler manages to put him in touch with a more animalistic side…

“It’s never going to be romance with him,” said Cumberbatch. “[Sherlock and Irene Adler] play with each other like predators. It’s pretty sick; they’re both damaged people. There’s no sentiment. 

“Is there a sexual element to it? Without a doubt there is. But… it’s a game of chess, and it’s a very cruel, cruel game of love, if it is love.”