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Shawn Mendes, Billboard

Billboard

Dare we even think it, but could Shawn Mendes be a bad boy in the making?

In a candid new interview with Billboard, the 18-year-old "Stitches" singer talks about sex, hooking up with older ladies and why Justin Bieber's previous stint of acting out wasn't necessarily all that big of a deal.

There's no need to be heartbroken just yet, though—Shawn is still the sensitive, Toronto teen you know and love. Fame might've left him a little jaded, but he's a romantic at heart. As he tells Billboard, "The second I feel about a girl the way I feel about music is when I know [I'm in love]." 

Dating is tough for Shawn, though, and fame hasn't made it any easier. In fact, he claims having sex now that he's a celebrity is "impossible." He doesn't let the frenzy of female fan attention that follows him go to his head either. As he tells Billboard, "Being a sex ­symbol isn't cool unless you're in love with a girl and she calls you a sex symbol."

Shawn is cautious when it comes to interacting with his fans. "You're one person," he says. "You can't let them take everything from you. Because they will—not in a malicious way. They just love you. You have to be careful."

He also knows that the fans have a very particular image of the celebrity they admire—something Shawn thinks led to some trouble for the Biebs in years past. "People thought of him as a type of person," he tells Billboard. "But maybe he was the same person the whole time and you guys just didn't give him a chance to show you who he was. Stop ­looking at him in a ­negative view and accept him as who he is. We don't get mad at punk rock bands for doing shit like [he does], because that's their personality. I just find it very confusing."

Shawn's full interview can be found in Billboard's new issue. His album, Illuminate, comes out Sept. 23.