Colin Farrell

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Colin Farrell has a reputation as a ladies man, but he's not always as confident as he sometimes seems.

The Irish actor, 37, has been sober eight years—and it's been quite an adjustment. "I made love to a woman about two and half years after I got clean, and it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life," he says in the March issue of Elle. "It was in the afternoon. The windows and the curtains were open. It was lovely, and to be crass, it wasn't f--king. She was very gentle. But it was terrifying.  Because I was just used to drunkenness and dark rooms and clubs and toilets and wherever."

He wasn't just concerned about how to make love, however. "I worried I wouldn't be able to talk, full stop," the movie star says. "I hadn't uttered a word sober in about 15 years."

The single star—who jokes that he's "trying to weed out the gold-diggers"—was famously offered $5 million for his sex tape with Playboy's January 2002 Playmate of the Month, Nicole Narain. He sued her, which prevented the sale, distribution and display of the tape. Still, it was made available online, and the lawsuit was later settled. "It certainly wasn't a validation of my prowess," Farrell says now.

The whole thing was horrifying," the Winter's Tale star says of the 2005 incident. "You know, Press Record. Taboo. Isn't this interesting. You should have taken the tape with you. I was deposed for four hours explaining why I didn't want it to be released. God forbid it's an on-demand movie in a hotel room and my mother says, 'Oh, I haven't seen this work of my son's,' and hits Purchase."

Farrell says he "very much" believes in monogamy—he just hasn't met the right woman in quite a long time. "I've had arguments with friends about this. For me, I don't know if it's possible. I'm not saying it's not possible. I have been monogamous in relationships. But I'm not in a relationship now. So they haven't worked. So it wouldn't stand up in court," he tells Elle. "We've all seen people who are 70, 80, 90, who have held each other's hands throughout their lives. But is there a part of man that does want to sow his seed? Absolutely. Does that mean it has to be followed through on? Or does it allow us to ask why and dig a little deeper? I don't know. But I certainly do believe in monogamy. "

"I don't believe that it's for everyone. I don't believe that marriage is for everyone. So much of life is begging to be chosen how it wants to be lived. Much more than most of us realize."

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