Hi crush monsters, this is Straddler On The Street, a feature where I celebrate all of you incredible Autostraddle readers by hunting you down, demanding you chat with me, and then writing about you on the Internet so we can all crush on you. Get excited, because butterflies in your stomach 24/7 is a fantastic way to live.
Header by Rory Midhani
Straddler On The Street: Juliet, 31
You guys, Juliet is really, really cool. I feel confident saying this even though I haven’t met her in person simply because of the really sweet emails she has sent me and the fascinating tidbits she’s shared about herself in our interview. Plus she’s not only nice, smart, and adventurous, but she’s super beautiful. Basically I just got home from A-Camp and I already want to hop right back on a plane and go visit Juliet in Australia, ya know?
When Juliet initially emailed me to submit for Straddler On The Street, she told me that she is a 31 year old Australian mother and sexologist. “My passion lies in educating the masses about all things sex, with a particular focus on educating young LGBTIQ youth,” she wrote, and you know me… I was instantly hooked and dying to know more. Juliet is also a prolific explorer and says traveling is her favorite pastime, “alongside drinking strong coffee next to my beautiful woman on a sunny day.” So grab your own cup of coffee and get ready to meet a new Straddler!
Tell me about your work as a sexologist.
I’m a sexuality educator and coach and am studying a postgraduate masters in sexology. I’ve created workshops for young people that open up a space for them to discuss sex, sexuality, intimacy, sex-positivity, masturbation and safe sex. Aiming to breakdown the taboos that surround the topic of sex, my mission is to empower and support people to embrace and accept their own unique sexuality. As well as sexuality education for groups of young people I am also passionate and driven to provide holistic sexuality coaching for adults.
What does your typical day look like?
A day in the life of my career is ever-changing and always interesting! Being a sexologist is a dream career for me.
Did you always know you wanted to be a sexologist?
I was always interested in talking, reading and learning about sex but didn’t realize I could make a career out of it! I was always the woman that everyone came to for advice, or to tell me about their secret desires and confessions. I’m open to anything, and non-judgmental, which makes it easy for people to talk to me about such a personal topic. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology when I was about 22 years old, travelled the world, became a mum, became a yoga teacher and then thought, what next? I watched the movie Kinsey and within a month I was enrolled to begin my postgraduate masters in sexology. It felt like a natural step forward in my career seeing as I am so passionate about the topic of sex and naturally comfortable and open when talking about sex others.
What are some of the things you do to educate young LGBTIQ youth?
I’ve been volunteering with a support group here on the Gold Coast for young people who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity. I recently ran a workshop for them that created a space for them to talk openly about sex. Unfortunately, sex is still a ‘taboo’ topic in society, so simply getting them talking about it is a great start.
What sort of things did you talk about?
We discussed questions such as, What is sex? What does it mean to be sex-positive? Is masturbation healthy? In a heteronormative world, sex is typically thought of as a penis penetrating a vagina so I believe it’s important that the young people can chat about what sex means to them, ensuring that they understand it means different things to different people, and that’s okay.
Do you have any advice for Straddlers who are interested in sexology or educating young queer people about sex? What can they do to get started?
Begin reading, and don’t stop! Educate yourself, as well as working on exploring your own sexuality. Get involved in local groups in your community who support young LGBTIQ people.
You mentioned that being a mum is one of the most important things to you. Tell me more about being a mum!
Being a mum is definitely the craziest and most challenging life-changing experience, but by far my best achievement yet! Milli is now 7 years old and is the most beautiful little lady. Becoming a mum was a lifelong dream for me and being pregnant and giving birth was amazing and empowering as a young woman. Milli was born on my 24th birthday, the BEST birthday present ever! I can’t wait to be pregnant again!
What is your number one favorite thing about being a mother?
Number one favorite thing was holding her in my arms for the first time. That moment was the happiest, most profound moment in my life.
What is the number one most challenging things about being a mother?
The most challenging thing about being a mother is not being able to just get up and travel the world for months at a time.
Are there any specific challenges to being a queer mom?
When Milli was born I was in a heterosexual relationship with her father. I identify as bisexual and am now in a relationship with my beautiful woman. So far it’s been pretty smooth sailing being in a same-sex relationship and being a mumma. I guess when Milli grows up I’m a little concerned she may come up against questions from friends at school about my sexuality… but I’m confident that her and I have a close relationship, and will be able to talk openly about any challenges she faces as a young woman.
Where are some of your favorite places you’ve traveled?
Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, and Nepal. All rich in culture, filled with amazing people, stunningly beautiful landscape and delicious food. I went to school in Brazil when I was 16 and fell in love with the country and people, and ended up spending a couple of years there… the country is filled with people who love life, eat a lot, dance a lot and smile a lot.
Do you have any travel advice for readers?
Spend time traveling solo. Traveling alone you are forced to get to know yourself and draw from your inner strength, finding true peace in your own company. Solo travel can be lonely and yet so empowering. My favorite solo travel experience was on a trek in the Himalayas in Nepal.
What are some of your favorite books?
Any book filled with poetry by Rumi. I’m secretly a hopeless romantic. Other than Rumi, my book shelf is full of books related to my career and passion – Vagina by Naomi Wolf, Women on Top by Nancy Friday, The Sexual Practices of Quodoshka by Amara Charles are some of my favorites this year. I love a good-looking book shelf! One of my favorite quotes is “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
Ha! I’ll second that one. What are some of your favorite movies?
Where in Australia do you live?
I live in Burleigh Heads, Queensland, about three blocks from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Ohhh, can you recommend some of your favorite spots in your neighborhood or in Australia in general?
My favorite spot in Australia is definitely Byron Bay, about an hours drive south from where I live. Byron is a cute little hippie beach town, full of beautiful people, amazing coffee and blue ocean. Walk up to the lighthouse and then have brekky and a coffee at Bayleaf Café. Living in Byron is definitely on my to-do list!
That sounds so perfect. Do you have any celeb crushes?
Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross, both beautiful sex-positive women who believe sexual pleasure and orgasm are the source of life and creativity. Watch their videos at www.dodsonandross.com.
I really like Betty’s videos – I’ve learned a lot from her! Thinking about the future, do you have a five year plan? A ten year plan?
Oh jeez… my plans change as often as I change my underwear! Five year plan is definitely to have more children and get married. Alongside being an outstanding and committed mother I will change people’s lives by empowering them to explore their sexuality, their desires, their inner-most sexual selves.
Ten year plan? Live a simple life. Enjoy life’s simplest pleasures like strong coffee, the ocean and family. Surround myself with amazing people. Continue living close to the beach. Make love often. Treat my woman like the goddess that she is. Travel. Continue to embrace who I am with confidence, acceptance and love.
Do you have any advice you wish you could’ve given your 21 year old self?
Travel the world. Enjoy sex and intimacy, explore as much as you can and embrace your curves and femininity! Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Autostraddle community?
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.” – Rumi
If you would like to be featured as a future Straddler on the Street, please email vanessa [at] autostraddle [dot] com. Include a few photos, 3-5 sentences about yourself and put “Straddler Submission” in your subject line. Approximately a million people have submitted so far, so please be patient as Vanessa goes through her inbox — you’re all sexy with really smart brains, and don’t you forget it!