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163. Your Self-Discovery Journey of Sexual Liberation with Dr. Juliana Hauser

Nicole: Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast exploring sex, relationships, and liberation. I'm your host, Nicole.

On today's episode, we have Dr. Juliana, who Join us for a conversation about the cultural shift towards sexual empowerment and pleasure. Together we talk about when your biggest fear is having to seduce someone, no longer whispering the word clitoris, And the freedom of embodying your pleasure.

Hello, dear listener, and welcome back to Modern Anarchy. I'm so delighted to have all of you pleasure activists from around the world tuning in for another episode each Wednesday. My name is Nicole. I am a sex and relationship psychotherapist with training in psychedelic integration therapy, and I am also the owner of The Pleasure Practice.

I am so excited to share this episode with you, dear listener. When your biggest fear is having to seduce someone, I often have pleasure practice clients who come in with this concern. And one of the first things that I tell them is, Okay, tonight, you are going to get in front of a mirror, and you are going to seduce yourself. Seduction begins with knowing your own power.

I want you, dear listener, to look into a mirror and know that you are powerful. To know that you are sexy. And to know, in the deepest part of your heart, that someone would be so incredibly lucky to be with you. And when you know that power, when you can look into your own eyes in the mirror and feel that.

You will be able to play with seduction and have fun with tapping into that part of yourself. And that journey of knowing your empowerment? There is no final destination to that journey, dear listener. You are going to spend a lifetime unpacking and exploring and how exciting, right? But that journey is It is messy.

It is full of discomfort because remember, we are in a society that has so deeply disconnected us from our pleasure, particularly depending on your different intersecting identities, there might be even more to impact that is in the way of your pleasure. With my own journey coming from purity culture.

Some of you, dear listeners, have heard me talk about this in other episodes where I was taught the paper test of if I have sex with other people, I lose parts of myself. You stick the paper together with glue, the whole thing, right? So essentially, if I had sex with more than one person in my entire life, I would be worthless and broken and not valuable.

And as you can imagine, that messed me up in a lot of complicated ways. And to be in the badass, playful, liberation of pleasure I have now. Wow, what a journey. The amount of tears I have cried, the amount of times I have been so confused and had no idea what I was doing, that is why I am so passionate about this space, about having these conversations, about working with my clients from the pleasure practice, because I know how hard this journey can be.

And I also know the amount of pleasure that is this. And I'm still confused, dear listener. I'm still unpacking parts of myself, so please don't think that I have reached some final destination. I have learned a lot, and the land that I am in now is so pleasurable and shame free and expansive, but I'm still unpacking things.

and learning parts of myself. And that's why it's so fun to have this space where I can have these conversations with other experts in the field and get to share them with you. Dear listener, I'm going to be in this space with you for many years to come. I can't even fathom 10 years from now, 20 years from now, what sort of pleasure liberation we will be running with.

I know that it is going to be better than any of our wildest dreams, and at the end of the day, our sexuality is pleasure. It is play. It is connection with ourself and others. And it's narrative and story. The story we are telling ourselves about our lives and what we are doing. And so I see that as so deeply connected that sometimes it's hard for my brain to take a break.

And I am working on that one, but. I am also just having so much fun, dear listener, taking you on this journey with me, and I hope you're enjoying it just as much as I am. Alright, if you are ready to liberate your pleasure, you can check out my offerings and resources at modernanarchypodcast. com, linked in the show notes below.

And I want to say a big thank you to all of my Patreon supporters. You are supporting the long term sustainability of the podcast, keeping this content free and accessible for all people. If you want to join the Patreon community and support the show, the link is in the show notes below, or you can head on over to patreon.

com slash modernanarchypodcast. And with that Dear listener, please know that I am sending you all my love, and Let's tune in to today's episode. So then the first question I like to ask each guest is, how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Dr. Juliana: Ah, so I'm Juliana. It's funny, I get a lot of, uh, surprise when I say that I live in Kentucky.

And, and, and I'm in the sexuality world, um, hilarious to me. I'm not from here, but that's where I live. Yeah. I am Juliana and I'm somebody who, um, who really loves to, to talk about sex and sexuality. I really love helping people know that their stories matter. I do that through a lots of different ways as a therapist and as a sex educator.

And that is kind of like the, even though I, I started off as a kindergarten teacher, which is very, very windy road, but I think that's been the thread of all of my work is wanting people to know that. Who they are and what they're going through matters.

Nicole: Yeah. Well, I'm delighted to have you here. You're on the right podcast.

Yeah. So how did you first get interested in this work then?

Dr. Juliana: I realized pretty quickly that teaching wasn't really what my calling was, but like sitting in people's lives with them was. And so I knew I needed to shift to counseling and Like whenever I could have a chance to do a practicum or an internship, I, I didn't realize it at the time, but I, I, when I look back, every single place that I went has something to do with sexuality.

I worked in an AIDS outreach program. I worked in group home for girls who were sexual abusers and being abused. And I was always asking my clients about their sexual lives. Or I found that my clients were often talking to me about it. So when I went back and got my PhD, I had one class that I don't know if she'd know this, but that you don't have to have a sexuality class, um, to be a therapist.

Yep. And I was able to have one. And at that class I sat like this, I'm so interested. And I looked around at my colleagues who I love and respect. They were like, they're like, Oh, get through this. And I remember just thinking like, what, how can you not think this is the best class that my professors took me aside and she's like, every once in a while, somebody, somebody like you comes along, you need to do this.

You need to really think about this being where you focus. And shockingly, it had never occurred to me. And I'm so grateful. She said something. And then when she said something, everything clicked. Looked back at one of those like movie moments and I was like, Oh, right. And then there's my personal journey to that.

For me, I realized that when I was really understanding a holistic view of what sexuality is, that that's really when a lot of my personal life changed. And so my personal and professional life, um, came together, which is so often the case.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Like me, I've every single class I had when it was like open presentation topic.

It's like, here we go. And then everyone goes silent and you can like feel the room shift and I'm like, yeah, so I'd be curious if you'd be willing to share a little bit about how your personal journey came into this as well.

Dr. Juliana: Yeah. So I was raised in a pretty strict household. My parents were medical, uh, in the medical field.

And, and so anything that I really learned was pretty much fear based. Um, and then it was, we know, like in the U S we are just so poorly educated, um, and educated at all. And I have this one story about, um, a seventh grade sex ed class. I was so excited that I got the hot, uh, Uh, gym teacher, and I was like, I just knew she knew everything about sex and she was going to tell us all about it.

I was so excited. She started off the class saying that we could ask anything we wanted to. And she had us write it, write our questions down. And for me, the biggest problem was like, which one of my questions do I ask? I finally came up with one and I had folded it a special way so that I knew when my question was going to be asked.

And, uh, when it came to it, she, she read it. To herself. And she said, Oh, that's inappropriate. And she threw it.

Nicole: Oh, no,

Dr. Juliana: it was devastating. And the question was, what's the deal with vaginal discharge, which is hilarious to me that that was like the one question I picked in seventh grade, but awful that that was considered appropriate.

And at the time it wasn't as if I had this conscious memory of like, I'm or thought that I'm going to change the world. And it landed. You think this isn't right? Uh, so I think this seed was planted then. And then when I went off to college, I was lucky enough to have a really good group of girlfriends.

And I went to a really small private school, really, really small, like 850 students, small. So we were really, really close. We knew each other really well in that group. We all had very, we had a lot of variety of our sexual backgrounds. We had a lot of variety of what we were doing currently, what we were wanting.

And it was the first time, honestly, that I felt safe with women and I felt safe showing up with the truth of who I am. No, no one, we weren't looking for sameness. We were looking for honesty. And that was what was supported. Um, if anything, if you weren't being honest, that was really the biggest problem in the group.

And so it was the first time I really understood at the time I didn't have the word for it, but what I now know is agency. First time that I felt like, oh, this is what it's like to be truthful about who you are. And when you're around other people who have differences and they're being truthful about who they are and everyone has room to figure out their yeses and their nose, you know, in the details, but also in the general sense, then it really is life altering.

And I was never the same and then I thought, oh, that's just how the world works when you leave home and I got married right out of college and my husband was in the military and so we moved quite a bit and I realized. Nope, that is not everywhere. That's not just leaving your home. If you really have to look for people, relationships and communities that support you being truthful about who you are, especially about your sexual life.

And I, since I got married young, um, I, uh, from my first marriage, I quickly learned that you don't talk about your sex life, like there's this thing that happens when you get married that all of a sudden it's secret, but yet I was. I was 22, which let's not even talk about that. You know, I, I sort of very young age, I went from being so open and it being so welcome, boring to like, Oh, we're not supposed to talk about it anymore.

And feeling that changed as well as I going through my education as a therapist, there's just a lot of dissonance. I knew I couldn't be the only one feeling that way. So I wanted to change it. I wanted things to be different. And I wanted to have. Relationships that had agency. I wanted to teach people to have that themselves.

And I went to, um, LA for a while and acting in between my master's and my doctorate. And my acting coach said, we had this one class and she said like, what would be the worst scene that you'd ever have to do? And I went first and there was a group of like, maybe like 16 of us. And I was like, Oh, so do you think somebody, I remember it just came, came to me, yeah.

And then people started looking at me, they're like, uh, raping somebody or like murdering a child. And I just kind of looked at me like, what? Like that's worse. See? Like, yeah. And afterwards she came to me, she's like, what, what is that? Why is that the scariest thing for you? And I was like, God, I wish I hadn't been honest.

And she said, she's like, so right now I want you to like, so do, so do. And so you can imagine that was terrible. It was awful. So. So painful, so inauthentic. And she's like, price, do you feel seduced? And he's like, not at all. She picked somebody else, another woman who was really in touch with that part of herself.

She had her seduce him. And he's like, she's like, were you seduced? And he's like, yup, that was hot. And she looked at me, she's like, fix it, fix whatever it is. So I had this moment again, like I had just had lots of these kind of weaving moments. And I, and that is the time when I realized my sexuality or sexuality in general is the essence of who you are.

And so, Even though it wasn't truly about seduction, it was a time in my life where sex was more performative sex, not really being in touch with who I am and sexuality was just about sex. It wasn't about the wholeness of who I am, and I started learning and researching everything that I could. Uh, what that looked like and what that meant.

And, um, eventually it all kind of just made sense and came together for me.

Nicole: Yeah. Your poor heart though, to have someone else, like you have that experience. Okay. She can do it now. You will have to. Yeah,

Dr. Juliana: it was rough. It was rough, but. You know, I'm not sure I would advocate treating somebody like that, although in a good way, that was just kind of how it was then, but I, I'm not sure I would have had the wake up call hadn't been so bold and blunt, um, about it.

So, you know, in some way, although it was mortifying, I think that be shaken up a bit, because if you could ask me at the time, I would have told you, I was really in touch with who I was as, as a sexual being. And I would have told you I had a great sex life and I would have told you, like, I, and I really thought it, but I think that's all I allowed myself to see.

Nicole: Sure. Well, that's the journey, right? Like we always think we're right there until we get further along. We're like, Oh, I knew nothing. Right. I'd be curious then if we could even like slow down into that moment, you know, talk to me about like what you did and that person did and how they were different and what was, you know, yeah, that difference between the two of you.

Dr. Juliana: Yeah. You know, I, I, that's such a great question and you're the only one that's ever asked me to ask. I think that's just a beautiful follow up. I'd love to talk to her. I would love to ask her what, because I didn't at the time, I didn't go to her afterwards. I was so embarrassed about it. She was kind. She, she wasn't doing anything towards me at all.

But my guess is I felt it was audacious. To step into a place of assuming somebody would want me. I think that was the deepest part of what felt awful. And I wasn't doing the lines of a scene that I could quote hide behind, or it wasn't drinking on a, you know, on a fun night out that I could hide behind that, which is more of what I was probably doing at the time, but it was, I had to show up as Juliana.

And I had to think of what, and this is something I didn't know very well either. So we didn't even have that. And it wasn't consensual, you know, like all those kinds of things. I didn't feel safe either, which is a big aspect of it. But if you take out the obviousness of that, I think I got really in my head of is sexy.

And what is he going to want? What looks sexy? What acts sexy? Instead of knowing in any way how to get in touch with the truth of what feels sexy for me, what I feel comfortable offering somebody. And I think also I had, I did not feel comfortable to say no, I didn't feel comfortable to do any of those things.

And I think even if you don't want to say no, if you know, you can't, then that's really difficult to get into that place. I mean, I guess is with her, she didn't have the same kind of hangups or she knew how to get into that place of herself, whether it was a role in still performative or it was a place that she, it didn't feel audacious or out of, out of sorts for her.

Nicole: Yeah.

Dr. Juliana: Like it did for me. That's my, that's my guess.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And of course, like you said, the container for that situation was not. Ideal in any capacity. But yeah, thinking about what you had just shared about, you know, not being able to tap into a deep knowing that you are wanted and attractive and like, how huge that is to be able to be in that sort of playful space of seduction.

Dr. Juliana: Yes. Yeah. And even the word seduction is such an interesting, uh, interplay and it's part of, um, like the, the, I had this course called revealed and it's actually one of the questions. It's like, what is seduction? What's your relationship to seduction? Um, what's it like for you to seduce somebody? What's it like to be seduced?

Um, and I, I used to think that was a pretty benign sort of questions. And I, I've learned even just even with my own experience, but I've learned, uh, through the years of doing it, that, that, and the question about flirting brings a lot in people. Um, but I, I wouldn't have been. Anticipated, but I think it, there's a lot about owning who you are as a sexual being and the act of flirting and seduction.

Nicole: Yeah. Well, cause it's energetic, right? I feel like you can feel it in the people and the way that they carry themselves and the way that they play and the way that they feel a little bit more embodied. It's, it's so much more, at least for me, when I'm thinking about being seduced by other people, like it's so much less of a, uh, body or how they look as much as it is, like, how are they showing up energetically?

And the ways that they're playing with me and I can feel that energy and that power within them. Right?

Dr. Juliana: Yes. And I think if you had been the recipient of that, of me trying to seduce somebody or seduce you, you would have felt desperate. Like the energy would have been desperate, the energy would have been like, Frantic and like, please let this end here.

Let's share. Let's let's find some level of consent and let's have fun and play with this and just see, which is something I could have done in other spaces. Um, but I just. That was it.

Nicole: Totally. Yeah, it's hard. And I mean, I think that's why I've enjoyed recording with a lot of different, um, dominatrix of just like, how do you do this?

Where did you get this, you know, power? How did you step into that? And one of the times we were even talking about, you know, like in psychology, we talk about, you know, top down processing, but, you know, we have the bottom up. So even just thinking about, you know, like dropping the shoulders back. Yeah.

Opening up the chest, right? Like the ways that we can open up the body to feel into that power without even having to come from that cognitive space, I think can start to get some of us into that headspace of power and ownership to be able to seduce other people. And at the end of the day, play, right?

Dr. Juliana: Yes, beautifully said.

Nicole: Yeah. So, I mean, I think that's what I'm passionate about. I get a lot of women that come to me that are, you know, like, I don't know how to be sexy. What does this mean? You know, and I think we can also take that in a larger cultural context of the ways, you know, what sort of media and images we've seen around women's sexuality, right?

It's always the demure, soft, receiving end, right? So, to be able to step into this empowerment, part of it is that larger societal context of just lacking the images around it.

Dr. Juliana: Absolutely. Yeah. And, and, and, Letting somebody into the process of how do you find it yourself? I used to have this workshop called finding sexy. And I was, I worked at this, uh, this one, like adult camp. And I, it was the first year that I'd done the workshop. And I was thinking it was because usually my workshops are like, you know, full and people are lining at the door and it was crickets. And I mean, I was literally standing outside the door going like, Come on, like, you know, I don't buy it.

And I had a few people say like, no way am I coming in to like finding sexy, like, you know, just all, just even the words put together, well, confronting and misogynistic and abs and not me. I heard that a whole lot. I had about 20, 20 to 25 women come in. This was, um, an all female identified group and we had such a rich discussion.

Yeah. About what does that mean? What does sexy mean? What have we been taught about it? Why does it feel so foreign and so confronting to so many of us? And is the right term finding it is, is that another directive? Is that another thing that feels like you have to do? And I was probably one of my favorite workshops that I've done because we really like, it felt like we were working with a piece of clay and we were molding it together.

And at the end, it felt really great to not have a consensus, but also to walk away, not feeling like that was a terrible word.

Nicole: Mm. Sexy?

Dr. Juliana: Mm hmm. Yes. Yeah.

Nicole: Interesting. Yeah. I mean, if we think about objectification, right, all of that, but like, what's the empower? I mean, I guess, like you said, there's no answer to this, right?

But I'm also thinking about the empowerment side of knowing that you are a powerful being that other people want and not having that be like a, And objectification, but knowing your power, like there's that other side to the coin there. I feel like.

Dr. Juliana: I agree. Yeah. And I found that a lot of, for the people that I work with, if we can start just even begin looking at it, like sexy could mean vibrancy.

Sexy could mean like a spark inside of you that have to have this overt sexual, like how the media has taught us what sex, sexy is and sexuality is. Then that feels like there's room for people to grow of what that means for them to walk into that power and to, and to, again, you know, just to say like, yes, people would want this.

I am wantable. I am somebody that can draw others to them no matter what the context of that is.

Nicole: Yeah. And I mean, if it's your life energy at the end of the day, right? Like that ability to play and be in your body and your pleasure. I mean, that's crossing all the different domains of your life. Right. So, I mean, it makes sense to be able to tap into that and then that carry out into sexiness. But I'm also thinking that I've heard a lot of the same things about kink, right?

And the ideas of submission and how women feel like, Oh, aren't we just falling into the patriarchy and doing that. And it's like, Ah, well, what if you do it with two women? What if you do it with, you know, like, you know, let's think deeper. Yeah. Um, and also the, the power of the person who is submissive that controls the whole scene.

And at any point, you know, it gets to determine when it stops or ends. Like there's so much power in that. But at first, like when you hear it, you're like, Oh, are we falling into the patriarchy? But I think there's that deeper. implication. Great. Yeah. Yes. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. So I think there's so many ways where, you know, it's just continuing to pull back those layers on like what the cultural myths are, particularly, you know, cause we existing in America, we have cultural myths around what it means to be a woman, what it means to be in sexual dynamics.

And I think that's like the biggest thing I'm sitting at these days is just feeling the large, Cultural implications, right? Like in certain cultures, like hugging someone of a different gender is forbidden, right? And that's a cultural practice. And in some communities, like having threesomes for something, you know, five, like that's a cultural practice and it feels normal and like people are just end up in such a different smattering space for how they feel about these acts and what it means in their narrative and their story of who they are.

Religion. I mean, there's just so much here.

Dr. Juliana: Yes. And it's something that we have relegated to only when you have time or it's not, it isn't a priority in our life to sort through yet it. I don't know you feel this way, too. It should be that if we are out of touch and don't understand how we've been taught what we've been taught and sit there and decide what feels right for us and understand what those myths are and what feels again, like, what feels accurate and what feels inaccurate, then we go through life.

Having so many questions and disconnect and relationships that don't feel authentic and times that we don't feel truthful, like we're showing up for ourselves.

And it's so unfortunate that we've made sexuality so taboo when it really should be the normalcy and, uh, the baseline for all of our discussions, the open lens to look through life.

Nicole: Right. Cause it's play. Like somehow, somehow, I mean, it's again, if you think about the history of America, puritanical cultures, Christianity, et cetera. So it makes sense. It's not somehow we didn't just get here. You know, it's very rooted there. But when you think about the realities of what we're talking about of like, Intimacy and play and then using our bodies to access states of pleasure, like, you know, like, when you put it in that way, it seems like why in what world would this be so forbidden?

But when we have such deep cultural roots and narratives around it, then yeah, of course. Right. So I think. Collectively, we're in a big shift moment, right? If we think about something like the internet providing access to porn and content and, you know, that question that you asked your sex ed teacher that is now everywhere on the internet.

We're having such like a huge cultural revolution to be able to have access to these ideas in ways that we didn't when we lived in our small communities. And we're so deeply influenced by religious culture. Culture, right? So we're having this large shift where I think that's how we can explain some of these like differences and relating like the rise of non monogamy and all these other pieces that are shifting as we have more access to information about these topics.

Dr. Juliana: Yes. Yeah. And it is, it is very exciting to hear, um, even some of the younger generation. Of like they're having, they think it's insane that we are, I can't understand how in the world did we survive, you know, in, in these ways and are wanting to teach the generations, um, that have come before them too. I'm so grateful for that.

There are a lot of people, like, I'm sure you had this too. Like a lot of people are asking me with quotes on some of the stats and the studies are coming out that people are younger people are not having sex and not interested in it and wanting my read of it. And I, I just feel that. There's a misread of what the stats are saying.

And there's a, there's a lot of questions that aren't being asked. Um, so there's a misunderstanding of what this generation is looking at sex as. And I think if it was people like you and I running these studies, uh, we would have questions that would actually be getting a fuller picture of what we're looking at.

And I think it's rooted in what you just said is that we have to have a different understanding of what sexuality is. We're speaking apples and oranges. I think that to make sense

and, um, and I'm, I'm very thrilled with how a lot of the next generation is, um, is bringing sexuality into the forefront. A lot of hope of what that's going to do for our culture.

Nicole: Sure. Yeah. Do they include masturbation in there as like part of the stats or

Dr. Juliana: not that, not that I can see. Mm. Mm. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Pleasure. You know, all of, all of those things. Is that not sex? What? That. And, um, no, I think it's, they're not, from what I can say, they're not asking about the quality of what they're looking for.

Or, and what that feels like to have sexual agency as opposed to just saying yes, or letting things happen. Um, I think that's really different. I think in general, I think the next generation is finding sexual agency, which sometimes means saying no, a whole lot more often with confidence and not feeling sad by choice that they're saying no, uh, and that makes a very big difference too, of how you're feeling about yourself.

I think one of the questions that's not being asked is how do you feel about yourself as a sexual being? And I think I would love to know that. And I, my guess is that in general, that the, you know, the high schoolers and college kids right now are feeling better about who they are as sexual beings and the generations before them.

But that question hasn't been asked.

Nicole: Yeah. We can only hope, right? We can only hope.

Dr. Juliana: That was not everybody by any. Yeah. But I think that there's a shift towards that. And at the least, I think the beginning of that is they are the first generation that has been able to ask the question.

Nicole: Right.

Dr. Juliana: And even if the answers aren't concise or they're not this, you know, that we don't have a consensus of that.

I think that's the beginning of the change.

Nicole: Right, and you can Google that answer at any point and get that and no, and so it's not just this internal spiral of what if, and I can't ask my friends because, oh, no, if I do, right, like, that's a whole different psychological headspace where you can just ask these and the ways that that dismantle shame and.

Yeah. It's interesting to think if we were running that research, right? Just the different variables we would have. I think that was one of the biggest things of going to grad school and learning about the ways that, you know, so much of the research is biased based on the variables. Of course we need the research, but I've gotten to the space where I'm like, God, I don't, I don't trust anything these days.

You know what I mean? Like, no. Yeah. Yeah. I want to see every single part of it before I, and have a conversation with them.

Dr. Juliana: You know, That is true. Yeah. So I've been asked to, I was supposed to do it yesterday, but, uh, that they had to cancel it. Actually, unfortunately, they had a light side outbreak at the school, but I was teaching them the first time that I have been back in with seventh and eighth graders for a very long time.

And. I had them submit some questions ahead of time, and they were the most darling questions. And one of them I thought was so interesting. Um, they asked, why is it that it is weird and abnormal and awkward for children to be taught about sex and sexuality? But then it's this over normalizing. Everyone's supposed to know once you become a teenager and someone in college, you're supposed to know everything.

And it's It's weird to not ask about it. Why is there the shift from childhood to adolescence? And I thought that was just such an interesting question. And I thought, I'm not sure this would have been asked 15, 20 years ago, certainly 30 years ago, when that was more in my timeframe. And it made me smile to like, Oh, this is, these are deeper level questions.

Um, and several of them were like that, that they asked deeper level questions And that got me really excited too. That means they're thinking about this and not nearly as afraid. It's not just about the information, the nuts and bolts of things. It's the overarching philosophy of sexuality. That's how we make a cultural shift.

Nicole: Yeah. Cause it's a good question.

Dr. Juliana: It is a good question. Yes.

Nicole: Yeah. Do you think you have any thoughts on that? Like, when would you start? I mean, it's all developmental, right? So you start at different developmental ages and stuff, but I'm just curious, like, when do you start or recommend people start that sort of conversation with children?

Dr. Juliana: It is so interesting because, you know, in my, when I teach it, I think it is like, it's all developmental, but it needs to start early. And a lot of times what I'll tell parents is. Actually, more about you learning how to get comfortable than it is about what you're actually teaching your kids, um, in the beginning.

And so it's never too early to be saying things. And I have 2 children and my son is almost 25 and my daughter is 10. So I. I'm very different. They, they have very different moms and my career has changed a lot between his, when he was really young and when she was really young. And, um, so I was like, okay, now I'm living this.

Now I'm going to live this with my daughter. What I've been teaching other people when I was teaching my, she was three and four and I was teaching her the word clitoris. And she started talking about it. I was surprised how confronting that was for me to have this sweet, darling little voice. Saying clitoris and, and to her was normal.

'cause that's why I was teaching her to say that. And she knew that there was something different about that. And I remember thinking, I almost said to her, you can't say this to your friends. Yeah. I remember thinking that. I thought, oh my gosh. Like, this is what I do. This, this is, yeah. My perception. And I am concerned about, it's sounding like it's sexualizing a young child.

Mm-Hmm. . And I think that's part, that was part of my answer that I, that, that I'll, I'll be giving is I think. We still have this cultural fear that education and words can sexualize, um, kids and instead of arming them with information. Um, and if I, who have studied this and worked this for so long, still have that programming, then that is very telling.

Nicole: Of how far we're going to have to go as a society, right?

Dr. Juliana: Yeah. But then one of my favorite stories too, is my daughter for a while was saying vagina. And the other way she was saying, it was so funny. I was at this, uh, this neighborhood gathering and this woman started saying that her, her son said, Oh yes, I have a penis.

And my friends have a vagina. And I remember looking out the way to say, I went to the school. And I think my daughter, I think she was going around like the preschool talking people about vaginas. And, um, and I thought that's, I think that's wonderful and normalizing and we've made it something that's not normal.

And so we've taught them at a young age, there's a, this is okay. And this is not okay. And, and we very early, even with body part naming, even when that's a developmental, that's really. Much as they need to know and much as we're going to understand, this is an elbow, this is a vulva, but we don't say it like that.

We say, like, here's your, there's songs about eyes and ears and noses and then, and then that's,

Nicole: yeah,

Dr. Juliana: all these rules. And we change the way we talk about it. And the root of the question that I was asked is. So why does it shift then? And, and I think in some ways, developmentally, we feel like they can handle more and they could be engaging in these things more, but it's a shame that we say the developmentally appropriate terms and education differently at a younger age too, because we are teaching them something just subtly that is quite powerful.

Nicole: Yeah, shame, right? Through that whisper. That's right. Yeah, and it's wild when you think about it. Like, you're teaching them anatomy. Right. Just basic words and anatomy. Yes. You know, whoa. You know.

Dr. Juliana: No, but the other thing though, and I, I wasn't going to bring this into the classroom because I know it's already just a very big deal to have someone doing sex ed in a school, but outside of that, really, when I was thinking through it, I was thinking, but really where I think the difference comes is back to the conversation about pleasure, because at that age.

Okay. They are touching themselves and they find out that their bodies can feel pleasure and they're like, this is so awesome. And this is special and this is fabulous. And we're like,

no, or not here, or there's, there's a place and there's a time and there's, you know, all those kinds of things, which, which I understand we do need to teach appropriateness and, and, and there is a time and a place of things, but we say it differently.

And that is not lost on children. And again, even the best intention, most, you know, sexually open and educated people still can have that guttural reaction to it. Um, I remember this interview I did, uh, this guy who I would consider very evolved and, um, in a kind of, kind of, in a spiritual world. And we had this wonderful conversation.

He knew I was in a sexual world. For it to show me how involved he was. And he's like, I have always supported. He had, he had two gendered children. One that was male gender when it was female gender. And he's like, I've always supported that they both have access to self pleasure. And I was like, great and wonderful.

And he's like, and I just tell my daughter to make sure she washes her hands afterwards. And that was like his headline of it. And. At the time I was interviewing them, I was like stunned. I didn't want to necessarily call him out and embarrass him. But I was thinking like, wait, wait, what? Yeah, you're teaching your daughter that it's dirty and that was not what you say to your son.

And he was. Thinking that that was his affirmation of her and, uh, was not aware that there was anything, a part of that, that was teaching her something different. And again, I, I, I understand like not getting into all the, the, the other aspects of it, of bodily fluids, but, It was gendered and what was said, and I think that also goes, uh, makes a very big difference of the shame that we add.

I think there is some genderedness to the difference too. And that's when we start. I think that's often too, where those who are like female identified. Become the gatekeepers of sexual shame and sexual pleasure.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And it was mind boggling for me to learn that like, uh, marital rape wasn't illegal in all 50 states until 1997.

Unbelievable. What, like 50 years we're talking about here? So like, right. And that's particularly affecting women, right? So for thinking about just the, the culture, these, all these large shifts. Yeah. We're coming from a space where we have so much trauma. Culturally, particularly around women's sexuality.

Right. So, and we're still seeing that in like little comments like that. Right. So, which is why I'll be excited to have your daughter on the podcast at some point in the future. Right. She's going to be some liberated woman and I'll be happy to hold space for her journey. Right.

Dr. Juliana: Yes. Yeah. I hope so. Or I hope what I really hope for her.

And I've been asked this before of like, you know, what am I teaching my children? And, you know, my son was asked that quite a bit too, growing up, what's it like to have a sex therapist or sex educator as your mom. And he used to hate the question when he was, you know, until a really high school. And, um, I loved his answer.

One time he said, you know, my mom, hasn't just taught me how to treat others. She's taught me it's really important how I'm treated. And that wasn't a direct answer to sexuality. But it was his way of talking about agency and his way of talking about like his way in the world matters and his impact on others matter and how it's treated matters.

And I'm hoping that that's what she sees as sexual liberation too, that it gets to be what she needs and wants. And that I hope I've given her and continue to give her the pathway to discover it for herself.

Um, but gosh, is it hard to, again, like to, to see the programming and wanting to control some of that, even if it's from a good place.

Um, it's hard to let that go.

Nicole: Totally

Dr. Juliana: understanding for others too, but still we have to fight the good fight in this.

Nicole: Right, right. And that's why I appreciate you naming. I think the difficulties of wanting to teach that and then also feeling how that is, you know, conflicting with the culture and how that makes you even feel uncomfortable when you were teaching her the words, right?

And, and being able to hold that nuance of knowing that your values are giving her this liberation and that the society has taught other things. And so this is going to feel uncomfortable and knowing that that is part part of the process rather than feeling that discomfort and going like, okay, I can't do this and running away, right?

Just knowing that when we're trying to change the culture that has so many problem, it's going to feel uncomfortable as we start to step outside of these old paradigms.

Dr. Juliana: Which I think is the ultimate issue with sex education is that we don't do a great job as a society of dealing with our own discomfort.

And we put our discomfort and our inability to feel uncomfortable off onto children. And then they pick up that this is uncomfortable and weird and awkward. So then they respond to that. And, and so to really change the Generation, we have to always go forward and backwards. We have to always be doing the generations that are ahead and the generations that are behind and hope that there's a synergy to that because those who have not been properly sex educated are sexually educating the next generation.

And we keep hoping that it gets better and better, but, uh, but it's, it's still sometimes the blind meeting the blind. And when you think about this, like when we just started our conversation about in our professions, we aren't even, you know. formalized education. So we are informally sex educated properly.

We aren't formally and I know there's some there's some degrees and there are some tracks that you can do that. But just in general, and it's not as if there's a disclaimer out there. To the world of like, so we will talk to you about your sex lives, but let me let you know that it's been through workshops at a few conferences, you know, like those kinds of things.

Like, let's give informed consent on that. I talk about it all the time because I'm outraged by it. Um, and, and I, I think it's really terrible, but I also know there's so many of us who have done the work and have really worked very hard to be educated to the degree that we're competent to teach others and to open that space for others.

When we find each other, we just had these magnetic forces. We're together in this. We're trying. It's also, um, I wanted to bring up another point of like the interesting part of sexuality with the dissonance and the uncomfortable part and something else that where my professional life came with my personal life.

I love the idea of Shabari and I love the practice. I think it's really interesting and powerful and for a while it was something that I didn't understand, which would understand something that means I'm very drawn to it. And, you know, figure that out. And I want to know why it feels challenging to me, but I knew that the 1st time experience that I really wanted to be with somebody who was an expert, but it was hard to find, uh, in Kentucky and yes, or just around.

I mean, you know, I can. And I hadn't necessarily put tons of effort into finding it. It was, it was always on the list. And so I went to this wonderful, um, workshop, um, and, and conference through, um, Betty Dotson, and, um, and they had a Shibari expert there. So then, oh, I'm. Excited. So excited to do this. He's talked about it.

Then he has a couple of playmates with him, people that he had done a lot of Shabari work with, and they did some demonstrations for us. And some of the, some of the demonstrations were pretty powerful and impactful, and they didn't necessarily warn a lot of people about like the impact part of it. And so there was a beginning part of it, and then there was a break for lunch, and then there was going to be, we knew that we were going to have a chance to go with it.

And I've had an experience with, with abuse and there are people in the community that knew. And so at the end, there were several, a group of people that had also experienced some kind of violence that were like, this is awful. Like, this is not consensual. This is not what we want to be exposed to because some of it, you know, like when there's impact play, some of that.

Can feel even though you see that we saw the happening, it can feel it can look like it's abusive, even if it's not in this. Well, what has been agreed to and considered pleasurable. But I was like, no, I'm staying. And so they made the decision to not to not do it. I was like, no, I, I'm, I understand. It doesn't feel good, but I want to see the whole thing.

I want to experience the whole thing before I make a judgment on this. It was just one person. So I'm not gonna let one thing determine how much bars. So when they came out for lunch, he said that he needed someone to, to demonstrate with him. I want to do. I want this expert to do it. So we did it at, like you said earlier, I felt no attraction to him as a person or his being already look like, or, and I hadn't really sure.

It wasn't really sure how I felt about how he was teaching things, but the minute we got. Ari relationship. Rah, rah rah, . Wow. A power. Absolutely. Wow. And I could not believe the shift in me. I couldn't believe how quickly I felt trusting, how quickly I felt held, how incredibly safe I felt, how turned on, how attracted, I mean, all the things, the way that he spoke to me, the way that he got consent, the way that.

All of it worked with the ropes, with the movement, with the dance that we had, all of it was credible. And I couldn't believe that it felt healing.

It felt like, okay, I need this, I need this kind of dynamic inside and outside of sexual connection. Like it, it just made so many things click into space for me.

And I thought, again, all the caveats of someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who has the consent, all, all of the right things. In place. I thought this actually could be an incredibly healing space. And I'd already done like lots of research on this already and talked to lots of people, but I hadn't experienced it myself.

So when they came back, they're like, so I was like, Oh, um, my life has changed. And I'm the same with you. Like once you're in the space professionally, it can be really difficult to be recipient of things that you're often the expert walking into any space. Everything is through a professional hat. So it's very magical when you can still feel personal in a sexuality space.

And be taught by somebody else, I was able to say, Oh, this was a personal journey for me, and that may not be the same for you, but I really encourage you to be open to the rest of this. And they stayed in a difficult way. They came and then they allowed, they picked the partners that felt safe to them.

Um, and they let themselves be taught and explore and they all came back the next day and thought, Oh, this is not what we thought it'd be our own.

And we can have our own kind of Shabari, which to me, the whole process of that was like, that's exactly what sexuality is. It is about not being afraid of the differences, not being afraid of the things that feel different to us, foreign to us. And that doesn't mean everything has to be a yes. But I really firmly believe in like, no, thank you.

Bites, uh, let's like try something with everything being safe for you. And then if it's a, no, that's a no, that's great information, but it may be yes. Or maybe a yes. If, if we should need these kinds of things and, you know, And so often endeavors and explorations and sexuality become metaphors for other parts of your life, which again, always brings me back to is the essence of who we are.

And it's 1 of the most difficult places to find the truth of who you are. And to be supported in that endeavor and that exploration. So if you could do it in something as, as specific as Shabari or as, as wide, um, as your sensuality, and there's a hundred other examples, then the skill you have gained by doing is life altering.

Oh yeah. And so anyway, I, I think it's, there's so much about understanding the discomfort and why you feel, um, discomfort. Yeah. Figuring out what feels safe within that,

Nicole: right? Yeah. Thank you for sharing that experience. Yeah. It's so, I think there's needs to be more airspace, you know, about these sorts of discussions of how powerful it can be.

And yeah, that's why as a psychotherapist, I'm so fascinated by all of this because there's so much to unpack, right? And I do, um, psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. So I start to see all these crossovers about what it means to surrender, right? Like in that moment when the top is holding you like that and you're able to go into that subspace and let go, which I took a whole like class in Shibari with one of my partners runs a studio.

And is like one of those like experts in the field, which is really fun. So they kind of, like you said, when you're the expert to find another expert to let go into, it has been beautiful. Um, so I've learned a lot through them and their teachings and yeah, the first time that I came into that subspace, it felt like I was on a drug, like I was like, wow, this feels kind of like, like cannabis, like, whoa, you know, like, and you're like, oh, it's hitting the same neurons, right?

So then I, I start to see all these combos with my psychedelic work and this and how it all comes together. Surrender and, and the beauty of being able to let that go. But the first time that I had gone to their studio and watched them tie their partner, they had been with for years. It was great. They did like an initial discussion of like, you know, it was a female being tied and she was like, you know, like, I want this pain, particularly the Shabari, there's a lots of different types of Shabari, right.

But the Shabari that they teach is very Seminawa, which is based on like pain practice, pain practice. And so she was like, you know, like. I want this. This is what I'm choosing. I enjoy this space for these, these, these reasons. And then I watched her go into that and I watched her start to cry and I watched her start to like shiver.

And I was like, Oh my God. And I noticed my own reaction of like, maybe my therapist reaction or something. I was like, is she okay? Like, Oh my God. You know? But that's me projecting out right to someone who has had years of experience in these spaces and enjoys the edges that it brings them to right and all of that.

But so it's such an unpacking of our initial, you know, thoughts about it until you get into that space yourself and then experience what it can be like to actually access pain, which like God, we access pain in so many different areas of our life. Right. Like there's, you know, you're working out, you like the horror film, you like the cold shower, like, you know, so it's like to be able to choose it and to be able to see where that, you know, what that unpacks.

I mean, there's so much, I think, um, revealed in that state when you're sitting in, in the pain and the seminar one trying to, you know, I mean, it just starts to really parallel the psychedelic work that I do and all of this. And so, yes, as a psychotherapist, the amount of unpacking that you can find in your psyche up there.

Oh, it's been such, it's been the most fun journey of my life.

Dr. Juliana: Love it. Yes. And there's such a relationship between surrender and pleasure.

Nicole: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Juliana: And that, that the distance between the two and yet the, um, the lack of distance is so fascinating and you're right with, uh, I love you. I love the work that you're doing.

And I think it's, it is opening up such new worlds for us. And I'm very excited about that too.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think that a lot of, even, you know, tying back to what you were talking about early with the shame around sex, I think the same sort of Paradigms, you know, with drugs, right? Like is the shame paradigm.

Don't do it. Say, no, don't do it. Don't do it. But once you're 18, you know, I mean, now these days, like, you know, or 21, you know, you can have cannabis in Illinois, right? Like the same sort of paradigm where it's like you shift at this point and it's okay, but until then all bad. And, you know, there's been a lot of research that shows that like early harm reduction education, right.

Actually prevents like as much use and deaths, right. In children, people who overdose from not knowing and. You know, so we're starting here with a harm reduction framework of drugs. So it's like, okay, where's my pleasure. Education, you know, we got, we got to hold the brakes there. We got to go slow with the cultural shifts, but like, you see how those like start to parallel really fast.

Right. So I hope we get to a space where education can have harm reduction, pleasure enhancement in ways that teach people the science, like this is just the science of what it is, you know, and this is what we know. So that way people can make, like you said earlier, like. informed decisions about how they want to live their life, right?

Dr. Juliana: Yes. And when people have that information, then they get to take an information and even expand it even more, which then collectively helps us. Because, you know, it has to start with the few that will make the difference and will take the risk that will take the hits, frankly, like a lot of us do in the, in this world.

But the more that that grows, not only is it just a collective change, but it also expands what we can learn because when it's only a few people, that's all a factor. It's only a few people's minds and experience. And so we need more and more people to get perspective. We need different perspectives of it.

We need different experiences that then add to the collective knowledge of what this means. And it's happening. I do believe it's happening. I see it happening. I want it faster. But I'm glad that the shift is occurring.

Nicole: Yeah, for sure. For sure. So thank you for being a part of that. Same. Which makes me want to ask, like, a self focused question.

You were talking about being, like, an expert in this space, you know. How do you, uh, turn off your brain when you're trying to play? Yes. That's my question.

Dr. Juliana: Yeah. What? Yeah. So, it's, uh, that's, that is such an interesting aspect to do, and I, for me, um, it's, it's It is in the dating world. I'll, I'll have some, uh, someone say, you know, it's intimidating.

Yes. Knowing what you do. And at that point I'm just like, well, that's not going to work. Yep. That's your problem. Yes. Yeah. And like, I. I can't be in that. I can't open up to that kind of playfulness and pleasure. If I feel like I have to hold somebody in that, in that part of holding them in it, like I need them.

We all have insecurity. So I'm not needing, I'm not saying that they can't be insecure, but for me to turn my brain off. I need to know that somebody is taking care of themselves to a certain baseline and that they release me from expectations too. So that I get to find my edges. I get to find the, I don't have to show up and it doesn't trigger any performative part of me.

And when I feel myself being performative or having. Kinds of things that that's when I know I'm either not in the right relationship, not in the right, not shouldn't be doing what I'm doing, or I need to go back and take care of parts of me too. But I think I've really grown. And that's what I mean, like in the dating world, in my constant relationships, I've actually feel like I've made my circles.

Pretty small. And in those small spaces, those are the places that I feel really comfortable in showing all those parts of me in a safe way and that they're all welcome. The put together, the not put together, that I know things, I don't know things. I love it when I can share something from Juliana's point of view and not Dr.

Juliana's point of view. And I love it when, um, that's welcomed and seen as a personal exchange instead of professional one. That's two way. I really do a lot of work of tuning into my body. That was not something that was ever natural to me. And I felt envy for people who've had this really natural connection with their body.

It's something that I have to continue to work, work on and, and to protect. Um, and so when that feels different for me, that's when I know that, that I have to pull back and, and get very self focused and it is so beautiful when it feels very free. And I feel really comfortable when I'm around people who are self exploring when people are looking for their own edges too.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Coming back to the body is such a big piece of, uh, yeah, I teach yoga and I think that's where like my somatic focus comes back, but like, goddamn, it's hard. You know, I'm like mid experience playing. I'm like, Oh, that's interesting. Oh, I could write, you know, maybe that's a book later. Like blah, blah, blah.

Dr. Juliana: And That's probably the hardest part for me, more than like the, the sex expert aspect. It's my entrepreneurial brain. That's very hard for me to turn off and bless my staff's heart. This one woman, her name is Caitlin. She's like my, my most amazing person in my, on my team. And. Okay. When we were doing the hiring process, I was like, your job is to tell me, no, I will have a hundred ideas because one, there's so much that needs to be done.

And I often feel like this Chris that I'm on this crusade to make this difference and time is limited and, and you just have to remind me. I I'm only one person. And there's lots of other people doing this and yeah, so I, I relate to that. So there are times I would do yoga or meditation and I would have a notebook next to me because of the idea flows.

And then I'm like, what, what am I doing? I need to have the practice for me and not let it be the flow of ideas for others.

Nicole: Totally. Which is so hard because the reality is like, those ideas are great. We love them. But if If that's where we're at, we can't feel right. Like we, that's just the realities. We cannot multitask, right?

There's research on that. That is not possible. And so when that is going, I am not feeling the pleasure, right? Or I'm bouncing back and forth between the two and you lose part of the experience. But like, yeah, being able, you know, I teach my yoga classes and the first thing I do is I Shavasana for 10 minutes.

You know, just lay there, ha ha ha, feel your breath, let the mind quiet, and I always tell people this is probably going to be the hardest part of the practice, right? Like how often do we in modern society just lay there and try and feel our breath, oof, you know, but when I think about that, like how powerful that is, you know, to be able to be in that space where you're just feeling and actually not thinking, I mean, that's where all that pleasure can be right there, right?

Dr. Juliana: Yes. I didn't know that you taught yoga, but that makes so much sense to love how all of your work fits together. And I was thinking of this yoga group that I joined this past year and I'm the youngest by a lot and it was called a gentle yoga. I was thinking that it was more like restorative yoga. And so I had my mind what I'd experienced previously, what it was going to be and it wasn't, but it was exactly what I needed.

Because a lot of it was what is your body need? Um, and she'd give five different ways to put the pillow here to make you comfortable. And when I first was like, I don't know what would, I had another confronting moment of like, Oh, I do hard. I just push through the hard or the discomfort even physically, and just make it be okay because it's not going to last forever.

And it's so interesting. Like when you, you know, when I feel like I have learned all I need to learn about myself. And they're like, Nope, here you go. Here in this yoga class, you are being confronted again. Here's the, here's the, here's the notion of it was foreign to me that I could just change the pillow positioning to feel more comfortable and that wasn't my go to idea.

Someone else had to introduce that to me. And in fact, be persistent and asking me, is this comfortable? Is this what your body needs? And I remember the first time I was like, I almost made me cry. Cause I don't know. And yet I would probably, I would again, describe myself as somebody who, even though it doesn't come naturally to me, I've worked very hard to be in touch with myself.

My body is just beautiful to keep learning more about how far the practice can go and what it can be taught, whether it is through psychedelic motions, whether it's through Shabari, whether it's through a yoga class, there's always ways if you're conscious and looking for it and open to the learning.

And if you get how all of it fits together, holistically. Then you get to have those nuggets of things that you learn here, but you can put that knowledge into these other places and, you know, it's, it's life altering.

Nicole: Right. Exactly. Because then I know how to play. I know my worth. I know my ability to seduce when I want to turn that on.

Right. And that shows up in other areas when people are maybe treating me poorly. And I'm like, God dammit, no you're not! Sit down, you know what I mean? Like, because that's how I play in the dungeon, right? Or in these other spaces, is I know how to know, you know? So like, in ways that maybe I didn't culturally before, but yeah, it makes me think about acroyoga too, right?

Yes. Yeah. What a great, you know, obviously, you know, I have people in the community have told me it's not about the sexual intimacy dynamics in that way. But the reality is that you are going into a partnered space where, you know, Oh, that, that toe is hurting here. You need to move that here. Can you, can you adjust here?

Oh, what good practice for communication. Hmm.

Dr. Juliana: All, all of the things up tooting into your body saying that it's more helpful to the partnership to know this and to be in charge of that for your own body and to trust that it's going to matter to your partner. I mean, it, it, you're right. It is. It's just such a beautiful practice.

Right. It's learned so much about other parts of it because I know, you know, this in practice too, that there's some things that you could only really learn on your own and there's some things you could only learn in relationship to others. Right. And doing both is critical.

Nicole: Now, have you seen the people that do shabari and acro yoga at the same time?

Dr. Juliana: No.

Nicole: Yeah. That's a whole group of people too, that do that.

Dr. Juliana: Oh, I've got to learn more. That's fascinating.

Nicole: Yeah. Talk about surrender, trust and body awareness. I mean, yeah, yeah. So that's, that's a whole combo too. Wow. People like to combine psychedelics, you know, different psychedelic journeys. You can have multiple up in there.

But yeah, I mean, even in my own exploration, you know, I come from a trauma background and my own exploration of, um, psychedelics. There was so much for me, I think, to be able to do that alone. In my own space where I knew that no one would be impacting me and just to lay with my body and to have this moment laying there naked where it was just like, okay, why am I still holding tension?

No one's coming. I'm in a safe space. This is just my body. Like, why am I still holding? And I just remember that being such a powerful moment to realize that I could actually let go and relax and be safe. Um, and then ultimately had like a breath orgasm experience that I'm still trying to reach in ordinary states of consciousness, because, you know, when you're on the, the drug, there is that like heightened sensation where it's much easier to like feel it.

feel that. Wow. But I mean, I guess maybe it is like yoga, right? They say practice and all is coming. So maybe, you know, if I did dedicate more, like of that, like time alone to try and feel, that'd be more possible. So, and people can do it, you know, people can do it, but I've only ever reached that in like a, you know, heightened drug state.

Dr. Juliana: So. Yeah. So, um, I, uh, uh, have a colleagues with Barbara Carellas, you know, her, so she does a lot about breath, um, breath, orgasms and breath work. And that was the first time that I've experienced that. And it was in a group and yeah. And it and drugs were not involved in it. And I remember going into it thinking like, well, this doesn't usually work for me.

So like, but I can't wait to learn. And this is great. Barbara is the best. And an hour later I was like, no shit. Oh, right. Even with some resistance, it happened. And it was just. Absolutely. Magical. Yeah. He's truly gifted. Um, and, uh, yeah, you shouldn't, you shouldn't know her. She's, she's a pioneer, an early pioneer in this space and it's beautiful.

And like, even just listening to how she talks about how breath work and breath orgasms, uh, make a huge difference in everything that we're speaking about. I think so. So many of us, we all have different entry points. We're all speaking a very similar language and we need the different points. And then we need a different ways because we all have different skill sets from our body.

We all have different ways that our bodies explain and inform us and experience pleasure and integrate knowledge. And I often feel so grateful. Like there's a lot of being this space. I'm I'm wondering if you experienced this too, that's hard. And yeah. Skin and be no judge, like all, all that kind of stuff.

But I often sit there too and think, gosh, I'm so lucky. So lucky to be here. And I'm so grateful for who I get exposed to and the knowledge I get to have and how much I get to know more about myself, um, because of it. And. It's it's just even worth that personally of the growth that I've had as just a human, um, to be here and to be around other people who have thick skins and are dealing with the shit like I am too, um, that happens in the world.

It's, um, it's just beautiful to meet like minded souls like you.

Yes, it is. Yeah. It feels really nice. I need to talk to Barbara. That has been, I've been telling people, I'm like, once I'm out of grad school, I want to study breath. Like I don't want to study any more of this mind stuff that I've been studying for the last five years.

Like I just want to study the breath and what's possible. So I, there's my next path right there.

Yeah. Great. You will love her. Yeah. Truly fantastic. And she was a contemporary of Betty Dodson's too. Just really on the ground, um, in the beginning and a lot, a lot of, a lot of decades of doing this stuff. And she's honed her craft.

Um, and beautifully too.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Juliana: I'm excited for you.

Nicole: Thank you. Yeah, it's beautiful to be in community with other people, like you said, who have that thick skin and, and know what it means. And kind of like we said throughout this conversation, I think when I see like younger people and I think about like the work that we're doing and the ways that this will hopefully alleviate some of the suffering that maybe we had and you had particularly, right?

Like, Hopefully we think about those future generations and it gives me so much hope when I am in those moments of hearing nasty comments and judgments and stuff to say, you know what, like, I'm doing it for them. I'm doing it for them. Obviously ourselves too, because the pleasure and it's like, great, but like, God damn it.

I'm doing it for them. So they don't have to deal with these things that I'm doing.

Dr. Juliana: Right. Friends, right? Oh, I mean, absolutely. And I had actually, um, a dear friend write me and say when, when he knew that I was going to be teaching yesterday and said, you know, that here's again, another chance that you get to change.

Um, and like prevent harm, help to prevent harm, arming people with information and arming them with sexual agency at whatever age it is, is powerful. And I'm sure you're like me, like it's, it feels uncomfortable to, to, to, I, I, I, I don't know. Have my profession is it's rooted and I'm not your expert and I want to, I am an expert in this and I can teach you things, but I want to teach you to be your own expert.

That's the more powerful presentation of this and my philosophy. But. You know, I so often do like we, we often start with like, I would, I wish I had known what I wish I'd been taught how things would be different. And that is so much motivation of like, so I want that for them. And, um, and I want that for our world.

I want that to be different. We, we, gosh, I mean, when you look around and just see the. Unbelievable harm. I couldn't believe. So I'm from Virginia. Yeah, I went home over the summer and was working for my home and bless my parents hearts because they have come so far that I'm doing my mom is like my baby.

And, and I mean, very hard for, she went from like fainting when she found out I had sex for the first time, like literally fainting, now she can say self pleasure and masturbation and her bridge group and they're all like on my social media, I'm very proud of the change she's made. So she's very used to the work that I do and overhearing all the, all these things that I'm talking about doing.

I need to go into a porn site that I work with. I did not realize that Virginia had locked down porn. And so when I looked, looking at my phone, trying to log into my membership thing to, to get ready for this interview, I was going to have in the middle of the day, this big warning came up on my phone. I thought I'd done the wrong thing.

Like, what is this? A warning from the state, uh, and I was going to have to register something and I didn't have time to deal with it before the interview. So I stopped and I sounded afterwards. I looked it up. It's like what I had missed. This had happened in Virginia. I don't know how I'd missed it, but I'd missed and that it was growing.

And I thought, Oh, my God. I cannot believe this is real pleasing to this level that they could take over just a kind of a normal porn site that you'd have to get it. You'd have to register yourself in order to give your name, give your email address in order to be able to open the porn site. And this was just a few months ago, like, like four or five months ago.

And that gave me a lot of resolve again. We could not have this happening in our society. And it's, you know, when there's the canary in the mine, then it just goes to like everything else and we go back to, I actually had like a, um, we, you know, we had this kind of sexual collective with some thought leaders that.

We met, um, this fall and we were talking about things like that and like, you know, where, how can we get the other thought leaders out here? And, and what can we do, you know, behind the scenes in a way that helps counteract this. It's very similar to the conversations that, that we've had. It's sometimes feels like three steps forward, 10 steps back.

But then, you know, I get the questions that feel so advanced from a, from a seventh grader to think, like, chill out, Julianne, it's going to be okay. All the generations ahead of us. And that, to me, that was one of the gifts of those with Betty Dotson and, and, and knowing Barbara, like for, for the pioneers ahead of us.

Right. This kind of information that's always upsetting, but it's like, yeah, this is how things happen in the sexuality space. And, um, and so you keep fighting the good fight and baiting together with the other people who are doing that. And you don't have to be a leader in a sexuality space to be a game changer amongst that.

I think some of the most powerful like political activism is personal activism within who you are as a sexual being. And you don't have to do a protest rally or to teach about sexuality to make an enormous difference about our sexual culture. It can be done one orgasm at a time. It can be done one relationship at a time and, and one person's.

Belief that their sexuality matters makes a difference and has ripple effects.

Nicole: Absolutely. Yeah. The personal is the political, right? Yeah. I mean, it was a hundred years ago that Margaret Sanger was being arrested, right? Emma Goldman, all these other people that were being arrested for talking about contraception, right?

So it's like, it hasn't even been a hundred years. So yes, we hold those people that went before us and the people that are still actively doing that because I had no idea about Virginia. That is mind boggling to me in this current moment. Why? And obviously as an anarchist to know that level of like government control on access to free speech like that.

What? And yeah, I had recorded with Dr. Rachel Smith, who's in the Chicagoland area and does a lot of purity culture recovery groups. It was interesting because there's not a lot of literature on that, and if we think about the, like, historical context of America being rooted in puritanical beliefs and Christianity, right?

I was someone who came from a purity ring. Era. Right. So like she has seen that in a lot of her work. There's like this, like, level of, you know, sexual violence from the grooming of that. And there's been research that shows that people who experience purity culture have the same symptoms that have experienced childhood sexual assault.

Right. So we're talking about like. Deep implications here that our whole society, you know, one of the biggest things I think I've gotten feedback from listeners on the podcast is like, thank you for talking about Christianity and purity culture and how that impacted us. Right. So it's like, we are still like healing collectively.

from that and the implications from that are far reaching into our pleasure. And so it does take conversations like this, someone like you, right, who's talking about being a mother, who's talking about orgasms, who's talking about shibari, and all these other pieces to really change the cultural narrative about what it means to be an empowered, liberated, sexual woman.

Dr. Juliana: Beautiful.

Nicole: Yes. Thank you.

Dr. Juliana: It's just a Thursday.

Nicole: Yeah. And I love these Thursdays. Boy, do I love them. Yeah. I want to hold some space in case maybe there's something that you wanted to say to the listeners that we didn't get to. Otherwise, I have a couple of closing questions I'll guide us towards.

Dr. Juliana: I'd like to give a nudge for people to prioritize looking at who they are as a sexual being and looking at their sexual journey.

You know, I find that pretty quickly sexuality becomes a luxury and not a necessity. And anytime that you can shift that, even just a smidge makes a really big difference in changing your view of who you are as a sexual being. And, and I really believe that sexuality is the final frontier of self development, that if you want to know who you are, know who you are as a sexual being, but to understand that statement, you have to know that sexuality is holistic.

You can't just think of sexuality as sex acts and who you're having sex sex with. You have to see it as this really full body part of you and understand that is the essence of who you are. And it's the pathway to the essence of who you are. We've just been taught the wrong thing about who we are as sexual beings.

And if you've ever had the experience of, you can tell this person this story about your sex life and, but you can't tell that person this story, or, you know, you, you've shared this vulnerable, hard thing that's happened to you to this person, but you would never share it with this person. If you've, if you had the experience of popcorning, Your story to others.

That means that you've done that internally, too. And when I started on my own journey of understanding who I was a sexual being and teaching others to do that, I really saw the benefit of having the bird's eye view, like a macro and micro view of my sexual journey and then putting a holistic lens to it.

And then I, you know, as I said earlier that I, I feel like that, you know, one of the things that I do well is helping people know that their stories matter and our lives matters. I put them in the context of your sexual stories too. And we have to have space to celebrate the great parts of, of our orgasms and our pleasure and our sexual connections and who we are essential beings.

And we also have to have space of the healing parts and the parts that have been hard. We have to do both. And sometimes we do better at holding space at the healing more than we do the celebrating like, when's the last time that you could really authentically say like, I just had the best orgasm of my life by myself.

And it was incredible. And it wasn't a big deal. Like to say it that way, like we should be able to celebrate all ranges of this. And if you are in any way drawn to any of that statement, then I encourage you to do it.

Um, I'm so grateful that I've done that for my life and I've seen it and the people that I've worked with at how it changes their life too.

And I really encourage people to write their stories, their sexual stories, to make it tangible, to make it real. And I'll say like when I'm working with people, I'll say like, what story is raising its hand to you? And I think that's just so important because what I've learned is when you do it with purpose and intention, then the stories that you need to learn come forward to you and they come together and, and teach you something that you needed to learn at that point.

I've seen it over and over and over again. It's just kind of magical how it happens and it becomes a revelation. And that revelation is something then that you can put into your life and your sexual context and outside of sexual context, again, Changes the context and the quality of the connections that you're having in your life.

And, you know, connection is such a huge part of our sexuality and yet we disconnected all the time and we're taught to disconnect it. So if you're wanting to change the quality of the connections in your life. Changing the way you look at who you are as a sexual being is one of the most powerful ways to do it.

And that doesn't mean that every connection has to have a sexual connotation and energy to it, even though I think everything does, because I look at it holistically, instead of just, you know, that, that aspect of it and because. I think the sexual energy that we have is something that's one of the few things we have in common.

We've just made that be a divisive, horrible thing. And it's unfortunate because it doesn't need to be such a life force that is there waiting for us and such a gift. And we all get our own. You know, formula and spices for it, but we will miss it. We'll miss the nuggets. If we don't really fully examine our whole journey.

And if you feel any kind of disconnect and dissatisfaction with where you are in your sexual. Relationship with yourself or in general, then looking through your history can be a very beautiful way of helping guide where you want to go next and finding communities in which, like, when I was talking about girlfriends or other people that you can show up with the truth of who you are, when you get to say, this is what's happened.

This is what I've done. This is what I want next to somebody else who is equally risk taking, who is equally standing in the truth of who they are. All of that has this beautiful synergy that then. Builds and grows so that we all get to have sexual agency and when we had to get to have agency and sexual agency, then we get to have connections that change, change the world and change our vibration inside of it, our energy, and we're all living more truthful lives and energy that we spend on.

Not being truthful and not living to the truth of who we are gets to fall away and that energy gets to go towards the good and the purposeful and the intentional. And that's again, where people have their quality of life shift. And I've lived it in my own life. And I'm not trying to say I have a perfect life, um, or that I've got everything figured out.

That's, that's just a falsehood. But I know so much more about how to get myself back on track. I am absolutely living a more authentic life than I ever have, and I'm so much happier and healthier because of that. And I want that for other people too.

Nicole: Yes. It's been the best journey of my life, and it's only just getting started, right?

Dr. Juliana: Right. And no matter what age it is, that can happen for you, because as long as you're breathing, you're a sexual being. And as long as you're breathing and putting some effort towards a greater level of consciousness, then you get to find even more edges and you get to find more places and expansions and understanding of you.

That's one of the most beautiful aspects of your life.

Nicole: And that's so there when we understand sex as play and intimacy rather than an orgasm or penetration or any of these other things. Like you have a body that can feel sensation and you have a mind that is capable of play and combining those two, that then becomes everything.

Right. And I think about the ways that, you know, I was reading the ethical slut, you know, the canon. Right. Right. And, and. There's something really magical and special. I think about a podcast space in that when I'm reading the Ethical Slut and I'm reading these like women and their empowerment and the ways that it's been such a beautiful journey for them to go on and stay connected to, you know, I feel it.

I'm like, wow, like invigorated, but to be able to hear your voice, right. And that piece that you just shared and the ways that that is an embodied voice and the way that I can feel that. Pleasure and your journey through your breath and the way that you say that. I think that that is such a magical thing that we need more space of like that embodied voice, not just the words on the page, because I can feel your pleasure and I hope that the listeners feel mine every week when I come in and I'm like, this was amazing.

Y'all come on, you know, like, I think we need more women's voices like that. Speaking to that in an embodied way. So well said. Beautiful. Yeah. Well, if you feel good, then I will guide us towards the closing question. Beautiful. Okay. So then the one question that I ask each guest on the show is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?

Dr. Juliana: That's a great question. More people ask me Is it okay to want this and almost any other question? There's always this very of that, that we are often looking outside for the validation of the parts of us that feel natural when I sift through that question, when somebody asks it, because I'm not going to answer that question for them.

I want, I want to guide them to that. They already have a knowing that it is okay, that this is a truth for them, and it can feel really scary if that truth for them isn't something they're seeing, um, across the board or seeing people accepting it. So they want to have, you know, an expert who sees this from a lot of people.

Give the blessing of that. And I think the most powerful blessing is the one you give yourself. And of course, without, you know, not hurting anybody else and everything consensual, but with those qualifications, I just wish people weren't tortured by wondering if what they want is okay. And that I think the underlying part of that is, is it okay to have the kind of pleasure that my body and soul is seeking?

And it's yes. But the yes is most powerful when you give it to yourself.

Nicole: Yes. And I think that goes back to a little bit earlier when we were talking about just the discomfort of going through change, right? The reality is that we can know in our bodies, you know, that this is the yes and the pleasure. And if you're dealing with internalized homophobia, you have that other part of you that's going, no, this is horrible.

Don't do this. And then you're looking at these two parts of like, I want this to feel good. And this other side that says this is horrible. Right. And I think normalizing that process given the capital T trauma we have collectively is a part of what it means to go down this journey is to know that you are going to feel uncomfortable at those points, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

It means that there's more to unpack. I know this, the cat, she's like, yeah, everyone get with it. But yeah, that process is so important and I think getting comfortable with that. And then like you said, yeah, being able to have community where, you know, yeah, I've got people who are like uncomfortable about having prostate orgasms.

I'm like, man, if I could put you in a kinky community, you'd be like, Hey, I fisted this person the other weekend. Like, what did you do? You know? And it's like, Oh yeah.

Dr. Juliana: Yeah.

Nicole: Exactly.

Dr. Juliana: When it's just, I mean, I, I, I feel that way. There are so many people that I wish could experience the joy, pleasure, and expansiveness of being around other people who feel comfortable finding their edges.

Or it's just having the, what it shouldn't feel audacious, but the audacity to seek pleasure on their own terms. I mean, it is so freeing. It's so freeing. Yeah. I want that for more people.

Nicole: Yeah. I've been focusing this podcast on pleasure. So you're in the right space. So thank you. Yeah. It's been such a pleasure.

Dr. Juliana: Oh, same. And thank you for the work that you're doing and for this podcast. It's so helpful. I agree that there's something wonderful about hearing, um, people. I mean, I love reading, but there is, there's something different. I'm really drawn to film. I'm drawn to audio and, and having someone breathe life into the words that, um, that they're sharing, whether it's a story or content and thank you for leading.

Nicole: Thank you. Yeah. That's why I'm passionate about the podcast instead of a book these days. Yeah. Yeah. I get that. Great. Where would you want to plug for all the people that have been connecting with you that want to learn more from you?

Dr. Juliana: Yeah. So I am, um, on all social media. I'm Dr. Juliana Hauser, but I'm actually making the decision to step away from social media for the winter. I'm wintering. Healthy choice. So, um, I do lots of, if it's not working or if I'm not really finding joy from it, if I'm doing it just because then I'm, I'm really learning to say no to it. And that's really how social has felt for me a bit lately. And, uh, so. So my newsletter is really the best way to, to keep in contact. I really like working on my newsletter and I do lots of writing and sharing that way. Um, and that's through my website at dr julianna. com, uh, with one N and yeah, so that's probably the best way currently. We'll be checking social media some, but I won't be posting a whole lot for several months.

And, um, and I really love hearing from people and I really love getting questions and Um, getting comments on, you know, conversations like this too. Uh, so that's the best way.

Nicole: Great. I'll have all of that link below. So people can just go straight into the show notes and connect with you. But truly, it was such a pleasure to have you and co create this conversation today.

Dr. Juliana: Ah, thank you so much. Same and I hope we'll keep in touch.

Nicole: Yeah. Thank you.

If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast and head on over to modernanarchypodcast. com to get resources and learn more about all the things we talked about on today's episode.

I want to thank you for tuning in and I will see you all next week.

 

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