“Julia is a sex educator, stunning model, dancer and all around wonderful person and inspiration.” introduces Joshua Oliver model Julia and his favourite collaborator in Austin. About the shooting he explains: “I wanted to try out a new set up in my space and she blessed it with her presence, skill, and creativity this showing the spaces full potential. The first set of photos are my bedroom with my dresser as a centerpiece , the second set of photos were a test run of my first ever backdrop I bought for my downstairs living room.
As someone from small town Georgia, having a space for photoshoots in a big city that I can call all my own has been a dream of mine. I enjoy going to new spaces and figuring out the space on the fly, but it is often stressful so on occasion it’s nice to have a space where everything is predictable and in my control.”
We had a chat with Julia about about feeling disconnected to her body when she was younger and nowadays helping people have tools to communicate about sex and connection.
All shot on film, 35mm & medium format
You are a dancer, model and sex educator. Is that your main profession where you make living from?
Yes! I am a sex and relationship coach, and I also work as a dancer and model.
Where does your passion for this comes from?
When I was younger I was soooo shy and felt very unseen. I was very disconnected from my body and also was witnessing my parents in a very dysfunctional marriage. I watched my friends have crushes and boyfriends and sex and I always used to feel like it was just never going to happen for me. Like I would just never be seen as sexy. As I got older this pain point became a place of discovery for me. I think that often the things we struggle with become our ultimate gifts later in life. I had to go on a journey to reconnect with my body, tune in to my sensuality, and learn to build true intimacy with others and so eventually I got to a place in my growth that I was ready to help others along their paths. Because sex and relationships didn’t always come easily for me I have so much empathy people’s pain and shame in this realm.
On instagram you also have a “A body tour”. Can you tell us more about it?
I’m really big on helping people have tools to communicate about sex and connection. I want to undo all the societal programming that teaches us not to talk about sex and that we should “just know” what to do without asking. So I love teaching people tools to share with partners about who they are, what they desire, and what their boundaries are. The body tour is one of these tools. It’s a way of saying “welcome to the complex and completely unique universe that is me.” I’ve found that when I choose to come out of hiding, be vulnerable and open about who I am and what I need, and invite partners to do the same, I get to experience a level of intimacy that is so deeply delicious.
“I’d like us to be able to shed the obsession with how we look from the outside and focus more on how we feel inside.”
In another instagram post you write: “I hated my body for most of my younger life. By the time I was 7 or 8, when I was just barely beginning the changes towards womanhood, I had already learned to despise my body.” Why is a society, and always has been, so focused on the body from a young age on? Or do you think maybe it’s just in the nature of human beings to always look at themselves critically?
Hmmmm…I’m not sure if humans have always looked at our bodies critically or not. You’ve got me curious! I do think that we’ve been programmed to hate our bodies for many decades and that a huge reason for this is that we buy more stuff when we feel shitty about ourselves. I would actually like us as a society to return to focusing on our bodies but in a different way than we do currently. I’d like us to be able to shed the obsession with how we look from the outside and focus more on how we feel inside. I love helping people reconnect with their bodies, tune in to their inner wisdom, and feel way more embodied pleasure. Our bodies can teach us so much if we make space to listen.
When I sometimes read through instagram comments of more famous people, I notice that there are often many hate comments. Also really many from women who criticize other women. What could we all do to make people be more thoughtful and make a change?
Yes I’ve noticed that too and it’s one of the things that can make it feel so vulnerable to put myself out there on social media more and more. I do think it’s so important to remember that on the other side of that Instagram profile is a real live sensitive human being! No matter how famous they are they still have feelings and deserve respect. When people are hateful towards me on social media I first give myself loads of love and empathy. Like “ouch! That hurt! That really didn’t feel good.” Then I remind myself that it actually has nothing to do with me. If me living in my authenticity stirs up something in another person then that is theirs to work on.
I think women especially have also been programmed to shame other women for embodying their sexuality. Their is so much systemic oppression of women’s erotic energy and this is one of
the effects. I wrote this post recently that I feel addresses this: “When you start to embody your sexiness, to really live in it and with it, you WILL trigger people. So if somebody has a negative reaction to your erotic expression ~ take that as a compliment. You are a template for a way of being that most of us were taught our whole lives to cut ourselves off from, to judge, and to shame. When somebody judges you for embodying your sexuality ~ know that underneath their judgement is fear. And underneath the fear is the desire to inhabit and experience their own erotic energy. To be deeply connected to your own erotic energy is revolutionary. It is triggering. It is an inspiration. It is healing for all.”
“I think that often the things we struggle with become our ultimate gifts later in life.”
Are you a summer or spring person?
I truly love spring AND summer but if I had to choose it’d be summer. My favorite thing is to sunbathe with a really good novel near a beautiful body of water or my stock tank pool!
Music or silence?
Music! I almost always have something playing. Like ~ I never drive without tunes.
Cinema or “cozy on the couch”?
Cozy all the way! I’m such a homebody and I relish days when I don’t have to go anywhere at all.
What would you like to share with our readers?
Surround yourself with people who are magnetized by your authenticity. You, in all your messy, vulnerable, imperfect realness are totally desirable and worthy of connection. You don’t have to be different than you are to be loved. You don’t have to hide parts of yourself in order to be loved. You being yourself will magnetize the friends, lovers, clients, teachers, and experiences that resonate with who you truly are on a deep soul level.