Juliet Allen, sexologist
the reality is we are all doing it, or will eventually be doing it or if we’re not then we want to be so we may as well talk about it ...
It’s a topic that can make some people feel a bit hot under the collar but Juliet Allen has built an entire career around talking and writing about sex, but not just any old sex, hot and powerful sex. As a sexologist, a sexuality and relationship coach, educator, writer and columnist, the local mum runs enlightening workshops and events across Australia, while also mentoring young people via community-based programs and support groups. We caught up with Juliet for a cuppa and a chat about sex, obviously.
For those who may be unfamiliar, what exactly is a sexologist?
A sexologist is somebody who has studied the science of sex. I focus mainly on empowering people to have a better sex life and educating people around sex. Basically I have my finger in a lot of pies, pardon the pun.
How did you get into this field of work?
I studied psychology and then became a yoga teacher but I was looking for something more. I wanted to do some post-grad studies but I wanted to study something I was passionate about so I thought about what it is that I really love and I concluded that I love talking about sex, I enjoy sex and I guess I am pretty open and honest with people about it so I enrolled in sexology and I haven’t looked back.
Does your occupation ever raise a few eyebrows?
Yes! Once a guy actually spat his beer out when I told him but that’s probably been the most extreme reaction. Mostly people are really interested and will just start sharing details about their sex life with me but then there are some older people who can’t really deal with it and just quickly move on to the next topic.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about being a sexologist?
I don’t think there are heaps but there could be a misconception that I would have sex with my clients. As a profession, it’s not really understood so when I say I am a sexologist people will generally ask lots of questions and then tell me that they wish they could be a sexologist.
What are some of the most common questions people come to you with?
Probably the most common question would be how to find your mojo again and have more sex within their relationship.
And what do you tell them?
This is the biggest dilemma in my career because so many people ask me but everybody is so different, there is no one solution. I think within a relationship communication and mutual respect is really important so you can talk openly and honestly about how you’re feeling.
What’s the best part about your job?
Being able to read and write about sex all day!
Do you think you’ll ever tire of the topic?
Definitely not. I get a bit desensitised sometimes, like nothing shocks me anymore but I don’t think I will ever tire of it. There’s only a few people in the world who I think could do this job and I think I am definitely one of them.
You’ve been outspoken in the past about not settling for mediocre sex. What are your top tips for mind-blowing encounters of the sexual kind?
Oh wow, you’re putting me on the spot here! Communication is incredibly important, so actually communicating with the person you are having sex with about what you want and what you don’t want. Exploring your own sexuality and being comfortable within that and within who you are as a person and exploring your body through self-pleasure, basically so if you know how to navigate your own body you can show someone else how.
You’re hosting a Sex & Desire event later this month, what can people expect from this evening?
The Sex & Desire event is for women specifically and it’s basically just about igniting your sex life. Perhaps your sex drive is low or the sex in your relationship has diminished or you’re a single person who wants to be having more great sex in your life, it’s just about giving people the tools and tips on how to make that happen. There’s also a Q&A which I will run so it gives the people the opportunity to ask questions, that’s the fun bit of the night.
Do you have any advice for people who might be shy about talking about sex?
The advice I would give is look into where that shyness comes from, who told you that sex is something that shouldn’t be talked about? The reality is we are all doing it, or will eventually be doing it or if we’re not then we want to be so we may as well talk about it.
What inspires you?
Amazing people who are working for themselves and are living their dream basically. I am inspired by those who are following what they want to do in life and not letting societal expectations take over. Also, I find successful people inspiring.
How do you define success?
For me, having time for family is success. I have created a career that allows me to be there for my daughter and that’s the most important thing but also having the freedom to be able to follow what I want to do. I love living a healthy lifestyle and not having to go to work on Monday, not having to stress on a Sunday night, that’s success to me.