Julia Fox has been open about her past as a dominatrix, previously sharing that it served as her entryway into acting and the exploration of her sexuality. Now, she says that looking back on the experience has informed her current approach to relationships and sex with men — notably, that she doesn't feel the need to partake in either.
"It's tough because yeah I'm OK, you know? But there's been a lot of damage done," Fox told Emily Ratajkowski during an episode of the podcast High Low with EmRata when talking about the impact of having "transactional" relationships in her formative years. "I pretty much, in my teens, learned that I was a commodity and that I can get money or resources from men, so then it just became this game of, OK, how do I become more desirable so I could get more money and I could be like that b****."
In an interview for Paper magazine in September, the 32-year-old said that she has gained "self-worth and self-esteem" while working in a dungeon as an 18-year-old. Nevertheless, she recognizes now that it wasn't something that she was achieving on her own.
"It's still them giving me the power," she told Ratajkowski, referring to the men who she was involved with at the time, "It's not my own power, you know? So it's a humiliating kind of position to be in or humbling, rather. Especially when you're not in it anymore and you look back and you're like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe…'"
Fox also explained that she would "disassociate" in order to get through uncomfortable interactions. "It's crazy but it's a survival mechanism," she said. "We do it to live, which is insane."
Those early experiences have also impacted the way that she views sex to this day.
"Sex for me always has been one-sided but I think that's all women can say that. So it's like, if I don't really need anything from you, I don't see the point," she said. "I'm really desensitized to sex, too. Like it just, it's not thrilling for me."
While Fox has had romantic relationships in her life, including a previous marriage to Peter Artemiev who she shares a one-year-old son with and a high-profile but short-lived fling with Kanye West, she acknowledged that becoming a mother has made her more content than any of the men in her life have.
"I think having a kid was a big part of it because I realized that prior to having Valentino whenever I would meet a guy or date a guy, I would always think, 'OK, I could have a baby with him.' Like that was always my thought. It was never like because I was in love or anything, if that makes sense. ... I was like nesting," she explained, "That was kind of always my end goal, so I think when I had Valentino it was like, 'OK I'm done, I don’t need to put up with the bulls*** that comes with being around you guys anyway.'"
As she focuses on ventures in art and fashion, Fox also assured listeners that she's no longer centering men in that work.
"I really do not get dressed with men in mind at all. At all, at all. Like I really couldn't care less," she said. "But there was a time in my life where maybe I didn’t have that thought per se, but I definitely subconsciously was catering to the male gaze, you know? But I was also like in survival mode. I had to."
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