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Embodied: Season 2, Episode 8 Transcript

Anita Rao
Hey, it's Anita. Unless today is your very first time pressing play on the "Embodied" podcast, you know I'm no stranger to hard conversations. On the show, I've asked my parents why they didn't give me the sex talk. Talked to guests and my own mom about their abortions. Interviewed two trans military members about why they stay committed to an institution that's long denied them rights, and much more. Having hard conversations and making space for complicated answers is what drives me to do this work. But Embodied doesn't exist in a vacuum. Its mission, vision and sound is inspired by folks who I admire: interviewers and storytellers who are deep thinkers, thoughtful listeners, and people who approach their work with curiosity and empathy.

Earlier this month, I had the chance to sit down with two of these people for a virtual conversation. And I'm excited to share part of it with you today. Anna Sale is the host of "Death, Sex & Money," a podcast that in its seven years has been interviewing people about the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more. She recently wrote a book called "Let's Talk About Hard Things." And it's a delightful read. Allison Behringer is the creator and host of "Bodies," a feminist documentary podcast. Each episode is a beautifully crafted deep dive into what it means to have a changing body in the world. The three of us started out talking about the lessons we've taken away from being open to conversations about sex and bodies. Let's get into it.

Anita Rao
So, Anna, I'd love for you to start us off. You just published this book yesterday. So you've been thinking a lot about having hard conversations with folks in your life on and off the microphone. And I'd love to start by talking about sex in particular. Let's just get right in.

Anna Sale
Yeah.

Anita Rao
So tell us about one of the hard conversations you've had about sex with someone that maybe you weren't used to talking to about sex, and how that conversation went?

Anna Sale
Yeah, I write about this in my book. I mean, you know, the thing about hard conversations, sometimes you can think about it ahead of time — plan the timing and how you want to open, prepare yourself. And that's, of course, my preference as somebody who likes to be prepared. But I had a conversation once when I was going for my annual OBGYN exam where I was just like not expecting a hard conversation about sex. I have Kaiser healthcare. I live out in California, so sometimes that means I have these like rotating doctors. And this one doctor's appointment, I had this male OBGYN, whom I'd never met before. And it was about, you know, probably about a year after my first baby was born. And soon after I had my first baby, I got Nexplanon arm implant, birth control, long-acting birth control. And I was like, you know, I'm thinking like, I should probably get this out. We want to have a second kid like, you know, when should I do that? And then I just like made sort of like a "ba-dum-ching" joke, like: Not that we've needed it that much! You know, because we had a baby, right? And what he did was so graceful. He was just like: Well, let's talk about that. Like, what have you noticed about how your sex life has changed since you've become a parent? And I was like: Uhhh! Also, because he had acknowledged that he was a "Death, Sex & Money" listener prior to saying that, so I was like: Do this, Anna. You got to prove you can do this.

Yeah, I was like: Okay! Well, you know, sometimes you're just tired ... finding time, like, the whole thing. And he's like: Well, you know, maybe you could talk about that with your partner and just sort of like, talk about redefining what intimacy might look like. And he was like: And also, I know, it sounds really like clinical and boring. But scheduling sex can also be a really useful tool and can help you sort of like gear up for it, like get the energy reserved. And he's like: All sex doesn't need to end with orgasm. It can be whatever, just closeness, and I was like, oh, okay! And then he ended, and he was like: If you're talking about having a second baby, if you're going from like no sex or rare sex, to trying to have a baby sex, like that can be a lot of pressure, you know, especially for second pregnancies. And I was at this point, maybe like, 36-37, so not a young woman for trying to get pregnant. And I just so appreciated that like reminder of just like ... There's a way we can make this easier on ourselves.

And so I went home, and I talked to my husband, Arthur, and I was like: I had a conversation with my new OBGYN today, let me tell you about it. And you know, just sort of like scheduling, what do you find you need, what do I need? And it like led me to sort of be like: You know, what I think I kind of could use more of myself right now. It's just like: I really love skin-on-skin, like skin-on-skin is something you talk about a lot with babies, like, you know, when you're [doing] that bonding. I said: I just want also some more skin-on-skin time. So he just — the doctor — like by inviting me in, and because he like didn't let me just sort of be dismissive and like make fun of myself for feeling like a cliche. Instead, he was like: Let's talk about this new phase that you're in. It was wonderful. And I just think: Oh my gosh, if more healthcare providers could just like when they see those little windows, if they rush in, and say like: You want to talk about this more? He was so skillful. And I really loved that.

Anita Rao
It's awesome that he also brought up like, acknowledged that people have sex for so many different kinds of reasons or search for intimacy for so many different kinds of reasons. So kind of, like got you out of that framework of just like: sex for baby ... will body do that? Acknowledging that exploring is important

Anna Sale
Yeah, that sex is a spectrum, like you can want different things at different moments from the sex that you have with your partner. And that's totally cool. Like, you can communicate that, like, that's also was really helpful.

Anita Rao
Allison, does that bring up anything for you?

Allison Behringer
I think so with my, with "Bodies," I talk to a lot of people who are recounting their health story, so a lot of like, interactions with doctors. And I feel like that's something that comes up again and again, is like, oftentimes the moment where they finally are able to talk to their doctor about what's going on or have a sympathetic ear is when the doctor can just ask an open-ended question and then listen. The listening part, I feel like is what is what I'm hearing here too Anna with your situation. I feel like that's a huge part of it, too.

Anita Rao
I know one of the things that we've talked about a lot on "Embodied," and I've thought a lot about is the difference between, like a sex talk that's focused on how to have it and how to have it safely, and a sex talk that's focused on pleasure and advocating for yourself and getting what you want. And Allison, I know that that was something that you were thinking a lot about with "Bodies," and even posed to your mom, do you want to tell us a bit about that?

Allison Behringer
Yeah, so the first episode of "Bodies" is my own personal story. And it was the inspiration for the show. And in short, basically, I was in my mid 20s. And in this relationship, and all of a sudden, sex became painful. I couldn't figure it out, couldn't figure it out, I went to different doctors and was kind of dismissed, like: Oh, pain is kind of normal, just use lube. And then it was actually through a friend and talking to her, and she told me that she had had painful sex for many, many years. And that it turned out to be the birth control pill. And this kind of blew me away, because I had never known about any side effects of the birth control pill really. And that kind of got me down this road of going to the doctor — same doctor she had — figuring out that it was indeed the birth control pill. It was a hormonal birth control pill that was causing the painful sex, and then looking into the history of the pill and the science of it and all that.

But what I kept coming back to throughout the episode, and like making it and like going through the experience, was how, you know, it wasn't just about pain. I think that, you know, the episode, I also talked about my relationship with my then-boyfriend. And I think one recurring thing in our relationship was like, it wasn't really about my pleasure. And I think that's as much as like my own upbringing or my own inability to talk about it at the time. And also like his, you know, our relationship. So, that was kind of a thread running through, and I just felt like growing up, like, I hadn't had conversations with my mom about pleasure and like how, you know, both partners should be having pleasure. And I think we get a lot of messages in our society. They're very, like male-pleasure focused. And so at the end of the episode, [at the] end of the reporting, I ended up actually talking to my mom. And we were — I was home in Maryland visiting, and we were sitting in my childhood bedroom, and you know, still painted like this horrible, like pastel green that I had when I painted it when I was 14. And so I, you know, kind of opened the question to my mom, I was like: You know, look like you've been a great mom. You're a great parent. But, you know, just like: Why didn't you ever talk to me about pleasure, and like how I should consider my own pleasure and advocate for my own pleasure? Like we talked about, like: Don't get pregnant, and you know, have sex with someone you really love. But what about that other stuff? So, you're about to hear a clip that plays at the very end of the episode where I kind of put that question to my mom, like: Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you tell me, you know, how to find pleasure in sex.

[EXCERPT FROM BODIES EPISODE: A conversation between Allison and her mom]

Allison Behringer
We never had that conversation. And I feel like it's taken me until my mid-20s to like start thinking that way. Why didn't you ever tell me that?

Allison Behringer's mom
That's an easy answer. Because: One is you only know what you know. And I didn't have any information to give you. My mother never talked to me about it. And I grew up in a very strict Catholic family. And you didn't, you didn't advocate for yourself. I didn't know that you were supposed to advocate for yourself. And as a mother of a teenager, the goal was to make sure you didn't get pregnant. You're lucky you learned in your 20s. Took me to my 50s.

Allison Behringer
We talked for almost 30 minutes. I'm trying to think if I have any other questions. Thanks mom.

Allison Behringer (narrating)
I put the microphone down.

Allison Behringer's mom
Like I said: Only knew what I knew.

Allison Behringer (narrating)
I take off my headphones.

Allison Behringer
Why are you getting emotional?

Allison Behringer's mom
I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I failed you in that department.

Allison Behringer
Mom! Aww. It's okay. You didn't fail me. That's silly!

Allison Behringer's mom
Yeah, but you know, you're like: Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you tell me" Well, I didn't know any better. I mean, Kathy was the one that told me that, you know, you can rub your clitoris while you're having sex. I'm like: What? I don't know..

Allison Behringer
When did she tell you that?

Allison Behringer's mom
I don't remember. I had to be married. 20s or 30s or something like that?

Allison Behringer
You did a really good job. I'm serious.

Allison Behringer's mom
Okay.

Allison Behringer
Okay. I love you.

Allison Behringer's mom
I love you.

[END OF BODIES PODCAST EXCERPT]

Anita Rao
Awww!

Anna Sale
That was wonderful. I love that moment.

Anita Rao
Tell us about that. What was that like?

Allison Behringer
Yeah, so, I mean, it was, you know, I kind of had two brains going — like my producer brain, which was like: I've got to make sure I get the good tape. I've got to make sure I turn the microphone back towards myself. And then the other half of me, which was just like me, human Allison, like being in the midst of having this like, really intense conversation with my mom. And then, you know, she like gets upset at the end. And feeling like: Man, I'm kind of a jerk kid for being like, Mom, it's your fault. You didn't you tell me about this. Like, why didn't you didn't tell me? But it's interesting, because, you know, the first episode we like have that, you know, serious conversation, and that made it on the episode.

But it was pretty cool that like pretty much every other episode that we've done for "Bodies," you know, we did one about breastfeeding. And I called my mom, and I was like: What was your breastfeeding experience like? And then we did an episode about menopause, and I actually interviewed her again, and kind of flipped the script of being like: Mom, you went through menopause. I was like, totally absent doing my own thing. I didn't ask you about this. So I think that — I think probably all three of us have been really lucky in that our jobs have been a way in for us to have these conversations. Like we kind of got the cheat. Like it's easier, in some ways, I think to be like: Oh, I'm producing this. So that's why I'm asking these hard questions. Yeah.

Anita Rao
I think I've ... I've also talked to my parents for a lot of the episodes of the "Embodied" podcast. And I'm going to play a clip from a couple of conversations we had about sex, but hearing what you're talking about Allison is like, I think for me, I've gotten more and more comfortable, like turning that radio brain off. But I think I've also learned a lot about like ... I think with people that I know really well, I'm maybe less likely to like really set the table for the conversation. And so with my parents, sometimes I'll give them like a really broad like: We're gonna be talking about this, but I don't tell them like the specific questions. And sometimes it's been great. Like, I think with what you'll hear, like when I asked them about their experiences with porn, there was like so much in like an element of surprise. But there have been moments where that has gone really wrong. Like, I've had to learn a lot about like, care. I mean, not learn a lot about care, but like taking care of people that you're talking to on the microphone. And like, there are times where I have not done that. I have not set the table in a way that gives them a sense of like, what, where we're going to be going with the conversation.

So let me play a quick clip from the two of the conversations I had with them about sex. So one of them was for our episode about pleasure. And I asked them why they had never given me the sex talk. And then the second was an episode about porn. And this — I had zero idea of what was going to come out when I asked this conversation, I asked if either of them had had experiences with porn. So yeah, here are my parents answering those two questions.

[EXCERPT FROM EMBODIED PODCAST]

Anita Rao
Go for it Dad.

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
I think it is very much a cultural thing. If I had to learn about sex when I was growing up, it was almost impossible.

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
My parents also didn't tell me anything. No sex talk period. Nothing. I think we didn't ... If it's one area where we were lacking, we were totally lacking in that area. Because we, you know, we did not have the example that we ... It was something that we didn't talk about. If you could have the sex talk today, how would you start the conversation?

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
I think you would really talk first by explaining how a human is actually conceived.

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
I heard about the magazines, you know, you've seen that in the stores. But apart from that I have not been exposed to porn. I mean, I've not looked for it. I'm not interested. You know what, I'm telling a complete lie. This is kind of random, but this is the only exposure I've had. Dad asked me to go to a shop in Iowa City to get something, because he wanted to ... Do you remember that Satish?

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
Yes.

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
So I totally have been inside a store for like for an errand. For a medical-related errand.

Anita Rao
For a medical-related errand!

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
That was it.

Anita Rao
Dad, any reflections?

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
So I think the only, you know, my first exposure to porn was in England. This was our group of, a small group of friends, about half a dozen of us. We prepared for the exams. And fortunately we all passed. And so the way we wanted to celebrate was to go and watch a porn movie.

Anita Rao
Ohhhhhhh!!!!!

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
You did? I never knew this...

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
I never told you!

Sheila Rao (Anita's mom)
Wow!

Satish Rao (Anita's dad)
That was my first and last true experience to actual porn itself. I don't think I've had much exposure.

[END OF EMBODIED PODCAST EXCERPT]

Anna Sale
I just think your parents love you Anita and are supporting you in such beautiful ways. Every time I listen to them on your show, I'm like: Yes! These are such incredible parents.

Anita Rao
They really are. And they ... It's been so ... It's been so fun to like watch. I mean, they've truly become like the celebrities of the show. But there's a recent example. So I was talking about like setting the table. So, we had a conversation for a recent episode about abortion. And I had told them that we were going to be talking about abortion. But I didn't really specify, like what I was going to ask, or that I was going to be asking them about personal experience, not like the intellectual conversation about abortion. And it was like, not comfortable. For any of us.

And it was a very good lesson for me of like, learning how to prepare people for having hard conversations and like making sure that they don't feel caught off guard and surprised in a bad way. Because I think that can be hurtful and challenging. In terms of like conversations about sex, do y'all feel like you have like lessons that you've learned that you want to take away into your own ... like Anna, I don't know, like about talking to your kids about sex. Like do you have?

Anna Sale
Oh, well, I have a couple of different things I want to say. First of all, I think what you're talking about ... There's like the journalistic question that you're pointing to, which is like, when you have a surprise question when you're in the course of doing journalism like then what you do when someone is like, actually, this isn't what I want to talk to you about while it's being recorded on tape for public consumption. Like that's one thing. And then, but then, even if you just think of it as a personal hard conversation, I also think that's like, you know, something to think about like, and I thought about a lot with writing the book is how I wanted to ... I both wanted to like encourage people to lean in and try to talk about stuff that's hard and tender and out of the ordinary and dig in. But also to be quite mindful that you are ... [you] may run into the person you want to talk to's boundaries. And they might say: No, this is private. I actually am not ready to talk to you about this, or I'm not going to talk to you about this. And respecting those boundaries is also part of the really important relationship that you're trying to tend to with a hard conversation.

I would say with my own kids, you know, there's so little, but I got some advice from a sex educator early on with how she sort of talked about sex and bodies with her two little boys. And really, sort of core, was the idea of what's private, and what's public. And anything that's private, is something you get to ... decide who sees it, and also get to decide who touches it, you know. And so I just, you know, even watching like a pediatrician now, I've had really great healthcare experiences at Kaiser Oakland, I will say. Like the pediatrician, like, you know, very young, like: Is it okay, if I ook at your body now? Like, look at your body under here? Like, really even at that age, kind of like reinforcing that this is a consent issue when it comes to private areas. And I just really love that framework, because then it's like, you know, yes, it's great to be open and comfortable with the sexual parts of ourselves. Also, it is different than the public parts of ourselves. It's private. And you can decide how and when and who you want to share that with.

Anita Rao
Alison, we got a question in the Q&A that I'm gonna put to you that kind of pivots off of that. So this is from Lilly, who says: My question is how you as hosts decide to open up your personal lives for a podcast, especially as journalists who were trained to be objective. How do you think about objectivity and the line between personal and professional? Allison, do you want to take that one, especially this issue of like personal hard conversations, like the one you had with your mom?

Allison Behringer
Yeah, yeah. That's a great question. And I certainly don't have the answer to it. I feel like it's something that we wrestle with on the team. I've thought about [it] a lot. But first of all, I think objectivity is like, you know, who is the arbiter of what is objective? And I think, I mean I think it's, I think that kind of restriction of like: Oh, I have to be objective is kind of limiting. I think that in the example of my own story with hormonal birth control, I felt like I had this experience, there was something that needed to get out there, [the] media was not really covering the side effects of hormonal birth control. And I felt like my personal story was a way to get that information out. And I mean, you know, connected to what you were saying, Anna. There's certainly a lot that I did not put in that episode. People will be like: Oh, my gosh, you put everything in there. But I'm like, I didn't. There was a lot I left out. As much as I did put a lot of personal details in there, there was also a lot I left out. So yeah, I think less about the line of like objectivity and subjectivity, but more about like, the personal and the professional. And yeah, I think there is a line there for sure.

Anita Rao
Like, both of what y'all are talking about is like ... I think we also forget that like obviously, a relationship with sex is gonna evolve constantly as our body changes. So like having a sex talk, again, as you're, you know, hormones are changing in you 20s and 30s. And then like, again, when you're going through perimenopause and having kids, and so it's like, there's so many versions of talking about sex and learning about it that we need to like keep having. It's not like this one and done.

Allison Behringer
Right, or even the framing as like: The sex talk, versus the ongoing life conversation.

Anna Sale
Yeah. And also with your partners. Like I love that you keep talking about our changing bodies Anita, because I find that to be so lacking in the ways that we frame how you talk about sex, it presumes, you know, once you have a partner that you have decided what you want to do, and you've talked about what you both like, like, it's done. But like, I'm here to tell you like illness changes bodies. Aging changes bodies. Like weight gain [and] weight loss changes bodies. Having a kid changes bodies. Like, and you have to keep checking in. You know, like: What are you into now? That needs to be the ongoing conversation.

Anita Rao
Okay, well, great segue Anna to our next thread: Talking about sex and bodies with partners and friends and kids and having hard conversations in these realms. One of my favorite parts of your book was you talking about reconnecting with your ex husband. And making sense of the end of that relationship on your own, and then trying to make sense of it in conversation with him. Tell us about how that conversation came to be, and what it was like to reconnect and have a conversation with an ex-partner that went over some uncomfortable territory.

Anna Sale
Yeah, I mean, it was intense and weird. I'm here to tell you, um, I, so I was married to my first husband from the age of 26 until 30. We split up, right when I was 30, and [got] divorced. And it's sort of like, it's both ... It's kind of like a, an overarching plot of the whole book, because I feel like that divorce for me was this moment in life where I was like: Oh, I can't like, study and work my way through this hard thing and fix it. You know, like, we did the couples counseling. We did all the books. You know, I went to church. I tried to find the like: What is this break down, and how do we like apply the epoxy that's going to just like make it better. And I couldn't. And I found that to be like, a really shameful experience of just like, you know, because so much of my identity was like, I am a person who makes commitments, and I am a person who keeps them, and I'm a person who prioritizes family. And so I couldn't, like, how am I also going to be a divorced woman? Like, how does that all work together? And sort of, like, coming to like, let that divorced woman self into my sense of identity, and like, then being like: Oh my gosh, there's all these other messy people around here that I want to know how they did that. How did they like do those moments of transition? And how did they, you know, find self compassion when they didn't have answers? And how did they, you know, kind of like get through moments where there was no fixing a hard thing. It was incorporating this hard thing into the narrative of their life. That's what sort of led to "Death, Sex & Money" and all my work since. So I got to the — as I was reporting this book, I was like: Okay, Anna, you can't like write about your divorce and like set yourself up as this like person who's like: You all really got to have the hard conversations, but I didn't talk to my ex-husband the entire time I was writing this book.

So early on, I was like: I'm writing about this, you know, and I shared pages with him. And I also asked him to sit down with me, mostly because I was like ... I was curious if he remembered the conversation impasses that I did. Like: Was there something that I didn't say? Or looking back — as it was years later — like, was there something that I missed? Or I was too proud to grapple with? And what I found it was both kind of ... I mean you sort of sit down with your ex-husband, [and] you expect to like really have this revelation and catharsis. And instead, what it was was like, a complete confirmation of my memory of that time, which was: We kept coming up against the fact that we wanted different things. I wanted a family. I wanted a house. I wanted, like stability, a certain model of, I knew what I wanted my family and adulthood to look like. And he was going through this big change of becoming a filmmaker and wanting to just be not sort of hemmed in with those kinds of, you know, strictures and wanted to sort of embrace adventure. And we didn't want the same thing. And the sort of place that I came to at the end of the book was like: Oh, those hard conversations at the time — I understood them as failures, because they didn't fix the breakdown of our marriage. And now I understand them as sad conversations that were hard because what we were talking about was hard. And they led us to face the fact that we weren't gonna be together forever. Even though we'd had this lovely time together, and you know, grew up together, and we're best friends through our 20s and came of age together and loved each other.

And I think that's really important to remember with conversations about sex and, you know, rejection, you have to, when you're talking about this stuff, there's the possibility that you're not going to agree at the end. And that doesn't mean you've done the conversation wrong. Sometimes that means you've done it right. Because you're being more open about what you both want and need.

Allison Behringer
Yeah. That reminds me of the, the death chapter of your book. And like, my biggest takeaway was just like: There's nothing that words can necessarily do to fix this except for to like support and soothe. And with relationships, like going in knowing that it might not end in like two people agreeing. But that's super scary, like going into a hard conversation knowing: Okay, the result of this might be finding out that we don't want the same things. And just thinking about myself, and like, you know, conversations I have with friends. I feel like that's a lot of times like the thing that prevents us from having those hard conversations. Do you have like — do you have advice?

Anna Sale
No, I think it's really — because the whole thing with a relationship is like, this person is telling me something that is maybe not exactly what I [want]. You know, we're not fully aligned. But I have to figure out where my line is on how far I'm willing to compromise. And I think that there's a lot of usefulness of just like letting yourself be in that I don't know phase. You know, like, that was my whole thing. When I got together with Arthur, my now husband, there were years we were dating. And I was just like: I don't know if this makes sense. And I don't know if I'm ready to commit again. I don't know what we're doing. And he's so like, one of the [things] he would say to me when we were first like — we were long distance. And we were really like responding to each other. And he would just say: All you have to decide is if you want to talk to me tomorrow. You're not promising me anything like. And it was just like this permission to just be exactly where I was. And to not need to race it. Of course, I still did race ahead and be like: Well, what am I doing! You know, but to just let yourself be like: I don't know. You know, and sometimes those things are like: I don't know. I feel like I'm on a timeline. If I'm, you know, if I want to have kids — like that was for me. I was in my early 30s. So I felt this like additional pressure to like reach some conclusions. But, you know, sometimes you just have to go through it before, you know.

Anita Rao
It's like, there's also like, I've been thinking a lot in the past year, I read the book by Aminatou Sou and Ann Friedman called "Big Friendship." And it was so powerful. And it hit me like at just the right moment, because I'm in my early 30s, I have these friendships from college that are a decade old, some of which have fallen apart, some of which are still strong, but I'm entering this phase where people are more coupled and paired and maintaining those deep, close friendships takes a lot of work. And when it's hard, and when there are disruptions, we don't have a lot of models for how to have hard conversations with our friends. And I was going through some periods last year of like, a few friendships that were so important to me that had had these disruptions that I didn't know how to mend. And I read that book. And one of the most helpful metaphors in there is they talk about friendships having like, there's a stretch. So like, in other relationships, like, you know, if you're in like a short, you know, dating relationship and things aren't good, you stretch, and then you're like, and we're breaking, like, goodbye, we're done. And in friendships, where it's someone that is important to you, you stretch, but like you have to, like choose to like keep stretching and repair. And then you might stretch again and repair versus like feeling that stretch means you should give up. Yeah, I feel like that's the hard line for me is figuring out when these hard conversations are working toward a place where we can at least pause and then we can come back to this, and we can like keep stretching, but to not give up and to like maintain ... to know when to not give up, I guess and to return back to the conversation.

Anna Sale
And then I will just say, I mean I know that space so well. I also have known what happens when all of a sudden you know. And that feeling of like, I'm going to accept whatever this has been. Like, I'm done with this period of you know, not being clear. And then all of a sudden you're clear. You can't force it though. And those hard conversations that aren't reaching the like answer though. That's like, that's what you're doing. You're doing that kind of like tending to the fire. Is this fire gonna like light back up? Or [am I just] like poking at it over here? You know, like, do I want to throw more gas on it? And really, it's just like, you don't know. And then you know. And then it feels like you can finally put your shoulders down.

Anita Rao
My thanks to Lindsay Foster-Thomas for producing this episode and Anna Sale and Allison Behringer for hanging out with me. The podcasts "Bodies" and "Death, Sex & Money" are also available on your favorite audio app. This show is supported by Weaver Street Market a worker and consumer owned cooperative selling organic and local food at four triangle locations in North Carolina. Now featuring online shopping with next day pickup: weaverstreetmarket.coop.

"Embodied" is a production of North Carolina Public Radio WUNC, a listener-supported station. If you want to lend your support to this podcast and WUNC's other shows on demand, consider a contribution at wunc.org now. Incredible storytelling like you hear on "Embodied" is only possible because of listeners like you. Jenni Lawson is our sound engineer. Your head is bobbing right now because of Quilla who wrote our theme music. We have one more episode left this season. This small and mighty podcast grows only through your support. So thank you for supporting us. I'd love it if you took a minute to rate us write a review and send a link to this podcast to someone in your life who you think would love it.

I'm Anita Rao on an exploration of our brains, our bodies and taking on the taboo with you

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