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Embodied Podcast

Sex and relationships are intimate — and sometimes intimidating to talk about. In this award-winning podcast, Host Anita Rao guides us on an exploration of our brains and our bodies that touches down in taboo territory.

In 2020, Mashable named us as one of the best sex, erotica, dating and relationship podcasts. Embodied has won two Edward R. Murrow Regional Awards for best podcast (in 2021 & 2022). The podcast has also won two National Headliner Awards for Best Information Podcast: second place in the 2022 and third place in 2021. In the summer of 2022, NPR's Codeswitch featured us on their Summer Road Trip Playlist!

Read Anita's piece on the origin story of the Embodied series in The Huffington Post!

Check out our gorgeously illustrated season one discussion guide! And our discussion guide for our diet culture series Resolved.

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Learn more about Quilla, the musical genius behind our theme music!

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  • A growing number of American adults have the same feeling about romantic partnerships: They don’t want one. Anita meets three people who have chosen singlehood: a scholar who examines the double standard of relationship status, a single mother of two by choice and a man shedding toxic masculinity to build a deliberately single life.
  • Anita's highly-anticipated (and highly-awkward) first kiss was in eighth grade … but she remembers it like it was yesterday! A scientist tells her why our brains respond so strongly to kissing and how our kissing customs have changed over time. She also unpacks the power of a kiss with a photographer who documents queer Black love in public and three Gen-Zers school her on contemporary kissing culture.
  • Anita usually feels better after a good, long cry. But why is that? She explores that question with a poet who spent years diving deeply into the science and culture of crying. And a forerunner of the "crying selfie" trend shares how he pushes back on toxic masculinity by embracing tears.
  • Anita treasures sleep and moments of silence. So when she hears typical narratives of early parenthood that include unending cries and restless nights, she has concerns for the mental toll on new parents. But culturally there is a lot of silence around how challenging it can be and recognizing deteriorating mental health while caring for another person can be isolating. In part two of the postpartum series "Delivered," she meets a prolific artist whose experience with postpartum depression catalyzed a mental health journey and a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder. She also talks to a couple about what folks should know about sex and relationships postpartum and why the mental health of non-birthing partners should be part of the postpartum conversation.
  • Anita has been around enough postpartum folks to know that there's a whole lot they felt unprepared for when it came to how their physical bodies would experience pregnancy and childbirth. In part one of a two-part series, she hears from folks about meeting their new postpartum bodies. A postpartum doula talks about her trauma-informed approach to caring for the physical body; a photographer shares why they're trying to diversify the images we associate with postpartum bodies; and a former Marine talks about navigating the pressures of a highly physical job postpartum.
  • Anita is no stranger to anxiety, but her spirals are mostly short lived. In this episode she meets folks who often get caught in loops of extreme worry and compulsions with little relief. A married couple shares how OCD put them in survival mode and a woman whose OCD symptoms began in kindergarten talks about learning how to open up about her experience in friendships and dating.
  • It's a small procedure, but a big question. Anita talks with a urologist about what medical advice to consider while making the circumcision decision (and where medicine doesn't have the answers). She also meets a rabbi and mother who offers alternatives to centuries-old circumcision rituals and hears from a circumcised father raising an uncircumcised son.
  • Anita has interrogated so many aspects of parenthood. But how about the decision to become a parent at all? She talks with three women about making their child-free decisions and meets a psychotherapist who's devoted her career to helping people find clarity in that choice.
  • Anita sniffs out what's so fascinating about the science of smell — and gets her mind blown. A psychologist shares why smell is our most emotional sense, plus stories about the mental health consequences of anosmia (losing your sense of smell) and a scent designer describes how to re-create memories through candles.
  • Stuttering occurs in every culture with a spoken language. So why do many communities treat it as a source of shame? Two speech-language pathologists and a comedian help Anita question cultural assumptions about stuttering and explore the growing movement to embrace speech diversity.