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Episode Info:  Hello Pod listeners! Welcome to Episode #21. In this episode we will talk about sexual fantasies people have and what they mean. Delicious Dish: Today's Delicious Dish is about Everything Hormones. 7 types of Hormone Issues that can lead to Mood, Fatigue and Weight Gain 1. Cortisol: Your body's main stress hormone.  Adrenal fatigue happens when there’s an imbalance in this cortisol rhythm: Cortisol is high when it should be low, low when it should be high, or always high or always low. What You Might Experience if it is out of balance: You're slow to start in the morning Cravings for salty or sugary foods Low sex drive You're fatigued in the afternoon but get a "second wind" in the evening Can't stay asleep Dizziness when standing up quickly Afternoon headaches Blood sugar issues Chronic inflammation Nails are weak Often moody Difficulty losing weight 2. Thyroid: Every cell of your body needs thyroid hormones to function healthy. What You Might Experience if you are out of balance: Feeling tired Feeling cold in your hands, feet, or all over Requiring excessive amounts of sleep to function properly Weight gain, even with a low-calorie diet Difficult, infrequent bowel movements Depression or lack of motivation Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses Outer third of eyebrow is thin Thinning of hair on scalp Excessive hair falling out Dry skin Mental sluggishness 3. Estrogen: The ratio of the three forms of estrogen — estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3) — is important for both women and men. What You Might Experience With Not Enough Estrogen: Vaginal dryness Night sweats Painful sex Brain fog Recurrent bladder infections Feeling lethargic Depression Hot flashes What You Might Experience With Too Much Estrogen: Feeling puffy and bloated Rapid weight gain Breast tenderness Mood swings Heavy menstrual bleeding Feeling anxious and/or depressed Migraine headaches Have had cervical dysplasia (abnormal pap smear) Insomnia Brain fog Gallbladder problems Weepy and emotional 4. Progesterone: Both men and women need healthy progesterone balance. Progesterone helps to balance and neutralize the effects of excess estrogen. Without optimal progesterone, estrogen becomes harmful and out of control (estrogen dominance). What You Might Experience if this is out of balance: PMS Insomnia Unhealthy looking skin Painful breasts Stubborn weight gain Cyclical headaches Anxiety Infertility 5. Testosterone What Women Might Experience With Too Much Testosterone: Acne Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) Excessive hair on the face and arms Hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar Thinning hair Infertility Ovarian cysts Mid-cycle pain/cramping What Women Might Experience With Not Enough Testosterone: Weight gain Fatigue Low sex drive What Men Might Experience: Erectile dysfunction Low sex drive Weight gain Irritability Breast enlargement 6. Leptin: Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin. One of leptin’s jobs is to tell your brain to use the body’s fat stores for energy. What You Might Experience if you out of balance: You are overweight You don't lose weight easily You have constant food cravings You are stressed out 7. Insulin: Insulin resistance is not a hormonal deficiency but a hormonal resistance pattern. The problem here is that insulin is a fat-storing hormone, which makes weight loss an uphill battle for many when it is not balanced. What You Might Experience if out of balance: Cravings for sweets Irritableness if meals are missed Dependence on coffee Become lightheaded if meals are missed Feel shaky, jittery, or having tremors Agitated, easily upset, or nervous Poor memory Blurred vision Fatigue after meals Eating sweets doesn't relieve sugar cravings Waist girth is equal or larger than hip girth Frequent urination Increased thirst and appetite Difficulty losing weight Signs you have a Hormone imbalance: Sleep problems: If your sleep isn’t as sound as it used to be, hormones could be the culprit. Diminishing levels of estrogen and progesterone as you age have the ability to disrupt sleep and wake you up in the middle of the night. Sudden weight gain & tough to lose: This symptom often points to out-of-whack hormone levels. On top of that, the weight problem is usually related to the sleep one, since your body will release more cortisol following sleep deprivation. And that cortisol, in turn, encourages your cells to store additional fat. Missed periods: This is a big red flag: if a woman’s menstrual cycle is off, it’s time to look at her hormones. Breast tenderness: It’s likely an estrogen or progesterone issue. When these two hormones aren’t at optimal levels, your physical body responds. And breast tenderness especially usually points to too-high estrogen or too-little progesterone. How to Address Hormonal Imbalances: Deconstruct your diet: Love eggs? Eat the yolk: it’ll deliver you a solid punch of vitamin D. Love tea? Make it green: the antioxidants will give you a metabolism boost. In general, eating in a way that favors clean proteins (lean and organic meats, nuts, fish, etc.) over simple carbs (cereal, rice, white bread, etc.) is a great way to up your minerals, energy, and digestion, setting up your hormones to work as effectively as possible. Stock up on supplements: High-quality supplements, including omega-3s, calcium, magnesium. Mindfully meditate: I know what you’re thinking: uh, meditate? I’m just trying to lose a little weight and sleep better. But here’s the deal: your brain is a regulator of body chemicals that drastically affect how you feel overall. Cortisol, the stress hormone that's so easy to spike in our go-go-go culture, can be seriously reined in with a regular meditation practice. Hormone Healthy Foods: Eggs (Pasture-Raised) Yogurt Blueberries and Strawberries Almond Milk Coconut Water Sunflower Seed Butter Gluten-Free Bread Ground Flaxseed Sauerkraut Organic greens Avocados Grass-Fed Bison and Lamb; Organic Chicken and Turkey Wild King Salmon and Wild Codfish Organic Peaches, Nectarines, Apples, Lemons, and Pears Organic Zucchini, Green Beans, Celery, Carrots, Parsnips, and Sweet Potatoes "It's the journey that brings us happiness not the destination so keep on stepping!" Our fantasies and what they mean Sometimes people are scared to share their fantasies because they worry people will think they are weird, perverted or something is wrong with them. The truth is, most people have erotic and illicit fantasies, and do so regularly. Let’s look at different types of fantasies asked on Lesbian Life and what they might mean. Question 1: You’re a lesbian and you fantasize sexually about men, does that mean you aren’t a lesbian? So a woman who identifies as a lesbian says she’s increased her frequency of masturbating over the past couple of years. She’s dated women since high school and recently she’s pictured men while she masturbates and even visualized having sex with them too. She’s also visualized her girlfriend having sex with a man too. Now she’s wondering if she’s really a “true” lesbian because of her thoughts. She admits that she’ loves watching women get aroused, by either a man or a woman, but she thinks that her fantasies are making her question her sexually and she wonders if there was something wrong with her. The response: Firstly, there is nothing wrong with this woman. People are allowed to think about anything they want during a fantasy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to actually happen. Our fantasies can also change over time, as our sexual appetites change. Actually, there are many lesbians that enjoy watching straight porn, even if their focus is on the woman, she’s still having sex with a man. It’s important to remember that we are defined by our actions, not our fantasies, and you’re not any less of a lesbian if you think about having sex with men. Sex is about exploration and discovering things that turn you on, it should not be about shame and feeling badly about your thoughts. A good rule is, as long as no one gets hurt, any fantasy is okay. Question 2: If my girlfriend watches straight porn and threesomes with men, does that mean she wants a penis? Another woman is concerned that if her girlfriend watches porn with men in it, she might want to have sex with a real penis. The woman is concerned that if her girlfriend wants “straight sex” then what does that mean about her sexuality and their relationship. The response: There are people from all different types of sexual orientations that are attracted to all different types of porn. It’s interesting to think that most straight men enjoy watching lesbian porn, and no one makes a big deal out of it. But if a lesbian likes straight porn or gay male porn, all of a sudden there is all this concern. Remember everyone, PORN IS NOT REAL, it’s fantasy. This girlfriend may never want sex with a man, alone or in a threesome, but watching it in a porn is getting her aroused. Maybe because it’s different from the sex she’s had or has, that’s what makes it exciting and new. Perhaps she’s envisioning herself as the man in the porn, having sex with the women, and that she’s the one with the penis. As long as she’s present in your sexual relationship, you can definitely appreciate the benefits of her arousal, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. Many lesbians don’t like lesbian porn because it’s typically made for a straight male audience. The women don’t look real, the sex doesn’t seem real, and don’t even get me started on the length of their damn fingernails, those are definitely not lesbian fingernails. Remember that the kind of porn people enjoy doesn’t necessarily have to match their sexual orientation. Question 3: Is my girlfriend really a lesbian if she really enjoys anal penetration? Like the previous question, there is a concern that a specific sexual act might define a person’s sexual identification. The response: Some lesbians, and women in general, enjoy anal sex, while others don’t. Like everything in sex, each person has their own desires and certain sexual acts that get them turned on, and that doesn’t necessarily have to define their sexual orientation. Remember that a lesbian is a woman who is sexually and romantically attracted to other women, and it’s not about what part of her body she wants stimulated, it’s about who she wants to do the stimulating. Question 4: Does desire for penetration mean she’d rather be with a man? A woman said that her girlfriend wanted her to insert her finger inside her when she was playing with her and now she’s concerned her girlfriend wants a penis inside her. The response: Penetration is an act that many women find pleasurable, whether they identify as lesbian, bisexual or straight. Remember that your sexual orientation is not defined by the sexual acts you desire, but who you prefer to share your desires with. If a woman wants you to do something to her, don’t assume it’s a substitution for something else, focus on the fact she was YOU to do it to her. Penetration feels good, no matter what your sexual orientation. Question 5: If my girlfriend wants me to wear a strap on, does that mean she just wants to have sex with a man? When a lesbian wears a strap on for their partner, there can be a concern that it’s a substitute for the real thing. They might be “opening pandora’s box” and could be creating more curiosity about having sex with a man. The response: Sexually exploring with toys of any kind can be fun and exciting, in any relationship. What people like and like to do to their partner is an individual preference. There are actually men who want their girlfriends to wear a strap on and have anal sex with them, but they aren’t identifying as gay males, they just want to explore anal sex. It’s the same in the case of a lesbian who likes sex with a strap on or dildo, they just want to explore that type of sex, but with a woman. Question 6: What if your girlfriend decides to identify and transition from female to male, are you still a lesbian? So a woman is in a relationship with another woman for nearly a decade. One day, after they met a female who was transitioning to become a man, and her girlfriend told her “I think I’m a man.” The response: So aside from the journey of the female to male transgender partner, how does the lesbian identify in this new relationship. Coming from a same-sex relationship, then having your partner identify with another sex can pose questions that can be overwhelming. Do you say you’re in a straight relationship? Do you still identify as lesbian and state that your partner is transitioning? There is also a sense of loss for both parties, as their partnership changes. There can also be the question of how to still have your place in the lesbian community, if now you’re in what seems to be a straight relationship. At the end of the day, you both have to decide how to identify as individuals and how you want to present yourself to the world. Be open and honest with each other and the world, and remember that you define your relationship and don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Question 7: Am I a lesbian if I have a “female to male” partner? I’ve met a man, I’m a straight woman, and I recently found out he is “female to male” transgendered. Does that make me a lesbian? The response: Sexual orientation typically lines up with how you identify as the gender you are attracted to, not necessarily their biological sex. Remember that sex is a person’s biological maleness or femaleness. Gender refers cultural and psychological traits typically associated with one sex or the other. Gender identity is how someone feels about their gender assignment. Lastly, sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and if you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight. So some people with transgender partners identify as queer, meaning they don’t adhere to strictly male or female identities and roles. Understanding why some lesbians are uncomfortable with this topic It isn’t hard to understand why there are lesbians who are skeptical or don’t trust a lesbian in wanting to include men in their sex lives, even if it’s in fantasy form. There can be some baggage lesbians have because many have been told that their “relationship” is a fad, a phase, or that it’s less significant than a straight couple. Sometimes as lesbians, we’ve been told that if we just had “good sex” with a man we wouldn’t be lesbians. So a lesbian might perceive that another lesbian having a sexual fantasy about a man as threatening or confusing. Is bisexuality the answer or is there a sexuality spectrum? Lots of people think that you can only be straight or gay, but the ones that are attracted to both are bisexual, if they act on their fantasies. Let’s be clear that it’s not just a last resort option, but a viable alternative all on its own. Maybe we should view sexuality as being a continuum of different sexual desires and behaviors, and that we can move up and down the spectrum. This can help us to understand how people can have all different types of sexual fantasies, but not interested in acting on any of them. A fantasy is just that, it’s not real. Having a fantasy doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, or your relationship, it’s absolutely normal and is a regular part of being a sexual being. Your favorite fantasy can be the g-spot of your mind. A good sex life is all about good communication with your partner, so speak up and ask questions, you must just discover a new fantasy of your own. Things that make you go Hmmm? Or Mmmm…: This week’s Mmmm …  Tips & tools to help you connect with your loved ones & help find happiness in working together. This activity will help build, grow, and deepen our connection to family, friends, and loved ones. At the end of this life, you will only have the memories you’ve made and the people you shared them with. Why not grow our personal relationships the way most of us hope to grow our bank accounts? Relationships play a major role in our health and happiness; we should take time to nurture them. For Friends, Family, Loved Ones, and Significant Others Below is a list of questions for each of you to fill out. Trade answers when you’re done. Write down five things the other person does that you appreciate, you like, or has made an impact on you. Write down a memory of each other that makes you laugh or smile. Tell a moment from your childhood that made your heart sing. Write about a trip or adventure you want to go on and why. Write about a trip you went on, what you did there, and how (or if) it was different from what you expected. List something you love, why you love it, and a memory you have of it. (e.g. cupcakes, because they melt in your mouth and are spongy and creamy and can be any flavor. I remember eating a chocolate frosted vanilla cupcake on a picnic blanket in green grass the first time I saw a dragon shape in the clouds.) List a best feeling (e.g. the sensation of ice cream on your tongue, or the sun warming your skin, or the feeling of going to paved road after you’ve been driving on a bumpy dirt road for a long trip, etc.). What is one of the most adventurous things you’ve done? What is the most adventurous thing you’re willing to do? Share the best thing that happened this month. Share what you would do with your life if you could do anything. No holds barred. For Your Significant Other “It takes three seconds to say I love you but a lifetime to prove it.” ~ Unknown Loving relationships shouldn’t require hard work, but there are ways to strengthen our bonds and discover deeper levels of love. 1. Expressing Appreciation: Every night, list two or three things your love did that day that you liked, appreciated, or were impressed by. Write them in a journal and share. Reminding each other of our strengths and the reasons we love one another is powerful. 2. Little Surprises: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop Grand romantic gestures are wonderful, but small things can replace the banality of daily life with a ray of sunshine. Just give little surprises, things you know your love will love: randomly bring home a little treat from the store when they didn’t ask for it. Give them a light shoulder rub for five minutes. Listen for hints of desires and dreams and hopes. Find a way to make them a reality, even if only symbolically. (e.g. If they want to go to Europe, make chocolate croissants and put them on a plate with a note that says, “We will find a way.”) 3. Encourage and Applaud: Be each other’s cheerleader and coach. When life’s challenges arise, devise a plan together. Give them a massage, a foot rub, light a candle, or cook (and clean up after) their favorite meal, something to ease the tension. Then help them see the bright side and the path to a solution. 4. Taking Responsibility:  For example, if you know you’re going to be late, make sure to respect the other person enough to call or text them to let them know. If you can’t contact them beforehand, instead of trying to excuse your lateness or trying to make your lateness more right, honor the other person’s inconvenience. Admit that what happened was wrong, that you are sorry, and that you will do your best to never let it happen again. This applies to everything. Anytime the other person feels wronged, instead of trying to make them see how right you are, spend time honoring or trying to understand how wronged they felt. Perhaps even ask, “How can I make it up to you?” When the tables are turned, when your loved one is sincerely asking for forgiveness, give it. 5. You’re in this together:  Any argument that arises needs to be handled with care. Instead of yelling and blaming one another, try speaking with kindness and love. “I am upset about this…I would appreciate if next time.” It can help to sit with a pen and paper to write out how you feel and why. Don’t forget to include a solution. 6. Gratitude:  Every few days, sit together over a meal or beverage and make a list of things you are grateful for in your life. Shoot for at least ten things. Be general or specific. “For the AC cooling the room.” “For a phone call I got last week.” It is especially important to do if you’re feeling stressed or bummed. Keep it in a journal and refer to it as needed (like when you find yourself complaining a lot). 7. Romantic Gestures: Don’t just sit around expecting Santa Claus to know what to send you for presents without giving him your list! Instead of dropping vague hints, compile a notebook, Pinterest page, whatever—something that says in bold headline font “I want to be romanced and treated like this” because no one is a mind reader. So tell each other how you need to be romanced and treated. Put it in writing or in photos. And then check each other’s list and get to it! Well that’s it for today's show and we hope you join us next week. Thank you: We would like to give a shout out! A huge thank you to: Mind Body Green article, 7 Hormone Imbalances that could Explain your Fatigue, Moodiness and Weight Gain, but Dr. William Cole Your Tango article, Why We Fantasize and What’s Normal, by Divine Caroline About Relationships article, Lesbian with Male Sexual Fantasies: Can I Really be a Lesbian?, My Girlfriend Watch Straight Porn, Does She Want a Penis? by Kathy Belge About Relationships article, Am I a Lesbian if I have a Female to Male Partner?, by Ellen Friedrichs Siren article, Are Some Lesbians Attracted to Men?, by Kali Munro Gay and Lesbian Times article, Coming Out Transgender in Same-Sex Relationships, by Brian Van De Mark Sunwarrior article, Tips and Tools to Help you build up Your Relationships Quote of the week: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” ― Albert Einstein We would love to hear from you, so check us out on Facebook or at Subscribe, rate and review us, and share your topic ideas. Have a HOMOlicious day!

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