Mari de Armas

Mari de Armas

Contributing Writer

Mari loves only three things: writing, her girlfriend, and Hialeah, FL. She has traveled all around the world, but never took a single picture. She also enjoys the ocean, but is petrified to swim in it. Mari also considers herself to be Cuban, but has never stepped foot in the country.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 05:00

Arielle Scarcella


Arielle ScarcellaI’m not sure how I ended up on Arielle’s channel way back when. But, what I do remember was becoming instantly charmed by the host’s larger-than-life personality and her distinct Brooklyn accent, as she looked straight at the camera and shared her tips on how to pick up girls (the wrong way). “Who was this?” I thought, while cracking up. After her other videos had the same effect, I instantly subscribed. How could I resist? There was finally a lesbian on YouTube that told it like it is.

I certainly wasn’t the only one that noticed, last year she was one of 16 chosen as the YouTube Next Vlogger, and she has nearly 200,000 subscribers among her 3 channels. That’s right. Three channels:

Girlfriends TV is a backstage pass into the life of a single lesbian and gets a fresh new video every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Arielle, a comedy vlog, is updated every Sunday.

Project Toasty, a vlog described as being about self expression and exploration, gets a new release every other Thursday.

Arielle took some time from her crazy schedule to answer our questions about her channels and her qualification to be “the best friend you’ve always wanted.”

Let's rewind to 4 years ago. Tell me about your first vlog. What inspired you and what was your topic?

My first video ever was called 'Lesbian Cougars' -- which is still public to this day. It tells the story of me being hit on by a 45 year old woman and her boyfriend at the biggest lesbian club in the city.

Which is your favorite all-time episode?

HA. Believe it or not they aren't even popular videos of mine. I love my video about hipster art students and I love my lesbian threesome song video :)

You receive very many comments on your posts. What are some of your favorite notes?

Anytime someone tells me I've inspired them or changed their life. It actually happens more on my Girlfriends TV channel than any other.

How do you decide what your topics are going to be? Are they based on your real life experiences?

I have about 100 or so written down, but there are reasons I haven't posted them yet. I try to keep it LGBT-based, but with a twist to keep things interesting. Sometimes I'm driven by experiences and sometimes it's a viewer’s comment.

I'm currently looking to fill the position of "best friend I've always wanted." I hear you're pretty good at being a best friend. What are your qualifications?

I'm the BEST at being a best friend in every way unless it comes to killing bugs. You're on your own.

In many ways, your channels have become a place for lesbians from all over the world to not only come for a laugh, but also to feel part of a virtual community. There is not really a question there. It's more of an observation. We are just in awe of your work and pleasantly surprised when every week you come up with a witty topic to get the conversation going. Congratulations!

I feel I've been very lucky in many ways. I have a family who supports me and I have a voice. I do my best to get a good message across to as many people as I can. Thank you!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 05:00

SAVE Dade’s 19th Annual Halloween Ball

Save Dade Armadeddon Halloween Ball

On Saturday, October 26th, 2013, you can “join the resistance,” against invading space aliens at SAVE Dade’s 19th Annual Halloween Ball. For nearly two decades SAVE Dade has outdone itself with the theme and entertainment, which is why they have become the premiere Halloween party/fundraiser of South Florida. And this year is no different. Starring Tracy Young and the impending threat of Armageddon, the community will party like the world is about to end.

The party starts at 10 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Now, before I tell you the price of admission, I’d like to remind you of two things: First and foremost, this is a fundraiser directly benefiting SAVE Dade’s initiatives. If you don’t know what SAVE Dade does, they protect us from discrimination through political advocacy. In other words, they make sure that our needs as a community are addressed through legislation. And the other important fact you should know about this party is that Admission INCLUDES OPEN BAR. Let me say that again. Guests will enjoy an evening of OPEN BAR, dancing, special performances, and a themed costume contest with over $1,000 in cash and prizes. The price, $100. The experience, priceless.

Get your tickets by visiting http://www.savedadehalloween.org

Monday, 09 September 2013 23:33

Hair Color Blind

I've started a new project.

I'm writing a romantic comedy.

Romantic comedy films are not my preferred genre. They are not my preferred anything. But, that's probably because there hasn't been a movie that truly spoke to me in the way that "Pretty Woman" spoke to up-and-coming prostitutes looking for love.

So, I've set out to write a script about a love story between two women (SPOILER ALERT) with a happy ending.

In my initial research, I read a couple of scripts and watched a bunch of lesbian movies and television shows. Well, as I slaved away, making notes of what I liked and didn't like, I noticed something. No, not that one of the lesbians always dies a tragic death, although that was very much the case. I noticed that the couple consisted of, for the most part, a blonde and a brunette.

But wait, it gets even weirder.

The blonde generally played the part of the "straight girl" seduced by the brunette, alpha female.

The L Word

The L Word

Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is The New Black

High Art

High Art

But I'm A Cheerleader

But I'm A Cheerleader

south of Nowhere

South of Nowhere

What does this all mean? Are blondes just waiting to be swept off their feet by an aggressive brunette lesbian? Or worse. Are all blondes straight until they meet the right brunette lesbian? And, more importantly, I'm a brunette with ombre blonde streaks. What kind of a mixed message am I sending out?

I'm sure there are countless of scholarly papers out there explaining the psychology behind hair color, or why Wonder Woman was a brunette, or why both gentlemen and lesbians prefer blondes, but I'm not going to read them. This little exercise provided enough evidence for me to make a decision that will revolutionize the romantic comedy genre and most likely win an Oscar in the hair and make-up category.

I've decided that the entire movie will take place in a shower and both characters will wear shower caps. This way there will finally be a movie that explores the human condition to love and be loved regardless of a woman's hair color.

Shout out: Check out lesbianfilms.tumblr.com for a really great comprehensive collection of lesbian films and television shows.

Image sources: lesbianfilms.tumblr.com and teennick.com

Olivia presents: Caribbean Equality & Leadership Cruise

If I could describe my perfect day, it would include laying in a hammock under the Caribbean sun, shooting the breeze with Maya Angelou, while Suzanne Westenhoefer made Edie Windsor giggle. I would then turn to The Indigo Girls, who happen to have their guitars with them, and ask them to sing “Closer to Fine.” And just as they were getting ready to belt out the chorus, Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would bring me a Piña Colada as a personal thank you for my support of the Democratic Party.

A dream you say? Impossible say you?

Well, I have news for you. Olivia Travel has put together a Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise, featuring all of the above special guests and more.

The ship leaves Ft. Lauderdale and sets sail on February 1, 2014 for the sparkling blue waters of the Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and the private island of Half Moon Cay and returns to Florida a week later. Before you panic about missing the Super Bowl, they’ve even planned to have the broadcast beamed in from space.

Lesbians really think of everything.

Visit Olivia.com for more information.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 02:57

Pandora Celebrates 15 years

Pandora Events 15 Year AnniversaryAlthough there was a Quinceañera theme to Pandora Events’ annual Labor Day party, there was no cheesy music and certainly no sit-down pork dinners to be had. Bongos was all aglow, as the party promotion company celebrated a decade-and-a-half anniversary. They rang in Labor Day with the sounds of DJ Alex and the voice of THE VOICE Karina Iglesias and her band.

Photos from the event will be up soon.

Happy anniversary Pandora Events! May the next 15 years be as wonderful as the last.

For more on what is happening around town, visit The Scene.

Friday, 30 August 2013 05:09

Sign the Petition

In the months ahead, Florida residents will have an opportunity to sign a petition to place marriage equality on Florida’s ballot in 2014. And, Equal Marriage Florida is doing their best to make that happen.

Equal Marriage Florida is an organization of Floridians who share a desire to give Florida voters an opportunity to take the important question of marriage equality out of the hands of judges and legislators and to decide for themselves how relationships between two people should be treated under the law in our state.

The Equal Marriage Amendment they are sponsoring seeks to remove that discrimination from Florida’s constitution. So, please, click on the link, sign the petition and mail it back to 15820 Palmetto Club Drive Miami, FL 33157

Sign the Petition

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 05:00

Aqua Affair 2013

Aqua Foundation for Women hosts its 2013 annual Aqua Affair celebrating grant and scholarship recipients 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Sunset Lounge at Mondrian South Beach.

For information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 05:00

“K&A” Web Series to Launch in October

Created by Thompson Films, “K&A” is set in the city of Boston, and this comedy centers around Karly (straight) and Alex (lesbian) best friends since college, whose dysfunctional, co-dependent, drinking, and drug taking relationship impedes them from ever finding someone special in their lives besides each other.

The pilot episode opens with their families having an intervention so they can both see how they are inhibiting one another from growing up. Neither one of them agree and think they have a perfectly normal relationship.

K & A Web Series

Karly and Alex Shooting of the five-episode season began in July. The full season will be released in October 2013.



Courtesy of Women’s Health, WebMD.com

Most women at some point have to contend with weight gain. But for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), losing weight can become a constant struggle.

PCOS occurs when the ovaries don't make enough hormones for the eggs to fully mature. Instead of releasing a mature egg during ovulation, some of the follicles in the ovaries turn into fluid-filled sacs called cysts. More than six out of every 10 women who have PCOS are also overweight.

The good news is that women with PCOS can actually win the struggle against weight gain. If you have PCOS, certain lifestyle changes can help you shed pounds and reduce the disease's severity.

Why does polycystic ovary syndrome cause weight gain?

PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition -- called insulin resistance -- can cause insulin and sugar -- glucose -- to build up in the bloodstream.

High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods -- and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically in the abdomen. That is where men tend to carry weight. So, instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape.

Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. That’s because it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain?

No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea

All of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition.

Experts think weight gain also helps trigger PCOS symptoms, such as menstrual abnormalities and acne.

What can I do to lose weight if I have polycystic ovary syndrome?

Losing weight not only can help you look better -- it can also make you feel better. When you have PCOS, shedding just 10% of your body weight can bring your periods back to normal. It can also help relieve some of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Weight loss can improve insulin sensitivity. That will reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other PCOS complications.

To lose weight, start with a visit to your doctor. The doctor will weigh you and check your waist size and body mass index. Body mass index is also called BMI, and it is the ratio of your height to your weight.

What can I do to lose weight if I have polycystic ovary syndrome? continued...

Your doctor may also prescribe medication. Several medications are approved for PCOS, including birth control pills and anti-androgen medications. The anti-androgen medications block the effects of male hormones. A few medications are used specifically to promote weight loss in women with PCOS. These include:

  • Metformin (Glucophage). Metformin is a diabetes drug that helps the body use insulin more efficiently. It also reduces testosterone production. Some research has found that it can help obese women with PCOS lose weight.
  • Thiazolidinediones. The drugs pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia) also help the body use insulin. In studies, these drugs improved insulin resistance. But their effect on body weight is unclear. Also, the FDA has restricted Avandia for use in new patients only if they can't control their blood sugar on other medications and are unable to take Actos. Current users can continue Avandia if they choose to do so. All patients using Avandia must review and fully understand the cardiovascular risks. Research has found that Flutamide (Eulexin), an anti-androgen drug, helps obese women with PCOS lose weight. It also improves their blood sugar levels. The drug can be given alone or with metformin.
  • Rimonabant (Acomplia). This obesity drug has been shown to promote weight loss in women with PCOS. Once women stop taking rimonabant, they tend to gain the weight back. But starting metformin after rimonabant can help women maintain their weight loss.

In addition to taking medication, adding healthy habits into your lifestyle can help you keep your weight under control:

  • Eat a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. Load up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed and fatty foods to keep your blood sugar levels in check. If you’re having trouble eating healthy on your own, talk to your doctor or a dietitian.
  • Eat four to six small meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals. This will help control your blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day on most, if not all, days of the week.
  • Work with your doctor to track your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
  • If you smoke, get involved in a program that can help you quit.


Nica Noelle’s career in the world of adult film is awash in contradictions. Although she has been dubbed a "porn intellectual," Noelle left school at age twelve and never returned. In her 40s and the single mother of a teenager, Noelle has managed to succeed in a male-dominated industry. She is a partner with the world’s largest video-on-demand (VOD) company, the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network (AEBN), and owns four studios that produce straight, gay, lesbian and transgender-themed features. For her groundbreaking achievements and the content of her films, Noelle has been hailed as a “feminist” pornographer; however, she has disavowed this label, clarifying her views in a controversial Huffington Post blog piece entitled, “Do I Make ‘Feminist’ Porn?” In a recent interview in AfterEllen.com, she addressed her critics, explaining, “I care about how people are treated (on set), but I’m not going to preach to you in my porn.”

Rather than politics, Noelle prefers instead to invoke “art” and “authenticity” when discussing her work. She avoids hiring “gay-for-pay” performers in her gay and lesbian films and says she draws upon her own relationships for material. Keenly aware of the disrespect and derision her field attracts, Noelle fiercely defended the artistry of her performers in her latest Huffington Post piece, entitled “The Duende of Porn.” Borrowing a term from flamenco music, she argued that, “despite society’s giggles and mockery,” certain performers nevertheless possess duende, a quality akin to spiritual possession, which enables them to “transcend the ordinary” and create “high art.”

For more information on Nica Noelle and her latest films and publications, visit her “safe for work” website at www.NicaNoelleStudios.com or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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