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Death, Sex & Money

WNYC

Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you've heard of—and to regular people you haven't—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, The Experiment, The New Yorker Radio Hour and many others.

Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you've heard of—and to regular people you haven't—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, The Experiment, The New Yorker Radio Hour and many others.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you've heard of—and to regular people you haven't—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, The Experiment, The New Yorker Radio Hour and many others.

Twitter:

@annasale

Language:

English

Contact:

646.829.4010


Episodes

Fran Lebowitz’s Guide to Life (And Parties)

11/23/2022
Earlier this year, Anna interviewed writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz onstage at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in California. But for most of her adult life, Fran’s lived in New York City, where she found early success with her first two books, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the years since, she hasn’t published much, citing a decades-long writer’s block. So she’s become a professional talker, which you may recognize from Martin Scorsese’s...

Duration:00:33:19

Estrangement: We Were Close, Now I Don’t Know You

11/21/2022
In Death, Sex & Money’s new three-part series about estrangement, we talk to listeners about cutting family ties, leaving religion, and ending friendships. We also talk to listeners on the other side of estrangement, still desperately wishing for contact, and about what happens after the break.

Duration:00:01:00

Race and Friendship After 2020: An Update

11/16/2022
In January 2020, we released an episode with our listeners’ stories about when race became a flashpoint in their friendships. Today, we’re holding a reunion of sorts – checking back in with those same listeners about the way race, identity, and racism have impacted their friendships since. Antoinette told us she would have handled an interaction with a white coworker much differently today. “It's kind of like with kids… when they're upset with each other, you want them to talk it out and...

Duration:00:34:30

Between Friends: Stories About Race and Friendship

11/9/2022
*This episode originally ran in 2020 A text message gone wrong. A bachelorette party exclusion. A racist comment during the 2016 debates. When we asked you all about moments when race became a flashpoint in your friendships, we heard about awkward, funny, and deeply painful moments. "The fact that she could drop me so easily really stung," one listener, Ashley, told us about a childhood friendship that suddenly ended because her friend's parents didn't want her "hanging out with Black...

Duration:00:48:31

An Update from the Sex Worker Next Door

11/2/2022
*This episode originally ran in 2015, with an update recorded in 2017. Anna first talked with a woman we're calling Emma in 2015. At the time, Emma was supporting her family as a sex worker and wrote Anna an email – she wanted to share her story about how she got into sensual massage and why she didn't feel any guilt about working with married clients. Am I facilitating cheating? “I guess so," she wrote. "Can I sleep at night? Mostly." After Anna spoke with Emma that first time, Emma...

Duration:00:41:25

Sandra Cisneros on Sex, Aging, and the Paranormal

10/26/2022
Sandra Cisneros is one of America’s most celebrated coming of age writers. Her book The House on Mango Street is a staple in American classrooms and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Her latest book is a collection of poetry called Woman Without Shame. Sandra brought that same shameless spirit to this conversation, including everything from finding birth control and a mode of sexual freedom that worked for her as a working-class Mexican American in the 1970s, to her...

Duration:00:34:27

Singing in the Pain: Hrishikesh Hirway on his Mother, Grief and Creativity

10/19/2022
Hrishikesh Hirway is a musician and the host of one of Anna’s favorite podcasts, “Song Exploder,” which describes how a song is built track by track by the artists who made it. Music has always been at the heart of Hrishikesh’s life as his mother, Kanta, loved to sing (and to hear Hrishikesh sing). Kanta married his father when she was 24 and they moved to the US from India that same year. Hrishikesh remembers his mother as the bubbly, social center of her friends and family, but towards...

Duration:00:32:55

Conversations with My Dead Mother

10/12/2022
Elaine Mitchell came of age in the counterculture of second wave feminism. When she was diagnosed with likely curable rectal cancer at age 66, she decided to exclusively pursue alternative cures, instead of conventional medicine. Rachel, Elaine’s kid, was 30 at the time, and they spent years trying to convince her to get surgery. But Elaine never wavered. Despite all their painful disagreements, Rachel became Elaine’s primary caretaker as she was dying. Rachel and Elaine’s dynamic never...

Duration:00:34:08

I Wanted To Be A 'Good Girl'

10/5/2022
*This episode originally ran in 2019. Andrea grew up attending an evangelical church in Texas, where she was taught to abstain from sex until marriage and keep herself sexually "pure." That early sex education—and her decision to have premarital sex anyway—had long-lasting impact, well into her adulthood. This episode was part of our month-long series called Our Sex (Mis)Educations. Find the entire series here.

India Walton: I Knew It Was Gonna Be Tough, But I Didn't Expect it to Get Nasty

9/28/2022
India Walton grew up in Buffalo, New York, a starkly segregated city, where 85 percent of the city's Black residents live on the East Side. She started a family there at 14 and then a career as a nurse in her 20s. In her 30s, she left a violent marriage, became a neighborhood organizer, and decided to run for mayor. In June 2021, India shocked the political establishment and won the Democratic primary, beating the four-term incumbent mayor. She was shocked, too, and the jubilant video of...

Duration:00:47:31

Inside John Waters' Home (But Not Inside His Colon)

9/21/2022
John Waters is the writer and director of such cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, and his biggest mainstream success, Hairspray. He’s been making movies since the 1960s and this year he released his debut novel, Liarmouth: A Feel Bad Romance. The novel is an incredibly dirty romp filled with the kind of taboo storytelling that John Waters revels in. In his work, he shines a light on the worst of us but rarely to ridicule, more as a reminder of how gloriously sinful we can be, as...

Duration:00:35:06

How Clothes Help Us Find Our People and Ourselves

9/14/2022
For many of us, the last few years of the pandemic has given us time to reflect on different aspects of our identities and how we show up in the world. That's meant more room to explore what silhouettes, colors, and textures feel good, what haircuts work or don't, and what you love—and what you hate—about getting dressed up in the first place. And for a couple of listeners, ruminating on their personal style has also meant thinking about community, and how clothes fit us into social spaces....

Duration:00:33:46

Lucinda Williams Says Whatever the Hell She Wants

9/7/2022
*This episode originally ran in 2016. When Lucinda Williams was in elementary school, all the other kids brought rock collections and other standard fare to show-and-tell. But she brought a folder. "I put this notebook together of seven poems and a short story by Cindy Williams," she remembers. Decades later, she's still documenting her impressions of the world, now in raw, often mournful songs that explore death, heartbreak, abandonment, and love. Many of her them are based in the American...

Duration:00:31:47

Big Freedia Bounces Back

8/31/2022
Even before becoming Big Freedia, Freddie Ross was known around New Orleans. Her "signature call"—an operatic bellow that she lets out when I ask to hear it—was legendary in the city. "They'd be like, 'Oh that's Freddie in the club'.... The signature call comes very loud. And proud." Freedia came out to her mom as gay when she was 13, and soon came out to her classmates as well. She tells me she "had to do what every other gay kid had to do: fight for their life, and let people know that...

Duration:00:28:35

Finding Meaning After My Husband's Public Death

8/24/2022
When talking about the death of his husband, Terry Kaelber doesn't use the word suicide, "I tend to say he took his own life out of deep distress about the environment through self-immolation." Terry says it's out of respect for David that he chooses his words carefully — "It was a rational decision on his part." In 2018, David Buckel doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Minutes before, he sent a note to prominent media outlets. He wrote, “Most...

Duration:00:36:22

Knock Knock, Who's There? Bob the Drag Queen

8/17/2022
If you lived in Columbus, Georgia in the 90s, you might have spent time in a queer club called Sensations. But Bob the Drag Queen knew Sensations by day, not night – she was in elementary school when her mom owned the place. As a kid, Bob would try to help clean or bust a move on the dance floor. A couple years into college, Bob left the South for New York City. She performed in drag for the first time, turned her big ideas into iconic side hustles, and auditioned for, and eventually won,...

Duration:00:33:15

What's Going On With Student Loans?

8/10/2022
Here we are again: Just weeks before the federal pause on student loans is set to expire, with indications that the pause will be extended, and hints at debt forgiveness, but no concrete course of action as of recording this episode in early August. With so much uncertainty, we decided to invite our favorite expert on the topic, Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, to take some of your questions. Maybe not surprisingly, we got a lot of them. Some of you...

Duration:00:41:24

"This Isn't Just About Abortion": What the End of Roe Means to You

8/3/2022
In the weeks leading up to and after the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which ended almost 50 years of the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, we asked you to tell us how you’re feeling, and how you’re thinking and talking about family planning and access to reproductive care. Some of you told us about your anger, your fears, and we also heard stories about difficult conversations with loved ones, or a sense of clarity about the options in front of you. And as the post-Roe...

Duration:00:38:26

Bottled Up: Your Stories About Alcohol

7/27/2022
It can sometimes feel like alcohol—whether you're drinking it or not—is an intrinsic element of navigating adulthood. After all, over 70 percent of American adults drink. We take drinking so much for granted that we often fail to really engage with the role it's playing in our lives. "It’s been a piece of everything since we’ve turned 21, or 18," a listener named Cari told us. "We've always had a drink or been drinking when we’ve been at parties. And it’s so funny that I’m 34, and that is a...

Duration:00:43:36

The Highs and Lows of Being a Starbucks Union Organizer

7/20/2022
When we called Jacob Lawson, a 23-year-old Starbucks worker from Utah, he was on his way to another Starbucks store in Idaho to help them start a union. "It’s not too far from Utah. It's 150 miles, but I’ve driven further to help a store unionize," he told us. By now, you've probably heard that the Starbucks union is having a moment. Since the first store successfully voted to form a union in 2021, more than 175 stores in 30 states have followed suit. The reasons for the union's success are...

Duration:00:30:54