Sex and Relationship Podcasts That Should be on Your Radar
To make up for all those awkward sex talks you had to sit through in health class.
Odds are, you probably didn’t have the best sex education. It’s more likely that you fidgeted through a couple health classes over the years where the most you could hope for were a few pieces of vaguely detailed info on how to use a condom and successfully avoid STIs. And sure, your parents might have explained things to you once or twice, but let’s be honest, that was probably so traumatic that you just blocked it out. Aside from these imperfect introductions into the world of sex and relationships, most of us have had to muddle through to the best of our ability, picking things up from movies, TV, the Internet, friends, dirty books covertly checked out from the library, and, of course, our own fumbling first experiences. But even with all of the information out there, it can be hard to find truly helpful advice, relatable storytelling, and fresh perspectives on the timeless questions of love, romance, sex, relationships, hookups, breakups, and everything in-between. Have no fear, though, because the following podcasts offer the perfect antidote to all the complications, contradictions, and misinformation you've most likely picked up along the way. I promise that your confused, hormonal 9th grade self will thank you.
Modern Love first made its mark in the ultra-popular Modern Love column of The New York Times. Hosted by Meghna Chakraburti, the program navigates the complicated, confusing, joyful, and bittersweet world of love in all its guises through a series of essays, read by an amazingly talented group of actors, authors, and other well-known figures. Just a taste of the readers that they’ve had include Amber Tamblyn, Tituss Burgess, Katie Couric, Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Judd Apatow. Whether you're in the mood for something wry and funny or poignant and heartfelt, this podcast has definitely got you covered.
Previously called Audio Smut before moving to New York and rebranding as The Heart, this is a podcast unlike any other. The brainchild of a team of sex workers who unpack the graphic details of their trade in a series of two-way interviews, Audio Smut isn’t afraid to go there. Each episode torches the rulebook on lovemaking, producing eye-opening documentaries that showed how people - old, gay, disabled, or flawed - actually have sex. Missionary is just the tip of the iceberg. This is not one for sensitive ears and minds that have yet to opened. This is a podcast for couples that don't always fit a traditional position in the bedroom.
Hosted by the endearingly geeky, super sex-positive Sandra Daugherty, the Sex Nerd Sandra podcast feels like listening in on a bunch of candid conversations between your most adventurous friends. Sandra interviews such a diverse group of couples, individuals, sex educators, writers, porn performers, comedians, and more that there is truly an episode for everyone. Daugherty also holds court on everything from toys to fetishes to sexual politics to safe sex to gender identity.
Her friendliness, curiosity, and candor are absolutely infectious and will almost certainly leave you feeling much more open-minded and exploratory than before.
I will be the first to acknowledge that Dan Savage can be a controversial and problematic figure. Over his 20-plus years of column writing, public speaking, and podcasting, he has certainly used his fair share of harmful and ignorant language, and demonstrated callousness and lack of insight into issues such as biphobia, cissexism, and more. However, it is also important to acknowledge Savage’s commitment to bettering the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals through his It Gets Better campaign, his forthright and refreshing advice on countless sex and relationship issues, and his continual evolution as a person and an activist. If you don’t mind a blunt, provocative, no-nonsense host, Savage Lovecast is an incredible resource for eye-opening, horizon-expanding advice.Before you think everyone has a hotter sex life than you do, check out Death, Sex & Money. As a whole, the podcast generally breaks down myths, assumptions, and down right lies about our own unique sex lives. It’s comforting to listen to a show dedicated to breaking down barriers around the often overhyped assumptions surrounding sex and our own place in the bedroom.
Based on the beloved Dear Sugar column (much of which has been compiled into a deeply moving book Tiny Beautiful Things), the Dear Sugar podcast is hosted by both of the original Sugar columnists, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Both accomplished and well-known writers, Cheryl and Steve offer a refreshing counterpoint to the snarkiness and sass of other sex and relationship podcasts through their trademark honesty, earnestness, and self-described “radical empathy.” Perfect for when you need something heartfelt, moving, and inspiring, Dear Sugar will almost certainly make you feel better about yourself, your relationships, and the world around you.
To preface, the full title of this podcast is Guys We Fucked: The Anti-Slut Shaming Podcast, and hosts Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson certainly live up to that purpose through hilarious, candid, and refreshingly unabashed conversations about their past and present sex lives, as well as those of their guests, a mixture of fellow comedians, friends, and yes, guys they’ve fucked.
If the name alone doesn’t peak your curiosity, the podcast originally started as a way for Corinne to process getting dumped by her long-term boyfriend at a Panera Bread and for Krystyna to work through her jealousy over a boyfriend’s porn-performer ex. Over time, the podcast has developed into a strong, unapologetically feminist platform for sex positivity and low-key advice from two caring, no-bullshit friends. Think of it as the perfect wine pairing to the delicious meal that is Broad City -honest, open, and always funny.
Of all the sex podcasts out there, Sex Lives might just be the best at capturing the sheer messiness—but also joy—of sex and sexuality in the modern dating landscape. Hosted by New York writers Maureen O’Connor and David Wallace Wells, who’s written for Newsweek and Harper’s among other, Sex Lives is a discussion and interview show. Each week Wells and O’Connor are joined by at least one guest—usually, but not always, an expert in some aspect of human sexuality—for a frank, generally funny conversation on everything from sperm donation to sex dreams to dating apps to bionic dongs. Yes, you read that correctly.
As much as Sex Lives tackles sex itself, it’s at least as concerned with relationships, dating, and the constantly shifting landscape of human sexuality in the 21st Century. In that sense, it’s a constant reminder that everyone else is navigating the same messy, often-delightful-but-often-confusing environment that you are.
In Bustle's relatable and humorous manner, their sex and relationship podcast is a fresh and funny look into the less-frequented corners of sex, and it feels like eavesdropping on an interesting brunch conversation, in the best possible way. The show covers a variety of topics not normally touched on by podcasts with similar themes, making it by far one of the most useful options on this list.