Death, Sex & Money

By WNYC Studios

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 Feb 5, 2020

 Feb 4, 2020

 Nov 15, 2019

 Oct 24, 2019

 Feb 4, 2019


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, Snap Judgment, On the Media, Nancy, Death-Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios

Episode Date
"Nobody Comes Here To Hide": Remembering Bill Withers
<p>When I spoke with songwriting legend Bill Withers for the very first episode of Death, Sex &amp; Money, we talked about what it is to be a man. He told me it might not be manly to say "I'm scared," but that being a man isn't about ignoring fear. "To me, courage is not not being afraid," he told me. "It's what you do in spite of being afraid."</p> <p>Bill Withers died this week, at the age of 81.</p> <p>At the end of our conversation, I asked him about what he was proud of, looking back at his life. He told me, "I could have done better but I did alright. That's the way I look at it." And he added, "The best advice anybody ever gave me was very simple: go make something out of yourself. So we do the best we can with that. But the whole goal of this is to try to make yourself interesting because nobody comes here to hide." </p>
Apr 03, 2020
"We Are The Glue": Stories From Essential Workers
<p>A few weeks back, we created a <a href="">Pandemic Tool Kit</a> for those of us who are staying home during the COVID-19 crisis. But we also wanted to hear from those of you who can't stay home right now because your jobs have been deemed essential<span>—</span>about what's on your mind right now, and what's helping you cope.</p> <p>So we asked essential workers to record voice memos and send them in. We heard from so many of you<span>—</span>from postal workers to flight attendants to nurses to grocery store employees. Some of you told us that this scenario is what you've always trained for. But others of you told us that you never imagined yourself on the frontlines of a health crisis. As listener Randi put it, "I don’t think I thought about myself as an essential worker until this moment, and now I realize how much we’re part of the glue of the community." </p> <hr> <p><em>We also are thinking about those of you who are suddenly out of work. Or, who may have a paycheck now but you’re not sure how long it will last. If you are in financial flux right now, tell us what’s going on at <a href=""></a>.</em></p>
Apr 01, 2020
A Surgical Nurse On Being Essential
<p>A few days ago we asked to hear from those of you who are essential workers—those of you who can’t stay home right now. We wanted to know what you are thinking about, and what’s helping you. And since then, so many of you have written in—thank you. We're working now on an episode that represents the range of workers we heard from that’ll come out later this week. </p> <p>But today, we wanted to share just one of those voice memos that came in, from a listener named Jennifer. She's a nurse in Ohio, and the mom of six kids. And we loved taking this walk with her in the woods. </p>
Mar 30, 2020
If You Can't Isolate, What Do You Need?
<p>Over the last week, we've loved watching many of you use our <a href="">Pandemic Tool Kit</a> and learning how you're coping with social distancing. But not all of us have the ability to stay home right now. A listener named Mary, who is a nurse in upstate New York, emailed us this week and told us that she's looking for whole different kind of tool kit. Like many other essential workers (healthcare workers, grocers, delivery workers, janitors, warehouse workers, trash collectors and more), Mary is at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and wants to know how people like her are coping right now.</p> <p>So this weekend, we're asking essential workers: <em>What’s on your mind right now?</em> and <em>What’s helping you?</em> And for those of you that have loved ones who are essential workers, we're asking you to do something nice for them, and tell us about how great they are. Record a voice memo and send it to by Monday morning.</p>
Mar 27, 2020
Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple
<p>In 2014, I talked with musicians Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires<span>⁠ when they were</span> a year into marriage, and two years into Jason's sobriety. But their new life didn't come without its challenges. Jason was learning how to be a feminist husband, and Amanda was figuring out where her own career fit in amid his success and their plans to raise a family. </p> <p>Hear our conversation about love, liquor, trust, and staying connected when everything in your life is changing.</p> <hr> <p><em>Jason and Amanda have joined us on Death, Sex &amp; Money a few times since this conversation: </em></p> <p><em><a href="">Live from the Internet: Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires &amp; You</a>: The couple took listener calls along with Anna about relationships, faith and music. </em></p> <p><em><a href="">Jason Isbell &amp; Will Welch: Somebody Needs Me</a>: Jason guest hosts Death, Sex &amp; Money, and talks with his best friend and GQ Editor in Chief Will Welch about sobriety and mental health. </em></p> <p><em><a href="">What Rockstars And Sober People Already Know About Quarantine</a>: Jason talks with Anna from his home in Nashville during the COVID-19 pandemic, about how coming on and off of tours has helped prepare him for sobriety in quarantine, and about the music he and Amanda are listening to right now. </em></p>
Mar 26, 2020
What Rockstars And Sober People Already Know About Quarantine
<p>As social distancing becomes the new normal for all of us, it's affecting us in different ways. For a listener we're calling Chloe<span>—</span>who stopped drinking a year and a half ago<span>—</span>it's impacting the way she maintains her sobriety. "F<span>or me personally, it's really balancing my extreme fear of isolation...with my concern about spreading a virus</span><span> </span><span>that can turn fatal," she told us about weighing the decision to attend in-person AA meetings versus staying home. "Which one do I prioritize? And it's really hard."</span></p> <p>Last week, I called her from my makeshift studio in my closet and talked with her about where she's finding support today<span>—</span>and about the lessons she's applying to life in quarantine that she learned during her early days in recovery. Plus, I call up musician Jason Isbell, to talk about what he's learned about his sobriety while transitioning on and off the road, and to hear about the music he and his family are listening to at home right now. </p> <hr> <p><em>Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires first appeared on Death, Sex &amp; Money in a 2014 episode, <a href="">Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple</a>. Since then, the couple hosted a <a href="">live call with listeners in 2017</a> and Jason <a href="">guest-hosted one of our 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup episodes</a>. </em></p> <p><em>We've also made you <a href="">a Spotify playlist</a> with all the songs Jason and Amanda are listening to during their self-quarantine. Enjoy!</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Mar 25, 2020
We Made A Pandemic Tool Kit
<p><span>In the past, we've created collaborative spreadsheets with your suggestions for getting through traumatic life events like <a href="">breakups</a> and <a href="">pregnancy loss</a>. So when one of our listeners suggested we make another one for the current pandemic we find ourselves living through<span>—</span>we got to work. This week, you've been helping us fill up our <a href="">Pandemic Tool Kit</a> with suggested things to read, listen to, watch, think about, and more. You've added suggestions about everything from watching meditation videos and making nachos to hosting singalongs and donating to service workers. So this weekend, we want to challenge you to check it out, add ideas to it<span>—</span>and give something in the tool kit a try.</span></p> <p><span>Tell us how it goes. Send in your field reports from your activities<span>—</span>pictures, voices memos, emails<span>—to <a href=""></a><span> by Monday morning. We’ll share some of them in our newsletter, which we're sending out a few times a week now. You can subscribe at <a href=";id=566f296761"></a>.</span></span></span></p>
Mar 20, 2020
Ben Sinclair Is A Fan Of Endings
<p><span>For fans of the HBO series </span><em>High Maintenance</em><span>, Ben Sinclair is practically synonymous with “The Guy,” the laid-back New York City weed dealer he plays on the show. And while a lot of the show</span><span><span> </span>is inspired by Ben and his co-creator and ex-wife Katja Blichfeld's personal life experiences, these days, Ben's trying to separate himself from some of his character's most well-known attributes. "I'm starting to grow out of smoking weed," he told me. "I feel joy at the anticipation of getting stoned, but<span> </span></span>once I'm stoned, I'm like, ugh, why did I do this?"</p> <p>Ben talked with me about his childhood in an Arizona suburb, struggling in New York in his 20s, <span>what he learned from his divorce, and what he's turning to now that he's smoking less. </span></p> <hr> <p>If you're new to <em>High Maintenance, </em>h<span>ere are five of my favorite<span> </span>episodes. I only picked from the last four seasons of HBO for ease in finding, but the whole web series is amazing,<span> </span><a href="">which you can find here</a>.</span></p> <p><span><strong>"Dongle"</strong> (Season 3, Episode 7): A Puerto Rican man who just arrived in New York starts work on a road crew and starts a flirtation with his bodega guy.</span></p> <p><strong>"Googie"</strong> (Season 2, Episode 6): The Guy is recovering at home after a bike injury, and after smoking a lot of pot and streaming a lot of television, he goes out for a walk.</p> <p><strong>"M.A.S.H."</strong> (Season 3, Episode 1): A wake brings together a collection of people in upstate New York, who join together in an inspired music jam. </p> <p><strong>"Adelante"</strong> (Season 4, Episode 6): An encounter with ex in an Uber pool, and a dental hygienist goes on a date with a patient and then returns to her home in the Bronx.</p> <p><strong>"Scromple"</strong> (Season 2, Episode 5): The Guy and his ex-wife run into each other in a hospital.</p>
Mar 18, 2020
Death, Sex & Money's Coronavirus Reading List
<p>As we limit our face-to-face interactions and watch more news about the COVID-19 pandemic roll in, it’s important to find community in other ways. That could look like hopping on the phone or FaceTime with loved ones; stockpiling medicine, cleaning supplies, and food to share; and finding creative ways to keep our spirits up in a confusing and difficult time.</p> <p>All of us at <em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> encourage you to continue to reach out as we move through this together. You can share your thoughts, tips, and concerns at We're also going to be touching base with you all more often via our newsletter—if you're not signed up already, <a href=";id=566f296761">you can subscribe here</a>. </p> <p>In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some resources that we hope you find as helpful as we did:</p> <ul> <li>The <a href="">World Health Organization</a> and the <a href="">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> both have official guidelines about how to contain the outbreak as much as possible.</li> <li><em>Gothamist</em> has <a href="">a running list of NYC-related coronavirus news</a> and <a href="">preparation tips</a>.</li> <li>Infectious disease expert Dr. Robert Citronberg broke down <a href="">everything you need to know about the disease</a> in the <em>Chicago Tribune.</em></li> <li><em>ProPublica </em>reporter Caroline Chen <a href="">on the questions we should be asking about the coronavirus</a>.</li> <li>A list of <a href="">catchy songs to wash your hands to</a> besides singing "Happy Birthday" twice.</li> <li><em>Vox</em> has compiled <a href="">a list of nine charts</a> that help explain the crisis, from spread to contagiousness to symptoms.  </li> <li><em>BuzzFeed</em> offers some <a href="">useful tips for staying home</a> and <a href="">a flowchart for what to do if you think you may have contracted the virus</a>.</li> <li><em>Vogue</em> offers up <a href="">concrete tips about working from home</a>, from someone who's been doing it for years. </li> <li>Writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner reminds us <a href="">to find connection in a time of “social-isolation.”</a></li> <li><em>The New Yorker</em>'s piece <a href="">"Coping, Camaraderie and Human Evolution Amid the Coronavirus Crisis."</a></li> <li>And from Netflix’s <em>The Circle...</em>cast member Joey Sasso has <a href="">surprisingly soothing advice for when you’re stuck at home</a>.</li> </ul>
Mar 13, 2020
Death, Sex & Money's Coronavirus Reading List
<p>As we limit our face-to-face interactions and watch more news about the COVID-19 pandemic roll in, it’s important to find community in other ways. That could look like hopping on the phone or FaceTime with loved ones; stockpiling medicine, cleaning supplies, and food to share; and finding creative ways to keep our spirits up in a confusing and difficult time.</p> <p>All of us at <em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> encourage you to continue to reach out as we move through this together. You can share your thoughts, tips, and concerns at We're also going to be touching base with you all more often via our newsletter—if you're not signed up already, <a href=";id=566f296761">you can subscribe here</a>. </p> <p>In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some resources that we hope you find as helpful as we did.</p> <p>The <a href="">World Health Organization</a> and the <a href="">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> both have official guidelines about how to contain the outbreak as much as possible.</p> <p><em>Gothamist</em> has <a href="">a running list of NYC-related coronavirus news</a> and <a href="">preparation tips</a>.</p> <p>Infectious disease expert Dr. Robert Citronberg broke down <a href="">everything you need to know about the disease</a> in the <em>Chicago Tribune.</em></p> <p><em>ProPublica </em>reporter Caroline Chen <a href="">on the questions we should be asking about the coronavirus</a>.</p> <p>A list of <a href="">catchy songs to wash your hands to</a> besides singing "Happy Birthday" twice. </p> <p><em>Vox</em> has compiled <a href="">a list of nine charts</a> that help explain the crisis, from spread to contagiousness to symptoms.  </p> <p><em>BuzzFeed</em> offers some <a href="">useful tips for staying home</a> and <a href="">a flowchart for what to do if you think you may have contracted the virus</a>.</p> <p><em>Vogue</em> offers up <a href="">concrete tips about working from home</a>, from someone who's been doing it for years. </p> <p>Writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner reminds us <a href="">to find connection in a time of “social-isolation.”</a></p> <p>Lists of <a href="">online-only addiction</a> <a href="">recovery support</a> <a href="">groups</a> and <a href="">anxiety support groups</a>.</p> <p><em>The New Yorker</em>'s piece <a href="">"Coping, Camaraderie and Human Evolution Amid the Coronavirus Crisis."</a></p> <p>And from Netflix’s <em>The Circle...</em>cast member Joey Sasso has <a href="">surprisingly soothing advice for when you’re stuck at home</a>.</p>
Mar 13, 2020
Alone Together: A COVID-19 Call-In
<p>Over the last few weeks and days, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reshaped many of our lives. For some of us, we're working from home, our kids aren't in school, and we're worried about our own health, or the health of our elderly and immunocompromised friends and loved ones. Right now, it's not clear if or when things will feel normal again.</p> <p>We wanted to know how you all are coping right now, so I took your calls along with Kai Wright, host of WNYC Studios' <a href=""><em>The United States of Anxiety</em></a>. We heard from those of you who have had to cancel major plans; <span>who are navigating</span><span> dating</span><span> in the midst of a pandemic; who are balancing working from home with childcare; and </span>who are living abroad far from family and friends. We even got some home cooking tips from Samin Nosrat, writer, chef and host of the Netflix series <em>Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat</em>. </p> <p>We’ve also pulled together some <a href="">resources and articles that we've found helpful and soothing</a>. And as we all move through this together, we're going to be in touch more often. If you're not already subscribed to our newsletter, <a href=";id=566f296761">sign up now</a>. We'll be reaching out a few times as week, and hope that you'll write to us too. Our inbox is at <a href=""></a>. </p>
Mar 13, 2020
Why You're Not Having Sex
<p>A 34-year-old listener we’ll call “Marie” emailed us back in 2015. She’d never dated anyone seriously. She'd never been kissed, and she'd never had sex. She wasn't opposed to any of those things. They just hadn't happened for her yet. And she worried that if she told a potential partner about her sexual inexperience, he'd walk away. </p> <p>Many of us aren’t having sex, for all kinds of reasons. When we asked you why you're not having sex, you told us about abstaining for religious reasons, or because of lingering fears based on what you learned (or didn’t learn) about sex growing up. We heard about not having sex because it hurts too much, or because you could hurt someone else by doing it. Some of you aren't having sex because you can't find the right partner or keep running into narrow societal standards about what’s “attractive.”</p> <p>We heard from people in relationships, too, like a couple who can't agree on how much sex is enough—so they're not really having any. And a man who says everyone<span> </span><em>thinks </em>his life is full of three-ways and orgies because he lives with his wife and their girlfriend. But in reality, he says they're not having sex at all. </p> <p><span>When we asked for your stories about why you’re not having sex, you also told us that not having sex can be really difficult to talk about. But by talking about it, what becomes</span> clear is that our idea of what's "normal" might in fact be a myth. </p>
Mar 11, 2020
Sugar Babies Cost Me $8,000 And My Marriage
<p>A few months ago, a listener we're calling Ethan sent us an email. The subject line was: "Sugar babies cost me $8,000 and my marriage." </p> <p>Ethan told us that he hired sex workers from the website Seeking Arrangement for over a year, while also going to couples counseling with his wife as their marriage struggled. "My justification for it initially was, you know, I'm going to have a good time so that I can have more energy to try and fix my marriage," he told me. "'Cause I think, you know, when I first went on to Seeking Arrangement, I was exhausted. But I wasn't ready to give up on the marriage yet." </p> <p>Ethan says he started going on Seeking Arrangement after hearing more about it on our show, from our episode <a href="">"When 'Daddy Dates' Pay The Bills."</a> And while we aren't proud that this story of the end of a marriage includes our show as a key plot point, we wanted to hear more about why Ethan decided to cheat<span>⁠—</span>and to understand what hard conversations he was trying to avoid. </p>
Mar 04, 2020
Maria Bamford Didn't Wait For It To Be Perfect
<p>When comedian Maria Bamford moved to LA in her early 20s, she struggled to cover her food and rent as she was breaking into the comedy world. "Although I had a college degree, I just did not know how to get and keep a full time job, much less a part time job," she told me. When an unexpected medical bill landed her in debt, she almost moved home to Minnesota—but found the support she needed from a money-oriented 12-step program. She eventually held down a job working as a secretary at an animation studio, which led to her getting voiceover work—and, importantly, health insurance through the Screen Actors Guild. </p> <p>Since then, Maria has developed a signature brand of comedy that leans into her mental health struggles, the quirky characters in her family and the anxieties of everyday life. I talk with her about the unconventional way she learned to manage money, her memories of psychiatric hospitalization, and how she's working on having better arguments with her husband. </p> <hr> <p>Maria's new comedy special is called <a href=""><em>Weakness Is The Brand</em></a>. Listen to this <em>This American Life</em> <a href="">episode</a><em> </em>to hear more about the Gottmans, the husband and wife psychologists Maria has turned to for marriage advice.  </p> <p>If you or someone you love is at risk of suicide, please go to <a href=""></a> to find resources and someone to talk to. </p>
Feb 26, 2020
Cancer Changed Ken Jeong's Comedy
<p>Ken Jeong described his role as Mr. Chow in the 2009 blockbuster<span> </span><em>The Hangover</em><span> </span>as "the most obscene love letter to a spouse one could ever have.” He peppered his dialogue with bits of Vietnamese as an inside joke with his wife Tran. </p> <p>Ken met his wife while they were both practicing medicine at the same hospital in Los Angeles. Ken had always done comedy on the side, even performing midnight stand-up while he was working long hours during his residency. But after he and Tran married, he quit medicine to pursue acting full-time. Then, a year later, Tran was diagnosed with stage III triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. At the time, they had young twins, and Ken had just gotten an offer to play an Asian mobster in a Las Vegas buddy movie <span>— the role that would be his big break.</span></p> <p>Tran encouraged him to take the part. "You're kind of burning out right now," she told him. So he channeled his anger about her illness into his character's comedic rage. </p> <p>Back in 2015, he talked to me about raising a family in the shadow of cancer, and how his careers in comedy and medicine converged in unexpected ways.</p>
Feb 19, 2020
No Slumping With Twyla Tharp
<p>Twyla Tharp's mother first put her in dance classes when she was a child living in Southern California. "I've always been highly programmed," Twyla told me. But when she got to New York and realized her ballet skills weren't "top drawer," she decided to dig into modern dance and began studying with legendary dancers like Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. "I said to myself, 'Well, okay, Merce does great what he does, and Martha does great what she does, but I don't want to do what they do,'" she said. "And I think ultimately that's how I became my own dancing person."<br><br>In the six decades since, she's done exactly that<span>—</span>and she's not done yet. Now 78, Twyla joined me from our studio in New York to talk about the start of her prolific career back in the mid-60s, the logistics of raising her son as a single parent while touring internationally, and how now, at 78, she's learning to deal with new physical limitations.</p> <p>Here is an excerpt of Twyla's first work, Tank Dive (1965):</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="480" src="" width="854"></iframe></p> <p>And here is a bit of The Golden Section (1983):</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="480" src="" width="854"></iframe></p> <p><a href="">You can check out more of Twyla's work on her website.</a> </p> <p>Looking for our Valentine's Day project? <a href="">Go here!</a></p>
Feb 12, 2020
20 Death, Sex & Money Episodes For Your Valentines
<p>Is there a better way to celebrate your loved ones this Valentine's Day than showering them with audio-goodies? Here are 20 episodes we think are perfect for sharing. <a href="">Download this image</a> to send along with your episode suggestions!</p> <p><strong>The ultimate Valentine's Roundup:</strong></p> <p><a href="">Real Love: A Valentine's Special from Death, Sex &amp; Money</a>: <span>Sometimes love fits neatly on a card. Sometimes, it spills over into rehab, divorce, or a call from a former Wyoming senator. </span></p> <p><strong>For those who haven't found their special someone:</strong></p> <p><a href="">Hot Dates: Romance Right Now</a>: <span>Dating these days can be frustrating. But a lot of you are doing it anyway...and some of you are letting us listen in.</span></p> <p><a href="">Dating Was So Hard, Until It Wasn't</a>: <span>Katie Heaney wrote a memoir about her lifelong single status. Then she realized she was looking for love in the wrong place.</span></p> <p><a href="">Desiree Akhavan's Breakthrough Breakup</a>: <span>Akhavan’s debut feature film, Appropriate Behavior, mines the details of her own life—particularly the most uncomfortable moments. It also earned her a spot on this season of <em>Girls</em>.</span></p> <p><strong>For those who want inspirational love stories:</strong></p> <p><a href="">My Husband Killed Someone. Now He Might Get Out.</a>: <span>Ronnine Bartley married her husband Lawrence while he was in prison. They had two kids and dreamed about a life together on the outside. Now, Lawrence has a chance at parole. </span></p> <p><a href="">Cancer Changed Ken Jeong's Comedy</a>: <span>After years of working as a physician, Ken Jeong quit to pursue acting. Then his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and he found himself needing to think like a doctor again.</span></p> <p><a href="">Married, Paralyzed and Moving On</a>: <span>A couple reflects on the big strides they've made together since a cycling accident left one of them paralyzed two years ago—and on the things they still need to face. </span></p> <p><span><a href="">College Sweethearts: Transformed</a>: Liam and Marisa fell in love as college students. Then, Liam began his gender transition. Here, they speak candidly about staying committed through serious change.</span></p> <p><a href="">I Married A Dreamer During The Trump Presidency</a>: <span>Vanessa never thought much about the immigration process until she fell in love with Freddy, whose legal status in the U.S. is now in jeopardy.</span></p> <p><a href="">A Wife Interviews Her Husband About Manhood, Now</a>: We<span> got a voice memo in our inbox, from a husband and wife who were inspired to talk about masculinity together. So we asked them if we could share it with you. </span></p> <p><a href="">50 Years Married To A Man Named Sissy</a>: <span>Vickie Goodwin tried to raise her husband's self esteem early in their marriage. But when he started cross dressing publicly, she struggled to accept that it was part of who he was. </span></p> <p><a href="">Chaz Ebert on Life Without Roger</a>: <span>Since Roger Ebert's death in 2013, his wife Chaz says they still communicate in unique and powerful ways. If that sounds out of the ordinary, so is the story of how they fell in love.</span></p> <p><a href="">Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island</a>: <span>Actress Holland Taylor built a reputation by playing self-assured characters who keep others at a distance. But in her personal life, she says she's ready to take a chance on love. </span></p> <p><a href="">This Senator Saved My Love Life</a>: <span>My boyfriend Arthur and I broke up. Then Alan Simpson intervened. And what this expert on the federal deficit taught me about love changed everything.</span></p> <p><strong>For those who want nontraditional looks at love:</strong></p> <p><a href="">Life as a Wife</a>: <span>Cindy Chupack came into her second marriage with a house on the beach and an Emmy. Her husband came in with a lot of debt. Getting comfortable with that wasn't easy.</span></p> <p><a href="">Dan Savage Says Cheating Happens. And That's Ok.</a>: <span>Infidelity has kept Savage's marriage exciting and fun, and he's not afraid to talk about it. But there are things even the bluntest sex columnist feels uncomfortable discussing.</span></p> <p><a href="">An Astronaut's Husband, Left Behind</a>: <span>Dr. Jonathan Clark lost his wife, astronaut Laurel Clark, in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle explosion. As he grieved, he also learned how to be a single parent to their son. </span></p> <p><span><a href="">Finding Love, And A Kidney, On Tinder</a>: <span>When "It's a match!" takes on a whole new meaning. </span></span></p> <p><strong>For those in the mood for non-romantic love:</strong></p> <p><a href="">Siblinghood</a>: <span>After hearing from more than 200 listeners about their siblings, it's clear that the people we spend our childhoods with aren't the easiest ones to act like adults toward.</span></p> <p><a href="">The Power of Yesi Ortiz</a>: <span>On the air, Yesi Ortiz is a warm, flirty host for a popular L.A. hip hop station. Off the air, she's a single mother of six adopted kids. Managing both roles is a more than a challenge.</span></p> <p><strong>Haven't found the perfect episode for your Valentine? Check out our <a href="">archives</a> for a full list of all of our episodes. </strong></p>
Feb 12, 2020
Carmen Maria Machado Is Using The Word 'Abusive'
<p>When author Carmen Maria Machado was in her mid-20s, she had her first relationship with a woman. She was in graduate school at the time, and in the beginning, her ex made her feel special. "I just wanted somebody to like, look at me and be like, 'I want you,' you know? And that's exactly what she did," she told me. While Carmen says the relationship quickly became abusive, she was only able to start describing it that way once their relationship ended.</p> <p>Carmen went on to chronicle this relationship and how she deals with its aftermath in her new, critically-acclaimed memoir <em>In the Dream House. </em>She sat down with me to talk about coming to terms with the relationship, and complicating common narratives around abuse.</p> <p><a href="">You can find the fact sheet Carmen mentioned in the episode here.</a> It was put together by Hyejin Shim and Graywolf Press specifically for queer survivors of abuse, but it offers insights and resources that are useful for everyone.</p>
Feb 05, 2020
Who Are Your 'Quick And Deep' Friends?
<p>Last week, we partnered with the NPR podcast <em>Code Switch</em> to bring you two episodes all about race and friendship. If you haven’t heard those episodes yet, definitely go back, and take a listen to those first. </p> <p>As part of that project, we also put out <a href="">a survey about how race has factored into your friendships</a>. More than 1,000 of you have taken it so far, and we’ve gotten some <a href="">really interesting responses</a>. And we’ve also heard from some of you that taking the survey felt...ill-fitting; that answering questions about the number of friends you have outside of your race feels like an experience designed for white people. </p> <p>We wanted to talk through some of this with Dr. Deborah Plummer. She's a psychologist and professor, who’s studied cross-racial friendships and helped us create our race and friendship survey. Her latest book is called “Some of My Friends Are…: The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships.” </p>
Jan 29, 2020
Ask Code Switch: What About Your Friends?
<p>We're thinking about race and friendship on the show this week. Yesterday, <a href="">we brought you stories about the moments when race became a flashpoint in your friendships</a>. And today, we're excited to share a partner episode from NPR's<em> Code Switch</em> podcast<span>—it </span>includes expert perspectives on why our friend groups tend to be made up of people who look like us, and advice for their listeners about the uncomfortable racial dynamics they’ve encountered in their own friendships. </p> <hr> <p><em>If you missed our episode featuring your stories about the moments race became a flashpoint in a friendship—and what happened next—head over to <a href=""></a>. While you're there, take our survey to think more closely about how race plays into your own friendships, and learn how your responses compare to national averages.</em></p>
Jan 23, 2020
Between Friends: Your Stories About Race and Friendship
<p>A text message gone wrong. A bachelorette party exclusion. A racist comment during the 2016 debates.</p> <p>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 kids." Another listener, who we're calling Kathleen, wrote in about the regret she felt about not confronting an ex-friend who posted a racist comment on Facebook. "I don't know if I could have changed her mind," she told us. "But at least [I could have] let her know that what I thought was so wrong about what she was saying, instead of just quietly clicking 'unfriend.'" </p> <p>Today, we're sharing your stories about how race, identity, and racism have impacted your friendships. And <a href="">listen to the episode from our partners at the NPR podcast <em>Code Switch</em></a>, featuring expert advice on navigating those flashpoint moments around race<span>—</span>and explaining why it's so hard to make, and maintain, cross-racial friendships.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Take our survey about race and friendship here.</a> Afterward, see how other people answered the survey questions, and get our list of recommended reading on race and friendship. </strong></p> <p><strong>Click <a href="">here</a> to read a transcript of the episode.</strong></p>
Jan 22, 2020
Inside Planned Parenthood
<div class="story__details"> <div id="ember1006" class="ember-view"> <div id="ember1015" class="article-tabs ivy-tabs nypr-tabs ember-view"> <div aria-hidden="false" id="ember1035" role="tabpanel" class="ivy-tabs-tabpanel active ember-view" aria-labelledby="ember1029" tabindex="0"> <div class="story__body"> <div id="ember1052" class="ember-view"> <div class="django-content"> <p>The first thing that greets you when you step off the elevator at the Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn is a metal detector. "I didn’t necessarily expect it," a first-time patient told me. "But as soon as I saw it I was like, 'Oh yeah, that’s right, that makes sense.'" </p> <p>Many Planned Parenthood clinics across the country rely on security measures like these. The services provided by these clinics<span>—</span>specifically, abortions<span>—</span>have long been at the center of a raging political debate in the U.S. But it's not very often that we hear from the people who rely on these clinics for health care. </p> <p>Over a number of days in late 2015 and early 2016, we collected interviews at the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Brooklyn. Patients volunteered to talk with us while they were waiting for their appointments. They were there for STI tests, pap smears, birth control prescriptions<span>—</span>no one seeking an abortion talked with me on the days we were there. But for many of the people I met, abortion was an important part of their history with Planned Parenthood. </p> <p>"Here it was just very reassuring," a patient named Sarah, who was at the clinic for her annual exam, told me about her abortion three years ago at Planned Parenthood. "No one wants to do it, but life, you know, happens."</p> <p>We also talked with some of the abortion protesters who stand outside the clinic every Saturday, rain or shine. And I interviewed several staff members and volunteers at Planned Parenthood<span>—</span>like Rhea, who greets patients as they walk in the door downstairs. "If you’re wondering if this is the right choice and you’re there and you’ve made the appointment and you’ve been thinking and you’re like, crossing the line...somebody being a jerk to you could totally just melt you down," she told me. "Or, somebody with a smile and somebody who holds your hand, could just make you feel calm and make you feel good. At a time where maybe you don’t feel good." </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>We originally released this episode in 2016. Since then, there’s been a big change in how Planned Parenthood pays for that care. The Trump administration banned clinics from receiving Title X federal funding--money that covers things like STI treatment, cancer screenings and contraception for low-income patients, if those clinics also provide abortion counseling (with a few narrow exceptions). </em><em>In response, Planned Parenthood stopped taking those funds altogether.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>
Jan 08, 2020
Saeed Jones's New Year's Determinations
<p>When I talked to writer Saeed Jones, he told me about his late mother, Carol Sweet-Jones, and how she always made New Year's "determinations"<span>—not "resolutions." He recently wrote about the differences between the two in an essay called <em>We Are A Determined Household</em>, and about what he learned from years of watching his mom "summon her determination like clockwork." </span><span>This week, Saeed reads that essay for us.</span></p> <p>And we want to hear your New Years determinations, too! Record a voice memo telling us what you want from 2020, and send it to us at We'll share them back with the entire Death, Sex &amp; Money community soon, so we can all get a little inspiration from each other.</p> <hr> <p><em>Want more Saeed? Subscribe to his newsletter, </em><a href="">The Intelligence of Honey</a><em>, where this essay was originally published. And be sure to check out his memoir, "How We Fight For Our Lives," which was one of our favorite books of 2019.</em></p> <p> </p>
Jan 01, 2020
Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Year End Spectacular
<p>We put 46 episodes of <em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> in your podcast feeds in 2019. We talked together about everything from STIs and drinking to stillbirth and big workplace transitions. Today, the team gathers together to share our favorite on- and off-the-air moments from the year that was, from the tape that stuck with getting stuck in tapings. </p> <hr> <p><em>We're able to do the work we do because of your support! If you want to help our show grow in 2020, please consider <a href="">supporting Death, Sex &amp; Money with a donation</a>. The first 250 people to give at any amount during the month of December will receive a limited-edition Maternity Leave Lineup poster, signed by Anna. Thank you!</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>
Dec 25, 2019
Liz Phair's Rebellious Streak Works For Her
<p>In 1994, musician Liz Phair was 27, fresh off the runaway success of her albums <em>Exile In Guyville </em>and <em>Whipsmart</em><em>, </em>and on on the cover of Rolling Stone under the headline "A Rock And Roll Star Is Born." And she was miserable.</p> <p>In her new book, <em>Horror Stories</em>, she writes about the uncertainty and the restlessness of that time in her life. And in our conversation, she tells me that her decision to then get married and "retreat into domesticity" at that point seems, in hindsight, like an overcorrection. "I was trying to pull back into a self that I recognized," she says. "And I just pulled back too far." Today, she tells me about cheating in that marriage as a way of finding herself again, and how years later, finding herself on the other side of a betrayal helped her feel like the karmic score had been settled.</p> <p><em>Thanks to Random House for making a chapter of Liz's memoir Horror Stories available for us to share with you. <a href="">Click here to read it</a>.</em></p> <p><em>We've also built a Spotify playlist of our favorite Liz Phair songs. <a href="">You can find it here</a>.</em></p> <hr> <p>"Customer Experience" excerpted from <strong>Horror Stories</strong> by Liz Phair Copyright © 2019 by Liz Phair. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.</p>
Dec 18, 2019
The Children Of Heart Mountain
<p>The Heart Mountain Pilgrimage⁠ is an annual reunion for Japanese Americans who were imprisoned at Heart Mountain, a WWII incarceration camp in Wyoming, and their families. "<span>I haven’t been back here since we used to live here," a woman named Esther Abe told me, as we got off a bus together outside the museum that now stands on the grounds. "Something happened that I didn't expect. I saw that Heart Mountain, and I kind of choked up." </span></p> <p>The people at this gathering who once lived here are now in their 80s and 90s<span>⁠, but they </span>were young children during their time at Heart Mountain. "It sounds idiotic, but as a kid, there was no fear," another former incarceree Shig Yabu told me. "We didn't think about all the barbed wires. We wanted excitement."</p> <p>I heard about a range of emotional experiences when I talked with the descendants of former incarcerees<span>—</span>including anger. "<span>I have been angry and I probably still am,</span>" said Shirley Ann Higuchi, whose parents were both imprisoned at Heart Mountain. Shirley told me how she learned new details about her mother's experience at Heart Mountain after she died in 2005. "<span>I think the Japanese culture is very complicated. </span>I think there's sort of something there where you need permission to speak, or need permission to talk out on things," she told me. "I think in reality [my mother] was angrier than I was, but she just suppressed it and managed it differently."</p>
Dec 11, 2019
Cheating Happens
<p>People cheat. But they don't often talk about the aftermath, and how they and their partners decide what comes next.</p> <p>When I asked you to send in your stories about infidelity, I heard from so many of you. Listener Sasha* told us about how she suspected that her partner of five years was having an affair -- and later, after they broke up, discovered that he had been been posting online ads for casual sex throughout their relationship. Andy in Connecticut remembered being a 12-year-old trying to convince his father not to cheat on a girlfriend. Joe* in Texas talked about having a relationship with a married woman as a single man, and the feeling of being a sideshow to the main event. Listener Chrystal* began her email to us about the cheating in her relationship: "Spoiler alert: we made it." </p> <p><span>Numbers about cheating vary from<span> </span><a href=";pg=PA93&amp;lpg=PA93&amp;dq=Serial+monogamy+and+clandestine+adultery:+Evolution+and+consequences+of+the+dual+human+reproductive+strategy&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=C6WxSbB2lD&amp;sig=430EfblRt7nQJXWya53Ka6CeUMs&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=M0bhUqDMNImosQT8tYGgCQ&amp;ved=0CDUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Serial%20monogamy%20and%20clandestine%20adultery%3A%20Evolution%20and%20consequences%20of%20the%20dual%20human%20reproductive%20strategy&amp;f=false">study to study</a>, but indicate that 20 to 40 percent of straight married men and 20 to 25 percent of straight married women venture outside their marriages. When <a href="">Dan Savage</a><span> joined us on the show in 2014, he put that number even higher, at 50 percent of women and men in long-term relationships. </span></span></p> <p><span><span></span></span><span>In this episode, you'll hear from men and women who've cheated and been cheated on. Nobody's proud of it. But we learned that when a secret affair is revealed, it’s a moment for us to finally and fully be honest about what was missing from a relationship, and what’s worth saving.</span></p> <p><span>*Name changed for privacy reasons </span></p>
Dec 04, 2019
Anne Lamott: Death Sucks, And It's Holy
<p>I recently joined writer Anne Lamott on stage in San Francisco at the Reimagine End of Life festival. Anne's written a lot over her 40-year career about death and grief, as well as about addiction, recovery, and parenthood. We talked about what it means to be sensitive, how to sit with someone in hospice, and whether Anne was thinking about death when she recently decided to marry for the first time at age 65.</p>
Nov 27, 2019
Hasan Minhaj's Honest Mistakes
<p>Hasan Minhaj started doing stand-up sets during college, drawn to comedy by its "radical honesty." <span>"I remember seeing Chris Rock's [special] <em>Never Scared</em>, and I remember him talking about George W. Bush, politics," he told me. "I worked at Safeway at the time...bagging groceries and stuff. Like, I can't talk about this at Safeway, I'll get fired. And that is what I loved about it."</span></p> <p><span>But as Hasan was experimenting with being radically honest on stage about everything from his family to his political beliefs, he says he was being less honest in his personal life. After moving to Los Angeles post-graduation, he says he started lying to his parents, and to his then-girlfriend, Beena, about a lot of things.</span></p> <p>Even though he's worked to repair those relationships, Hasan says it can still be tricky to navigate honesty, both on stage and off. On his Netflix show,<em> Patriot Act</em>, Hasan has taken on controversial topics like the elections in India or the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia's involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But sharing his honest opinions on stage can come with serious personal ramifications. "<span>I have a duty to my loved ones and to my family too," he told me. "And figuring out that has been the new challenge for me."</span></p>
Nov 20, 2019
Who's Driving Your Uber?
<p>I’ve learned a lot about the Bay Area from Uber drivers since I moved here a few years ago. Some of them are relatively new arrivals, like me, but others have watched the region change dramatically over the last few years. When I'm stuck in a car with a stranger at the wheel, I've been surprised by how personal conversations can get. </p> <p>So in 2017, producer Katie Bishop and I took our microphones and recording gear along on a bunch of Uber rides all around the Bay Area. The company has been in the news a lot, but we set out to learn more about the drivers and what keeps<em><span> </span>them</em><span> </span>on the road. We talked about money, competition from other drivers and how they spend their long hours driving and waiting for rides. They also told us about domestic violence, grave plot sales, and the long ripples of the financial crisis. And we heard why one Pakistani driver has decided it's better to not talk to his passengers. Today, we're bringing you those conversations again.</p>
Nov 13, 2019
A Former Debt Collector's Unpaid Bills
<p>When Angela first started working at a debt collection agency, she says she barely understood what her job was. "<span>I was so completely awestruck that people didn't pay their bills," she told me. "I thought this was going to be really easy. Honestly, I don't even know how I kept the job the first couple of weeks." </span></p> <p><span>It wasn't easy. But Angela finally did start getting consumers to pay, and worked her way up in the industry. And then, 15 years into her career, she and several colleagues were sued for illegal debt collection practices by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York State Attorney General. Angela eventually settled, and as part of the agreement was banned from the industry for life and ordered to pay $4.4 million⁠. She says she's not sure she'll ever pay that off. </span></p> <p><span>Now, Angela also has medical debt that's gone to collections. At first, she says she would pick up the phone when collectors called, just to critique them. "N</span>ow I just block the number and move on," she told me. "I will eventually get them paid off and until I can, there is no point in wasting their time." <em><br></em></p> <hr> <p><em>If you're getting calls from debt collectors who you think might be breaking the law, <a href="">find out how to contact your state's consumer protection office here</a>. </em></p>
Nov 06, 2019
When Breast Cancer Pauses Life At 35
<p>Kate Pickert was 35 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A longtime healthcare policy reporter, she understood a lot about medicine and the healthcare industry. But even with all that insight, Kate wasn't prepared for what the experience of being a cancer patient could be like. So, she started researching<span>⁠—</span>and found that the book she wanted to read, about the history of breast cancer and the way we treat it, wasn't out there. "T<span>he fact that this book didn't exist and women didn't know this story is like...something went wrong," Kate told me. </span>So she decided to write it, and included some of her own experiences too.</p> <p>The resulting book is called <em>Radical: The Science, Culture and History of Breast Cancer in America</em>. Kate talked with me about the choices<span>—both expected and unexpected—that</span> she made to maintain a sense of normalcy in her life during her treatment, including not telling her young daughter about her illness, and paying extra to keep her hair. And we talk about the trauma of her shock at her initial diagnosis<span>—</span>and why she still thinks about her breast cancer coming back at least once a day. </p>
Oct 30, 2019
Scattered: The Camp
<p>About a year ago, we put out an episode that was actually a pilot of another show, by comedian Chris Garcia. It was his story about grieving his father's death from Alzheimer's, along with a conversation he had with fellow comedian Karen Kilgariff about her mother's death from Alzheimer's. We called that episode “<a href="">Alzheimer's and the World's Saddest Comedy Club</a>.” </p> <p>At the time, we asked for your feedback about the pilot. And thanks in part to your enthusiastic response, that pilot has become a new podcast from WNYC Studios. The new show is called <a href=""><em>Scattered</em></a>. In it, Chris explores his father's illness and death, but he also goes deeper into his father's Cuban roots, a history Chris can no longer ask his father about. </p> <p>So we wanted to share some of that new show with you. This is episode two, called The Camp, where you'll hear about Chris's father's life before he left Cuba, when he was forced to work in a labor camp because he wanted to leave for the U.S. </p>
Oct 23, 2019
Saeed Jones Talks About Sex. And Death. And Money.
<p>Saeed Jones' mother, Carol Sweet-Jones, died in 2011<span>—</span>six years after he came out to her over the phone from his college dorm room in Kentucky. They were close, but when Saeed walked into her hospital room the day after she had the heart attack that would end her life, he says he barely recognized her. "M<span>y mom was always very - she was very beautiful. She was elegant, chic," he told me. "A</span><span>nd that was not the woman I saw in that bed."</span></p> <p><span>Saeed was raised by his mother in Texas, where he recognized early that he was gay, but was afraid to be open about it. He writes about the complicated and sometimes lonely sexual experiences he had with other men during his teenage years in his new memoir, <em>How We Fight For Our Lives—</em>and about dealing with the aftermath of his mom's death as an only child. I talked with him from Columbus, Ohio, where he recently moved, and even more recently turned on his dating apps. </span></p>
Oct 16, 2019
The Student Loan Nerd Helping Borrowers One Email At A Time
<p>A few years ago, Betsy Mayotte stumbled upon the <a href="">student loan subreddit</a><span>—</span>a section on Reddit where users ask each other questions about student loan debt. "I can't afford to pay. What should I do? I'm in default. What should I do? I'm trying to see if I qualify for forgiveness program, my servicer told me this, is this right?," Betsy remembers reading. "It took me aback that these borrowers⁠—and a lot of them⁠—were so desperate for help that they were willing to ask strangers on the internet that they had no idea what their credentials were." </p> <p>At the time, Betsy was working at American Student Assistance<span>⁠, </span>a non-profit guarantor for the federal student loan system. But after recognizing that borrowers desperately need advice about managing their student loans<span>—</span>and can't always turn to their loan servicers for reliable help<span>—</span>she left and started a non-profit called TISLA, or <span>T</span>he Institute for Student Loan Advisors. In addition to advocating for student loan reform, she now spends much of her time answering individual borrowers' emailed questions. "I've had to make myself close down my email at night and not open it until I've done human being things in the morning, like take a shower," she laughs. </p> <p>We also shared with Betsy some of the questions we received from you about student loan debt. Hear her take on whether Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is going away, how to track down all of your loans, and what to do if think you're being scammed. </p>
Oct 02, 2019
Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 2
<p>Nathan realized he couldn't pay his rent and his monthly student loan payments. Beth* collapsed in tears while doing yoga because she couldn't stop worrying about money. Jordan set a calendar reminder to force herself to finally make her first payment. </p> <p>In 2017, <a href="">hundreds of you wrote in to tell us about how you're feeling about student loans,</a> especially the mix of frustration and shame you feel about it. But we also heard stories of turning points<span>—</span>when something changed that redefined your relationship with your student loans. </p> <p>For Beth, that meant radically changing her spending and allotting close to half of her taxable income toward student loan payments. Nathan converted a van into a mobile apartment to save on rent while he chips away at his $200,000 debt. And Jordan,<span> </span><a href="" target="_blank">after first telling me how she's dodged her student loans for two years,</a> finally set up regular monthly payments. </p> <p>"It started becoming something that was consequential but inconsequential at the same time. Something that can be controlled and doesn't control me," a listener named Krista said about finally getting help managing her student debt. "That was a huge revelation."</p> <p><em>Go to <a href="" target="_blank" class="external-link"></a> for more stories and to see how your debt compares to national statistics and to other Death, Sex &amp; Money listeners.</em></p>
Sep 26, 2019
Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 1
<p><em>It's something that I think about—in some way—every single day.</em></p> <p>When we asked you back in 2017 to tell us your stories about how student loans are impacting your life, we were overwhelmed by your responses. We heard about years of incremental payments and the thrill of getting to a zero balance, but also about delayed weddings, tensions with your parents over your shared debt, and fading hopes of ever buying a home or saving for retirement.</p> <p>The student loan crisis has only compounded since our initial call for listener responses. Students who graduated with a bachelor's degree last year <a href="">averaged about $29,200 in student loan debt</a>, an average about 2% higher than 2017 graduates.<span> And that </span>debt is fundamentally reshaping how you think about the value of education and the milestones of adulthood.</p> <p>"You sort of feel lost and like you totally screwed up somehow because you just couldn't figure it out," a listener named Dena said about struggling to make loan payments ten years after college. "And the rest of the world is making money and paying their bills and there's this subculture of individuals who are book smart and world stupid." </p> <p>"I don't know how else to put it except that I almost made it," a listener named Sharif said. He put himself through school with loans to became a chemical engineer, but feels embarrassed by his six-figure debt and never talks about it. "<span>I felt like a total, complete idiot that I put myself in this position." </span></p> <p>For some of you, that embarrassment has become denial. "I just didn’t pay," Jordan Gibbs told me about receiving her first student loan statement. "Like, I just felt like, how can you expect me to start paying you $700 a month? Which is just a crazy number. I can’t even afford to pay rent." </p> <p>Today we listen back to stories about how the tough choices we make to afford an education are having unexpected effects, long after graduation.</p> <p><em>Go to<span> </span><a href=""></a> for more stories and to see how your debt compares to national statistics and to other Death, Sex &amp; Money listeners. And look out for<span> </span><a href="">part two of this series</a> for stories about how some of you stopped feeling stuck and started taking control of your student loans. </em></p>
Sep 25, 2019
Death, Sex & Money Archive
<h2><strong>2014</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">How to Be a Man With Bill Withers</a><br><a href="">Brooklyn Left Me Broke and Tired</a><br><a href="">This Senator Saved My Love Life</a><br><a href="">Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple</a><br><a href="">I Married the Gay Father of My Child</a><br><a href="">Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce</a><br><a href="">Alpha Dad Gets Snipped</a><br><a href="">Dan Savage Says Cheating Happens. And That's OK.</a><br><a href="">I Love You, But There's This Money Thing...</a><br><a href="">A Player Leaves the Game</a><br><a href="">Chaz Ebert on Life Without Roger</a><br><a href="">Cult Comedy Heroes Have Bills to Pay, Too</a><br><a href="">Meet the First Family...of Podcasting</a><br><a href="">The NFL Made Me Rich. I Won't Watch It Now.</a><br><a href="">My Father's Secret Life</a><br><a href="">Ellen Burstyn's Lessons on Survival</a><br><a href="">A Funeral Director’s Dead Reckoning</a><br><a href="">James McBride Resets</a><br><a href="">College Sweethearts: Transformed</a><br><a href="">I Killed Someone. Now I Have 3 Kids.</a><br><a href="">Living Alone and Liking It. Sometimes.</a></h4> <h3> </h3> <h2><strong>2015</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Desiree Akhavan's Breakthrough Breakup</a><br><a href="">Margaret Cho's Sex Education</a><br><a href="">Songs in the Key of Strife</a><br><a href="">Real Love: A Valentine's Special from Death, Sex &amp; Money</a><br><a href="">Cheating Happens.</a><br><a href="">Where is Lisa Fischer's Backup?</a><br><a href="">Cancer Changed Ken Jeong's Comedy</a><br><a href="">In Sickness and In Mental Health</a><br><a href="">Hedwig, Older and a Little Less Angry</a><br><a href="">W. Kamau Bell Wonders How Much Is Enough</a><br><a href="">Brooklyn Left Me Broke, But I Came Back</a><br><a href="">Robert Earl Keen Quit Nashville and Stayed Married</a><br><a href="">2 Couples, 1 Poet, a Rock Band and a Dog</a><br><a href="">A Dirty Cop Comes Clean</a><br><a href="">Siblinghood</a><br><a href="">A Funeral Director's Life After Burnout</a><br><a href="">Joy Williams' Public Breakup and Private Grief</a><br><a href="">Life as a Wife</a><br><a href="">In New Orleans: From Raising Hell to Raising Kids</a><br><a href="">In New Orleans: Becoming the Demo Diva</a><br><a href="">In New Orleans: Big Freedia Bounces Back</a><br><a href="">In New Orleans: A Doctor's Adopted Home</a><br><a href="">In New Orleans: How to Get Elected Coroner</a><br><a href="">From Chaos to Sesame Street</a><br><a href="">The Sex Worker Next Door</a><br><a href="">An Astronaut’s Husband, Left Behind</a><br><a href="">The Power of Yesi Ortiz</a><br><a href="">All in the Family of Norman Lear</a><br><a href="">Kevin Powell Doesn't Fight Anymore</a><br><a href="">Why You're Not Having Sex</a><br><a href="">Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island</a><br><a href="">Autism Isn’t What I Signed Up For</a><br><a href="">Stop Calling Me 'The Homeless Valedictorian'</a><br><a href="">Living Alone, One Year Later</a></h4> <h3> </h3> <h2><strong>2016</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Brooke Shields, Recovering Daughter</a><br><a href="">Why Jeb Corliss Jumps Off Cliffs</a><br><a href="">Lucinda Williams Says Whatever the Hell She Wants</a><br><a href="">DANCE BREAK!</a><br><a href="">Michael Ian Black's Middle-Aged Angst</a><br><a href="">Falling in Love... With Heroin</a><br><a href="">After My Brother Avonte Disappeared</a><br><a href="">Rosie, Sixto, Hari, Uma, Mahershala, Amatus, Lisa &amp; Dan</a><br><a href="">Dead People Don't Have Any Secrets</a><br><a href="">When I Almost Died</a><br><a href="">Diane Guerrero on Debt and Deportation</a><br><a href="">From Conversion Therapy to a Rainbow Yarmulke</a><br><a href="">How Jeff Daniels Got Sober, Again</a><br><a href="">An Update from Susanne</a><br><a href="">Danielle Brooks Is Ready to Talk About Sex</a><br><a href="">Inside Planned Parenthood</a><br><a href="">Tituss Burgess Airs His Laundry</a><br><a href="">We're Not Going To Have Karl Again</a><br><a href="">Siblinghood, One Year Later</a><br><a href="">Dating Was So Hard, Until It Wasn't</a><br><a href="">Anna Chlumsky Catches the Worm</a><br><a href="">Your Death, Sex &amp; Money Short Stories – Live!</a><br><a href="">Life Is a Mystery</a><br><a href="">The Great Guest Takeover</a><br><a href="">Sonia Manzano &amp; Justice Sonia Sotomayor</a><br><a href="">Chris Gethard &amp; Tim Dillon</a><br><a href="">Diane Gill Morris &amp; Officer Robert Zink</a><br><a href="">Ellen Burstyn &amp; Gloria Steinem</a><br><a href="">I Was More Angry At God</a><br><a href="">If You're Not ____, Then Never Mind</a><br><a href="">What Money Can't Solve</a><br><a href="">Other Americans</a><br><a href="">Let's Talk About Porn</a><br><a href="">My Awkward Money Talk With Sallie Krawcheck</a><br><a href="">A Son and His Mom Laugh Through Darkness</a></h4> <h5> </h5> <h2><strong>2017</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Tracy Clayton Is Speaking Things Into Existence</a><br><a href="">I Had Babies To Pay For My Baby</a><br><a href="">Mahershala Ali on Faith, Love and Success</a><br><a href="">The NFL Made Me Rich. Now I Watch It... Sometimes.</a><br><a href="">Cut Loose: Your Breakup Stories</a><br><a href="">Cristela Alonzo's Lower Classy Comedy</a><br><a href="">Live from the Internet: Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires &amp; You</a><br><a href="">I Was Your Father, Until I Wasn't</a><br><a href="">A Prison Guard In Transition</a><br><a href="">Why Rashema Melson Left Georgetown</a><br><a href="">Pleased to Meet You, Nancy</a><br><a href="">Alec Baldwin Talks Money, Family, Fame and Cocaine</a><br><a href="">Newlywed and Paralyzed</a><br><a href="">Two Wheelchairs and A Baby</a><br><a href="">Kevin Bacon Shows Us His Cash</a><br><a href="">'Precious' Paid Off Gabourey Sidibe's Crunch Gym Debt</a><br><a href="">Hari Kondabolu and His Mom Answer Your Life Questions</a><br><a href="">Who's Driving Your Uber?</a><br><a href="">Coming Soon: Our Student Loan Secrets</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 1</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 2</a><br><a href="">I Killed Someone. Now I Have Three Kids: Updated</a><br><a href="">My Husband Killed Someone. Now He Might Get Out.</a><br><a href="">Bonus! Anna Talks Interviewing with Jesse Thorn</a><br><a href="">The Cookie That Ended Jeff Garlin's Sobriety</a><br><a href="">When Grief Looks Like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯</a><br><a href="">Katie Couric on Death and Dishonesty</a><br><a href="">As Harvey Hits, Looking Back at New Orleans</a><br><a href="">Tracy Clayton's 2017 So Far: Therapy, Forts and Auto Bill Pay</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Questions Live: Part One</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Questions Live: Part Two</a><br><a href="">Why I Steal</a><br><a href="">Ellen Burstyn's Lessons on Survival</a><br><a href="">Life in Our 20s: Advice from Niecy Nash, Alia Shawkat &amp; Terri Coleman</a><br><a href="">Why She Steals: Your Reactions</a><br><a href="">A Bitcoin Mogul Goes Broke</a><br><a href="">What Lisa Ling Regrets</a><br><a href="">Finding Love, And A Kidney, On Tinder</a><br><a href="">Gabrielle Union Is Fed Up</a><br><a href="">Your Workplace Rage, And Mine</a><br><a href="">I Can't Fix It: A First Responder and Heroin</a><br><a href="">I Felt Like The Story Had To Change: Life After Heroin</a></h4> <h3> </h3> <h2><strong>2018</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Pull Quote: Plunging In</a><br><a href="">All Your Workplace Rage</a><br><a href="">Preview: Opportunity Costs</a><br><a href="">Opportunity Costs: Friendship and Fertility</a><br><a href="">Opportunity Costs: An Education or Nothing</a><br><a href="">Opportunity Costs: The Class Slide After Divorce</a><br><a href="">Opportunity Costs: More Is Not More</a><br><a href="">Opportunity Costs: I Never Felt Inferior</a><br><a href="">After Suicides, a Texas Veterinary Community Opens Up</a><br><a href="">Lena Waithe Says Have a Dream... and a Sponsor</a><br><a href="">Sharing DNA, and Nothing Else</a><br><a href="">From Indie Rockers to Full-Time Caregivers</a><br><a href="">15 Years Later, An Iraq Veteran Looks Back</a><br><a href="">A Son, A Mother, and Two Gun Crimes</a><br><a href="">When 'Daddy Dates' Pay The Bills</a><br><a href="">Your Student Loan Updates</a><br><a href="">Tayari Jones on Frills and Freedom</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: Romance Right Now</a><br><a href="">John Prine Wanted to Be Normal</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: Do As I Say, Not As I Do</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: Help from an OKCupid Guru</a><br><a href="">Manhood, Now</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: A Middle School Teacher Walks Into A Bar...</a><br><a href="">How to Be a Man With Bill Withers, Revisited</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: "I'm Supposed to Be Certain"</a><br><a href="">A Wife Interviews Her Husband About Manhood, Now</a><br><a href="">Manhood, Now: Live</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: Open to Open Relationships</a><br><a href="">Tig Notaro Isn't a Blob Anymore</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: From One Hot Dater to Another</a><br><a href="">Alzheimer's and the World's Saddest Comedy Club</a><br><a href="">Nick Offerman Can Take Directions</a><br><a href="">Hot Dates: Last Summer Nights</a><br><a href="">Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce, Revisted</a><br><a href="">I Served 27 Years In Prison. Now, I'm Out On Parole.</a><br><a href="">When Fire Takes Everything: Rebuilding in Northern California</a><br><a href="">Tell Us Your Sex Ed Fails</a><br><a href="">Why Governor Jennifer Granholm Cut Her Hair</a><br><a href="">John Green Thinks Adulthood is Underrated</a><br><a href="">Married, Paralyzed and Moving On</a><br><a href="">I Married A Dreamer During The Trump Presidency</a><br><a href="">When A Banker Was Called To The Convent</a></h4> <h3> </h3> <h2><strong>2019 </strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Our Sex (Mis)Educations</a><br><a href="">I Wanted To Be A "Good Girl"</a><br><a href="">So Many Sex Ed Fails</a><br><a href="">Sexually Transmitted Secrets</a><br><a href="">How Do You Bring Up Your STI?</a><br><a href="">Let's Talk About Porn Again</a><br><a href="">How Nikki Giovanni Finally Learned To Cry</a><br><a href="">Autism Isn't What I Signed Up For</a><br><a href="">When We Sent Our Son Away</a><br><a href="">José Andrés Googled ‘How To Be A Father’</a><br><a href="">Daniel K. Isaac Is Opting For The Gray Area</a><br><a href="">A Father and Daughter Talk About Layoffs</a></h4> <h4><a href="">The 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup</a><br><a href="">Lisa Ling &amp; Awkwafina: Shut Up, Let Me Shine</a><br><a href="">John Cameron Mitchell &amp; Marilyn Maye: I Will Survive</a><br><a href="">Damon Young &amp; Kiese Laymon: The "Good Dude" Closet</a><br><a href="">Jason Isbell &amp; Will Welch: Somebody Needs Me</a><br><a href="">Al Letson &amp; Nikole Hannah-Jones: Sensitive, Not Scared</a><br><a href="">Tressie McMillan Cottom &amp; Trevor Noah: Optimistic and Depressed</a><br><a href="">Alia Shawkat &amp; Esther Perel: Life In Our 30s, And 60s</a><br><a href="">Mahershala Ali &amp; Rafael Casal: Envy Is A Hell Of A Drug</a><br><a href="">Sarah Smarsh &amp; Nick Smarsh: Are You Different Than Me?</a><br><a href="">Tayari Jones &amp; Carrie Mae Weems: What's It Like Up There?</a></h4> <h4><a href="">When Work Changes, So Do We</a><br><a href="">A Brother, A Sister, And Their Eating Disorders</a><br><a href="">Rashema Melson's Weakest Yet Bravest Moments</a><br><a href="">Bottled Up: Your Stories About Drinking</a><br><a href="">Michael Arceneaux On Love, Liquid Courage And Letting Go</a><br><a href="">How Are You "Surfing The Urge" To Drink?</a><br><a href="">My Stillbirth During Anna's Maternity Leave</a><br><a href="">Raphael Saadiq: Music Had To Be My Therapy</a><br><a href="">50 Years Married To A Man Named Sissy</a><br><a href="">E. Jean Carroll: More Interesting, Not Damaged</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 1</a><br><a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 2</a><br><a href="">The Student Loan Nerd Helping Borrowers One Email At A Time</a><br><a href="">Saeed Jones Talks About Sex. And Death. And Money.</a><br><a href="">Scattered: The Camp</a><br><a href="">When Breast Cancer Pauses Life At 35</a><br><a href="">A Former Debt Collector's Unpaid Bills</a><br><a href="">Who's Driving Your Uber?</a><br><a href="">Hasan Minhaj's Honest Mistakes</a><br><a href="">Anne Lamott: Death Sucks, And It's Holy</a><br><a href="">Cheating Happens</a><br><a href="">The Children of Heart Mountain</a><br><a href="">Liz Phair's Rebellious Streak Works For Her</a><br><a href="">Death, Sex &amp; Money's 2019 Year End Spectacular</a></h4> <h2><strong>2020</strong></h2> <h4><a href="">Saeed Jones's New Year's Determinations</a><br><a href="">Inside Planned Parenthood</a><br><a href="">Between Friends: Your Stories About Race and Friendship</a><br><a href="">Ask Code Switch: What About Your Friends?</a><br><a href="">Who Are Your 'Quick And Deep' Friends?</a><br><a href="">Carmen Maria Machado Is Using The Word 'Abusive'</a><br><a href="">No Slumping With Twyla Tharp</a><br><a href="">Cancer Changed Ken Jeong's Comedy</a><br><a href="">Maria Bamford Didn't Wait For It To Be Perfect</a><br><a href="">Sugar Babies Cost Me $8,000 And My Marriage</a><br><a href="">Why You're Not Having Sex</a><br><a href="">Alone Together: A COVID-19 Call-In</a></h4>
Sep 19, 2019
E. Jean Carroll: More Interesting, Not Damaged
<p>When writer E. Jean Carroll first arrived in New York City in the early 1980s, she says she was "a nobody from nowhere." Even so, she headed straight for Elaine's, the legendary restaurant on the Upper East Side where writers, celebrities and other power brokers gathered—and she says she always felt like she belonged there.</p> <p>Over the course of her long career, she became known first for her incisive profile interviews and investigative pieces, and then later for her particular brand of tough-love advice, which she's doled out in her Elle magazine advice column for the past 26 years. But in the past few months, her name has been in the news for a different reason: she accused the president, among many other men, of sexual assault in her latest book, <em>What Do We Need Men For.</em></p> <p>I spoke with her about the years she spent learning to brush past those traumas, the parts of those coping strategies she says have continued to be helpful, and why she now says she doesn't want to live like a "chin-up girl" anymore. </p>
Sep 18, 2019
50 Years Married To A Man Named Sissy
<p>Douglas, Wyoming, natives Vickie and Sissy Goodwin got married in 1968. It was around the time they started their lives together that Vickie learned of a secret Sissy had been harboring since childhood—a preference for feminine clothing and cross-dressing in private. When Sissy decided to start wearing skirts, dresses and frills in public a few years into their marriage, Vickie struggled to accept it. And the couple quickly learned that Sissy's self-acceptance came with an often violent public backlash, both at home in Douglas and elsewhere.</p> <p>We visited Vickie and Sissy at their home, for a conversation about masculinity, resiliency and staying married for 50 years. </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Vickie and Sissy Goodwin at their home in Douglas, Wyoming</div> <div class="image-credit">(Katie Bishop)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">The World's Largest Jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming</div> <div class="image-credit">(Flickr/Ken Mickles)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p>
Sep 11, 2019
Raphael Saadiq: Music Had To Be My Therapy
<p><span></span><span>Raphael Saadiq's career took off as a member of the R&amp;B trio Tony! Toni! Toné!—a group whose music taught me, a pre-teen at the time, a thing or two about romance and sexiness. He left that group in the mid-'90s, launching a successful solo career and co-writing and producing music with everyone from Solange and Mary J. Blige to John Legend and D'Angelo. </span></p> <p><span>Raphael's latest solo album is titled</span><span> <em>Jimmy Lee—</em>named after an older brother who died of a heroin overdose years ago. I talk with him about how he's dealt with family deaths over the years, about paying off his studio, and about what his love life looks today, in his mid-50s. </span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Anna Sale and Raphael Saadiq</div> <div class="image-credit">(Katie Bishop)</div> </div> </div> <hr> <p><em><a href="">Listen to Anna's Spotify playlist of her favorite Raphael Saadiq songs and collaborations here.</a> </em></p>
Sep 04, 2019
My Stillbirth During Anna's Maternity Leave
<p>Pregnancy loss happens a lot. Of women who know they’re pregnant, 10 to 15 percent will have a miscarriage before 20 weeks. After that point, pregnancy loss is called a stillbirth. One in 100 pregnancies ends that way. That's what happened to a listener named Krystal, who lost her son Everett this past spring at full term.</p> <p>A few months after her son died, Krystal sent us an email with the subject line, "My stillbirth during Anna's maternity leave." She wrote about how her son's death had left her feeling really isolated, and changed. "I still feel as if I'm in a vacuum and looking out at the world with no more sense of self," she wrote. "<span>It’s incomprehensible and earth-shattering. I can’t explain how out of sorts it makes me feel</span>."</p> <p>W<span>e get a lot of emails from you about pregnancy loss—and the culture of silence around it. </span>So I asked Krystal if she'd talk with me about her experience: what happened the night she delivered her son, how it feels to be in a postpartum body while grieving, and how she and her husband are taking care of themselves—and their older child—now.</p> <hr> <p><em>If you want to hear more conversations about pregnancy loss, we've got a few recommendations of other podcasts to listen to <a href="">here</a>. They're part of a <a href="">collaborative</a></em><em><a href=""> spreadsheet</a> where you can also suggest the books, podcasts, songs and other things that have helped you grieve if you've experienced pregnancy loss.</em></p>
Aug 28, 2019
How Are You "Surfing The Urge" To Drink?
<p>In our episode <a href="">featuring your stories about drinking</a>, our listener Rachel told us about realizing she'd slipped into a nightly drinking habit<span>—</span>and trying to curb some of her desire to drink.<span> "Yo</span><span>u have to kind of</span><span> surf the urge," she explained. "R</span><span>ecognize that it's there, breathe into it, surf it out, try to distract yourself." </span></p> <p><span>We asked you all to tell us how you "surf the urge"—what gets you through those times when you're arguing with yourself about whether to drink or not? From french fries to soccer leagues to pot, here's what you told us. </span></p> <p> </p> <hr> <p><em>If you missed our episode about the ways drinking is and isn't working for you, <a href="">go back and check it out</a>. And if you're worried about the way you—or someone else in your life—are drinking, we've gathered <a href="">a list of resources</a> that might be helpful for you.</em></p> <p> </p>
Aug 14, 2019
Michael Arceneaux On Love, Liquid Courage And Letting Go
<p>When writer Michael Arceneaux was in his early 20s, he went to a gay club for the first time<span>—</span>after years of being closeted and denying his sexuality. "I enter a space and I just look at everything and I just get so caught up in my head," he told me. "But once you get the liquor you're like, oh, stop thinking, just go twerk." </p> <p>Michael said that night was "the first time I actually felt joy with that part of myself." But despite finding alcohol to be a helpful way to let go of his inhibitions, drinking is complicated for Michael. Growing up, he says that his father would often become physically abusive when he drank too much. And Michael knows that he too is capable of extreme anger while drinking. "I am still human and thus susceptible to falling into patterns of those who have come before me," Michael says. "I'm reminded that [drinking] can lead to something else." </p> <hr> <p><em>In 2018, Michael wrote a piece for The New York Times Opinion section called The Student Loan Serenity Prayer, about his student loan debt. <a href="">Read it here.</a> </em></p>
Aug 07, 2019
Bottled Up: Your Stories About Drinking
<p>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. "<span>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. </span><span>And it’s so funny that I’m 34, and that <em>is</em> a worry: that if I weren’t drinking, maybe the party would move to someone else’s house."</span></p> <p>We asked you to share your experiences with alcohol<span>—why you drink or don't, the strategies you use to manage your consumption, and what alcohol brings you besides a buzz. </span>And we learned that our feelings about alcohol are much more complicated than we tend to acknowledge. This week, we share some of your stories.</p> <hr> <p><em>If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or seeking more information about alcohol consumption, <a href="">check out these resources</a>.</em></p>
Jul 31, 2019
Resources for Problem Drinking
<p><a href="">Alcoholics Anonymous</a>: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international resource which connects individuals who have/had a drinking problem. Alcohol Anonymous uses a twelve step approach to recovery and wellness with regular group meetings.</p> <p><a href="">Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration</a>: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers information and resources around a number of different substances including alcohol. Call their help line (1-800-662-HELP (4357)) to be connected with assistance for seeking help and treatment options. </p> <p><a href="">Al-Anon Family Groups</a>: Al-Anon is a support group for people with a loved one who is affected by alcohol, regardless of whether or not the loved one has admitted to a problem or is seeking help for their addiction. Al-Anon also offers special assistance and support for teens with loved ones with an alcohol addiction. </p> <p><a href="">Women For Sobriety:</a> A non-profit organization catering to women seeking recovery for substance use disorders. Women for Sobriety has "certified moderators and chat leaders leading mutual support groups online and in person, as well as phone volunteers available for one-on-one support." They welcome all expressions of female identity. </p> <p><a href="">Self-Managing and Recovery Training</a>: SMART recovery offers assistance to a broad range of addictive behaviors and substances, including alcohol. Using social support groups and a variety of other tools such as self-assessments and worksheets, SMART Recovery utilizes a "self-empowering" approach for treatment. </p>
Jul 31, 2019
Rashema Melson's Weakest Yet Bravest Moments
<p>In early May, we got an email from Rashema Melson. <a href="">I'd first met her in 2015</a>, in her dorm's common room at Georgetown University, where she was adjusting to life on campus after living in a Washington, D.C. homeless shelter in high school. Soon after we met, she got married and dropped out. <a href="">I talked with her again two years later</a>, in 2017, when she'd decided to end her marriage and go back to college.</p> <p>Now, Rashema was reaching out to tell us that she was graduating from Georgetown<span>—</span>and that she'd recently listened back to her "weakest yet bravest moments" captured on the show. I talk with Rashema about what she's doing now, post-graduation<span>—</span>and I hear about how her last two years on campus at Georgetown felt very different than her first two. </p>
Jul 24, 2019
A Brother, A Sister, And Their Eating Disorders
<p>Siblings Charlie* and Oscar* were always close growing up. But as they got older, there was one thing that they didn't talk together about: the way they eat. </p> <p>Both Charlie and Oscar struggle with different types of eating disorders<span>—</span>Charlie has struggled with bulimia, and Oscar has anorexia. Despite their closeness and years-long suspicions about each other's eating habits, it's taken a long time to open up about their difficulties with food to each other. When they finally had their first real conversation about it last summer, Charlie said it "felt like I was coming out."</p> <p>"This was finally like pointing a finger at it," Oscar responded. "And saying, 'This is a thing that exists.'"</p> <hr> <p> <em>Are you or someone you know struggling with an eating disorder? We've compiled resources <a href="">here</a>. </em></p> <p>*Names changed </p>
Jul 17, 2019
Resources for Eating Disorders
<p><em>If you are in crisis, text "NEDA" to 741741 to be connected with a volunteer at the Crisis Text Line. <br><br></em></p> <p><a href="">The National Eating Disorders Association</a> is a non-profit which seeks to help individuals and families affected by eating disorders. They have several different resources on their web page including a <a href="">screening tool</a> which can help you determine if it’s time to seek professional help. They also provide a helpline <strong>(1-800-931-2237)</strong> where you can be connected with a trained volunteer. If you prefer to instant message, NEDA provides an online chat assistance service as well.  </p> <p><a href="">The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders</a> is a non-profit which provides numerous resources for those affected by eating disorders. Along with their helpline <strong>(630-577-1330)</strong>, ANAD can connect you with a mentor in recovery or support groups in your area. They also offer training for loved ones to become <a href="">‘grocery buddies’</a> who can assist with grocery shopping.  </p> <p><a href="">Mirror Mirror</a> offers information about various types of eating disorders and how they affect different subgroups (men, teenagers, etc.). They also have tips about how to tell someone you have an eating disorder, and how to select the right therapist for you.  <br><br><a href="">F.E.A.S.T.</a> is an online support community for parents and loved ones of people affected by an eating disorder. F.E.A.S.T. offers resources such as in-person support groups, online chats with other parents and downloadable <a href="">family guides</a> to help you learn more about eating disorders.  </p> <p><a href="">ProjectHEAL</a> is an organization committed to recovery for all. They offer resources such as mentorship programs, support groups, as well as a<a href=""> treatment access program</a> which offers grant money to receive high-quality clinical care to aid in recovery.  </p> <p><a href="">Overeaters Anonymous</a> follows a Twelve-Step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. It offers "physical, emotional and spiritual recovery for those who suffer from compulsive eating."</p>
Jul 17, 2019
When Work Changes, So Do We
<p>Right after returning from six months of maternity leave, I sat down in the studio with Uma Kondabolu. Uma's been on the show before with her comedian son Hari, but this time I wanted to talk with her one-on-one about big transitions in our work lives. Uma recently retired from the hospital lab where she worked for almost three decades, and as I was re-entering my job, I wanted to hear from her about leaving hers. </p>
Jul 10, 2019
Tayari Jones & Carrie Mae Weems: What's It Like Up There?
<p><span>Carrie Mae Weems always knew she was going to be an artist, but she didn't know she wanted to be a photographer until she got her first camera in her late teens. It was a gift from a boyfriend who turned out to be "manipulative," but it launched her into a career that's made her a MacArthur Fellow and the first black woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum.</span></p> <p>As she tells this week's guest host, author<span> Tayari Jones, her professional drive has always been the barometer against which she's measured her personal relationships. "If I'm entering a relationship [and] struggling around notions of my ability to work, then it's not a relationship that I can stay in," she says. "I already see the handwriting is on the wall." Together, they talk about balancing that ambition with the relationships in their lives that matter. Plus, Carrie explains why she drank someone else's champagne on her wedding day.</span></p> <hr> <p><span><em>This episode is part of Death, Sex &amp; Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Tayari Jones <a href="">first joined us on the show in 2018</a> to talk about the freedoms of singlehood, and the call from Oprah that changed everything for her.</em></span></p> <p> </p>
Jun 26, 2019
Sarah Smarsh & Nick Smarsh: Are You Different Than Me?
<div class="story__details"> <div id="ember1651" class="ember-view"> <div id="ember1652" class="article-tabs ivy-tabs nypr-tabs ember-view"> <div aria-hidden="false" id="ember1656" role="tabpanel" class="ivy-tabs-tabpanel active ember-view" aria-labelledby="ember1654" tabindex="0"> <div class="story__body"> <div id="ember1657" class="ember-view"> <div class="django-content"> <p>As a journalist and author, Sarah Smarsh has built her career around examining socioeconomic class. In 2018, her book <em>Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth </em>became a <em>New York Times</em> bestseller and <span>was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. </span></p> <p>Sarah grew up outside of Wichita, Kansas, and spent much of her childhood on her family's farm. The Farm Crisis during the 1980s led to her family leaving farming behind, and her dad, Nick, had to find work elsewhere<span>⁠—f</span>irst, he worked locally on construction crews; now, he puts up buildings for fast food chains in far-flung places like Mississippi and Texas. </p> <p>In this audio essay, Sarah interviews her dad about the changes he's endured throughout his lifetime, and about how, at 63, he thinks about his future as someone who builds things with his hands. </p> <hr> <p><em>This episode is part of Death, Sex &amp; Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. </em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>
Jun 19, 2019
Mahershala Ali & Rafael Casal: Envy Is A Hell Of A Drug
<p>Today, Mahershala Ali is an Oscar-winning actor who lands leading roles in TV shows like <em>True Detective</em> and Hollywood blockbusters like <em>Green Book</em>. But he got his start as a poet-turned-rapper in the Bay Area, where he grew up. </p> <p>Rafael Casal is another Bay Area poet and musician who recently made his big screen debut in the movie <em>Blindspotting, </em>which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his creative partner, Daveed Diggs. "We put a movie out and everyone back home thinks I'm on," Rafael says. "And I'm like, that was an indie movie. I lost money."</p> <p>Mahershala interviews Rafael about his childhood as a "knucklehead," his life-changing discovery of slam poetry when he was a teenager, and how he and Daveed handle uncomfortable discussions about money and creative credit. </p> <hr> <p><em>This episode is part of Death, Sex &amp; Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Mahershala Ali first joined us on Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2016, along with his wife, Amatus. <a href="">Hear their conversation</a> about faith, love and success, taped live in Brooklyn. </em></p>
Jun 12, 2019
Alia Shawkat & Esther Perel: Life In Our 30s, And 60s
<p>Actor Alia Shawkat just turned 30, and she's got some questions about what's coming around the corner in this decade. So this week, she talks with Belgian-born psychotherapist Esther Perel about what that period of time was like in <em>her</em> life<span>—when she had just moved to the U.S., gotten married, and was figuring out the "pleasure and the pride" of making it on her own financially. Plus, they talk about adult friendships, and why it's important to stay in touch with people from all the different decades of your life. </span></p> <hr> <p><em>Alia Shawkat first appeared on Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2017 for our live show in Los Angeles, called <a href="">Life In Our 20s</a>. The episode also features Niecy Nash, and includes questions from listeners about how to navigate the first decade of officially being an adult.</em></p> <p> </p>
Jun 05, 2019
Tressie McMillan Cottom & Trevor Noah: Optimistic and Depressed
<p>When Trevor Noah started hosting <em>The Daily Show</em> in 2016, he says he told his head writer early on that he might sometimes be late to work. "I'm suffering from depression and sometimes I do not see the purpose of getting out of my bed or living life," he says he told him. "And he was like, 'Wait, what?'" </p> <p>Trevor and guest host Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom talk about why radical honesty around mental health can be liberating. Plus, they talk about Trevor's feelings of being an outsider growing up in apartheid South Africa, about why he believes another black man will be elected president of the United States before a woman, and about how he got so good at doing hair. </p> <hr> <p><em>Sociologist Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom first joined us on Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2017 to discuss student loan debt during our live call-in. Hear that, and our two-part series featuring your stories about student loan debt, <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
May 22, 2019
Al Letson & Nikole Hannah-Jones: Sensitive, Not Scared
<p>Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spends time in some pretty elite spaces—she's a staff writer at <em>The New York Times Magazine</em>, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, and a force to be reckoned with on Twitter. But, as she tells Al Letson (host of <em>Reveal</em>), she's careful not to forget her roots in Waterloo, Iowa, and the people there who raised her. "The benefit of being a working class black girl who has spent a lot of time around more affluent white people is you do quickly learn they're actually not really smarter than you," she says. "They just have had advantages of things and opportunities that you haven't had." This week, the two of them talk about Nikole's childhood growing up in a biracial family, reporting on inequality from a place of anger, and what happened when she tried therapy last year.</p> <hr> <p><em>You can find episodes of </em>Reveal<em>, the podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting, <a href="">here</a>. And you can r</em><em>ead Nikole's essay for </em>The New York Times Magazine<em> about choosing a school for her daughter <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
May 15, 2019
Jason Isbell & Will Welch: Somebody Needs Me
<p>Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch met in 2004, at what Jason says was "the lowest point of my life." Since then, the two long-distance friends have seen each other through divorce, new marriages, career climbs, a cancer diagnosis and rehab. Jason quit drinking in 2012, and Will followed suit two years later<span>—starting</span> by calling Jason at a breaking point. "You getting sober was a big deal for me," Jason says during their conversation. "It was the first time in my sobriety that I felt like, oh shit, somebody needs me and I can help." </p> <hr> <p><em>Jason Isbell and his wife, Amanda Shires, were interviewed by host Anna Sale on the show in May 2014. Listen to that episode, "Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple" <a href="">here</a>, and listen to the duo taking your live calls about breakups, relationships, creativity and loss <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
May 08, 2019
Damon Young & Kiese Laymon: The "Good Dude" Closet
<p>Writers Damon Young and Kiese Laymon both are on book tour, promoting their acclaimed memoirs. And while they've been friends via social media for years, they'd never met face to face before recording a conversation for Death, Sex &amp; Money. The two sat down together to talk about basketball and body image, money anxieties, and why being a "good dude" might be more about fear than anything else. </p> <hr> <p><em>Damon Young is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Very Smart Brothas, and the author of "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker". Kiese Laymon is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, and the author of "Heavy: An American Memoir".</em></p> <p><em>Audio excerpts courtesy of Simon &amp; Schuster Audio from HEAVY by Kiese Laymon, read by the author. Copyright © 2018 by Kiese Laymon. Reprinted by permission of Simon &amp; Schuster, Inc.</em></p>
Apr 24, 2019
John Cameron Mitchell & Marilyn Maye: I Will Survive
<p>When singer Marilyn Maye turned 90, she celebrated on stage in New York City in a performance residency she called "90 At Last." Now 91, the Kansas-based jazz and cabaret legend talks with actor and <em>Hedwig and the Angry Inch</em> creator John Cameron Mitchell about continuing to work well past retirement age, loving and leaving alcoholic partners, and about what they both envision for the end of their lives. </p> <p><em>Special thanks to 54 Below for their help with this episode. </em></p> <hr> <p><em>John Cameron Mitchell was interviewed by host Anna Sale on the show in April 2015. <a href="">Listen to that episode, "Hedwig, Older and a Little Less Angry," here.</a> </em></p>
Apr 17, 2019
Lisa Ling & Awkwafina: Shut Up, Let Me Shine
<p>Awkwafina grew up Nora Lum in Queens, and was raised by her father and grandmother after her mother died when she was four years old. Guest host Lisa Ling talks with Awkwafina about how she coped with that loss by developing a sense of humor early on, and about why<span>—</span>despite feeling a lot of money anxiety<span>—</span>she isn't afraid to turn down high-paying gigs. </p> <hr> <p><em>Guest host Lisa Ling appeared on Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2017. <a href="">Listen back to her episode, "What Lisa Ling Regrets," here.</a></em></p>
Apr 10, 2019
The 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup
<p>Having a Death, Sex &amp; Money-style conversation isn't easy. It's long. It's intense. And it can get very awkward. In those moments when you might gloss over a sensitive topic, break the tension, and move on to the next instead have to dig a little deeper. Get a little more personal.</p> <p>But our lineup of guest hosts<span>—</span>former show guests and some new folks, too<span>—</span>are up for the challenge. And while host Anna Sale finishes up her maternity leave, you'll get to listen in as they have tough conversations with the people they're most curious about. </p> <p>Among them: Journalist <strong>Lisa Ling</strong> talks with rapper and actor <strong>Awkwafina</strong> about losing her mom as a kid and finding unconditional love as an adult. <strong>John Cameron Mitchell</strong> interviews 91-year-old cabaret legend <strong>Marilyn Maye</strong> about her love affairs with alcoholic men and her fears about ending up in a nursing home. Writer<strong> Damon Young</strong> sits down with author <strong>Kiese Laymon</strong> to talk about body image and money anxieties. Americana singer <strong>Jason Isbell</strong> interviews GQ editor-in-chief (and his best friend) <strong>Will Welch</strong> about masculinity, mental health and their shared sobriety. </p> <p>These conversations and a whole lot more are coming to you starting this Wednesday, April 10. Don't miss them!</p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""></div>
Apr 08, 2019
A Father and Daughter Talk About Layoffs
<p>We asked for <a href="">your stories about layoffs,</a> and we heard from a lot of you<em>—</em>including a listener named Stephanie. She wrote in about her dad, Steve, who lost his job two years ago and has been looking for work ever since. She told us that they talk about work a lot together, so we asked if they'd continue that conversation and let us listen in.</p> <p> </p>
Mar 27, 2019
Daniel K. Isaac Is Opting For The Gray Area
<p>Actor Daniel K. Isaac grew up as the only child of a single immigrant mother. She's a devout Christian<span>—s</span>o the first time Daniel came out to her, it was to ask for her help to stop being gay. But in his late teens, after years spent voluntarily in conversion therapy, Daniel decided that he was done trying to fight his sexuality. And in the years since, accepting that part of himself has meant finding new ways to relate to his mom. </p>
Mar 20, 2019
José Andrés Googled ‘How To Be A Father’
<p>When Chef José Andrés moved from Spain to the U.S. in 1991, tapas weren't yet a thing on this side of the Atlantic. Jos<span>é</span> is credited with changing that. He opened his first restaurant in Washington, D.C. when he was just 23 years old, and today he has a thriving business empire with more than two dozen restaurants across the country. He's also become known in recent years for his disaster relief work, both in the U.S. and abroad. But figuring out life outside of the kitchen has been more of a challenge. Jos<span>é</span> talked to me about why he left home at a young age, and why he's sometimes felt less than confident when it comes to parenting his three daughters. </p>
Mar 06, 2019
When We Sent Our Son Away
<p>We first met Diane Gill Morris three years ago, when her two sons, Kenny and Theo, were in their early teens. Both of them are autistic, and Diane worried about where they would end up living—and who would end up caring for them—when they became adults. "When they were little, it was all about figuring out how to help them," Diane told us. "Now it’s, okay, this is who they are. I can continue to help them grow and evolve....But the hard part is just accepting that this is quite conceivably the rest of my life." </p> <p>We recently checked in with Diane, who moved with her entire family into a house that seemed perfect for them to live in together as they aged. But when her younger son, Theo, started having violent outbursts at home, their plan of continuing to care for him was thrown into question. </p> <hr> <p><em>Did you miss our first episode with Diane? <a href="">Go back and listen.</a> Diane also guest hosted Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2016. Hear her conversation with two other parents of autistic children, including a police officer, <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Feb 20, 2019
Autism Isn't What I Signed Up For
<p>Diane Gill Morris was 25 when her first son, Kenny, was born. About 15 months later, she and her husband realized that he’d stopped talking. By the time Kenny was officially diagnosed with autism, Diane’s second son, Theo, was eight months old. Less than a year later, he was also showing signs of the disorder.</p> <p>Diane left a comment on our Facebook page in response to an article about people who are considering having kids. "I have sacrificed a huge part of who I am—given up my career, gone broke, accepted social isolation," she wrote. "If someone had told me this is what it would be like, I never would have had kids." </p> <hr> <p><em>We first shared this episode in December 2015. Diane also <a href="">guest hosted Death, Sex &amp; Money in 2016</a>. Tomorrow, look out for a new episode with Diane about what's happened since her sons have become young adults and she's faced new challenges as a caregiver. </em></p>
Feb 19, 2019
How Nikki Giovanni Finally Learned To Cry
<p><span>The legendary poet talks with host Anna Sale in front of a live audience about standing up to <span>her father,</span></span><span> surviving breast and lung cancer</span><span>,<span> </span></span><span>and why she now cries "over any damn thing." </span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Anna Sale and Nikki Giovanni, live in The Greene Space in New York City. </div> <div class="image-credit">(Matthew Septimus)</div> </div> </div> <p><span> </span></p>
Feb 06, 2019
Let's Talk About Porn Again
<p><span>We're revisiting our most-listened to episode ever, about porn. Your stories about secret hard drives, fantasy plot lines, illegal downloads, titillating Tumblr feeds and giving porn up completely.</span></p> <p><span><em>We're sharing this episode as part of our month-long series called Our Sex (Mis)Educations. <a href="">Find the entire series here.</a></em></span></p>
Jan 23, 2019
How Do You Bring Up Your STI?
<p>This week, we put out <a href="">an episode about sexually transmitted infections.</a> A lot of people featured in the episode talked about what happened after they told a potential partner about their STI. But we heard from a listener who wants to hear what those disclosure conversations <em>actually</em> sound like. And we do too! So we need your help. </p> <p><em>Find our entire series, Our Sex (Mis)Educations, <a href="">here</a>.</em></p>
Jan 18, 2019
Sexually Transmitted Secrets
<p>One in 8 Americans has genital herpes, and rates of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are all climbing. But when we asked our listeners to tell us their stories about having an STI, what we heard about was how alone you can feel when you have one. </p> <p>Want to learn more? Check out our STI reading list <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><em>This episode is a part of our month-long series called Our Sex (Mis)Educations. <a href="">Find the entire series here.</a></em></p>
Jan 16, 2019
More About STIs
<p>For a lot of us, the last time we learned anything about STIs was during a high school sex ed class—when we may or may not have been paying close attention. So we've compiled some reading recommendations for those of you who are curious to learn more. </p> <p>One of the big things that caught our attention while researching this episode was the fact that STI testing isn't universally recommended. For example, the CDC recommends against testing for herpes unless you have symptoms. There's a lengthy explanation of why that is <a href="">here</a>, but the short explanation is that the test isn't very accurate in asymptomatic people, and the health impacts of herpes are relatively minor. We also learned in our research that public health officials only encourage women and gay men to get tested for STIs regularly. This <a href="">VICE article</a> explains why.</p> <p>Another surprising fact that Debbie Bamberger, the nurse practitioner in our episode, shared with us is that the risk of herpes transmission to a partner is relatively low—<a href="">one 1992 study</a> following couples showed it happened roughly 10 percent of the time. It's possible to reduce that risk by practicing safer sex. If you're looking for tips, we found this <a href="">column</a> helpful, as well as this <a href="">series of videos</a> from Planned Parenthood. </p> <p>Finally, Conor, one of the people featured in our episode who has herpes, told us he sends a "homework packet" to potential partners who want to know more about herpes after he tells them he has it. With his permission, we're sharing that email with you:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Hey, I said I would send you some more info, here are some links that I've used to inform myself about herpes!</em></p> <div><em>Dan Savage (listen to all his other stuff):</em></div> <div><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable" id="LPlnk513007" previewinformation="1"></a></em></div> <div><em>Good longform blog:</em></div> <div><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable"></a></em></div> <div><em>This is (not) my TED Talk:</em></div> <div><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable"></a></em></div> <div><em>This site has sooo much:</em></div> <div><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable"></a></em></div> <p><em>Thanks for asking and being interested in learning more!"</em></p> </blockquote> <p><em> </em></p>
Jan 16, 2019
So Many Sex Ed Fails
<p><span>You have a limited number of orgasms in life. Your penis will fall off if you get an infection. Kissing will get you pregnant. We asked you to share your "sex ed fails"—and you all had a lot to say. </span></p> <p><span><em>This episode is a part of our month-long series called Our Sex (Mis)Educations. <a href="">Find the entire series here.</a></em></span></p>
Jan 14, 2019
I Wanted To Be A "Good Girl"
<p><span>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. </span></p> <p><em>This episode kicks off our month-long series called Our Sex (Mis)Educations. <a href="">Find the entire series here.</a></em></p>
Jan 09, 2019
Our Sex (Mis)Educations
<p>We learn about sex from a lot of different sources—parents, friends, classes in school, pop culture, and even pornography. But as adults, many of us have had the experience of realizing that a lot of what we’ve learned did more harm than good. "I feel kind of cheated," one listener told us when we asked for stories about your sex ed fails. "These healthy, normal experiences I was having that I associated with shame and guilt, I could have avoided had I had better education."</p> <p><span>This month, </span><em><span>Death, Sex &amp; Money </span></em><span>is looking at our collective sex <em>mis</em>educations: the bedroom baggage we’ve carried around for years, the things we wish we’d learned instead, and the stigmas we still can’t shake.</span></p> <div class="nypr-pull-quote__wrapper"> <blockquote class="nypr-pull-quote"><em>There’s always this piece that I’m having to overcome. This little mental thing in the back of my mind.</em></blockquote> </div> <p>For a listener named Andrea, sex ed came from church. She grew up in an evangelical Christian community in Texas, where she was raised in the so-called "purity culture" that was popular in the 1990s. "I think the messaging [was] always that girls should behave themselves in a certain way," she told us. "Don’t be alone with a boy. Don’t dress in ways that might cause him to stumble [...] That message is burned into my brain." <a href="">In the first episode of this series</a>, Anna talks with Andrea about her on-again, off-again relationship with evangelical Christianity (including a period in her twenties when she worked for a church), and how she's still trying to find ease with sex and her body as an adult today.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>But Andrea’s not the only one who’s trying to unlearn things she was taught about sex as a kid. When we asked you to tell us the most misguided things you learned about sex, we were overwhelmed by how much you had to share.</p> <p><em>     "Don’t kiss a boy or you might get pregnant."</em></p> <p><em>     "You have a limited number of orgasms in life."</em></p> <p><em>     "If you engage in sex, you’re going to contract a disease and your parts are going to fall off."</em></p> <p>For <a href="">the second episode of this series</a>, we’re bringing you a supercut of all those sex ed we can collectively free ourselves of them once and for all.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><span>For <a href="">the last episode of this series</a>, we’re talking sexually transmitted infections...because they affect a </span><em><span>lot</span></em><span> of us. 1 in 8 Americans has genital herpes. 40 percent of adults have HPV. And while the number of new HIV cases has remained steady in recent years, rates of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are all climbing. But when we asked you for your experiences of living with an STI, we heard over and over again how </span><em><span>alone </span></em><span>you can feel in your diagnosis. “There was a lot of shame and a lot of, you're untouchable —you're unlovable,” a listener named Conor told us about his experience of being diagnosed with herpes in his twenties. In the final episode of this series, we hear about the shame that can surround an STI diagnosis, the awkwardness many of us feel when disclosing one to potential partners, and how some of us are trying unlearning the stigmas we’re taught about what it actually means to be sexually healthy. </span></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Also: How do you tell a potential partner about your STI?<strong> <a href="">We want to hear from you!</a> </strong></p> <p>To wrap up our month-long look at our sex (mis)educations, we revisit <a href="">our conversation about the role that porn plays in your life</a>. For some of you, porn has helped you explore your sexuality. For others, it's become a problem. Hear your stories about secret hard drives, fantasy plot lines, illegal downloads, titillating Tumblr feeds and giving porn up completely.</p> <p><strong>MORE RESOURCES</strong></p> <p>Looking for more information about living with an STI? Head over <a href="">here</a>. (There, you'll also find the email that Conor, from our episode on STIs, sends to potential new partners to help them learn about his herpes diagnosis. Thanks to him for sharing it with us!)</p> <p class="p1">And last year, our friends at Radiolab produced <a href="">their own series about sex and sex ed</a>, called Gonads. As part of that project, they collected sex ed book suggestions from listeners and staff, about the books that helped them understand the birds and the bees.</p> <p>Check out the full Gonads Presents: Sex Ed Bookshelf <a href="">here</a>! Here are a few highlights:</p> <div id="gr_grid_widget_1532374115"><!-- Show static html as a placeholder in case js is not enabled - javascript include will override this if things work --> <div class="gr_grid_container"> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="It's Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="It's Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Guide to Getting It On!" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Guide to Getting It On!" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="I Am Jazz" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="I Am Jazz" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="What Makes a Baby" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="What Makes a Baby" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Where Did I Come From?" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Where Did I Come From?" border="0"></a></div> <noscript><br>Share <a rel="nofollow" href="">book reviews</a> and ratings with Radiolab, and even join a <a rel="nofollow" href="">book club</a> on Goodreads.</noscript></div> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="'s%20sex-ed-the-short-list%20book%20montage?cover_size=medium&amp;hide_link=true&amp;hide_title=true&amp;num_books=20&amp;order=a&amp;shelf=sex-ed-the-short-list&amp;sort=position&amp;widget_id=1532374115"></script> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";brand=wnyc-studios-gray&amp;headline=Want%20more%20sex%20ed%20fail%20stories%3F%20We've%20got%20them%20in%20our%20newsletter.&amp;mailchimpId=566f296761&amp;mailchimpName=Newsletter%3A%20Death%2C%20Sex%20%26%20Money"></div> <p><span><span> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> </span></span></p>
Jan 08, 2019
When A Banker Was Called To The Convent
<p><span>Sister Josephine Garrett grew up Baptist and worked her way up the corporate ladder—eventually becoming a vice president at Bank of America, where she managed a few hundred employees. But after converting to Catholicism in her mid-20s, the idea of becoming a nun popped into her head, and she couldn't leave it behind. </span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt="Sister Josephine Garrett, on the day she took her first vows."> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Sister Josephine Garrett, on the day she took her first vows.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Sister Josephine Garrett)</div> </div> </div>
Dec 19, 2018
I Married A Dreamer During The Trump Presidency
<p>Vanessa and Freddy had been dating for just a few months when she first brought up the idea of marriage, while they were eating at their favorite taco place. "He just was silent, like he just looked at me, and then looked down at his food and kept eating," Vanessa told me. "I'm like, um are you gonna say something? And then he eventually said, I take marriage very seriously and I would never want to go down that path just because of legal status." </p> <p>Freddy was born in Mexico, but has lived in the U.S. since he was six. He was undocumented until 2013, when he became one of the almost 700,000 young people who were given temporary permission to stay under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Then, last fall, President Trump declared that he was canceling DACA—throwing Freddy's future in the U.S. into question.</p> <p>Vanessa and Freddy are married now, but there's still no clear path to permanent legal status for Freddy as the courts decide the fate of DACA program. The worry that Freddy might be deported hangs over their relationship—particularly for Vanessa. "What happens if they cancel DACA and then they go after all the DACA recipients and we have a baby?" Vanessa told me. But for Freddy, the prospect of losing his legal status in the U.S. doesn't faze him as much. "My thought is, I have done so much without it than with it, you know? So that's not going to change anything for me. It’s not going to stop me." </p>
Dec 05, 2018
Married, Paralyzed and Moving On
<p>Two years ago, Hiroki Takeuchi was paralyzed from the waist down in a cycling accident. It was just weeks after he and his wife, Rachel Swidenbank, got married. <a href="">When we first spoke in early 2017</a>, Hiroki was still figuring out the basics of day-to-day life in a wheelchair: how to drive an adapted car, how to get up and down stairs, how to use the bathroom on his own. Rachel stopped working to care for Hiroki in those early days. There were a lot of unknowns about the future, and what Hiroki's body would and wouldn't be capable of. </p> <p>When we spoke recently, they told me that Hiroki is now fully independent when it comes to his daily routines, and that they're both back to work. "It's been progress, progress, progress, progress," Rachel said. "And then like maybe the last three, four months it's kind of flattened out in terms of what you would classify as progress." One thing that they haven't yet fully figured out: sex. "We definitely have a lot of intimacy and you know, a lot of closeness," Hiroki told me. "But...I think that there's so much baggage around it."</p> <p>Rachel and Hiroki <em>did</em> recently find out that having a child together is possible via IVF. While they're not ready to start that process quite yet, it was exciting news for them—and it's made Hiroki think about what being a father might look like for him. "One of the things that really worried me was that I wouldn't be able to be a proper dad to our children," he said. "I think there's a level of like you know redefining what fatherhood means through a different lens. It doesn't mean it's worse, it's just different." </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p>Traveling for the holiday this week? Take our <a href="">Podcasts We're Thankful For playlist</a> — with episode suggestions from podcast hosts like PJ Vogt, Tracy Clayton, Phoebe Judge and Kelly McEvers — along with you!</p>
Nov 20, 2018
John Green Thinks Adulthood is Underrated
<p>Author John Green is a master of connecting with young people. His YA novels, and the popular YouTube channel he runs with his younger brother Hank, have created massive communities of teenage fans all over the world. But when he was growing up in Orlando, John himself often felt isolated from his peers. Anxiety and obsessive thoughts plagued him, starting when he was a kid. "The feeling of not being able to choose thoughts, [...] of not being able to reassure myself, and not being able to be reassured by people who loved me was really scary," he told me. "It meant that my self was built on a foundation of sand on some level." </p> <p>In his twenties, after a period of severe crisis after college, John received a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. He began taking medication to help manage it, and when he started his family and moved to Indianapolis, it felt like things were settling down. Then, in 2012, he published his bestselling novel <em>The Fault in Our Stars</em>. A movie deal followed, and soon, John found himself at the center of a multi-million dollar empire. "It felt like there was a lot of attention on that story and, by proxy, on me," he told me. "And I had always wanted that, I always sought that out, but when it happened it was overwhelming at first." In fact, it was so overwhelming that it sent John into the second serious mental health crisis of his life<span>—one that felt all the more debilitating because he was now a dad and husband.</span> This week, he tells me about getting healthy again after that period, and why he's learned that so many things about adulthood<span>—including having </span>comfortable shoes<span>—are </span>really great.</p> <p> </p> <hr> <p><em>John and his brother Hank host three of their own podcasts, all of which are now part of the WNYC Studios family. Listen to </em><a href="">Dear </a><a href="">Hank and John</a><em>, </em><a href="">The Anthropocene Reviewed</a><em>, and </em><a href="">SciShow Tangents</a><em> wherever you get your podcasts.</em></p> <p><em>And if you find yourself in a moment of crisis like John did, and need to talk with someone, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They're open 24/7—please ask for help.</em></p>
Nov 08, 2018
Why Governor Jennifer Granholm Cut Her Hair
<p>When Jennifer Granholm ran for Attorney General of Michigan in 1998, she had three young children at home <span>— </span>including a 10 month old baby. But that was not something she wanted voters to know about. "You didn't even really see my husband," Jennifer told me. "It was all about this disembodied creature who was going to fight for you because you don't want to remind people of the mess that is a family and all of that."</p> <p>Jennifer's life in politics was quite a change from how she started her career, as a former beauty pageant contestant who moved to Los Angeles right out of high school to try to break into acting. She was quickly turned off by the culture there. "That casting couch thing was real," she told me, describing requests for sexual favors at auditions. "<span>I went on interviews where people would say 'Hey, I've got 50 girls outside lined up who are willing to do A, B, or C. Why should I give this to you if you don't play the game?'</span></p> <p>"I was so mad about it, I said I'm going to leave here, I'm going to go to the best university I can get into, going to get the best grades possible. I'm going to go to law school and I'll show them!" </p> <p>After graduating from Harvard Law School and practicing law in Michigan, Jennifer won the Attorney General's race in 1998, and in 2002 she also won the race to become the first female governor of Michigan. She was still in office as the global financial crisis and automotive industry bankruptcies simultaneously hit her state in 2008 and 2009 — and took a lot of the blame for it. "I would say to anybody who's deciding whether or not to run for office timing is really important," she laughed. "I feel sad for me personally. If I can be sorry for myself. I feel sad that I governed at a time when I am seen as being responsible for the high unemployment rate in Michigan." </p> <p>—</p> <p>This episode is a collaboration with the podcast <em>The United States of Anxiety</em>. <a href="">Check out their entire third season<span>—</span>all about gender and power<span>—</span>here.</a> One of our favorite episodes from this season is <a href="">all about the Anita Hill testimony in 1991</a>. (Listen back to one of our first episodes, <a href="">with former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson and his wife, Ann</a>, to hear the couple talking about how Al's participation in those hearings affected their relationship.)</p>
Oct 31, 2018
Tell Us Your Sex Ed Fails
<p>A listener named Lauren emailed the Death, Sex &amp; Money inbox recently with a request: Could we please talk more about blue balls? She explained that when she was a young woman, she had male partners tell her it was literally unsafe for them not to orgasm after arousal — and she believed them. "<span>It's like, oh I started to hook up with him. So now I have to have sex with him," she said.</span> It wasn't until much later that Lauren realized blue balls are, at worst, mildly uncomfortable. </p> <p>Lauren's experience of finding out that something she believed about sex was completely wrong resonated for me, and it made me wonder: What did<em> you</em> learn about sex that you wish you hadn't?</p> <p>We want you to tell us about your sex ed fails — the ridiculous, harmful or just plain wrong things you picked up from partners, friends, older siblings, or even teachers. Send a voice memo to And we're working with the BBC on this project, so we'd especially love to hear from our listeners in the UK!</p>
Oct 30, 2018
When Fire Takes Everything: Rebuilding in Northern California
<p>In the middle of the night on October 8th, 2017, Ed and Kathy Hamilton were woken up by banging on their front door. When they opened it, their neighbor was standing there, and behind her, the sky was glowing red. "It was just a scene from hell," Ed says. "It’s indescribable." A few hours later, their home burned down in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Ed and Kathy became one of thousands of families deciding how—or if—to rebuild in a part of the country where wildfires are becoming mroe intense and destructive with each passing year.</p> <p>This week, in partnership with KQED in San Francisco, we're looking at what happens after the smoke has cleared. For Ed and Kathy, recovery means reconstructing their home to nearly the exact specifications of the house that stood there before. But that's possible for them because they had good insurance, and a big financial safety net. For many others, who were underinsured or had no insurance, that's not an option. Bart Levenson found herself stuck in limbo for years after a 2015 wildfire destroyed her home, despite her best efforts to be prepared. Earlier this year, Bart spoke to KQED reporter Sukey Lewis at the abandoned resort that was her temporary home for years after the fire. "It's just so big what happened," she said. "I didn't know this was going to be the most stuck I'd ever be in my whole life."</p> <p> </p> <hr> <p><em>If you want to hear more stories about how communities and individuals in California are navigating the aftermath of wildfires, check out KQED's podcast <a href="">The Bay</a></em><em>. </em><em>In particular, we recommend their <a href="">recent episode</a> featuring Sukey Lewis's interview with a young woman named Kayla Swaim, and <a href="">another recent episode</a> about the arguments for and against rebuilding in areas that continue to be vulnerable to wildfire.</em></p> <p><em>If you're curious to learn more about how better design can keep homes from burning, even in severe wildfires, check out </em>Death, Sex &amp; Money<em> producer Stephanie Joyce's <a href="">recent reporting for 99% Invisible</a>. She explores the science behind how we could reduce our collective fire risk, and the reasons why we don't.</em></p> <p><em>And to read Kathy Hamilton's blog, where she's chronicled their rebuilding process (and their spending!), <a href="">head on over here</a>.</em></p>
Oct 17, 2018
I Served 27 Years In Prison. Now, I'm Out On Parole.
<p><em>"Sometimes I wake up, and I say, what if I wake up, and I'm in my bedroom? And I wake up and I always see the bars there. And I wonder [about] the day when I’m going to wake up and I’m not going to see the bars there."</em></p> <p>That's what Lawrence Bartley told me the first time I spoke to him in 2014. I was interviewing him at Sing Sing prison in New York, where he was serving a sentence of 27 years to life for second degree murder.</p> <p>That day came this past May, when Lawrence was paroled, and walked out of Sing Sing a free man. After a few months out, he and his wife, Ronnine, joined me to talk about their life as a family on the outside<span>—how Ronnine navigated a difficult year after Lawrence's first request for parole was denied, how they've approached parenting their two young sons together, and how </span>Lawrence is thinking back on the crime he was imprisoned for now that he's free.</p> <hr> <p><em>I spoke with Lawrence and Ronnine before, first in 2014, and then again last summer, when he was getting ready to go before the parole board for the first time. Find those episodes <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>You can read the essay Lawrence wrote in prison for </em>The Marshall Project<em> <a href="">here</a>.</em></p>
Oct 03, 2018
Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce, Revisted
<p>What do you think of when you think of Jane Fonda? The sexy space traveller from Barbarella? Vietnam War activist? Fitness goddess? Fonda has had quite the career. She’s also had three marriages — to a French director, an anti-war activist, and the billionaire Ted Turner — and each ended in divorce. When she found herself newly single at 62, she felt whole for the first time. Now, she says she’d disappear into a monastery before getting married again.</p> <p>When I spoke with her in 2014, she told me about her mother's suicide when she was a girl, her father Henry Fonda's long decline, and the lessons she learned by choosing to be alone. Now, we're bringing you that conversation again<span>—because it's one of those ones that sticks with you.</span></p> <hr> <p><em>Jane Fonda is the subject of the new HBO documentary </em>Jane Fonda in Five Acts<em>, premiering September 24. Watch the trailer and make sure to check it out:</em></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p>
Sep 19, 2018
Hot Dates: Last Summer Nights
<p>A lot has changed over the course of the summer for the group of eight listeners whose dating lives we've been following in real-time—they've been through breakups, hookups, move-ins, friends that might become more than friends and awkward dates. For many of them, those experiences have prompted reflection about what it is they want out of dating, and in this final episode of our series, they fill me on why that isn't always what they thought they wanted. </p> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";title=Just%20Catching%20Up%3F&amp;blurb=Listen%20to%20all%20the%20episodes%20in%20our%20summer%20dating%20series&amp;stories=death-sex-money-hot-dates-kickoff%2Chot-dates-thomas-1%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-dan-update%2Chot-dates-jessie-june%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-ceci-miracle%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-last-summer-nights">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <hr> <p><em>We know that sometimes, being single can be more fun than it seems! So we want to celebrate the times in your life when you're not planning around anyone else. Head on over to our <a href="">interactive Google spreadsheet</a> where you can share the ways you treat yourself well when you're on your own, and get some inspiration from other listeners. </em></p> <p> </p>
Sep 05, 2018
Nick Offerman Can Take Directions
<p>Nick Offerman is famous for playing the unsentimental, bacon-loving, alpha-male Ron Swanson on <em>Parks and Recreation</em>. But for a long time after moving to Los Angeles in his mid-20s, he was a struggling actor, best known for being married to <span>Megan Mullally, who played Karen on <em>Will &amp; Grace</em>. He told me about meeting Megan while he was living in a friend's unfinished basement, and about building a life with her in Los Angeles, far from his hometown in Illinois. "</span>I spent a lot of time sort of shedding my middle American skin as it were," he told me. "I had to let the world know<span>—</span>but really, it was for me<span>—</span>that I was not a a buttoned-up conservative from a small town. Even though that's what I was."</p> <hr> <p>One of Nick's newest projects is the movie <em>Hearts Beat Loud. </em>Check out the trailer:</p> <p> </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p>
Aug 22, 2018
Alzheimer's and the World's Saddest Comedy Club
<p>Comedian Chris Garcia has always incorporated stories about his Cuban-American family into his sets. But after his father died from Alzheimer's, Chris started using his comedy to process his own grief, and to memorialize his dad. He also found solace talking to other comedians who had lost their own parents.</p> <p>Now, Chris is bringing some of those conversations about death, family and comedy to a new audio project with WNYC Studios. T<span>his week, we're bringing you an early listen of what he's been working on. You'll hear Chris talk with his mother Ana, and with Karen Kilgariff, a fellow comedian and cohost of the podcast <em>My Favorite Murder</em>. </span></p> <p>This project is a work in progress—but we’re sharing it with you now because WNYC Studios wants  your feedback as we explore new shows and new ideas. So after you listen, head over to <a href=""></a> to tell us what you think. </p>
Aug 08, 2018
Hot Dates: From One Hot Dater to Another
<p>Ceci is 36 and lives in a city in California, Miracle is 25 and lives in a small town in Alabama. But when they got together to talk, they discovered there's a lot of overlap between their dating experiences. They talked about the family and social pressures they feel as young, single women, what happened when Ceci changed her race from "mixed" to "Hispanic" on her dating apps and the big changes in their dating lives since we last checked in with them. </p> <p> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first</a>. </em></p>
Aug 02, 2018
Tig Notaro Isn't a Blob Anymore
<p>Tig Notaro had big plans for the year she turned 41<span>—after spending her 20s and 30s on the road building her comedy career, she was finally going to fulfill her dream of becoming a parent. Instead, Tig's life fell apart. In the span of six months, she contracted a life-threatening infection, her mother died in an accident and Tig was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. She talked about all of it on stage at Largo, the comedy club in Los Angeles, and <a href="">the set went viral</a>.</span></p> <p><span>That terrible year changed a lot of things for Tig. She got an explosion of job offers, she got married, and six years later, she is finally a parent</span>. When we spoke, she told me that building a family has totally upended her life—in a good way. "My life before them—I was just a blob floating around the universe," she said. "I just, I don’t even understand what I was doing, I don’t understand. I don’t understand my existence."</p> <p> </p> <hr> <p><em>This week, we're also asking for your stories. <a href="">Send us a voice memo or email</a> about something you've gone through that you wish you heard more people talking about. Here are a few of our favorite listener-driven episodes, for inspiration.</em></p> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";title=Episodes%20From%2C%20and%20About%2C%20You&amp;blurb=A%20few%20of%20our%20favorite%20Death%2C%20Sex%20%26%20Money%20episodes%20that%20came%20from%20listeners%20reaching%20out.&amp;stories=sex-worker-next-door%2Cconversion-therapy-death-sex-money%2Csurrogacy-death-sex-money%2Cdeath-sex-money-rachel-hiroki%2Cseeking-arrangement-sugar-daddy-death-sex-money%2Cfatherhood-death-sex-money%2Cautism-death-sex-money%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-kickoff">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <p> </p>
Jul 25, 2018
Hot Dates: Open to Open Relationships
<p>The first time I talked with Jessie, a 36 year old programmer in Montana, she told me that she couldn't find single guys on her dating apps that felt like good matches. That's still true...technically. But since that first conversation, she emailed to tell me about another part of her dating life she didn't mention before. Plus, June's enjoying her summer break from college with three different partners. </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first</a>. </em></p>
Jul 23, 2018
Manhood, Now: Live
<p>As we've been talking about <a href="">Manhood, Now</a> over the last month, we've heard from a lot of you that conversations about masculinity can be hard to start. So, we decided to try and have one together<span>—</span>on live radio. CNN's W. Kamau Bell joined me, and together, we took calls from all over the country about how expectations are shifting for men right now, what you learned about being men from the role models you grew up with (and what you're relearning now), and how we can all get better at having these kinds of conversations.</p> <p> </p> <hr> <p><em>What books, articles, and podcasts have changed how you think about masculinity? Find suggestions from other Death, Sex &amp; Money listeners, and contribute your own recommendations <a href="">here</a>!</em></p> <p><em>W. Kamau Bell is the host of CNN's</em> United Shades of America, <em>and the author of</em> The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell. <em>His new Netflix special is </em>Private School Negro.</p>
Jul 12, 2018
A Wife Interviews Her Husband About Manhood, Now
<p>After we put out our episode <a href="">Manhood, Now</a>, we heard from a lot of you that you're hungry for more conversations about what's changing for men right now. We've been talking about all of this in public, but we're particularly curious about how these conversations are happening in private right now<span>—</span>at work, with friends, and in romantic relationships. And today, two of our listeners are giving us all a peek into how they're talking about this together.</p> <p>Ryan and Alex are a husband and wife who live in D.C. Earlier this week, they were getting dressed and talking about masculinity, when Alex decided to take out her phone and start recording their conversation. She sent us that audio earlier this week, and now, with their permission, we're sharing it with you.</p> <hr> <p><em>This episode is part of our ongoing conversation about masculinity today. Find more about the project at <a href=""></a>.</em></p> <p><em>We love getting audio from our listeners! Send us your voice memos, to</em></p>
Jul 11, 2018
Manhood Now: What You're Reading
<p>We've been thinking a lot about <a href="">what's changing for men</a>, and we wanted to know about other resources that have helped our listeners think about gender. Here's what you recommended to us:</p> <h2>BOOKS </h2> <div id="gr_grid_widget_1556052842"><!-- Show static html as a placeholder in case js is not enabled - javascript include will override this if things work --> <h2><a style="text-decoration: none;" rel="nofollow" href=";utm_medium=api&amp;utm_source=grid_widget">Death, Sex &amp; Money's bookshelf: read</a></h2> <div class="gr_grid_container"> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="To Kill a Mockingbird" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="To Kill a Mockingbird" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Unmade Bed: The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the 21st Century" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Unmade Bed: The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the 21st Century" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Check, Please!: Year One" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Check, Please!: Year One" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Woman: An Intimate Geography" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Woman: An Intimate Geography" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Slaughterhouse-Five" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Slaughterhouse-Five" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="1984" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="1984" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="How Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="How Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Last American Man" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Last American Man" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Another Country" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Another Country" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Art of Fielding" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Art of Fielding" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Playing Fair: A Guide to Nonmonogamy for Men into Women" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Playing Fair: A Guide to Nonmonogamy for Men into Women" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Stone Butch Blues" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Stone Butch Blues" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era" border="0"></a></div> <div class="gr_grid_book_container"><a title="Heavy: An American Memoir" rel="nofollow" href=""><img src="" alt="Heavy: An American Memoir" border="0"></a></div> <br style="clear: both;"><br><a class="gr_grid_branding" style="font-size: .9em; color: #382110; text-decoration: none; float: right; clear: both;" rel="nofollow" href="">Death, Sex &amp; Money's favorite books »</a><noscript><br>Share <a rel="nofollow" href="">book reviews</a> and ratings with Death, Sex &amp; Money, and even join a <a rel="nofollow" href="">book club</a> on Goodreads.</noscript></div> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src=",%20Sex%20&amp;%20Money's%20bookshelf:%20read?cover_size=medium&amp;hide_link=&amp;hide_title=&amp;num_books=21&amp;order=a&amp;shelf=read&amp;sort=date_added&amp;widget_id=1556052842"></script> <p> </p> <h2>ARTICLES</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Understanding Patriarchy</a> <em>(bell hooks)</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Lessons from a Paratrooper in Combat on how to be a ‘Good Man.’</a> (<em>The Good Men Project</em>)</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">How to Raise a Feminist Son</a> (<em>NY Times</em>)</p> <header class="item-header content-width-responsive"> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Why men fight: An empirical investigation of the extremes of masculinity</a> (<em>Quartz</em>)</p> </header> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Man Box: A Study on Being a Young Man in the US, UK, and Mexico</a> (<em>Promundo</em>)</p> <p> </p> <h2>PODCASTS</h2> <p><a href="!289afc0b6655110c93eaad9c05526b3628a1b6e5" target="_blank">The Lonely American Man</a> (<em>Hidden Brain)</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Pansy</a> (<em>The Heart)</em></p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">The Art of Manliness Podcast</a></em></p> <p class="c-article-header__hed"><a href="" target="_blank">John Wayne, Donald Trump, and the American Man</a> (<em>Radio Atlantic)</em></p> <p class="c-article-header__hed"> </p> <h2 class="c-article-header__hed">BONUS: FILM</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">20th Century Women </a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Mask You Live In</a></p> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";;headline=Got%20a%20suggestion%3F&amp;summary=Let%20us%20know.&amp;callToAction=Add%20your%20recommendation">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
Jul 11, 2018
Hot Dates: "I'm Supposed to Be Certain"
<p>When I first talked with Dan, a 41-year-old widower who recently reentered the dating pool, he told me that he had been reflecting on some past behavior with regret in the wake of #MeToo. Now, he says he won't initiate physical contact without verbal consent, and he's trying to be especially aware of whether he's making the women he's dating feel safe and comfortable with him. B<span>ut he says he's confused about how to navigate consent when women tell him they want to be "submissive" in a relationship. S</span>ince we first spoke, Dan has been grappling with those questions in a new relationship that's gotten serious quickly. I called him up to talk through some listener reactions to our first interview, and dig a little deeper into the complexities of consent right now. </p> <p> </p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first</a>. </em></p>
Jul 09, 2018
How to Be a Man With Bill Withers, Revisited
<p>When I spoke with songwriting legend Bill Withers, for the very first episode of Death, Sex &amp; Money, we talked about what it is to be a man. Withers told me it might not be manly to say "I'm scared," but that being a man isn't about ignoring fear. It's about getting things done in spite of it, and knowing when to ask for help. </p> <p>This week, in honor of his 80th birthday, and our ongoing conversation about <a href="">manhood today</a>, we decided to revisit the episode, which is still one of my favorites. </p> <p>Before Withers wrote some of the most memorable hits of the 70s and 80s—songs like “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Lean on Me”—he was a stuttering boy, growing up in a West Virginia mining town. We talked about <span>leaving that small town, caring for his dying father, and what he likes to watch when he's choosing not to exercise in the morning.</span></p> <p>Happy birthday, Mr. Withers. </p>
Jul 04, 2018
Hot Dates: A Middle School Teacher Walks Into A Bar...
<p>When we first met Miracle, she wasn't on any dating apps<span>—because she still lives in the small city she grew up in, she was afraid she'd come across people she went to high school with. Since we first talked, she decided to try Bumble, and her fears were realized...sort of. </span>Plus, Ceci finds out who her mystery texts are coming from, and Vicki discovers that doctors make good dates. </p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first</a>. </em></p>
Jun 27, 2018
Manhood, Now
<p>"D<em>on’t be weak. Don’t be small. Don’t be poor. Don’t be emotional. Don’t be feminine. Don’t be aggressive. Don’t be unapproachable. Don’t be sexist. Don’t be patronizing. Don’t be entitled. Don’t be unemotional. Don’t be big. Don’t be loud.</em></p> <p><em>You might notice a lot of contradictions here."</em></p> <p>We're in a moment where what it means to be a man is shifting—and to some men, it feels like there are a lot of mixed messages floating around. As one man put it to us, "there’s a very unclear set of expectations as far as how a man should behave." But while we've heard a lot of talk <em>about</em> men in this moment, we've heard fewer conversations <em>with</em> men. So we asked you: what's the most confusing thing about being a man today?</p> <p>A recent college graduate named Alex, 23, worries about women not seeing him as masculine enough and explains why he spends time in toxic corners of “the manosphere.” A kindergarten teacher named Jack, 33, says his students embrace gender fluidity in the classroom, but as a trans man, he has found himself running up against gender norms outside school. Dre, 47, a former drug dealer who’s now a business owner, thinks back on the life-and-death stakes of being seen as masculine when he was dealing and reflects on how his values have changed since. And Luke*, 71, describes what it means for him to be an “impotent older man” after finding his identity as a young man through lots of casual sex.</p> <p>In their stories, and in those of the other men we spoke to for this episode, we heard confusion, ambivalence, resentment, and also optimism—a sense that in this moment of transition, there's more space for men to figure out what kind of men they actually want to be. Others feel unmoored without a new roadmap to follow. "I get this kind of paralysis," a listener named Duane told me, "Where you’re trying to be all these different things at the same time and unlearn past behaviors, and I know I’m not the only one that gets stuck there."</p> <div class="nypr-pull-quote__wrapper"> <blockquote class="nypr-pull-quote"> <p><span><em>There’s a very unclear set of expectations as far as how a man should behave.</em></span></p> </blockquote> </div> <p>And we also wanted to bring more of you into the conversation<span>—so we got together for an hour of live radio about manhood, now</span>. CNN's W. Kamau Bell joined me, and together, we took your calls from across the country about shifting expectations for men right now, the ways you're reevaluating the role models you've had, and how we can all get better at having these conversations together:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="54" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Beyond our conversations with <em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> listeners, we also wanted to get a sense of how men are thinking about being men right now on a broader scale. So in partnership with FiveThirtyEight and SurveyMonkey, <a href="">we surveyed over 1600 American men</a> about what they learned about being men, where they learned it from, and which lessons they’re rethinking in this moment. </p> <p>You can see the <a href="">full results of that survey data here</a>, but here are a few statistics that stood out to us:</p> <p>A majority of men said that they feel external pressure from society, and those numbers are especially high for younger men.</p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 600px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""></div> <p>On top of feeling pressure from society, men also feel their own internal stresses, especially around issues of body image and money. </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 738px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt="" width="721" height="577"></div> <p>But even as they feel those stresses, many men deal with them alone. Nearly half said they <strong>frequently or sometimes feel lonely</strong>, more than 40% say they've <strong>never or rarely ask a friend for personal advice</strong>, and more than two-thirds of men say they've <strong>never been to see a therapist</strong>. </p> <p>To read more findings from the survey, <a href="">head over to FiveThirtyEight</a>. </p> <p><em>*Name changed</em></p> <div style="max-width: 800px; margin: 0 auto 2em;"> <div data-pym-src=";headline=Want%20more%20on%20masculinity%3F&amp;;callToAction=see%20the%20list&amp;summary=We%20asked%20our%20listeners%20to%20tell%20us%20the%20books%2C%20articles%20and%20podcasts%20that%20have%20helped%20shape%20their%20thinking%20around%20gender.">Loading...<hr> <p><em> Click <a href="">here</a> to read a transcript of the episode.</em></p> <p><em>We want to hear your reactions to this episode! Share them on social using the hashtag #ManhoodNow, or email us: </em> </p> <div style="max-width: 800px; margin: 0 auto;"> <div data-pym-src=";headline=Stay%20in%20the%20conversation%20about%20manhood%E2%80%94sign%20up%20for%20our%20newsletter!&amp;mailchimpId=566f296761">Loading...</div> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> </div> </div>
Jun 20, 2018
Hot Dates: Help from an OKCupid Guru
<p>In the third installment of our series Hot Dates, we check in with Louis, who's trying to date in D.C. and frustrated by how it's going. It's still hard<span>—so we asked Tobin Low, cohost of the WNYC Studios podcast <a href="">Nancy</a>, to weigh in with some advice from his own time on OKCupid. </span>Plus, Ceci tells us about some anonymous texts she's been getting.</p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first.</a></em></p> <p><em>And if you're looking to expand your social circle—romantic or otherwise—check out </em>Nancy's<em> friendship project: <a href="">How to Get a Gaggle.</a></em></p>
Jun 14, 2018
Hot Dates: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
<p>When we met Thomas in our first episode of Hot Dates, he was trying to avoid jumping into anything too quickly. It's June, and he's got an update on his love life.</p> <p><em>All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates<span>—i</span>f you missed the introductory episode, <a href="">go back and listen to it first</a>. </em></p>
Jun 08, 2018
John Prine Wanted to Be Normal
<p>I've loved John Prine's music a long time<em>—</em>I grew up singing his songs around campfires in West Virginia. But before he was a regular in my music collection, John was performing at open mics in Chicago, and paying his bills by delivering mail. So when he hit it big with his first album in 1971, he says that getting use to fame was a shock. "I was writing about things private to me and dear to me," he told me. "And to have people know me before they shook my hand was odd to me." And John says that in his life, he's felt odd himself. "That’s how I ended up making my living, being Mr. Oddball," he says. "I get these thoughts, and I like to make them into songs. They might sound odd at the time, but then people connect to them throughout their life. And it turns out I’m doing something that may resemble something solid."</p> <p>In the years since getting famous, John has started a family, battled cancer twice, and along the way, gotten more comfortable with being known. His new album is <em>The Tree of Forgiveness<span>—</span></em>and it's brought him the best album sales of his career<span>. To get it written, John told me, his wife and stepson sent him to a hotel room in Nashville and told him to get to work. "I would knock around during the day and go get a hot dog," he told me about his writing process. "And at nighttime, I’d start writing about three in the morning, order room service up, have a party by myself and end up with a couple songs every day." </span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Jun 06, 2018
Hot Dates: Romance Right Now
<p>A <em>lot</em> is changing about how we date right now, from how we meet people, to who pays, and how we talk about sex. It's complicated, but for many people, summer is the time to try. So as we head into the warmer months, we've asked a group of listeners to let us check in with them as they date. In this first episode, you'll meet:</p> <p><span>• </span>Louis, a guy in Washington D.C., who's constantly ghosted by the men he matches with on dating apps.</p> <p><span>• </span>Miracle, a woman in Alabama who's not using dating apps at all...but isn't having better luck meeting people at her church.</p> <p><span>• </span>"Thomas," a young divorcee we originally met in <a href="">our episode about breakups</a>, who's learning to keep things casual.</p> <p><span>• </span>Jessie, a software developer in Montana who's figuring out how to be comfortable earning more than most of the men she dates.</p> <p><span>• </span>Dan, a recent widower who's navigating the new rules of consent and gender dynamics. </p> <p><span>• </span>Ceci, a 36 year old woman in Sacramento who's looking for commitment, but knows not to settle to find it. </p> <p><span>• </span>Vicki, a journalist in her sixties who's enjoying casual dating and sex, and has no interest in becoming a caregiver to an older boyfriend.</p> <p><span>• </span>And June, a college Junior who uses Tinder to scope out who around her is single and looking.</p> <p>We'll be checking back in with these listeners over the course of the summer as they swipe their way to love...or at least, some good stories.</p> <div data-pym-src=";title=So...%20what's%20happened%20since%3F&amp;blurb=Listen%20to%20all%20the%20updates%20from%20our%20summer%20daters&amp;stories=death-sex-money-hot-dates-kickoff%2Chot-dates-thomas-1%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-dan-update%2Chot-dates-jessie-june%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-ceci-miracle%2Cdeath-sex-money-hot-dates-last-summer-nights">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
May 30, 2018
Tayari Jones on Frills and Freedom
<p>Tayari Jones’ first step towards becoming a bestselling author was quitting. When she left a PhD program in literature at the University of Iowa in her early 20s, she worried about getting in trouble and disappointing her parents, who were both academics.</p> <p>Instead, two decades later, she says that decision ushered in the best times of her life. “I wanted a kind of life I had never seen before,” she told me. “I was always really attracted to women who seemed to be eccentric and kind of uncontrollable. I wanted them to teach me how they came to be so free.”</p> <p>I talk to her about pushing back against the unspoken confines of womanhood, in her writing and in her life, and about how a phone call from Oprah changed everything for her.  </p>
May 16, 2018
Your Student Loan Updates
<p>"Being an adult and taking on adult things has definitely made me grow up a little bit," Jordan Gibbs told me when we talked recently. "It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster." </p> <p>Last spring, Jordan was just one of the many listeners who told us about their student loan debt. When we first talked, she wasn't paying hers at all. It was a secret from everyone in her life, including her parents. But as we were putting together our original batch of episodes, she made one hefty payment<span>—</span>and, as she told me recently, she's continued to stay on top of her finances. "I looked through my bank account and started x-ing things off the list," she says. "Looking at my spending at the end of the month, I was just like, wow. You can definitely afford to pay your student loans." </p> <p>In this episode, I check in with several other listeners who we met in our student loans series<span>—</span>like Josie, who decided to attend a more affordable state school because she'd have to take on less debt; Sharif, who questioned the American dream after being buried in more than $100,000 in loans; and Jessie, whose engagement was called off over differing opinions about debt and having children. </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
May 02, 2018
When 'Daddy Dates' Pay The Bills
<p>When Lizzie* joined the website Seeking Arrangement as a college undergraduate, she thought it would be a short-term thing. The “sugar daddy” website mostly connects wealthy older men with attractive young women—“sugar babies”—who they pay for sex and dates. Two years after joining, Lizzie calls herself a professional sugar baby, although she keeps her work secret from everyone except a small circle of friends. She says she brings in $4,000 to $5,000 a month from various arrangements—far more than she makes from her job as a freelance copywriter.</p> <p>Lizzie sees the relationships as purely transactional, but she says the men often don’t treat it that way. “They think they’re getting better girls if they’re not actually escorts,” she told me. I spoke with Lizzie about why she prefers seeing men who are new to Seeking Arrangement, and how she navigates her double life. </p> <p> </p> <p>*Name changed</p> <p> </p>
Apr 18, 2018
A Son, A Mother, and Two Gun Crimes
<p>We first heard Dwayne Betts' story in <a href=""><em>Caught</em>, the new podcast series about juvenile justice from WNYC</a>. Today, Dwayne is 37, a poet, father of two and a Yale Law School graduate. He's getting his PhD in law there now. But as a 16-year-old, Dwayne carjacked someone at a mall, and was sent to prison for almost a decade. "The fact that I was a child, I should have been treated differently," Dwayne told us. "And that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have been punished, that that just means I should have been treated differently." </p> <p>Dwayne's mom, Gloria, was in the courtroom the day her son was sentenced. I wanted to talk with her and Dwayne together, about how she remembers that day and how their family got through the years of Dwayne being locked up. But Gloria told me that around the time that Dwayne was sentenced, suddenly "it just seemed like everything that happened in my life involved a gun." That was something she hid from Dwayne until years later, when he was released from prison. </p>
Apr 04, 2018
Death, Sex & Money's Starter Kit
<p><em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> began back in 2014, which means we have a lot of episodes for you to enjoy. But that also means there’s a lot to sift through, if you’re new to the show. So we asked our listeners about some of their must-listen <em>Death, Sex &amp; Money</em> episodes. Here are some of the episodes that they recommended as places to start. </p> <hr> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><em>Anna with Ann and Al Simpson at their home in Cody, Wyoming.</em></div> </div> </div> <p><a href="">This Senator Saved My Love Life</a> - You have to give it to some elected representatives—they really will respond to the letters you send. Or at least, Senator Alan Simpson did when host Anna Sale's boyfriend, Arthur, sent a plea for help. That’s how she wound up in the Wyoming kitchen of Alan and Ann Simpson, getting advice on maturity, commitment, and of course, sex.</p> <p><a href="">Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons in Survival</a> - When Ellen Burstyn was 18, she got on a Greyhound bus going from Detroit to Dallas. She had 50 cents in her pocket and a hunch that she could find work as a model. Now 81, the actress and director, known for her roles in<em> Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore</em>, <em>The Exorcist</em>, and<em> Requiem For a Dream</em> says she thinks of herself as a "work in progress," adding, "I know I’m a successful actress, but I don’t feel I’m necessarily a successful person."</p> <p><a href="">I Was Your Father, Until I Wasn't</a> - Tony became a father in his mid-20s, after a woman he'd had casual sex with got pregnant. He shared custody of their daughter, and said being a dad gave him new purpose in life. But when his daughter was about a year old, Tony decided to take a paternity test<span>—</span>and found out the child he'd been raising as his was not biologically related to him. </p> <p><a href="">Opportunity Costs series</a> - When have you been most aware of your class status? When we asked our listeners this question, they responded with stories about class and divorce, fertility, friendship, education, race and much more. Listen to the series and read pieces about class and money written by our partners at BuzzFeed News. </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><em>Big Freedia holding a photograph from her senior year in high school. <span>(</span><a href="">Rush Jagoe</a><span>)</span></em></div> </div> </div> <p><a href="">In New Orleans series</a> - There's no single story about Hurricane Katrina, or about how people have fared in its wake. In this series that we produced around the 10 year anniversary of the storm, we share five very different stories about five people from New Orleans—including bounce artist Big Freedia, the elected New Orleans coroner, and a woman who calls herself the Demo Diva. They all lived in the city when Hurricane Katrina hit. They all live there now. And their lives in the decade since the storm have all been shaped in some way by it and its aftermath. </p> <p><a href="">Autism Isn't What I Signed Up For</a> - Diane Gill Morris is raising two teenage sons with autism. We first met her when she left a comment on our Facebook page in response to an article about people who are considering having children. "I have sacrificed a huge part of who I am—given up my career, gone broke, accepted social isolation," she wrote. "If someone had told me this is what it would be like, I never would have had kids." Diane talked with us about trying to keep her sons safe as young black men, about how her marriage has changed since the kids' diagnosis, and about how she can both love her sons deeply and mourn the children she never met. </p> <p><a href="">Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce</a> - When actor, fitness guru and activist Jane Fonda found herself newly single at 62, she says she felt whole for the first time. Now, she says she’d disappear into a monastery before getting married again. Hear her talking with host Anna Sale about her mother's suicide when she was a girl, her father Henry Fonda's long decline, and the lessons she learned by choosing to be alone.</p> <p><a href="">Why I Steal</a> - Alice* lives in a small town, where the work dries up in the winter. So, she supplements her seasonal unemployment checks by shoplifting. "I do have rules that I follow," she explains. But she also keeps her stealing a secret from her husband and her young daughter. </p> <hr> <p><strong>Happy listening! And since you're new to our show, know that you can email your story ideas or episode responses any time to </strong></p>
Mar 26, 2018
15 Years Later, An Iraq Veteran Looks Back
<p>Ten days after the start of the war in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Thom Tran crossed the border from Kuwait with his unit. Four days later, he went out on a recon mission, and came millimeters from death when an enemy bullet grazed the back of his head in a firefight. He got relatively lucky; but still, he's spent the last 15 years thinking about how that moment<span>—and his service—have defined his life after the military.</span></p> <p>Because for Thom, coming home after his deployment ended was not easy. "<span>I had a real shit attitude because I'd been shot, my roommate had been killed...I was in a real bad mood all the time," he told me. "So I </span>did what every combat veteran does. I fell into a bottle and I sat there." I talked with him about sharing those experiences with his father, who was a POW in Vietnam, and about how comedy has helped him manage his stress in the years since.</p>
Mar 21, 2018
From Indie Rockers to Full-Time Caregivers
<p>In 2010, Johnny Solomon's band, Communist Daughter, was on the rise. But behind the scenes, Johnny was struggling<span>—he was </span>drinking heavily, and abusing meth to the tune of $600 a week. "People see it from the outside, but it's impossible to explain from the inside of what it does to your soul," he told me about his addiction. "I did really terrible things to the people I loved." When Johnny realized it was time to get help, he called one of the people he loved most<span>—his mom,</span> Nancy. She paid for him to go to rehab, which helped him get clean and diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. </p> <p>After Johnny got sober and went on medication, the band regrouped and continued touring and putting out albums. But last year, it was Nancy who needed help, as her health declined due to a degenerative nerve disease. So Johnny and his wife<span>—and bandmate—Molly packed up their life in Minnesota and moved in with Nancy and her husband in San Diego. </span></p> <p><span>It's a very different life from the one they were imagining at this point in their marriage, when they were hoping to start a family. And caring for Nancy has meant that their music careers have been put mostly on hold. But Johnny says there are aspects of the change that feel healthy, especially given the difficulties he experienced trying to stay sober in a touring musician's lifestyle. "I love routine," he told me. "I love it, because when things get out of control then I start to really lose control." I went to their shared home to talk with Johnny, Molly and Nancy about what their life together looks like now—and what's been hard about building it.</span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Johnny and Molly Solomon in the backyard of the house they share with Johnny's mom Nancy and her husband.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Anna Sale)</div> </div> </div> <p><span> </span></p>
Mar 14, 2018
Sharing DNA, and Nothing Else
<p>The consumer genomics industry has exploded in recent years. Websites like and 23andMe have customer databases in the millions. But for some people, like a woman we met named Amy, the at-home DNA testing craze can bring some unexpected revelations.</p> <p>In 2016, Amy spit into a tube and mailed it to's DNA testing service. She'd always been interested in genealogy, so the test seemed like the perfect way to learn more about her heritage<span>—but what she found out was that the man who raised her wasn't her biological father. "I</span>t was this moment where time stood still and things got quiet," she says about the day she found out. "And I just sort of received, read it, and then just shut it off in a way that I've never really experienced."</p> <p>After the shock wore off, Amy braced herself to talk with her mother about what she'd discovered. And as she learned more about her donor and his family, she also struggled with whether or not she wanted to be in contact with them—a decision that became even more complicated when Amy found out that her biological father is a staunch Trump supporter, while she had switched careers only months before to become a full-time Democratic campaign worker. "I<span>t's like the universe's funny joke," she says. "'Woman gives up her life to join the Democratic resistance, and finds out she's related to a Trump-Pence supporter.'"</span></p>
Feb 28, 2018
Lena Waithe Says Have a Dream... and a Sponsor
<p>Writer and actor Lena Waithe moved to Los Angeles in 2006 from Chicago, right out of college. "<span>I transferred my Blockbuster job from Chicago to LA," she told me. "I</span>t was definitely dues-paying time. I wasn’t even paying dues yet. I was just out there figuring it out."</p> <p>Lena's goal in Hollywood was to land a screenwriting gig. Growing up, she'd always loved to write—her fifth grade teacher told her she "writes the way she speaks." And she also knew that she wanted a career far outside of the corporate world that her mother worked in. "This is what hell looks like, whatever it is y'all do all day long," she remembers thinking when her mom would bring her into work as a kid. </p> <p>But those office cubicle jobs were what enabled her mom to financially support Lena during those early days in California. As Lena was making a dollar or two above minimum wage and trying to land small screenwriting gigs, her mom was helping her with her bills. "I think for her it was an investment," Lena says. "She was like, Lena’s going to be somebody. I don’t understand it, but I’ll take it." That's paid off: since landing writing and acting jobs on <em>Bones</em> and<em> Master of None</em>, and creating her new show <em>The Chi</em>, Lena says she's been sending her mom a yearly check. "She sends a text like, 'And I thank you,'" Lena laughs. "And the emoji with the money on its eyes and tongue." </p>
Feb 21, 2018
After Suicides, a Texas Veterinary Community Opens Up
<blockquote> <p><em>"Stress is in the environment. It's that fast pace.<strong> </strong>[Veterinarians] will do a euthanasia and not stop, and they'll go right to the next case. There's no processing of it."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Suicide statistics in the veterinary profession are sobering: a 2014 CDC study found that one in six veterinarians has considered suicide, and a British study found that the suicide rate in the veterinary profession might be up to four times higher than that of the general population.</p> <p>But reading the statistics and experiencing the reality of these numbers are two very different things, as the veterinary community in Dallas learned last spring. Over the course of about a month last year, three veterinary workers there—two veterinary techs, and one veterinarian—died by suicide. We went to Dallas to talk to people in the veterinary community about the stresses of their profession, how they remember their colleagues who've died, and what they're doing to take care of each other now—and to prevent more suicides from happening in the future. </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>We're proud to partner with the </em>Dallas Morning News<em> for this story. They've produced <a href="">a photo essay</a> to take you inside the veterinary clinic we visited in Dallas, as well as <a href=";">a video</a> that we've included below. Dr. Kathryn Konieska at the Center for Veterinary Specialty + Emergency Care talks about what the euthanasia process entails, including the emotional toll it can take on a vet. </em></p> <p><em>If you’re considering suicide, or are worried about someone who might be, please get help. We’ve compiled a list of resources <a href="">here</a>. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and is open 24 hours a day.</em></p> <p> </p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140253043689632d85c99f6-4f6f-4a51-99b1-c67226d99fd6"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a870364594007793079" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src="—subscribe%20to%20the%20Death%2C%20Sex%20%26%20Money%20newsletter&amp;mailchimpId=566f296761">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
Feb 07, 2018
Suicide Prevention Resources
<p>Struggling with thoughts of suicide, or trying to help a loved one you're worried about can be difficult<span>—</span>and finding help can feel overwhelming, especially when you're already stressed. Here are a list of resources that you may find useful (<em>if you are in immediate danger, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255)</em>: </p> <ul> <li><a href="">The Suicide Prevention Lifeline</a> is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also provide services for specific communities such as disaster survivors, attempt survivors, Native Americans, LGBTQ+, and veterans. </li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="">The Trevor Project</a> is a national organization that focuses on young members of the LGBTQ+ community mainly between the ages of 13 and 24. </li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="">SAVE</a>, or Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, is an organization that offers education on the warning signs of suicide in hopes of preventing suicide attempts. </li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="">SAMHSA</a> (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is an agency within the US Department of Health and Human services. They provide a number of services, and have a section on <a href="">suicide prevention</a>. </li> </ul> <ul> <li>The <a href="">American Foundation for Suicide Prevention</a> is an organization that educates and holds events and fundraisers to educate about mental illness and provide support for loss survivors. </li> </ul> <p> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>If you have a resource that you think should be on this list, email us at</em></p>
Feb 07, 2018
Opportunity Costs: I Never Felt Inferior
<p>I first talked to Ernie Major a few years ago, for <a href="">our episode about living alone</a>. When we put out our call for class stories, Ernie got in touch again. "<span>I’m retired now, by myself in a single wide trailer," he wrote us, "but I still don’t feel inferior to other people of higher class. In fact, sometimes I feel kind of sorry for them, trapped their web of expectations." </span></p> <p>Ernie is 73, and over the course of his life he's been in a lot of different class brackets. He grew up "dirt poor" as a homesteader, but he had relatives who were quite well off. After serving in Vietnam, he went to college on the G.I. Bill, and worked as a photojournalist before starting a new career in his fifties at an oil refinery. And now, he's on long term disability after a motorcycle accident last year. Those experiences exposed him to a lot of class diversity, but he says as an adult, he's identified as "<span>socially lower middle class, economically a bit better than that," without aspirations to move up.</span> "I look down on people who invest a lot of time and energy into status symbols that can just go away in a second."</p> <p>Yet Ernie also recognizes that being white has allowed him a level of class fluidity--which has fueled some of that emotional detachment from where he fits in the class hierarchy. "I understood early on that [being white] gave you a a a step up even though we were dirt poor," he told me. "And I had my mom’s [upper-middle class] family, so I had a connection with people who were not definitely not the same as us." </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""></div> <p><em>Anna took this picture of Ernie after their conversation, with his new Death, Sex &amp; Money "should-less day" mug. Afterward, when we asked Ernie to send us a picture of something that represents his class status, he sent along a picture of his Royal Enfield motorcycle on a wheelchair ramp next to the trailer where he lives. He wrote, "My friends made this ramp after I crushed my foot in an accident. It's the kind of thing that people would do when I was a kid and we lived on a homestead." </em></p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>This episode is part of our collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p>
Jan 26, 2018
Opportunity Costs: More Is Not More
<p>Nishant is a junior at Berkeley. Like a lot of college students, he’s trying to figure out how he thinks about class and money as he moves towards graduation and financial independence from his parents. But Nishant’s dealing with a special set of privileges, and complications: his family is in the one percent. His dad, Vik, immigrated from India with his family as a teenager and then went to medical school. But instead of becoming a doctor, Vik founded a software company instead. It was a gamble that paid off. Within ten years, a Fortune 500 corporation had bought Vik’s company, and the family got rich.</p> <p>Learning to navigate the privileges<span>—</span>and the burdens<span>—</span>of being wealthy is something both father and son struggle with. Vik is aware that his discomfort around wealth brings out a competitive edge in him that he's not proud of. And Nishant worries that <em>his </em>friends at college would think of him as “spoiled” if they found out just how much his family has. As Nishant thinks about what he wants to do after college, he’s also dealing with social pressure to match his parents’ financial success. “There’s some American dream kind of pressure that each generation you do better than the generation that came before you,” he told me. “I would have to get very lucky to accomplish that, and that focus is not one that I want to have.”</p> <p><em>We asked the people we interviewed for this series to submit photos of things they felt represented their class status. Vik sent us this photo of his garage, and wrote, "Some really amazing choices of cars to select from to drive to the gym, but in the end, regardless of the car you drive, you still have to have the self discipline to make time and show up, and work out hard and push yourself. Once you're on the racquetball court or on the treadmill, class has no relevance."</em></p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>This episode is part of our collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p> <p><em>To hear Anna and Vik talk about the Opportunity Costs series with WNYC's Brian Lehrer, click <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Jan 25, 2018
Opportunity Costs: The Class Slide After Divorce
<p>A decade ago, Jaimie Seaton and her family were living overseas in Asia while her husband worked as a high-ranking executive at Citibank. "We lived in a huge house with a pool and staff and a driver," Jaimie told me. "We always traveled business class. We always stayed in 5-star hotels. We always had a lot of parties."</p> <p>"From where I sit now and how I have to economize, I just kind of shake my head at the amount of money I wasted." </p> <p>Jaimie's financial picture looks quite different today. A year after moving back to the U.S., her marriage suddenly ended. At that point, Jaimie hadn't been working much. "I never made much money during my marriage," Jaimie said. "I never needed to." She quickly got a temporary job, but says her spending habits didn't immediately change. "I think of it like a large ship," she said. "It takes a while to turn."</p> <p>Now, Jaimie brings in some money as a freelance writer, and receives monthly alimony and child support payments. But much of that will end when her children leave the house. "I’m really afraid of being old and being poverty stricken," Jaimie told me. And, she says that she and her kids feel uncomfortable now in social situations where they used to feel that they belonged. "I feel uncomfortable partly because of the money, but mostly because they’re all still married and their families are intact," Jaimie said. "It’s hard to be around it." </p> <p>Jaimie wrote a piece for BuzzFeed about her class transition after her divorce. <a href="">Read it here</a>. </p> <p> </p> <p><em>We asked the people we interviewed for this series to submit photos of things they felt represented their class status. "In this picture, I am lying on a private beach in Florida, when I was staying with a friend a few summers ago," Jaimie wrote. While she's cut out a lot of her expenses, Jaimie told us, "I still get a pedicure—my toes are always done. You get a lot of bang for your buck. It lasts a whole month and it costs $30." </em></p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>This episode is part of our collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p>
Jan 24, 2018
Opportunity Costs: An Education or Nothing
<p>When Ramal Johnson imagined his life as a PhD student at Howard University, he didn't picture waking up at 4 A.M. to work double retail shifts in addition to his coursework. But last semester, when he was struggling to keep up with rent and student loan payments, that's what his days looked like. Even with his jobs at Best Buy and Express, he wasn't always making enough to cover the cost of living in the D.C. area. "I kind of felt like a failure," he says. "I was just depressed, I was sad, and I was angry, but at nobody in particular. I guess I was just angry at the situation."</p> <p>But, he says, the tradeoffs feel worth it. Like a lot of students, Ramal sees education as a way up the class ladder. "There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be making six figures in the future," he told me. Right now, Ramal says he's straddling the middle and working class—he grew up on a military base, and now, he says, he’s kept a "middle class mentality" while he tries to keep up with the financial reality of his almost $200,000 in student loan debt. But, he told me, it's a burden that he says felt necessary to take on. "Especially as an African American male, people don’t take me seriously in the first place," he said. "With a PhD I’ll have more of a chance."</p> <p><em>If you're curious about whether you're considered in the middle class based on your location and the number of people in your household, check out <a href="">this class calculator</a> from the Pew Research Center.</em></p> <p><em>We asked the people we interviewed for this series to submit photos of things they felt represented their class status. Ramal sent us this photo of Howard University, where he is getting his doctoral degree in communications. </em></p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>This episode is part of our collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p>
Jan 23, 2018
Opportunity Costs: Friendship and Fertility
<p>We heard from more than 400 of you when we asked you for your stories about when you've felt your class status the most. Our listener Cat in Chicago told us it's a question she's been waiting "literally 20 years for someone to ask."</p> <p>Cat wrote to us about her best friend, Christine. They met in college, and have stayed really close in the years since. But when they both struggled to get pregnant, Cat had a lot more options. She describes herself as upper-middle class—she and her husband own their own home, and bring in more than six figures per year. Christine comes from a working class background, and the incomes she and her husband make in the theater industry barely cover their bills. So as Cat was able to afford the expenses of adopting a child, Christine was told by her doctors to keep trying to get pregnant naturally. It didn't happen. </p> <p>"I feel this sort of guilt about kids," Cat told us. "I know that she knows about that. We've we've talked about that before." </p> <p>I talked with Cat and Christine together about how their class differences have impacted their friendship and the families they've been able to build. "Over the years I have just kind of let go of a lot of things let go of of trying to compare or keep up," Christine says. "You want your best friend to have this awesome life. Of course you do." </p> <p><br><em>We asked the people we interviewed for this series to submit photos of things they felt represented their class status. Cat sent us this photo of her living room. She wrote, "It is a super over-the-top room, but it was the first thing we saw when we walked into the house with the realtor and I just love it. Rumor is that the house was built by a mob attorney (as if you could get more Chicago than that); evidence in this room is that there's actually a wall safe hidden behind one of the panels."</em></p> <hr> <p> </p> <p><em>This episode is part of our collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p>
Jan 22, 2018
Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America
<p>In partnership with </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" width="100"></a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Death, Sex &amp; Money is partnering with <a href="">BuzzFeed News</a> to share conversations and essays about class and money—and the ways they manifest in our day to day lives and in our relationships with each other. </strong></p> <p><strong>Read BuzzFeed's reported pieces and essays about money and class<span>—</span>including one from Anna!<span>—</span><a href="">here</a>.  </strong></p> <p> </p> <h3>Episode 5: I Never Felt Inferior </h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Ernie Major self-identifies as "socially lower middle class, economically a bit better than that." But he also says status has never been something he paid much attention to. </p> <p> </p> <h3>Episode 4: More is Not More </h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>For a father and son whose family is in the 1%, having resources that "exceed their wants" brings its own set of challenges.  </p> <p> </p> <h3>Episode 3: The Class Slide After Divorce </h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Jaimie Seaton got used to an upper class lifestyle while married to her banker husband and living overseas. Then she got divorced, and her financial picture totally changed.</p> <p>Read Jaimie's BuzzFeed piece <a href="">about class changes after divorce here</a>.  </p> <p> </p> <h3>Episode 2: An Education, or Nothing</h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Ramal Johnson has a "middle class mentality," a working class paycheck, and upper class aspirations. </p> <p>Looking for the Pew Research Center class calculator? <a href="">Find it here.</a> </p> <p> </p> <h3> <strong>Episode 1: Friendship and Fertility</strong> </h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Best friends Cat and Christine met in college and have stayed close since. But their class differences became very clear—and uncomfortable—when they both struggled to get pregnant.</p> <p> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p>For several months, we've been asking for your stories about when you've felt your class status the most. <strong>Now, we're sharing five conversations about class </strong>and the ways it intersects with different parts of our lives. Two best friends talk about how being on the opposite ends of the middle class have impacted their ability to start families. A first-generation college student deep in debt bemoans how hard it is to climb up the class ladder—and how easy it is to fall down it. A mother of two teenagers talks about how her life looks different after her financial situation changed post-divorce. A son talks with his father about how their family became part of the 1%—and why it's not all it's cracked up to be. And a 73-year-old Vietnam vet who never got comfortable in the professional world reflects on how being white allowed him a level of fluidity in class status not afforded some of his non-white colleagues and friends.</p> <p> </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=1" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";summary=Tell%20us%20about%20your%20class%20pride%20and%20shame%E2%80%94and%20a%20song%20that%20represents%20your%20class%20status.&amp;callToAction=Take%20Our%20Survey&amp;;mailchimpId=566f296761">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <p> </p> <p>"Class is complicated. So, so complicated," a listener named Jessica wrote to us when we asked for your stories about class.</p> <p>While it pops up in many ways in our lives, class is a term that can be hard to pin down, and isn't just about money. "My class is defined by my home and my education," one listener wrote. "Class is your ability to rebound from inevitable setbacks," another said. "Class does not define our worth or ability as humans," wrote another listener. And a listener from the UK wrote about class, "We embrace it as who we are, not what we want to become."</p> <p>One of our favorite class definitions came from Elizabeth in El Paso, Texas, who wrote, "I feel like class is a level of pride or shame." <strong>So we want to hear from you: what embarrasses you about your current class status, and what makes you feel pride? </strong>To read through what your fellow listeners have told us already, <a href="">click here</a>. </p> <p><strong>Plus, we ask you to tell us a song that sums up where you fit, class-wise.</strong> Check out the Spotify playlist we built from your suggestions <a href="">here</a>. </p> <p> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <p>Stay in touch with us! Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you up to date about what's happening behind the scenes at Death, Sex &amp; Money. Plus, we'll send you audio recommendations, letters from our inbox and a note from Anna. Join the Death, Sex &amp; Money community and subscribe today.</p> <p> </p> <div data-pym-src=";headline=Subscribe%20to%20the%20Death%2C%20Sex%20%26%20Money%20newsletter">Loading...</div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
Jan 17, 2018
Preview: Opportunity Costs
<p>For the past few months, we've been asking you for stories about class. We heard from more than 400 of you about moving up, moving down, and struggling to define where you stand in the first place. One thing that was clear for everyone, though, is that class is something we talk around, but rarely address head on.</p> <p><strong>So next week (January 22-26), in partnership with BuzzFeed News, we're bringing you five in-depth conversations about class</strong>—and the ways it manifests in your day-to-day lives and in your relationships with each other. Two best friends talk about how being on the opposite ends of the middle class have impacted their ability to start families. A first-generation college student deep in debt bemoans how hard it is to climb up the class ladder—and how easy it is to fall down it. A mother of two teenagers talks about how her family's social life looks different after her financial situation changed post-divorce. A son talks with his father about how their family became part of the 1%—and why it's not all it's cracked up to be. And a 73-year-old Vietnam vet who never got comfortable in the professional world reflects on how being white allowed him a level of fluidity in class status not afforded some of his non-white colleagues and friends.</p> <p>We're calling this project "<a href="">Opportunity Costs</a>," because there are tradeoffs and choices when it comes to money and status—and and a whole lot of chance, too. Look for a new episode in your feed every morning next week. In the meantime, take our class pride and shame <a href="">survey</a>—and tell us a song that sums up your class status!</p>
Jan 17, 2018
If You're Being Harassed At Work
<p>If you've been harassed or bullied on the job and are wondering what you can do about it, knowing where to start can be hard. Here are some resources you might find useful:</p> <ul> <li>The <a href="">Time's Up Legal Defense Fund</a> is a new initiative that offers subsidized legal aid to men and women who have experienced harassment or bullying on the job.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>From the <em>New York Times, </em><a href="">a roundup of advice from lawyers</a> about what concrete steps you can take right now to document and report harassment or bullying you've experienced as it's happening<span>—and what you can do next.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The National Women's Law Center has a <a href="">state-by-state breakdown</a> of laws and policies designed to help protect women in each state, as well as <a href="">resources for workplace discrimination</a> of all sorts, including sexual harassment and wage gaps.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>On, there's <a href="">a state-by-state directory of hotlines</a> you can call to deal with emergency situations, as well as contact information for local organizations and agencies who can help closer to home.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination at work and your employer has been unresponsive to your complaints, you can <a href="">file a charge of employment discrimination</a> with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). </li> </ul> <ul> <li>And outside of work, if you need to talk to someone but are on a limited budget, <a href="">Open Path Collective</a> is a network of mental health professionals who offer their services at a sharply reduced rate to people in need. </li> </ul> <p>If you have a resource that you think should be on this list, email us at</p>
Jan 03, 2018
All Your Workplace Rage
<p><em>"Phew, that felt good."</em></p> <p><em>"Wow, 30 seconds goes by real fast."</em></p> <p><em>"I actually really needed this."</em><em>               </em></p> <p>A few weeks ago, <a href="">we asked you to send us 30-second voice memos</a> with your anger about harassment and bullying you've experienced at work<span>—</span>and the advice you'd give your younger self about what you don't have to put up with. And you all were ready to vent! You sent us stories about sexism and racism, physical harassment and psychological abuse, from bosses and co-workers male and female alike. Some of you were thinking back on things that happened to you decades ago; some of you are right in the middle of figuring out how to deal with a bad situation.</p> <p>One thing was clear<span>—lots of you feel like you haven't been able to talk about this before</span>. So this week, we're bringing you a supercut of your stories, and your anger. Let's rage.</p> <p><br><em>If you're currently dealing with harassment or bullying at work, click <a href="">here</a> for a list of resources you might find helpful.</em></p> <p><em>And for even more rage, check out today's new episode of the podcast <a href="">For A Bad Time Call</a>—it's a special episode devoted specifically to workplace anger.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to SassyBlack for composing original music for this episode. You can find more of her work <a href="">here</a>. </em></p> <p> </p>
Jan 03, 2018
Pull Quote: Plunging In
<p>Happy new year! We've got a special treat for you today.</p> <p>You may have heard that we've been working on an experiment, a new mini-podcast series called Pull Quote. The episodes are short audio gems that we've dug up from our archives and from elsewhere.</p> <p>This week, we're sending our first batch of episodes to those of you who've donated to support the show. But as we start the this new year together, we thought we'd share the first Pull Quote with all of you: some words of wisdom about beginnings from writer Jamaica Kincaid. </p> <p>We’ve had a lot of fun making these, and it's not too late to sign up to hear them all. If you want to hear the other Pull Quote episodes we’ve made, <a href="">chip in $30 or more right now</a>. We’ll email you a special link every morning for a week where you can listen in. Plus, you'll get to tell us what you think about this Pull Quote series and whether we should make more.</p> <p>Thanks so much to those of you who've given money and supported our show. We really appreciate it. Look out for a new episode from us later this week.</p> <p>—</p> <p><em>Special thanks to composer and sound designer Hannis Brown for his scoring work on our Pull Quote series. </em></p> <p> </p>
Jan 01, 2018
I Felt Like The Story Had To Change: Life After Heroin
<p>When my friend Danielle was in high school, she was hanging out in her hometown of Merrick, Long Island, going to punk shows and fighting with her mom—like a lot of teenagers. But when she was 19, her mom died, and Danielle's experimentation with drugs and alcohol really accelerated. By the time she was 25, she was using heroin daily. She says that in some ways, her mom's death gave her a justification for using. "It sounds horrible to say, but I remember when my mom passed me kind of feeling a sense of relief," she told me. "I was like, oh, I finally have my thing. I have my baggage that I've been looking for."  </p> <p>I met Danielle when we were both in our late 20s. At that point, Danielle was about a year sober. We're close, but in the years since we became friends, I'd never talked in detail with her about that earlier time in her life. So I asked her if I could interview her about her heroin addiction and the process of getting sober. I also wanted to know how she thinks about it now—especially as she's preparing to become a first-time parent and go through childbirth with a medical history that makes things more complicated. "On the first visit with the midwives I told them I don't want them to prescribe me anything addictive or any opiates, if we can get around it," she told me. "If I do get prescribed something then I won't hold that bottle. I'll have my husband give me the pill."</p> <p>Looking back, Danielle says she's acutely aware of how differently her story could have gone. Following another year of record overdose deaths in the U.S., Danielle says that she reads the stories of people who die from addiction, and it's an uncomfortable experience. "I see myself in them," she told me. "I'm not better than any of those people. I don't have a stronger constitution. I'm not more moral. I'm not smarter. I'm not anything. I just happened to hear a message, and was able to follow up and take steps and do some work and make this change." </p> <p><em>Click <a href="">here</a> to listen to my conversation about addiction from the other side, with an EMT supervisor who's on the front lines of the opioid crisis in my hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. </em></p>
Dec 20, 2017
I Can't Fix It: A First Responder and Heroin
<p>Mark Strickland knew he wanted to be a first responder when he was five years old. "It was a way to help people," he told me. "You're giving everything you've got to help people in distress, no matter what it may be." </p> <p>When he first started working as an EMT in my hometown of Charleston, West Virginia back in the 1990s, Mark says that his job rarely involved reviving people after drug overdoses. But in recent years, as heroin and other opioids have ravaged the Charleston community, he says that's changed. Overdose calls are a near-daily occurrence for Mark and his colleagues—in fact, he got was called away to one while we talked.</p> <p>While the national opioid overdose death rate has been steadily climbing over the last several years, nowhere is the situation more dire than in West Virginia. In 2015, the state had the highest drug overdose death rate in the country, at 41.5 per 100,000 deaths. Mark and his colleagues see the people behind those statistics. And when they see the same patients overdosing time after time, it can feel like fighting an uphill battle. He says that he's still figuring out a vocabulary for work-related stress that feels appropriate. "By and large, most first responders will shun away from the P.T.S.D. phrase," he says. "That's what guys get from coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq because they've earned that. You're in a foreign country, taking hostile fire [...] I'm still in America. I'm good, brother. I can go to the store get a six pack."</p> <p>In the midst of finding ways to deal with his own stress, Mark is also raising three boys, and thinking about how he wants to prepare them to make good choices. He's honest with his kids about what he's seen drugs do to people—and he gives them an out if anyone tries to convince them to try any. "Tell 'em no, my Dad makes me pee in a cup," he told me. And Mark also said that he doesn't want his sons to follow in his footsteps as a first responder. "<span>I guess the parent in me wants to shield my kids from bad things."</span></p>
Dec 13, 2017
Your Workplace Rage, And Mine
<p>This past weekend, <em>New York Magazine</em> <a href="">published a story</a> detailing a pattern of alleged sexual misconduct and bullying by John Hockenberry, the former host of WNYC's show <em>The Takeaway</em>. The story includes allegations of forcible kissing, excerpts of inappropriate online messages Hockenberry sent to staff and guests, and descriptions of a pervasive culture of intimidation on the show that was most publicly directed against three of Hockenberry's cohosts<span>—</span>all women of color<span>—</span>who left <em>The Takeaway</em> one after the other, while he stayed. </p> <p>This story is part of a much larger conversation we're having about sexual harassment, and about misconduct of all kinds in the workplace—but this one hits close to home. I worked on <em>The Takeaway</em> from 2009-2010, and I remember this culture vividly. And since this story broke, I've been mad. And I've been wanting to talk about it with someone. So I called up my friend and former colleague at <em>The Takeaway</em>, Noel King, to talk about what we put up with during our time at the show, what we shouldn't have<span>—and how we're rethinking that time in our careers now.</span></p> <p><span>And we want to hear from <em>you </em>about how you're processing this moment in our cultural confrontation of sexism, racism and other inappropriate behavior in the workplace. </span>Inspired by one of our favorite new podcasts, <em><a href="">For A Bad Time Call...</a></em>, we want to hear your rage. Send us a 30 second voice memo of what you would tell your younger self about office culture, or share with us the advice you would give yourself to deal with harassment, bullying, or worse. You can send those voice memos to—we'll put them together and share them with you soon. </p> <p><em>Click <a href="">here</a> to read Suki Kim's original reporting in New York Magazine about the allegations against Hockenberry. WNYC's own reporting on the story can be found <a href="">here</a>. And you can find statements from Hockenberry and WNYC <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Dec 06, 2017
Gabrielle Union Is Fed Up
<p>When she was a teenager, all Gabrielle Union wanted was to be chosen. Growing up, she felt conspicuous as one of the only black girls in the mostly-white California city of Pleasanton, and she distinctly remembers how badly she wanted to fit in—but more often than not, she says, she felt like an outsider. "My parents thought moving us to Pleasanton was giving us all of the opportunity. You have great schools, safe neighborhoods, you're going to be around the right kind of people," she told me when I spoke to her live on stage at The Commonwealth Club, "and all it did was isolate us." But it turned out that Pleasanton wasn't as safe as her parents had hoped—a lesson Gabrielle learned in a horrific way. When she was 19, she was raped at gunpoint in the Payless ShoeSource where she was working. In addition to the trauma she had to work through in the aftermath, Gabrielle says that being labeled as the victim of an assault made her feel even more socially isolated. "You become <em>that</em> black girl," she told me. "And for someone so fully committed to assimilation, that was by far the most traumatizing part."</p> <p>Twenty-five years later, Gabrielle's talking about these experiences in a new collection of essays, called <em>We're Going To Need More Wine. </em>It's not the first time she's gone public with her most private moments; last year, <a href="">an op-ed she published in the <em>L.A. Times</em></a> reflecting on the rape allegations against her <em>Birth of a Nation </em>director and costar Nate Parker went viral. But being open with fans hasn't always been easy for her. She told me that for years after she was assaulted, she had difficulty figuring out how to set boundaries and protect her personal space<span>—especially as she was becoming recognizable from her roles in movies like <em>Bring It On.</em> "Not saying no means there’s no boundaries," she told me about her early experiences with fans. "So self-care goes out the window. You've got to be everything to everybody at all times, which is impossible." </span></p> <p><span>In the years since, she's learned to balance her fame with self-care. </span>She's now married to NBA star Dwyane Wade, and together, they're raising his nephew and two sons from a previous marriage. And she says that ironically, their relationship works because they know they don't have to be in it. "<span>There is no 'you-complete-me' shit," Gabrielle explains. "It's, 'I'm making a conscious choice to be with you every single day because we both have a lot of options. So I'm choosing you every day.'"</span></p> <p><em>Thanks to <a href="">Inforum at the Commonwealth Club</a> for hosting this event. You can watch a video of our entire conversation with Gabrielle <a href=";theater">here</a>. </em></p> <p> </p>
Nov 29, 2017
Finding Love, And A Kidney, On Tinder
<p>In 2015, Lori Interlicchio and Alana Duran swiped right on each other's Tinder profiles. They were both in their early 20s, and not looking for anything too serious. But on their first date, Alana told Lori that she has lupus—an autoimmune disease that, in Alana's case, has taken a major toll on her body.</p> <p>At that point, Alana had been on dialysis for four years. Her kidneys were failing. And after just three dates, Lori was thinking about offering to see if she could be a potential kidney donor match. "I called one of my former roommates and I started asking like, 'Is this absolutely insane or is this like, fine?'" Lori told me. "If a another person needs something that you don't need and aren't going to miss, then whatever, right? Why not give it to them?" </p> <p>Lori was a match. And starting their relationship with an organ donation has led to questions they've both had to address. When Lori got into law school just months after the surgery, she worried about leaving Alana behind. "I know that right now Alana is doing really well health-wise," Lori told me, "but I also know that that could change at any time." And Alana has had to grapple with what would happen if she decided to end their relationship. "Someone gave me a literal piece of them," Alana says. "I can't repay them for that. In my mind I was thinking that would come up, like, 'Oh, I can't break up with Lori because she gave me a kidney. That'd be terrible, people would be really really mad at me.'" </p> <hr> <p> <em>Lori and Alana's story is documented in the new film </em>Bean<em>. <a href="">Find out more about screening times here.</a> </em></p>
Nov 22, 2017
What Lisa Ling Regrets
<p>In her late 20s, Lisa Ling was co-hosting <em>The View </em>and enjoying single life in New York. "When I think back on it I see myself, you know, dancing on tables sometimes," she laughs. But her decision to leave her previous life in Los Angeles behind had long-lasting consequences. "As soon as I got to New York, this whole world opened up to me and I was invited to every party. And given where I grew up in this kind of middle, lower-middle class home and community, it was it was exciting for me," she recalled. But, Lisa says, her long-distance relationship with a serious boyfriend back home suffered, and ultimately ended, as a result. "In retrospect now, it was really sad because he really, really loved me," she says. "I kind of—you know, I in many ways sort of abandoned the relationship." </p> <p>At the same time, she was having difficulty with talking about her personal life at her very public job. Even though Lisa had been working as a reporter for teen shows like <a href="">Scratch</a> and <a href="">Channel One</a> since she was 16, <em>The View </em>required something different of her. "T<span>he expectation of me was to be totally open about every aspect of my life," she says. "And I really struggled with that in the beginning because I was so out of my element." But it was a skill she was later grateful for—in her marriage. Lisa got married in 2007, and she says communication between her and her husband, Paul, hasn't always been easy. But she says they've found a language that works. "Our mutual therapist once said to us, if you were in a business, you would do everything in your power to make sure that that partnership worked," she told me. "And you need to apply that same work ethic to your marriage. And that really kind of resonated with us."</span></p> <p><em>You can watch Lisa's new web series for CNN, </em><em>called </em>This Is Sex,<em> <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Nov 08, 2017
A Bitcoin Mogul Goes Broke
<p>When Charlie Shrem was growing up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, he learned a lesson about money the hard way. "<span>I got a credit card in the mail [...] the </span><span>day I turned 18. I had a $6000 credit limit. And I was taking people to Vegas," he told me. It was a lifestyle that got him in ten thousand dollars worth of debt. </span>He repaid that debt in full, and then started looking for a way towards financial independence. </p> <p>He landed on Bitcoin. Charlie was an early adopter of the cryptocurrency, and his gamble paid off. By the time he was 22, he had co-founded a company called BitInstant, which helped its users convert dollars into Bitcoin. It made Charlie rich, but it also landed him in legal trouble. One of Charlie's customers was making a profit reselling Bitcoin purchased on BitInstant on Silk Road, an underground marketplace known for illegal transactions. Charlie knew about it, and ended up being arrested for it. He plead guilty to a reduced charge, and served a year in federal prison. "When you're in prison, it's not like TV where everyone's like, oh, I'm innocent," Charlie told me. "Everyone tells you they're guilty. I'm guilty. Because to say you're innocent minimizes all that hard work you're doing to get out." </p> <p>I talked with Charlie about money, prison, and ultimately leaving his Orthodox community live onstage at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Our conversation took place in conjunction with an exhibit there called <em>Generation Wealth</em>. It's a series of photographs by Lauren Greenfield about money, status, and the ways we show them<span>—</span>you can learn more about that exhibit and see some of the photographs <a href="">here</a>. </p> <hr> <p><em>Watch Anna and Charlie Shrem in conversation at the Annenberg Space for Photography. </em></p> <p><em><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140253028955248e98de137-84f8-4297-afef-3994dcf120dc"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-4470972033175817052" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div>  </em></p>
Nov 01, 2017
Why She Steals: Your Reactions
<p>Last month, <a href="">we spoke to a woman named Alice*</a> about her shoplifting habit, how she justifies it, and her reluctance to go on food stamps. And a <em>lot </em>of you responded to her story. Here's just a sample of some of the comments we got:</p> <blockquote> <p><em> I grew up poor, but stealing was never the answer for my family. And I don't think it's the answer here either.</em></p> <p><em>My moral core was grossed out.</em></p> <p><em><span data-ft='{"tn":"K"}'>This episode made me enraged. That's all.</span></em></p> </blockquote> <p>It seemed like there was more to talk about here. So this week, we dug into your reactions with a couple of listeners who wrote to us after we released the episode. Alyssa, a listener from Atlanta, told us that she felt "betrayed" by the show. "<span>This interview was so empty for me," she initially wrote us. "Alice was so openly selfish, I couldn't really believe you were giving her a voice bigger than she apparently already has on Tumblr. A platform to speak about her ridiculous lifestyle like it was something fascinating, something to be proud of. I couldn't tell why you had chosen her." Another listener in Brooklyn, Trevor, commented on a point Alice made about how her whiteness would help protect her from legal repercussions if s</span><span>he got caught. </span>"Be<span>cause of people like her," he wrote, "I am the one followed around the store." </span></p> <p>I called Alyssa and Trevor to talk to them more about their reactions<span>—a</span>nd then, I called Alice. </p> <p><em>*Name changed</em></p>
Oct 18, 2017
Life in Our 20s: Advice from Niecy Nash, Alia Shawkat & Terri Coleman
<p>Your 20s can be hard<span>—</span>but getting advice from people who've been there can make things a little easier. And that's exactly what we're doing this week, in a live show we recently recorded at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. </p> <p>With the help of guests Alia Shawkat (<em>Search Party, Arrested Development, <em>Transparent</em>), </em>Niecy Nash<em> (<em>Claws, </em><em>Reno 911</em>, <em>Getting On)</em></em>, and Terri Coleman <a href="">(from our series</a><em><a href=""> "In New Orleans"</a></em><a href="">)</a>, we take on life advice questions from listeners in their 20s, and talk about the most challenging and exciting parts of young adulthood.</p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"></div> <div class="image-credit">(Mindy Tucker)</div> </div> </div> <p>One listener named Sumaya asks how to handle tough conversations about money with friends who, all of a sudden, are making more than she is. Mia wants to know about how to make friends in a new city, without the help of a social life centered around school. And a listener who wants to be known as "Rebecca" asks about how to figure out exactly what she and her partner like in the bedroom.  </p> <p>We also talk with Alia Shawkat and Niecy Nash about their 20s. Niecy was married with three kids by the time her 20s were over. Alia's still in her 20s, and talks about what it was like to get famous young on <em>Arrested Development</em>, and how her view of relationships and money has shifted during this decade of her life. Plus, Terri Coleman tells a story, accompanied by drummer Bianca Richardson, about an important lesson she learned in her 20s from an unlikely mentor<span>—</span>Jose Cuervo.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;"></iframe></p>
Oct 11, 2017
Ellen Burstyn's Lessons on Survival
<p>I talked with Ellen Burstyn three years ago, sitting on wicker furniture in her New York apartment. She told me about getting on a Greyhound bus to Dallas at 18 with 50 cents in her pocket, and about surviving an illegal abortion. And she described adopting her son, leaving an abusive marriage, and starring as a newly single mom in <em>Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore</em>. The role was based in part on her own life, and it won her an Oscar. "I know I’m a successful actress," she told me. "But I don’t feel I’m necessarily a successful person."</p> <p>Ellen also told us about her "should-less days"<span>—</span>days she sets aside "where there’s nothing I should do." As she explained to me, "I have wiring in my brain that calls me lazy, if I’m not doing something. I haven’t been able to get rid of it. But what I can do is I can put in another wiring, I can put in should-less days, so when that voice goes off and says you’re being lazy, I turn to the other wiring in my brain that says, no, this is a should-less day, and I’m doing what I want."</p> <p>This month, we're celebrating Ellen Burstyn and should-less days with our new Death, Sex &amp; Money should-less day mug. Support our work by becoming a sustaining member at $8/month, and we'll send you one! Just go to <a href=""></a> or text "DSM" to 70101. </p> <p><em>Listen back to Ellen Burstyn's conversation with Gloria Steinem on Death, Sex &amp; Money last year <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Oct 04, 2017
Why I Steal
<p>Alice* lives in a small town, where the work dries up in the winter. She and her husband have jobs at a seasonal restaurant, where she says they each make about $500 a week. When it gets cold, they go on unemployment to support themselves and their young daughter. Alice supplements that income by shoplifting. "I do have rules that I follow," she explained. "I don't ever lift from small mom-and-pop kinds of stores. When you lift from somewhere like Walmart they already have it built into their insurance...I would say it feels more like maybe a paper cut, as opposed to stabbing someone."</p> <p>We first learned about Alice last year through Tumblr, where there's an active community of people who say they shoplift. They post pictures of their "hauls," as well as tips for other lifters. For Alice, finding that community was huge. "It felt like I had people that I could talk to about it," she told me. "Because it is such a huge part of my life, and to have people that I could talk about it with like it was normal, that felt great. It just sort of opened up a whole new world of possibilities." </p> <p>Alice told us she keeps her shoplifting a secret from her husband. And while she used to steal while her daughter was with her, stuffing groceries and makeup into her diaper bag, she says she stopped once her daughter was old enough to understand what was happening. "I don't want her doing something that's obviously dangerous," Alice told us. "I don't ever see her like being a tag team. I don't really want that for her."</p> <p>Thanks to Tasbeeh Herwees for her help with this story. You can find Tasbeeh's article for <em>GOOD Magazine</em> about the shoplifting community on Tumblr <a href="">here</a>. </p> <p><em>*Name changed</em></p>
Sep 27, 2017
Our Student Loan Questions Live: Part Two
<blockquote> <p><em>"Is it totally crazy to go to grad school before paying off my undergrad loans?"</em></p> <p><em>"Is it best to pay the smallest [loan] first and reduce your number of loans? Or is it best to reduce your highest interest loans first?"</em></p> <p><em>"Lately I've been thinking about refinancing my student loans, but I worry about moving from fed loans to a private company [...] does it make sense to do this?"</em></p> <p><em>"Do you think it's likely that in this lifetime, student loan victims unionize and agree to collectively default?"</em></p> </blockquote> <p>You've sent us a lot of questions about your student loan debt. And in this episode, we're trying to get some answers. In the second night of our live call-in shows about student loans, we're joined by Miranda Marquit, a finance expert and senior writer at the website Student Loan Hero. Together, we're taking your calls to talk about ways to tackle your debt proactively and efficiently. </p> <p>If you missed night one of this call-in special, you can go back and find our conversation with other experts and listeners <a href="">here</a>. And if you missed our original two-episode podcast on student loan debt from this past summer, or if you want to explore the hundreds of stories we received from listeners feeling burdened by debt, check out our student loan project <a href="">here</a>.</p> <hr> <p><em>Here are some of the websites mentioned during tonight's show: </em></p> <p><em><a href="">XY Planning Network</a> - Recommended by Miranda as a way to find fee-only financial planners who specialize in working with Gen X and Gen Y clients.</em></p> <p><em><a href="">Let's Make a Plan</a> - Recommended by Miranda as another resource for finding a financial planner, run by the Certified Financial Planner Board.</em></p> <p><em><a href="">National Student Loan Data System</a> - Recommended by financial aid counselor Danny as a way to find out exactly how much debt you've taken out, and how to contact your loan servicer(s). </em></p> <p><em><a href="">The American Time Use Survey</a> - A look at what Americans spend their time on—Miranda points to it as an example of how much time we spend watching TV and doing other activities during time that could be spent bringing in additional income to help pay down student loans.</em></p>
Sep 14, 2017
Our Student Loan Questions Live: Part One
<p>After we released our <a href="">two-part series</a> on student loan debt earlier this summer, we got a lot of emails from you. In addition to your stories, you also had questions about your loans: about what concrete steps you can take to pay them off smartly, and if you're not in school yet, about whether it's worth it to go into debt for college in the first place. One listener wrote in about his shared debt with his wife: "W<span>e are continually putting off having children because we realize we really can't afford it. We are concerned about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program still existing by the time we can have our loans forgiven. We found ourselves unable to be approved for a loan to buy a home because of our extreme debt. The situation is so overwhelming to us."</span></p> <p>So this week, we're gathering several student debt experts to take your calls live, and help you sort through some of the big questions that you have about loans. In this first of two live call-in shows, we're joined by <span>Rohit Chopra, a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Federation of America; Tressie McMillan Cottom, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of <em>Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy; </em>and Anya Kamenetz, lead education blogger at NPR and the author of <em>Generation Debt.</em> And </span>we talk about the changing face of student loans under the Trump administration, about the communities hardest hit by the student loan crisis, and about how to decide if going into debt is the right choice for parents and kids. </p> <p>After listening to this episode, listen to <a href="">part two of our student loan call-in series</a>. </p> <hr> <p><em>Looking for the website that Rohit Chopra mentioned about help with public service loan forgiveness? It's here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p> </p>
Sep 13, 2017
Tracy Clayton's 2017 So Far: Therapy, Forts and Auto Bill Pay
<p>Back in January, I interviewed Tracy Clayton, who writes for Buzzfeed and is the co-host of the podcast Another Round. We talked about the long thread of New Year's resolutions she’d tweeted out for everyone to see<span>—</span>everything from getting her taxes done by a professional to <a href="">meeting a chicken</a>. </p> <p>"You know at the top of the year you’ve got, like, hope and energy," Tracy told me when we recently caught up. "It’s like the slate’s being wiped clean, and now you can do anything. New year, new you." More than halfway through 2017, Tracy says she's in "a much different place today" than she was at the top of the year. </p> <p>So far this year, Tracy says she's made financial strides by signing up for automatic bill pay and having conversations with her dad about his finances after he's gone. She also "bought some real fucking grown up furniture" for her living room<span>—</span>one of her goals we talked about at the beginning of the year. "It should not have cost as much as it did," Tracy laughed. "But, this was also a really good exercise in investing in me." </p> <p>Tracy also tweeted about going back to therapy in June, after not going for several years. "It's hard and it's been kicking my ass," she said. "The things that I'm dealing with are catching up with a lot of the really, really, really big changes that have occurred in the last two years or so that I haven't really thought about or dealt with." She added, "At the top of the year, that wasn't something that I even realized. I do think it's accurate to say that I'm working on accepting things that I can't change, which I've never been good at."</p> <hr> <p><em>Tracy accomplished her goal of meeting a chicken! Check out her interview with Melissa Harris-Perry's chickens here: </em></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;"></iframe></p>
Sep 06, 2017
As Harvey Hits, Looking Back at New Orleans
<p>We changed our plans for Death, Sex &amp; Money this week as we watched the storm known as Harvey pummel the Gulf Coast. It's made us think about the conversations we had in New Orleans two years ago, for a series about life there around the tenth anniversary of Katrina.</p> <p>In those episodes, we profiled five people and heard in detail about how their lives were forever changed by a few days of rain, wind, and catastrophic floods. We also heard about their collective trauma of having the home they knew suddenly under water, and about the very long process of rebuilding. <a href="">You can find that entire series here.</a></p> <p>One of the people we interviewed, Dr. Kiersta Kurtz-Burke, is heading to Texas this week to volunteer with a medical team. When Katrina hit New Orleans, she didn’t evacuate. Instead she stayed inside New Orleans’ Charity Hospital, where she worked for six days, caring for 18 patients on the 5th floor. There was no power, and it seemed like no one was coming to rescue them. Before they were finally evacuated, Kiersta—who was part of the last group of people to leave—helped clean up the space for when her staff returned. "We didn't want it to look messy," she remembers. "We were naive." </p> <p>Charity Hospital never re-opened after they left, but Kiersta returned to New Orleans after being evacuated. After a long rebuilding process, she still lives there today, and is raising her family there. "We just got too weird for any place else other than New Orleans," she laughs. </p> <p><em>We compiled a list of organizations that need your help after Harvey. Find it here: <a href=";content_type_id=26&amp;object_id=792172&amp;_=e903d687">How to Help After Harvey</a></em></p>
Aug 30, 2017
How to Help After Harvey
<p>Want to help? Give money, not stuff, to aid disaster relief and long-term rebuilding in communities affected by Harvey. Here are some places to start:</p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">All Hands Volunteers</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County</a> </p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Feeding Texas</a></p> <p><a href="">Food Bank of Corpus Christi</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Global Giving Harvey Relief Fund</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Greater Houston Community Foundation: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href=";jsessionid=00000000.app303b?df_id=9314&amp;9314.donation=form1&amp;mfc_pref=T&amp;s_src=HB&amp;s_subsrc=harvey&amp;src=lb&amp;NONCE_TOKEN=2C081BE054278AB11A24B205282FD15C" href=";jsessionid=00000000.app303b?df_id=9314&amp;9314.donation=form1&amp;mfc_pref=T&amp;s_src=HB&amp;s_subsrc=harvey&amp;src=lb&amp;NONCE_TOKEN=2C081BE054278AB11A24B205282FD15C">Houston Food Bank</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Houston Humane Society</a></p> <p><a href="">Houston Public Library</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">Texas Diaper Bank</a></p> <p><a data-cke-saved-href="" href="">United Way of Greater Houston</a></p> <p><strong>If you live in a community affected by Harvey,</strong> the State Bar of Texas has a hotline (1-800-504-7030) to answer basic questions and to connect you with resources. If you or a loved one is in emotional distress, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.</p> <p>If you know of a local recovery effort that needs support, please add it in the comments. </p>
Aug 29, 2017
Katie Couric on Death and Dishonesty
<p>Katie Couric has lived in the public eye since 1991, when she began co-hosting the Today Show on NBC. While she's built a career on her unflappable on-screen presence, she says that same journalistic rationality served her poorly when crisis hit closer to home. In 1998, her husband, John Paul "Jay" Monahan, died of colon cancer at 42. Katie says her reluctance to accept the inevitable conclusion of his diagnosis is something she regrets. "I really tried to not fall apart in front of Jay, and looking back on it, there's probably a lot of dishonesty about the whole thing," she says. "I think that sort of cockeyed optimism prevented me from ever really saying goodbye."</p> <p>After Jay's death, Katie parented their daughters alone until 2014, when she married her second husband, John Paul Molner. While her two husbands share a name, Katie says there’s a lot that differentiates the two marriages. "I'm in a different phase of my life," she told me. "The horizon isn't quite as far as it was when I married Jay."</p> <p>Katie turned 60 years old this year, and says it was more emotionally difficult than she expected. "Half my life is over. It's been a little a little depressing for me," she said. But, she admitted, you’d never know it from looking at her Instagram feed. "You can give people the impression that you're a fairly one-dimensional happy person," she says, "when the truth of the matter is it's much much more complicated than that."</p>
Aug 23, 2017
When Grief Looks Like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
<p>In 2013, podcast producer Rachel Ward's husband, Steve, died unexpectedly. She was 32, and he was 35. Being widowed is painful under any circumstances, but Rachel says that she went through an unusual kind of grief and confusion after losing her husband at such a young age. "I felt like I re-experienced adolescence after Steve died," she says. "But I also feel old because I am an aging person. I'm 36 years old. And that's older than a lot of my peers who on paper have an equivalent life position. You know, like just moved to New York City and are single, except they're 26 and I'm 36."</p> <p>The first time I spoke to Rachel was in 2015, after she wrote a viral Medium post called "<a href="">I'm Sorry I Didn't Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago</a>." Humor got Rachel through the early days of her grief, and her post was an attempt to put the social awkwardness that comes with widowhood behind her. "I guess I’m kind of hoping this is also sort of a juncture in my life and like a transition point,” Rachel told me. So we held on to the recording of our interview, and checked back in with her this summer to see what happened next.</p> <p>A lot did happen in Rachel's life in the two years between when we spoke. Rachel changed jobs and moved cities. She says that four years into widowhood, she tries not to think about the grieving process in stages. "I have to remind myself all the time that grief is not linear," she says. But she also says she feels stuck in ways, <span>especially when it comes to dating. "It feels like I have to be like cooked to a certain level and I'm just, like, not," she told me. "But I've also lately been having some really nice realizations about how it's kind of great to be single and not have to like not have to the kind of draggy parts of relationships." </span></p>
Aug 16, 2017
The Cookie That Ended Jeff Garlin's Sobriety
<p>For over thirty years, Jeff Garlin has been a film and TV mainstay—writing, producing and starring in comedies like <em>Curb Your Enthusiasm</em> (coming back for its ninth season this fall) and <em>The Goldbergs</em>. He's also had a long career in standup comedy. He's so comfortable on stage that he says he often doesn't prepare at all for his sets. But that doesn't mean that Jeff takes his job lightly.</p> <p>"It's a real important thing, comedy, to make us human and help deal with pain," he says. "Life throws a lot of pain at people. My job is to ease people's pain."</p> <p>Comedy has helped Jeff deal with his own pain. He had a stroke at 37 and has struggled with his weight for years. He views food as an addiction. After seven years of sobriety<span>—which for Jeff means staying away from sugar and processed foods—</span>Jeff fell off the wagon when he indulged in a celebratory cookie. The occasion? One of his sons was guest starring on The Goldbergs. "Anything with a feeling brings about wanting to eat," Jeff told me. "I always say I eat Pop-Tarts raw because I don't have time to toast them. I need to shove down my feelings." </p> <p>I also talked to Jeff about dealing with attention deficit disorder as an adult, slowly losing a parent, having sex in his 50s, and maintaining a fulfilling marriage. Jeff says the key to it all is being present, and tries to stay focused on whatever is in front of him. "When I sit in quiet moments and just stare at the stars, nothing pops in my head of looking back on my life," he says. "I don't like overthinking."</p> <hr> <p><em>Want to suggest a podcast episode for our Welcome to Adulthood playlist? Go here: <a href=""></a>. </em></p>
Aug 02, 2017
Bonus! Anna Talks Interviewing with Jesse Thorn
<p>"One of the really important traits of an interviewer is to communicate to the person you’re asking questions of that you are sincerely curious," Death, Sex &amp; Money host Anna Sale recently told Jesse Thorn on his new show, <a href="">The Turnaround</a>. "Because your interview is only going to be as good as the person’s willingness to participate."</p> <p>This summer, Jesse (who also hosts the radio show/podcast <a href="">Bullseye</a>) is turning the tables on interviewers and interviewing <em>them</em> about their craft. He's talked with people like Jerry Springer, Errol Morris, Audie Cornish, Marc Maron, and Anna<span>—</span>who joined Jesse from her maternity leave last summer to talk about preparing for interviews, asking hard questions, and learning from interviewer heroes. </p>
Jul 26, 2017
My Husband Killed Someone. Now He Might Get Out.
<p>Ronnine Bartley dated her now-husband Lawrence when they were in middle school. "Even when we were like together at 13 and 14 years old when we had no business being together, we always talked about being married," Ronnine told me. <a href="">But when Lawrence was 17, he was arrested and convicted of murder.</a> They weren't dating at the time, but they stayed in touch and eventually got back together while he was in prison. And in 2006, they got married. </p> <p>But married life hasn't exactly been how Ronnine once imagined it would be. She and Lawrence have never spent more than 72 hours together as a couple. Their two boys were conceived during conjugal visits inside prison walls. And she's had to be the breadwinner and the decision-maker in their family. "Do I consult with [Lawrence]? Absolutely," she told me. "You know, that makes the relationship work. That makes him feel involved, but I'm the boss. Like in my head, I'm the boss!" </p> <p>Life for their family will look very different if Lawrence gets paroled. After 27 years in prison, he's going before the parole board for the first time next month. "I try not to talk about it too much," Ronnine says. "I'm not really prepared for if he doesn't get released." But, Ronnine says, even if Lawrence gets out, there are still plenty of challenges that they'll face as Lawrence adjusts to life on the outside and they adjust to life together as a couple. "I guess we're gonna have to go to counseling," she told me. "You know, that's a lot. It's deep." </p>
Jul 19, 2017
I Killed Someone. Now I Have Three Kids: Updated
<p>I first met Lawrence Bartley three years ago, inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility. He'd been behind bars for 24 years, after shooting his gun inside a crowded movie theater on Christmas night in 1990 and killing a 15-year-old bystander named Tremain Hall. Lawrence was 17 at the time. </p> <p>Lawrence was sentenced to 27 to 30 years to life in prison for his crime, with the possibility of parole. This August, Lawrence will face the parole board for the first time. So we're sharing his story again and a few updates, including a conversation with Tremain Hall's older brother, Chad Hall. </p> <p>Next week, look out for my conversation with Lawrence's wife, Ronnine. She and Lawrence got married more than a decade ago, and have two sons together. We hear from her about how she's thinking about the possibility of Lawrence coming home<span>—</span>and what she wants for their future together. </p> <hr> <p><em>Several years ago, Lawrence participated in a documentary project called Voices from Within. In it, inmates at Sing Sing talk about their crimes and their regrets. Watch for Lawrence around the 7:30 mark.</em></p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm1396696791864323b4c9883-62df-4f77-96a5-252411e8bff8"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-4420116418531360026" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div>  </p>
Jul 12, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 2
<p>Nathan realized he couldn't pay his rent and his monthly student loan payments. Beth* collapsed in tears while doing yoga because she couldn't stop worrying about money. Jordan set a calendar reminder to force herself to finally make her first payment. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Hundreds of you have shared your stories about student debt with us,</a> especially the mix of frustration and shame you feel about it. But we also heard stories of turning points<span>—</span>when something changed that redefined your relationship with your student loans. </p> <p>For Beth, that meant radically changing her spending and allotting close to half of her taxable income toward student loan payments. Nathan converted a van into a mobile apartment to save on rent while he chips away at his $200,000 debt. And Jordan, <a href="" target="_blank">after first telling me how she's dodged her student loans for two years,</a> finally set up regular monthly payments. </p> <p>"It started becoming something that was consequential but inconsequential at the same time. Something that can be controlled and doesn't control me," a listener named Krista said about finally getting help managing her student debt. "That was a huge revelation."</p> <p><em>Go to <a href="" target="_blank" class="external-link"></a> for more stories and to see how your debt compares to national statistics and to other Death, Sex &amp; Money listeners.</em></p>
Jun 29, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets, Part 1
<p><em>I have blatantly lied to my friends about student loans.</em></p> <p><em>I feel fooled and bamboozled about the American dream.</em></p> <p><em>It’s a stupid system. No one talked about this.</em></p> <p>When we asked you to tell us your stories about how student loans are affecting other parts of your life, we were overwhelmed by your responses. <a href="">You've shared more than a thousand stories in all, and they keep coming.</a> We heard about years of incremental payments and the thrill of getting to a zero balance, but also about delayed weddings, tensions with your parents over your shared debt, and fading hopes of ever buying a home or saving for retirement. </p> <p>It makes sense that you have a lot to say about student debt. <a href="" target="_blank">More Americans are taking out more in student loans and taking a longer time to pay it off.</a> And it's fundamentally reshaping how you think about the value of education and the milestones of adulthood.</p> <p>"You sort of feel lost and like you totally screwed up somehow because you just couldn't figure it out," a listener named Dena said about struggling to make loan payments ten years after college. "And the rest of the world is making money and paying their bills and there's this subculture of individuals who are book smart and world stupid." </p> <p>"I don't know how else to put it except that I almost made it," a listener named Sharif said. He put himself through school with loans to became a chemical engineer, but feels embarrassed by his six-figure debt and never talks about it. "<span>I felt like a total, complete idiot that I put myself in this position." </span></p> <p>For some of you, that embarrassment has become denial. "I just didn’t pay," Jordan Gibbs told me about receiving her first student loan statement. "Like, I just felt like, how can you expect me to start paying you $700 a month? Which is just a crazy number. I can’t even afford to pay rent." </p> <p>In part one of this series, hear how our decisions about how to pay for education are having unexpected effects, long after graduation. </p> <p><em>Go to <a href=""></a> for more stories and to see how your debt compares to national statistics and to other Death, Sex &amp; Money listeners. And look out for <a href="">part two of this series</a> for stories about how some of you stopped feeling stuck and started taking control of your student loans. </em></p>
Jun 28, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets: Resources
<p>Struggling with your student loan debt? It can be hard to find answers. We've compiled some free resources that can help you manage your debt, whether you're a recent grad, a parent of a student, or someone who's had loans for awhile.</p> <p>Got other suggestions? Put them in the comments below!</p> <hr> <p><strong>Consumer Financial Protection Bureau</strong></p> <p>The CFPB’s <a href="">Repay Student Debt</a> resource guides borrowers through a series of questions to help you determine the best option to pay down your debt. CFPB also has <a href="">answers</a> to frequently asked questions about student loans. </p> <p><strong>Forgive My Student Debt</strong></p> <p>Recommended by student loan expert Rohit Chopra, <a href="">this site</a> helps you figure out if you are eligible for public service loan forgiveness.</p> <p><strong>NerdWallet’s Student Loan Calculator</strong></p> <p>A <a href="">personalized tool</a> that helps you determine what you owe and a timeline for paying it off. </p> <p><strong>Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program</strong></p> <p>If you work for the government (local, state or federal) or for a 501(c)(3) non-profit and have Direct Loans, you’re likely eligible for the federal <a href="">Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program</a>, which forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after a certain number of payments. </p> <p><strong>TISLA </strong></p> <p>The Institute for Student Loan Advisors, or TISLA, is a <span>501(c)(3)</span> non-profit that offers <a href="">free, unbiased, personalized</a> advice about student loan debt. </p> <p><strong>SALT</strong></p> <p>A resource from <a href="">American Student Assistance</a>, <a href="">SALT</a> has personalized tools, videos and other services to help with payment plans, postponements, dealing with defaults and more. <strong>*Requires sign up*</strong></p> <p><strong>Student Loan Borrowers Assistance</strong></p> <p>A website from the <a href="">National Consumer Law Center</a> that guides you through a series of questions to determine the type of loan you have and suggests <a href="">possible solutions</a> to potential difficulties (deferment, new repayment plans). It also has guides to dealing with <a href="">repayment</a>, <a href="">bankruptcy</a>, <a href="">collections</a> and <a href="">possible cancellation</a>, along with an <a href="">advocacy guide</a>.</p> <p><strong></strong></p> <p>After you sign up, <a href="">this website</a> links your bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, loan accounts and more so you can keep track of your finances in one place. It also has apps to help with budgeting and financial goals. <strong>*Requires sign up*</strong></p> <p><strong>Ready For Zero Blog</strong></p> <p>For recent grads, this <a href="">blog post</a> from Ready For Zero has tips for your first summer with student loans, and there’s <a href="">this one</a> for when your grace period ends a few months from now.</p>
Jun 21, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets: Liz's Story
<p>While growing up in Mississippi, Liz often dreamed of moving somewhere new as an adult. Now in her 20s, Liz's $70,000 in student loan debt is keeping her in her home state. She says she regrets going to a private college rather than taking advantage of scholarships at state schools. She told us, "Whenever I'm spending any money, whether that's just going out to eat or having a glass of wine or shopping, I'm constantly in the back of my head thinking how can I save to pay off these student loans?" </p> <hr> <p><em>More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, but we don’t often always feel comfortable talking about it. Death, Sex &amp; Money wants to show you you’re not alone. Explore our ongoing project <a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets</a> to find out how other people are dealing with their debt, tell your story, and find out where you fit in the student loan landscape. </em></p>
Jun 21, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets: Patrick's Story
<p>Patrick is 56 and lives in New York City. When he graduated from physical therapy school in 1999 with $60,000 in student loan debt, he says he thought he "was going to be able to pay all this off in a snap." But he quickly realized that the interest rates on his loans were high<span>—</span>and says a new relationship fizzled because of his anxiety about money. </p> <hr> <p><em>More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, but we don’t often always feel comfortable talking about it. Death, Sex &amp; Money wants to show you you’re not alone. Explore our ongoing project <a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets</a> to find out how other people are dealing with their debt, tell your story, and find out where you fit in the student loan landscape. </em></p>
Jun 21, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets: Dana's Story
<p>Dana’s 29 and recently finished paying off her $40,000 in student loan debt. As she neared the end of her repayment, she moved in with her boyfriend and they started saving up for a wedding and a house. "The student loan is its own phase now," she told us. "Once you pay that off, then you go into the engagement and wedding phase." </p> <hr> <p><em>More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, but we don’t often always feel comfortable talking about it. Death, Sex &amp; Money wants to show you you’re not alone. Explore our ongoing project <a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets</a> to find out how other people are dealing with their debt, tell your story, and find out where you fit in the student loan landscape. </em></p>
Jun 21, 2017
Our Student Loan Secrets: Audrey's Story
<p>Audrey's in her 20s and recently received a graduate degree. She has more than $40,000 in debt, and says she constantly worries about her finances and the opportunities she's missing out on because of her student loans. "I just want this obligation to be done with and over as soon as possible," she told us. "Maybe even at the expense of enjoying my mid to late 20s."</p> <hr> <p><em>More than 44 million Americans have student loan debt, but we don’t often always feel comfortable talking about it. Death, Sex &amp; Money wants to show you you’re not alone. Explore our ongoing project <a href="">Our Student Loan Secrets</a> to find out how other people are dealing with their debt, tell your story, and find out where you fit in the student loan landscape. </em></p>
Jun 21, 2017