I live to observe love. Rom Coms à la When Harry Met Sally are my drug of choice. I watch YouTube wedding videos. I don’t even mind PDA. When I see crazy kids heavy petting in the corner of a bar, I think it’s more sweet than gross. So, it’s no surprise that I subscribe to several sex and relationship podcasts.
You don’t need a significant other to find them interesting. Many of these podcasts offer a fascinating, voyeuristic window into the human condition. Others offer tips that are applicable to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Some make you cry, some are kind of a turn on, and my very favorites are just out-and-out funny.
If you’ve burned out on your usual true-crime podcasts, trust me: Give the “couples therapy” genre a listen. Here are the absolute best sex and relationship podcasts of 2020 to cue up first.
Each week, a different celebrity reads an essay from The New York Times‘ eponymous column. You might find yourself laughing one minute and tearing up the next. The podcast explores everything about love, from the first butterfly to the bone-aching loneliness of love lost. (My suggestion: Start with Vulture‘s roundup of the Modern Love team’s favorite episodes.)
Death, Sex, & Money
Host Anna Sale dives into topics that would make most people squirm at a dinner party. With precise reporting, each episode dissects a taboo such as why people cheat, sex ed fails, and sugar babies.
Stand-up comedians Carolyn Bergier and Melody Kamali dig into conversations about intimacy and finding yourself, focusing mainly on the queer community. They bring levity to each discussion, and interview a wide range of guests including Erika Owens of 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days and political commentator Jess McIntosh.
This is Love
This addictive show offers and incisive look into “sacrifice, obsession, and the ways in which we bet everything on each other.”
Dying for Sex
This podcast tells the story of a woman who goes by only the name Molly, who was diagnosed with stage IV terminal breast cancer. She leaves her troubled marriage, and decides to embark “on a series of sexual adventures to help her feel alive.” Interviewed by her best friend, Nikki Boyer, Molly shares tales of making connections, tackling a tickle fetish, trusting in friendship, and feeling like herself while dying.
Sex with Emily
Host Emily Morse, PhD, brings her expertise to discussions on everything from interracial relationships to coming out to virtual dating.
Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel
The absolute classic. This podcast offers everything you could possibly want from the genre. During each episode, you listen in on an actual couples’ therapy session with a real duo, struggling through the rawest of life’s obstacles, including separation, loss, and trouble in the bedroom. Her insightful wisdom can be applied throughout your own life, too.
Most of us know Cheryl Strayed from her book Wild. Long before she became famous for losing a boot, she ran The Rumpus’s anonymous advice column, “Dear Sugar,” taking over from her wise predecessor Steve Almond. Now Strayed and Almond offer empathic, compassionate advice to the “lost, lonely, and heart sick.” They dish out guidance on handling feelings of jealousy, and even getting through emotional abuse.
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