Death, Sex & Money 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 Death, Sex & Money episodes. Here are some of the episodes that they recommended as places to start.
Anna with Ann and Al Simpson at their home in Cody, Wyoming.
This Senator Saved My Love Life - 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.
Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons in Survival - 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 Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Exorcist, and Requiem For a Dream 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."
I Was Your Father, Until I Wasn't - 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—and found out the child he'd been raising as his was not biologically related to him.
Opportunity Costs series - 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.Big Freedia holding a photograph from her senior year in high school. (Rush Jagoe)
In New Orleans series - 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.
Autism Isn't What I Signed Up For - 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.
Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce - 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.
Why I Steal - 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.
Happy listening! And since you're new to our show, know that you can email your story ideas or episode responses any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.