Death, Sex & Money

Death, Sex & Money

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

Episodes

February 24, 2021 29 min

Tony* wasn't sure what to say when the woman he'd slept with told him she was pregnant. First, he says, there was a long pause. They weren't a couple, and he didn't want to say the wrong thing. "I told her that it was her choice and if she chose to keep it, then I would be a good dad," he remembers. "I was freaking out." 

At the time, Tony was in his mid-20s, working as a bartender and photographer i...

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February 17, 2021 18 min

We just got through Valentine’s Day, our annual celebration of romance. Usually of the long-term sort...or if not long, at least, the sort where you’ve committed to be someone’s sweetheart. 

This week, we want to celebrate another important kind of romance: the very short term. The one night stand. Those moments in your life when someone appeared in a flash, you connected, and then, you went your separate ways. 

The possibility of ...

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February 10, 2021 59 min

Concerns about ageism. Dreams of moving in with roommates, Golden Girls-style. Desires to slow down, while still working 12-hour days. Worries about missing out on precious time with grandkids during the pandemic. 

When we opened up the phones to talk with listeners over 60 about life today, we heard from people across the country about big changes and small ones; loneliness and the joys that solitude and independence can bring; an...

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When Dr. Norma Elia Cantú was growing up in Laredo, Texas, on the U.S./Mexico border, she was the oldest of what would eventually be eleven siblings—so she stepped into the role of coparent early. "When one of my younger siblings got in trouble at school, they called me," she says. "They [didn't] call the parents because my father was working, and my mother, who didn't speak English, was not able to go."

Nor...

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Shortly after college, musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland walked away from a classical singing career to create experimental music. "The great thing about youth is that it isn't afraid of anything," Glenn told me, "and the difficulty about youth is that it has no idea what it should be afraid of."

2020 was supposed to be musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s breakthrough year, after decades of quietly putting out albu...

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January 20, 2021 34 min

As a young woman, actor and activist Marlo Thomas thought marriage was not a good idea. After watching her mother abandon her own successful singing career to support her father's career in acting, "I thought [marriage] really was a place for one and a half persons," she told me. One person, a man or woman, could live their lives fully, "and the other person would be the half person that would support the other pers...

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A few months ago, we asked our listeners over 60 to tell us about their experiences of getting older, especially during the past year. And it turns out, you had a lot to say about it. 

The United States is a country that’s rapidly aging. According to Census Bureau estimates, the number of people over 65 in the U.S. will nearly double over the next 40 years. Americans are also working later, living alone more frequently, and facing...

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December 28, 2020 30 min

In 2020, we put out more than 60 episodes of Death, Sex & Money—far more than we've ever put out in a year before. We decided early on in the pandemic that we wanted to be there for our listeners during this especially difficult and isolating time. 

This year, we heard from essential workers, from Black listeners processing police violence and injustice, and from many people losing loved ones and missing important milestone...

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December 16, 2020 26 min

When we asked you about what 2020 has taken from you, you told us about jobs, travel opportunities, relationships, milestones. Physical objects and feelings. Irreplaceable moments and loved ones. 

Today, we're taking some time to sit with those losses, mark them, and reflect on all that has been taken from us this year. 

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December 8, 2020 35 min

Marcy has had Joe* on her mind since she went to the prom with him during her senior year of high school. “He kept coming up in my, in my brain, like, well, I wonder whatever happened to him,” Marcy told me. “It seems like he's always just kind of been with me.” 

Earlier this year, Marcy—who’s now 69 and divorced—decided to track down Joe. And months after sending him an email, Joe responded. Since August, they’ve been talking ...

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December 2, 2020 25 min

Living alone has its perks. You can eat what you want, wear what you want, and listen to show tunes as loud as you want. You can let your dishes pile up for days—or you can be a total neat freak. There’s no one to stop you. But there’s also no one to help foot the bill.

Back in 2014, I asked you to send in your stories about living solo. More than a quarter of American households are home to just one person. And from what you told ...

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This past March, choreographer Miguel Gutierrez posted a call on his Instagram. It asked performing arts institutions to honor their commitments to artists like him, who were no longer able to perform publicly because of the pandemic. "The first thing I noticed was all the cancellation emails and their complete, uh, lack of acknowledgement of a financial component," Miguel told me. "Like, you have the money in your budg...

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Tom Baker is getting his PhD in criminology, and as part of his research he's spent hours watching and studying police shootings. "The goal is to identify...things that police are doing that could be changed in some fundamental way, or maybe just tweaked in a slight way, so that you reduce the number of officer-involved shootings and police related deaths," he told me.

This research is personal for Tom. In 2009, while h...

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November 11, 2020 38 min

Last year, we met Sissy and Vickie Goodwin, a Wyoming couple who had been married for 50 years. Around the time they started their lives together, Vickie learned of a secret Sissy had been harboring since childhood: a preference for feminine clothing and cross-dressing in private. Vickie was accepting of it, until Sissy started wearing skirts, dresses and frills in public—something she says took her years to understand. "Sissy ...

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This past summer, as protests were erupting across the U.S. in response to George Floyd's death, racism and police brutality, producer Afi Yellow-Duke and I started talking about the conversations she was having with her family. Her parents both immigrated to the U.S. from other countries—Nigeria and Haiti—and Afi said that the discussions her family was having, about belonging and race and identity, felt complicated. And reall...

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Growing up near Indianapolis in the '80s and '90s, Alice Wong wanted to leave. "I knew life was going to be so much better once I got into college," she said. Alice grew up in an immigrant household, and while she had a local Chinese-American community, she rarely saw people who looked like her in the mostly-white community of people with disabilities she was also a part of. In some ways, her new essay collection, D...

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October 15, 2020 46 min

Interviewing people is hard. Interviewing a parent...is harder. But that's exactly what writer Walter Thompson-Hernández does in the final episode of his new podcast California Love from LAist Studios, in which he talks to his mom, Ellie Hernández, about her decision to immigrate to the U.S. from Mexico as a young woman. It's a beautiful episode of a show that's part audio memoir, part love letter to Los Angeles.

Subsc...

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October 14, 2020 54 min

When producer Bianca Giaever found herself feeling especially lonely, she decided to look for a stranger who was feeling lonely, too. In the basement of a Brooklyn church, she met Sophia, a former professor-turned-crossing guard. As they developed a relationship, Bianca recorded conversations with Sophia at her home and in her crosswalk, about everything from faith to divorce to gratitude for what we've been given.

She chronicl...

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October 13, 2020 36 min

Every week in the Death, Sex & Money newsletter, we share some of our recent favorite listens with you in our "Audio We Love" section. There are so many great podcasts to listen to...but so little time to discover them. So this week, we're taking our recommendations a step further, and sharing episodes of some of our favorite new shows with you, right here in the feed.

First up is Goodbye To All This, a brand new sh...

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October 7, 2020 25 min

The United States is a country that’s rapidly aging. According to Census Bureau estimates, the number of people over 65 in the U.S. will nearly double over the next 40 years. They’re also working later, living alone more frequently, and facing financial hardship. And of course, there’s now the pandemic. 80% of COVID-related deaths in the United States have been among people over 65. I see these statistics a lot, but I don’t hear mu...

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