We love a podcast. They’re perfect for dipping into when we’re out and about in the car, completing a few chores around the house or simply relaxing in the evening before bed. And with an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the US in 2021, it seems there are likely to be plenty of you who love them, too.
But how can you know, when you’re tuning into a sex or relationship podcast, whether the advice you’re listening to is actually any good? The challenge, when you have a format that is so accessible for creators, is that some of the content created will be mediocre at best. It depends very much on the quality and experience of the presenter.
If you're trying to find help with a particular problem or issue, it may be difficult to separate your own personal interest or distress versus what’s actually going on in the relationship being discussed. If the advice you're listening to is targeting individual problems and solutions without considering decisions and the impact they can have in a wider scenario, it could actually be counterproductive.
That said, there are some fab podcasts out there that we tune into on a regular basis. We thought it was about time we shared some of them with you.
Presented by: Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond
What to expect:
If you’ve never heard of Cheryl Strayed, she is an award-winning American author and feminist, who was portrayed by none other than Reese Witherspoon in the movie-adaptation of her memoir Wild.
In 2014, she joined forces with short-story writer and essayist Steve Almond to take 'Dear Sugars' to podcast from its roots as an internet advice column
She has amassed an almost cult-like devotion from her many, many followers across the globe. And now has a vast archive of over 300 episodes. It’s honestly difficult to choose our favorites but we love those that are not afraid to touch on difficult subjects. From sexless relationships, to the dark side of porn and the difficulties that occur when we find we start to want different things. Not to mention the taboo subject of what happens when our partner’s body changes. Is it ever OK to express negative feelings around that?
These are very honest conversations about human behavior.
Presented by: Dr Emily Morse
What to expect:
Dr Emily Morse is a well-known American sex therapist and author.
Updated every other week, Dr Emily likes to deep dive into specific subject areas, often with the help of expert guests. She answers the sex questions you've always wanted to ask.
From ‘penis problems’ to masturbation tips, sexting to sex positions, if you have a sex topic you want to learn more about, there is a good chance Emily has covered it in one of her more than 1,000 episodes to date.
It might take you a while to binge listen to them all – so you may need to scan through the list and find a few that interest you to get started with.
Presented by: Anna Martin
What to expect:
Who doesn’t love a podcast from The New York Times? If you’re a fan of podcasts, there’s a good chance you’re an avid listener to at least one. But have you come across 'Modern Love'?
Billed as “a conversation about love in all its glorious permutations, dumb pitfalls and life-changing moments,” each weekly episode of 'Modern Love' gives listeners a glimpse into the complicated love lives of real people, just as the newspaper column, TV show and three books have done before.
With short and sweet episodes, rarely breaking 20 minutes, these are essays and musings about love, life and relationships as you’ve never known them. Gentle and calm, these bite-sized pods will give you an irresistible glance behind the curtains of relationships of all shapes and sizes.
They might even help you gain a better understanding of your own.
Presented by: Laurie Watson, PhD, LMFT and George Faller, LMFT
What to expect:
With a review score of 5/5 from over 1.6k reviews, 'Foreplay Radio' promises to “help committed couples keep it hot!”
Experienced counsellors - sex therapist and a couples therapist, Laurie Watson, PhD, LMFT and George Faller - meet weekly to talk sexuality, marriage, eroticism and committed partnership. And even better, they offer concrete tools to help you in your relationship. Their goal is to help you find better ways to talk about and develop a better relationship with sex. A mission we vehemently support.
If you’re looking for a relationships podcast that focuses very much on the sexual aspects of relationships, this comes highly recommended. There's a touch of humor, a good chemistry between the presenters and there are plenty of references to their experience as therapists in the ‘real world’.
Presenter: Esther Perel
What to expect:
Focusing on real couples with real stories, we love the premise of this podcast. Each episode is a one-time counselling session with an individual or couple. Esther Perel is a hugely experienced Belgian psychotherapist and relationship therapist with a practice in New York City. And she is said to have "a clear eye on modern relationships", pointing out that for centuries we were compelled to marry for duty rather than love. This has changed but it leads us to expect more from our long-term relationships than we used to.
Each episode, Esther takes a listener’s question, calls them back to explore it in more detail, offers practical advice and guidance, and together they make a plan. In the style of a modern day reality show we also hear her thoughts about the situation and the people caught up in it. Whether it’s the couple wrestling with guilt after their infidelity or the couple trying to make space for their queerness in an outwardly hetero relationship, Esther "creates a space for us to hear our own lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others" by asking where shall we begin and where do we go from here?
If you love listening to audio and find it easier to take in information this way, you might be interested to know that our Blueheart app includes audio sessions explaining the concepts of relationships and sex. And many of our exercises are delivered in an audio format too. Our clients find this works perfectly for them as it allows them to lay back, listen and relax as we guide them through.
You can find out more about the app and what you can expect from it on our website blueheart.io.