We are told constantly that audio is an “intimate” medium, which begs an important question: Is there anything more intimate than discussing how you like to get nailed on a weekly podcast? Thanks to the invention of RSS, we can all enjoy the carnal delights of sex podcasts anytime, anywhere. Who needs the daily news when you can listen to two women talk about pegging for an hour? If your boss asks you why you look so animated while sitting at your desk, just tell them you’re listening to Diary of a CEO. And while no one has ever actually been turned on by that show, the same can’t be said for the podcasts on this list.
Being a successful podcaster in this genre requires a delicate balance of humor, frankness, and empathy. After all, it would be a shame to condemn anything healthy and consensual just because it doesn’t tickle you. Like human bodies, sex podcasts come in all shapes and sizes. Ranging from the sensual to the hysterical, these shows explore every angle of the act, leaving you intrigued, comforted, entertained — and hey, probably a bit aroused, too.
If you’ve ever had an awkward sex question, Dr. Emily Morse has an answer. She’s determined to take the shame out of the act and help people embrace the messiness that makes love-making fun, rather than merely functional. She considers sex to be a skill that requires cultivation and provides listeners with advice that’s a touch more nuanced than “buy her some flowers.” And maybe it’s something about her endless enthusiasm, but we’re on board with everything Emily says.
Over the years, Sex with Emily has grown to include dozens of entertaining segments. The recent addition of “Am I The Asshole?” episodes has spiced up the rotation. But unlike its Reddit namesake, Emily answers these listener dilemmas with more empathy. Like her peer, Esther Perel, Emily has developed her view of sex and relationships through decades of research. It shows.
A classic of the sex podcast genre, Savage Lovecast is still entertaining us after almost two decades. It’s based on host Dan Savage’s sex advice column, “Savage Love,” which first appeared in Seattle’s The Stranger way back in the early nineties. Launching in 2006, the podcast has turned the agony aunt column on its head, providing a pragmatic approach to sex and sexuality while acknowledging our wider social landscape. Dan is an author and LGBT community activist, so politics is never far from his mind. He draws a well-considered moral line that allows for subtlety around discussion of sexual desire. Along with vast experience and a generous sense of humor, Dan’s Savage Lovecast never fails to make listeners feel better about their sex lives.
Brown Girls Do It Too is another gem from BBC Sounds and one of our favorite British podcasts. The show is a weekly chat between two friends, Poppy and Rubina, about their experiences as young Asian women. But as the name suggests, there’s a twist. These girls are talking sex — and they’re not embarrassed in the least.
Whether chatting about kissing or kismet, Poppy and Rubina are unapologetic in their efforts to normalize conversations about dating, sex and “wanking” in South Asian culture. Navigating the dating scene can be both fulfilling and excruciating. Looking for a third? Should you try before you buy? It’s a big world out there without a guidebook. Luckily, Poppy and Rubina are looking out for you. From romantic obsession to exploring queerness, grab a cuppa and settle down for a natter with two friends who aren’t afraid to get personal.
We’ve all been through personal upheaval, so you can probably relate to Ashley Gavlin, the host of We’re Having Gay Sex. After ten years of serial monogamy, the comedian swapped her old life for the chance to explore her sexuality. After recruiting co-hosts Katy Sisk and Gara Lonning in an effort not to be canceled, they launched the podcast as a space to explore experiments in queer living. Featuring interviews with people from across the sex and gender spectrum, We’re Having Gay Sex celebrates new adventures in the face of growing intolerance. Does Galvin figure out the secret to lesbian sex? Dear reader, she does.
If you’re the sort of person who approaches sex with a curious eye, this podcast might tickle you. Undoubtedly NSFW, Girls on Porn openly embraces discussions of kink and fetish. The way they talk about fisting might make you blush, but there’s something strangely accessible about how Laura and Rachel approach the more pleasurable things in life. They dive into a different kink in every episode, exploring its history and popularity in good faith. Of course, not everyone is into pornography. There are plenty of problems with the industry. As one angry listener put it, there’s “nothing more hypocritical than a woke porn critic.” But what this anon fails to appreciate is that when it comes to consensual sex, nothing actually needs to make sense. Cast your moral indignation elsewhere; Girls on Porn doesn’t care.
We’ve always considered Bodies to be more than a medical mystery podcast. In fact, it’s a show that defies convention. It tells stories of pain, pleasure, and identity by combining investigative journalism with heartfelt interviewing, earning praise in the process. These stories often involve sex, but there’s no titillation here. Host and producer Allison Behringer sensitively coaxes each experience from her subjects, weaving the personal with the political to find a sense of resolution, even when the medical problems persist.
In Bodies, vulnerability is strength. The show’s first episode, “Sex Hurts,” was Behringer’s space to explore her own chronic pain. It was a brave beginning that set the tone for all subsequent episodes, proving that hope endures in the face of wayward body parts.
The way we understand sex and sexuality is as diverse as we are. Part of why sex podcasts are so irresistible is the variety of ideas and openness to new experiences. Best of all? They’ll make you feel less isolated. A great example is Homo Sapiens, a British podcast that explores the world through a queer perspective. Mingling celebrity interviews with quick dives into trending topics, the weekly show has amassed an enthusiastic fanbase and plenty of good press. Never short on humor and insight, the show has featured brilliant guests, including Steven Fry and Joe Lycett, and delivers a Eurovision episode every year. If you know, you know. But Homo Sapiens is on this list because it does something very special. It demonstrates that gay people come from — and belong — in every part of society.
Alice Florence Orr is a staff writer and assistant editor for Podcast Review. She is based in Edinburgh. You can connect with her on Twitter or read her work on aliceflorenceorr.com