The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. The Sugars are here, speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the midst of the #MeToo Movement, women and men all over the country are re-examining sexual encounters from their past. Over the course of a three-part series on consent, the Sugars answer letters from some of these women and explore the complexity and nuance of sexual consent. This episode was originally published on March 10th, 2018.
Buzz Bissinger owns more than 100 pairs of leather pants and over 200 pairs of leather gloves, having spent more than $600,000 on leather goods in the span of three years. Mr. Bissinger has a spending addiction, and he joins the Sugars to offer guidance to a letter-writer whose therapist and family don’t take her spending seriously.
This episode was originally published on April 14th, 2018.
When a family experiences loss, familial roles are often redefined. In this episode, the Sugars answer letters from people who are unexpectedly charged with caring for new family members. This episode was originally released on February 10th, 2018.
In part two of our Dark Fantasies series, Dr. Ian Kerner returns to help the Sugars answer questions about where our central ideas about sex and eroticism come from, and delve deeper into the world of sexual fantasy. This episode was originally published on January 20th, 2018.
Orgies. Sex in public. Incest. These are the things that some of us think about in the dark. Taboo fantasies can be exciting, but they can also be the source of our deepest shame. In the first chapter of this two-part series on sexual fantasies, the Sugars read letters from people who want to turn off the thoughts that turn them on. This episode was originally released on January 13th, 2018.
The Sugars conclude a two-part series on early childhood death. In Part 2, they read letters from parents who worry that their grief may overshadow their surviving children. They are joined by the writer Emily Rapp Black, who decided to have another child after learning that her son had a fatal congenital disorder. This episode was originally published on November 11th, 2017.
In the Empty Chair series, the Sugars discuss early childhood death, an absence that can be ever-present. In Part 1, they read letters from siblings who live in the the shadow of their parents’ grief. This episode was originally released on November 4th, 2017.
“I remember them finding the drugs and holding them up in the sky. And I was like, 'Oh man, I’m going to prison.'” This week’s guest, the writer Mitchell S. Jackson, started selling drugs when he was 14 years old, then went to prison for drug possession years later. When his mother tried to buy drugs from him, he knew he couldn’t run away from his bad decisions. This episode was originally released on October 21st, 2017.
The Sugars are joined by the therapist Esther Perel to discuss a letter from a husband who is in a sexless marriage and is looking for a way to help his wife heal from trauma. This episode was originally released on September 16th, 2017.
A sexless relationship is often a symptom of deeper dysfunction. The Sugars, along with couples therapist Esther Perel, advise a letter writer whose loving partner is erotically absent. This episode was originally released on September 9th, 2017.
A damaged parent can cast a dark shadow over our lives, especially when we inherit some of that damage. Steve’s father, the psychoanalyst Dr. Richard Almond, joins the Sugars to answer letters and offer a way out. This episode was originally released on September 2nd, 2017.
We can't choose our parents, but we can choose whether or not to have a relationship with them. This week, the Sugars discuss parental estrangement with the help of Stephen Elliott -- founding editor of The Rumpus and author of the books “The Adderall Diaries” and “Happy Baby” -- who estranged himself from his abusive father. This episode was originally released on April 20th, 2017.
You love your partner, you love your career... but they're pulling you in different directions. What do you do? The Sugars have help from psychotherapist and sociologist Leslie Bell, author of Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom. This episode was originally released on April 13th, 2017.
Infidelity. In-Laws. Friendship. These are just a few of the categories that help keep the Dear Sugar inbox organized. But every once in a while, we get a letter that doesn't fit neatly into any category. This week, the Sugars discuss a handful of those letters in rapid-fire fashion -- from a woman whose mother-in-law might be faking an allergy to her cat, to a woman whose identity was stolen...by her own sister. This episode was originally published on April 25th, 2017.
You wants kids; your partner doesn't. Or your partner wants kids, and you don't. Whatever the scenario, few subjects are as emotionally charged and potentially deal-breaking in a relationship as a disagreement over the decision to become parents. The Sugars take on this tricky topic with the help of the writer Danielle Herzog, who's written in the past about ending her own marriage to become a mother. This episode was originally published on March 22nd, 2017.
This week, adventures in animal ownership! The Sugars, along with Julie Barton -- author of the memoir "Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself" -- answer letters about pet dilemmas and the ways these creatures affect human relationships. This episode was originally published on August 26th, 2017.
It’s never easy to talk to our romantic partners about their bodies, especially when it’s about weight. The Sugars, along with the writer Ashley C. Ford, answer letters from people questioning their relationships because of major changes in their partners’ bodies. This episode was originally published on August 19th, 2017.
When we decide to meddle, it can often backfire. The Sugars, along with the writer Meghan Daum, answer letters from people who see loved ones heading down the wrong path, but worry intervention might be the wrong move. This episode was originally published on August 12th, 2017.