Podcast

Dear Sugars

Radically empathic advice

Episodes

  • Episodes We Love: The Writers Resist, Part 1

    Feb 15 2019

    On November 9th, 2016 -- the day after Donald Trump became America's President-elect -- the Dear Sugar inbox was flooded with emails asking some version of the question, "How do we move forward as a nation from here?" The Sugars bring that question before an audience at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon. This episode was originally published on January 20th, 2017.

  • Episodes We Love: Love In Doubt

    Feb 08 2019

    How many times have you heard this: "I love him, we're great together, but..."? There's always room for doubt, even in the happiest of relationships. So this week, the Sugars take on some of those doubts in rapid-fire fashion. This episode was originally published on January 5th, 2017.

  • Episodes We Love: The Dark Side Of Porn

    Feb 01 2019

    The Sugars continue their series on porn with a letter from a woman whose fiancé is "addicted" to porn. This episode was originally released on December 16th, 2016.

  • Dear Sugars Presents: Endless Thread

    Jan 28 2019

    From our partners at WBUR, Endless Thread is a podcast featuring amazing stories found on Reddit. In this story, they talk to a happily married couple who has recently decided to experiment with consensual non-monogamy.

  • Episodes We Love: Is Porn Wrong?

    Jan 25 2019

    Pornography is more abundant and accessible than ever before. So it probably isn't surprising that it appears to be having a greater impact on romantic relationships. Part one of a two-part series focuses on some basic questions about porn -- is it wrong to use it? Why do people turn to porn? Is there such a thing as "healthy" porn use in a relationship? This episode was originally published on December 1st, 2016.

  • Episodes We Love: What About The Stepchildren?

    Jan 18 2019

    When the Sugars answered a letter from a woman who felt trapped in the role of "wicked stepmother," dozens of listeners wrote in asking the same question: what about the stepchildren, who have no control over the restructuring of their family? This week, the Sugars respond with an episode devoted to the other side of the story. This episode was originally released November 17th, 2016.

  • Episodes We Love: When Your Loved Ones Just Don't 'Get It'

    Jan 11 2019

    Our loved ones are the people who are supposed to understand us. But what if they just...can't? Where do we turn then, and how do we fight the feelings of resentment that this lack of understanding can stir up? This episode was originally released November 11th, 2016.

  • Episodes We Love: Friendships, Part 2

    Jan 07 2019

    The Sugars have another conversation on friendship, this time with a handful of letters concerning male-female friendships. Is there such a thing as a platonic relationship between a heterosexual man and woman? Can male-female friendships be as emotionally satisfying as same-gender relationships? What do you do when a friend crosses a romantic line? The Sugars discuss it all in rapid-fire fashion. This episode was originally released November 4th, 2016.

  • Introducing Safe for Work

    Dec 19 2018

    Safe For Work is an advice show that reminds you that while your office may be crazy, you don’t have to be. Office MVPs and corporate veterans Liz Dolan (ex-CMO, Nike, NatGeo, Oprah Winfrey Network) and Rico Gagliano (audio host, producer, print reporter and author) will help you make the big decisions, sort through the small stuff, and get more fulfillment from your work life.

  • Episodes We Love: The Price Of Our Dreams

    Dec 08 2018

    The Sugars, along with fiction writer George Saunders, field letters from people who are chasing their creative dreams but frightened by the practical and financial risks that come with that pursuit. This episode was originally released on August 5th, 2017.

  • Episodes We Love: Rapid Fire Letters

    Dec 01 2018

    In a heated moment, a mother reveals a dark chapter from her childhood to her daughter, then immediately regrets it. What now? In this week’s episode, the Sugars tackle this and several other questions, including how to handle a brother-in-law who treats your vacation as his own free childcare; what to do when your best friend’s husband asks you to lie; and why we sometimes recoil at very public displays of grief. This episode was originally released July 29th, 2017.

  • Episodes We Love: The Power Of No, Part 2

    Nov 17 2018

    "What do I want?" This is the question Oprah Winfrey finally asked herself, after years of struggling to say "no" to people in her life. In the second of this two-part series, the Sugars continue their conversation with Oprah Winfrey on when, why and how to say "no."

  • Episodes We Love: The Power Of No, Part 1

    Nov 10 2018

    There’s incredible power in saying “yes.” It opens up avenues and allows us to be brave. In Cheryl's case, it’s what led to her becoming Sugar. But saying yes to life's opportunities can also have its risks. The Sugars are joined by Oprah Winfrey to discuss when to say no, how to say no, and what happens in the wake of that. This episode was originally released July 15th, 2017.

  • Episodes We Love: Friendship, Part 1

    Nov 03 2018

    Everyone has had a friendship quandary of some sort in the past, right? This week, the Sugars take on frequently asked questions in "rapid fire" fashion – from hating your best friend's significant other, to hating her politics. This episode was originally released October 28th, 2016.

  • Episodes We Love: May-December Romances

    Oct 27 2018

    Age is just a number in many contexts, but when it comes to finding long-lasting love, an age gap between partners can greatly impact the course of the relationship — both in positive and challenging ways. The Sugars discuss those so-called "May-December" romances with the help of Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the memoir Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me, which tells the story of her marriage to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who's 27 years her...more

  • Episodes We Love: I Divorced My Spouse, And My Child Divorced Me

    Oct 20 2018

    Divorce is always a painful process, but it's especially so when there are children in the middle. This week, the Sugars discuss situations of parental alienation caused by divorce. They answer letters from a mother and a father whose daughters have cut off all communication with them after taking the other parent's side. This episode was originally released October 14th, 2016,

  • Episodes We Love: Make The Call

    Oct 13 2018

    The Sugars bring you another "rapid fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters. This time, they challenge each other to make the call — one way or the other — on the questions they're discussing, rather than offer open-ended guidance. This episode was originally released September 30th, 2016,

  • Episodes We Love: How Do I Find The Courage To Be My Own Guide?

    Sep 29 2018

    The Sugars often discuss letters dealing with very specific problems or struggles. This week, they take on a broader, more existential question -- how to follow your heart. The Sugars discuss with the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter India Arie, who shares how she learned to be her own guide. This episode was originally released September 23rd, 2016.

  • Episodes We Love: I'm A Transgender Man, Seeking Acceptance

    Sep 22 2018

    The Sugars read the letters of two transgender men who are struggling to find love and acceptance. They discuss with Cooper Lee Bombardier, a visual artist, writer and transgender man.

  • Dear Sugars Presents: Last Seen

    Sep 18 2018

    From our partners at WBUR, a new podcast that looks into the greatest unsolved art heist in history: the theft of half a billion dollars worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston.

  • Episodes We Love: Can A Sexual Assault Survivor Love A Rapist?

    Sep 15 2018

    The Sugars discuss a letter from a survivor of sexual assault who has just been told by her long-time partner that he raped someone when he was in high school. The writer wonders how she, as a survivor and self-proclaimed feminist, can justify loving a rapist.

  • The Long Goodbye

    Sep 01 2018

    After four years of ministering to the lost, lonely and heartsick, the Sugars say farewell on this final episode of the podcast. We take a look back at some of our most powerful advice, hear from former guests, and talk to listeners about how the show has affected their lives.

  • Moving On, Part 2 — With Dr. Harriet Lerner

    Aug 25 2018

    In this second part of our series on moving on, the Sugars discuss how we can release ourselves from our past mistakes. Dr. Harriet Lerner drops in to answer a letter from a woman who calls herself a "serial codependent," as well as a woman who is haunted by her abortion.

  • Talking About Privilege — With Catrice M. Jackson

    Aug 11 2018

    Privilege comes in many forms: socio-economic privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, to name a few. In this episode, the Sugars reply to two letter writers who are facing different forms of privilege. They discuss with Catrice M. Jackson, a leading voice for racial justice.

  • Moving On, Part 1 — With Claire Bidwell Smith

    Aug 08 2018

    As our final season draws to a close, the Sugars have been thinking about what it means to say goodbye and let go. In this first episode of our two-part series on moving on, the Sugars and Claire Bidwell Smith answer two letters from people struggling to move past their grief after the death of their loved ones.

  • Emotional Abuse — With Reema Zaman

    Aug 04 2018

    He removed her makeup when he thought she was wearing too much. He refused to put her name on the leases for their car and their house. He told her that she had a green card only because he chose to marry her. Reema Zaman, our guest in this week’s episode, was in an emotionally abusive marriage. She helps the Sugars answer two painful letters from women who are struggling to disentangle themselves from their abusive partners.

  • Dear Sugars Live: The Great Reckoning

    Jul 28 2018

    Dear Sugars returns to Portland, Oregon, for another epic live show. Special guests Mitchell S. Jackson and Rebecca Skloot share the stage with the Sugars to tell stories of personal reckoning, and to answer letters dealing with transgressions of love, friendship, the self, and so much more.

  • Rapid Fire: Love & Money

    Jul 21 2018

    When it comes to love, money is supposed to be no object. But there’s no disentangling love from anything in our lives, and income is no exception. So how do you assess the role money should play in a relationship, and what happens when your desires and means change over time? The Sugars take on 5 letters in this rapid-fire episode.

  • Young & Isolated — With Shirley Manson

    Jul 14 2018

    Feeling like an outsider is one of the hallmarks of adolescence. But in today’s episode, we hear from two 16-year-olds who have cause to feel especially isolated. One girl is home-schooled and suffers from social anxiety. Another feels disconnected from her best friend, who has suddenly become popular at school. Both letter writers wonder if they’ll ever feel comfortable in their own skin. Shirley Manson, the lead singer of the alternative rock band Garbage, joins the Sugars to discuss her own j...more

  • Who's Your Daddy? — With Steve Lickteig

    Jun 16 2018

    When Steve Lickteig turned 18, he learned that his mother and father, who he thought were his adoptive parents, are in fact his biological grandparents. With the advent of affordable DNA testing and companies like 23andMe, more and more people are having revelations like Mr. Lickteig’s. For some, these revelations can be a welcome and exciting discovery process. For others, they’re shocking and unwanted. In today’s episode, Mr. Lickteig shares his story and helps the Sugars advise letter writers...more

  • Trust Your Body — With Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant

    Jun 09 2018

    “It’s only when my pants are nearly impossible to button that I force myself to lose weight,” writes the letter-writer who calls herself Body Negative. “And then the pattern starts all over again.” Hilary Kinavey, M.S., L.P.C., and Dana Sturtevant, M.S., R.D., the co-owners of Be Nourished, join the Sugars on today’s episode to offer Body Negative and women like her some hope.

  • Rapid Fire: There's Just One Thing

    May 26 2018

    In this "rapid fire" episode, the Sugars read letters from four women who each have one not-so-tiny reservation about the men they’re dating. A black woman is dating a white man who is unwilling to talk about race issues, claiming that she’s “too sensitive.” Another woman’s boyfriend, a Christian, is having second thoughts about dating her because she’s an atheist. The Sugars tackle these issues and more, and weigh in on which can be ironed out and which should be deal breakers.

  • Sex & Aging — With Dr. Pepper Schwartz

    May 19 2018

    The erotic lives of senior citizens are typically made invisible by our culture, which can lead to confusion and misinformation. Dr. Pepper Schwartz, the love and relationship columnist for AARP, joins the Sugars to dispel certain myths about sex and aging: Do libidos change after menopause? How does the aging body affect the way we feel about sex? Should medical interventions be considered for a declining sex drive?

  • Rage Is A Red Lesson

    May 12 2018

    Shortly after the birth of her first child, a letter-writer who calls herself “Tantrum Daughter” lost her mother to suicide. Now, with a second child on the way, Tantrum Daughter is overcome with pain and anger. After reading Morgan Jerkins’s essay “How I Overcame My Anger as a Black Writer Online,” the Sugars enlist her help to answer Tantrum Daughter’s letter. Ms. Jerkins frequently taps her own anger in her essays on police brutality. The Sugars and Ms. Jerkins discuss the connection between ...more

  • Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work (Most) Women Do

    May 05 2018

    Remembering the grocery list, coordinating with the babysitter, making food for the potluck, scheduling a get-together with the in-laws: These are some of the invisible tasks that (most) women exclusively do in their romantic relationships — and the list goes on and on. Women from across the country wrote in to the Dear Sugars inbox echoing identical inequalities in their relationships with their husbands and boyfriends. The Sugars commiserate with this aggrieved chorus, along with Gemma Hartley...more

  • The Stepchild's Dilemma — With Theo Pauline Nestor

    Apr 28 2018

    Whether you’re 5, 15, or 50 years old, it can be difficult to usher a stepparent in and out of the family unit. In today’s episode, the Sugars answer letters from stepchildren who have fraught relationships with their stepparents. What is a stepparent’s responsibility to a stepchild after divorce? And what can be done if you don’t like the person your parent chooses to marry?

  • I'm In Love With My Abuser — With Esta Soler

    Apr 21 2018

    For the first time on the podcast, the Sugars answer a voice mail message from the Dear Sugars hotline. The message comes from a woman who reunited with her ex-boyfriend, who once assaulted her. Wracked with shame, she wonders if reconciling with him is acceptable and if it’s possible he’ll change. Esta Soler, president and founder of Futures Without Violence, joins the Sugars to help answer the question: Is it O.K. to love someone who abused you?

  • Buyer's Remorse — With Buzz Bissinger

    Apr 14 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, but when he published his confessional in GQ magazine he was labeled an “obsessive,” a “fancy man,” and a “shopaholic.” Only when he was admitted into rehab did many people understand that he was struggling with a debilitating behavioral addiction. Mr. Bissinger joins the Sugars to offer...more

  • Dear Sugars Live: A Night Of Bad Stories

    Apr 07 2018

    Dear Sugars returns to Portland, Oregon, for another raucous and uplifting live show. The Sugars get a surprising update from a letter writer from their past; discuss a new letter with a special guest, Omar El Akkad; and ask the audience, “What’s the ‘bad story’ you tell yourself?” “Bad Stories,” the title of Steve Almond’s new book, are the false narratives we tell ourselves that undermine our happiness. “You’ve got to revise those narratives,” encourages Cheryl Strayed. “You have the capacity ...more

  • Rapid Fire: Lovers & Friends

    Mar 31 2018

    In this rapid-fire episode, the Sugars weigh in on jealousy -- when is it justified, and how can it be confronted or neutralized?

  • Consent, Part 3: Working In The Gray

    Mar 24 2018

    In the final episode in our series on sexual consent, the Sugars discuss what happens when non-consensual sexual attention moves from the private to the public realm.

  • Consent, Part 2: Stuck In The Gray

    Mar 17 2018

    In the second episode in our series on sexual consent, the Sugars dive deeper into encounters that are neither clearly consensual nor non-consensual.

  • Consent Part 1: Into The Gray — With Jaclyn Friedman

    Mar 10 2018

    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.

  • Family By Proxy — With Jessie Glenn

    Feb 10 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.

  • Updates Part 2: Step Into Your Spotlight

    Feb 04 2018

    In part two of our updates series, we find out what happened to two letter writers who let self-image sabotage their love lives. The Sugars find out if “Scared to Choose Wrong” married her fiancé, and they give “Aspiring Warrior for Love” a call to see how he’s changed since hearing the Sugars’ advice more than a year ago.

  • Updates Part 1: Change Is A Work In Progress

    Jan 27 2018

    In today’s update episode, we check in with some of our most memorable letter writers from previous episodes. The Sugars find out if “Struggling” was kicked out of his mother’s house, and they give “Bad Mom” a call to see if and how her views of motherhood have changed since hearing the Sugars’ advice more than two years ago.

  • Dark Fantasies Part 2 — With Dr. Ian Kerner

    Jan 20 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.

  • Dark Fantasies, Part 1 — With Dr. Ian Kerner

    Jan 13 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 this two-part series on sexual fantasies, the Sugars read letters from people who want to turn off the thoughts that turn them on.

  • Cutting The Financial Cord — With Dr. Kate Gale

    Dec 23 2017

    At age 18, we are granted the rights and responsibilities of adulthood in the eyes of the law. But for parents of young adults, it’s not so clear cut. When is the right time to wean your children off the family payroll? The Sugars tackle this question with the help of Dr. Kate Gale.

  • The Ugly Truth

    Dec 16 2017

    Most of us have days when we don’t feel attractive. But in this episode, the Sugars read letters from people whose faces are at odds with conventional ideas of beauty. The writer Ariel Henley joins the Sugars to talk about her own facial differences. Henley was born with Crouzon Syndrome. As a child, she underwent dozens of surgeries that permanently changed the shape of her face.

  • Just Say It

    Dec 09 2017

    Words can be wielded like weapons. On today’s episode, the Sugars hear from people who have something to confess but are afraid to hurt others with the power of their words.

  • A Spy In The House Of Love — With Ariel Levy

    Dec 02 2017

    Snooping on your spouse is generally ill-advised, but what if he or she has an addiction and is constantly lying about it? The Sugars and writer Ariel Levy answer this question on today’s episode.

  • The Double Bind of Female Ambition — With Hillary Clinton

    Nov 18 2017

    The Sugars are joined by Hillary Clinton to answer a letter about female ambition.

  • The Empty Chair: Part 2 — With Emily Rapp Black

    Nov 11 2017

    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.

  • The Empty Chair: Part 1 — With Jessica Handler

    Nov 04 2017

    The Sugars begin a two-part series on early childhood death. In Part 1, they read letters from siblings who live in the the shadow of their parents’ grief. They're joined by the writer Jessica Handler, whose two sisters died from different blood disorders. “I grew up knowing that I would be the only one left,” says Handler, “and I very often feel the need to live for three people.”

  • The Other Half Of Sexless Relationships

    Oct 28 2017

    In this episode, the Sugars answer letters from letter writers who want to have sex less frequently than their partners do.

  • You Must Change Your Life — With Mitchell S. Jackson

    Oct 21 2017

    In this episode, the Sugars talk to writer Mitchell S. Jackson, who started selling drugs when he was 14 years old and went to prison for drug possession years later. “There was no way for me to escape what I was doing,” he tells the Sugars. Jackson helps the Sugars answer letters from people who also feel stuck and aimless. One writes: “Here we are two abortions, two failed college attempts, a list of dead end jobs later, I’m stuck in a job I despise and I go home to ...

  • When Friendship Ends

    Sep 30 2017

    Friendships are different from any other type of relationship in our lives. They are purely voluntary, which can make them feel more tenuous. In this episode, the Sugars take questions from two letter-writers who both feel exhausted by a friendship and want out. They discuss with the writer Emily Chenoweth.

  • Rapid Fire: Should I Stay Or Go?

    Sep 25 2017

    The Sugars bring you another "Rapid Fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters that are all centered around a theme. The theme for this episode is "stay or go" -- people who have a voice in their head telling them to leave their relationship, but who aren't sure it's the right move.

  • Sexless Relationships, Part 2: Esther Perel

    Sep 16 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.

  • Sexless Relationships, Part 1: Esther Perel

    Sep 09 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.

  • In The Shadow Of Damaged Parents — With Dr. Richard Almond

    Sep 02 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.

  • Pet Dilemmas — With Julie Barton

    Aug 26 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.

  • Body Weight And Romance — With Ashley C. Ford

    Aug 19 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.

  • Should I Intervene? — With Meghan Daum

    Aug 12 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.

  • The Price Of Our Dreams — With George Saunders

    Aug 05 2017

    The Sugars, along with the fiction writer George Saunders, field letters from people who are chasing their creative dreams but frightened by the practical and financial risks that come with that pursuit.

  • Rapid Fire: Summer 2017 Edition

    Jul 29 2017

    In a heated moment, a mother reveals a dark chapter from her childhood to her daughter, then immediately regrets it. What now? In this week’s episode, the Sugars tackle this and several other questions, including how to handle a brother-in-law who treats your vacation as his own free childcare; what to do when your best friend’s husband asks you to lie; and why we sometimes recoil at very public displays of grief.

  • The Power Of No, Part 2: Oprah Winfrey

    Jul 22 2017

    "What do I want?" This is the question Oprah Winfrey finally asked herself, after years of struggling to say "no" to people in her life. In the second of this two-part series, the Sugars continue their conversation with Oprah Winfrey on when, why and how to say "no."

  • The Power Of No, Part 1: Oprah Winfrey

    Jul 15 2017

    There’s incredible power in saying “yes.” It opens up avenues and allows us to be brave. In Cheryl's case, it’s what led to her becoming Sugar. But saying yes to life's opportunities can also have its risks. This week, the Sugars are joined by Oprah Winfrey to discuss when to say no, how to say no, and what happens in the wake of that.

  • Rapid Fire: A Wealthy Sister, An Impatient Girlfriend, An Unshakable Love

    Jul 08 2017

    The Sugars are back for another batch of rapid-fire questions and answers. In this round, the Sugars take on six questions, ranging from a letter writer who is jealous of her sister's wealth, to a young woman who is growing impatient for a proposal from her longtime boyfriend, to a person wondering if people ever really change.

  • When Bad Things Happen

    Jul 03 2017

    In this episode, the Sugars grapple with a difficult question — how do we make sense of the fact that very bad things can happen to people who have done nothing wrong? They discuss a letter from a visual artist who has just learned he is losing his sight, and another from a woman whose life has been transformed by her daughter's life-threatening condition.

  • Dear Sugar: Do I Wait For My Ex?

    Jun 24 2017

    In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her because of uncertainty about his sexuality. The letter writer is heartbroken, confused, and wondering if she should wait for him while he figures it out. The Sugars are joined by Dan Savage, author of the sex advice column "Savage Love" and host of the "Savage Lovecast."

  • More Money, More Problems

    Jun 18 2017

    Money makes us crazy. In this episode, the Sugars take questions from two letter writers struggling with their relationships to money. The first, an aspiring playwright, feels guilty about all the advantages that her parents' wealth has provided to her. The second, a divorced mother, is unable to control her spending and is on the verge of bankruptcy. They're joined by the writer Sean Wilsey, who wrote about his own complicated relationship to family wealth in the acclaimed memoir, "Oh the Glory...more

  • Am I Too Young To Get Married?

    Jun 10 2017

    In this short episode, the Sugars take a question from a 23 year-old woman who is engaged to the man she's been dating since she was 19. As a child of divorced parents who married young, the letter writer knows there are risks. As she prepares to tie the knot, she wonders whether she should be more concerned about those risks.

  • Former Hellraisers

    Jun 06 2017

    Every child has wondered of their parent: What were you like when you were my age? Who were you before I was here? And every parent has to decide how honestly to answer those questions. The Sugars discuss with poet and author Mary Karr, who has written three memoirs about her reckless youth and raised a son who was intimately familiar with those years.

  • The Infidelity Episodes, Part 4: The Other Woman

    May 23 2017

    In our Infidelity series thus far, we've heard from the cheaters, from those who have been cheated on, and from a psychotherapist and expert on the topic. In this final installment, the Sugars focus on the often-overlooked experience of "the other woman" and the moral responsibility that comes with the role. They discuss with the novelist and biographer Susan Cheever, who was "the other woman" in an affair...twice.

  • The Infidelity Episodes, Part 3: Esther Perel

    May 16 2017

    The Sugars' exploration of infidelity continues with a conversation with Esther Perel, a relationship therapist with extensive insight and expertise on the subject. What qualifies as infidelity? Why do we go through with it? And, perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to us? If you haven't already, listen to Parts 1 & 2 of the series, in which the Sugars heard from the betrayed and the betrayers.

  • The Infidelity Episodes, Part 2: The Betrayers

    May 10 2017

    The Sugars continue their exploration of infidelity by hearing from people who have betrayed their partners. They discuss a letter from a desperate wife, whose husband gave her a second chance after an emotional infidelity, only for her to do it again; and another from a young mother who has gotten herself tangled up with the neighbor after years in an unhappy marriage. In Part 1, the Sugars heard from the Betrayed. And in Part 3, the Sugars speak to a leading expert on infidelity, who will make...more

  • The Infidelity Episodes, Part 1: The Betrayed

    May 04 2017

    The Sugars will be spending the next couple of months working on new episodes. During the month of May, by popular demand, we're listening back to our 4-part series on Infidelity, beginning this week with an episode on people who have been betrayed by their partners. They're joined by writer and performer Lauren Weedman, who experienced one of the more nightmarish clichés of infidelity.

  • Letters From Teenagers

    Apr 27 2017

    For most of us, our teenage years were marked by feelings of insecurity, loneliness and uncertainty. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they discussed questions exclusively from teenagers. They're joined by Tavi Gevinson, founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.

  • Dear Dad, It's Over

    Apr 20 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. It's a follow-up to a conversation the Sugars had recently on the show about parents who feel alienated by their children. After that episode was released, an email appeared in the Dear Sugar inbox from a woman who believed the Sugars had discussed her father's letter. She wished to share her perspective -- that of the child who has chosen to estran...more

  • Career Vs. Love

    Apr 13 2017

    You love your partner, you love your career... but they're pulling you in different directions. What do you do? Is it foolish to put your career on hold for the sake of your relationship? Or is it more foolish to give up a great relationship for the sake of your career? Or, is there a way to have both? The Sugars discuss two letters from women in relatively new relationships who are having trouble deciding what to prioritize. They have help from psychotherapist and sociologist Leslie Bell.

  • Rapid Fire: Inbox Outliers

    Apr 05 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.

  • Love In The Digital Age

    Mar 29 2017

    Many of us go online in search of connection. But when it comes to romance, online interactions can leave us feeling profoundly disconnected. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they explored the different ways we connect online. They discuss a letter from a married woman who finds herself caught up in an illicit relationship on Facebook, and another from a young woman who is obsessed with tracking her boyfriend's ex on Instagram.

  • Baby Or Bust

    Mar 22 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.

  • Haunted By Ghosting

    Mar 16 2017

    The term "ghosting" may be relatively new, but the concept -- someone suddenly and inexplicably disappearing from your life -- is not. In the past, a total halt to communication with a friend might leave you feeling concerned that something bad happened to him/her. But in a time where our devices have made us more accessible than ever, it can leave the person who's been ghosted feeling rejected or unworthy. The Sugars discuss ghosting with the essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider. He's the author...more

  • Location, Location, Location

    Mar 09 2017

    Location, location, location. It makes all the difference in real estate, and it can make all the difference to one's happiness. But finding a place that really feels like home can be tricky. Home is where the heart is, we're told. But what if "where the heart is" doesn't align with where your job is? Or when your head -- or your significant other -- tries to talk you out of a location that makes your heart happy? The Sugars discuss the significance of location and home with the help ...

  • Sexual Fluidity

    Feb 28 2017

    "Whatever" -- that's how the actress Maria Bello describes her sexual orientation. Her "love who you love" attitude toward sexuality, regardless of gender, is often referred to as fluidity. Maria joins the Sugars this week to discuss a couple of letters having to do with the confusion and complications that can accompany a shift in one's sexual preferences and partnerships. She wrote about the evolution of her own family structure in her 2013 Modern Love column for The New York Times, "Coming Ou...more

  • Friends With Benefits, Foursomes And Other Messy Relationships

    Feb 21 2017

    What if the man you love wants to break up but keep hooking up? How should you handle jealousy toward a lover's friend of the opposite sex? What happens when a foursome between couples reveals hidden feelings? Questions about messy relationships come in to the Dear Sugar inbox all the time. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they discussed a handful of these questions in rapid-fire fashion.

  • Sibling Rivalry

    Feb 15 2017

    When we examine the influence our families have on us, we typically focus on our relationships with our mothers and fathers. But what about those with our brothers and sisters? Sibling relationships can be as powerful as any in our lives — and just as destructive. This week, the Sugars revisit their episode on sibling rivalry. They discuss with psychotherapist Dr. Jeanne Safer.

  • Happy Two Years Of Sugar, Part 2

    Feb 09 2017

    It's part 2 of "the year in Sugar," where Steve and Cheryl reflect on some of the most memorable letters and episodes of 2016. Plus, the letter-writer who called herself "Out of Ideas" in last year's "Wedding Drama" series makes Dear Sugar Radio history!

  • Happy Two Years Of Sugar, Part 1

    Feb 02 2017

    The Sugars look back on some of the most memorable letters and episodes of 2016. There are so many that they'll be doing this in two parts. This week, they discuss the feedback they received on "The Past is Present," they find out if the woman who called herself "Crazy and Confused Cat Lady" stayed with her boyfriend, they revisit the controversial two-part series on porn, they hear from "Minding the Gap" from the "May-December Romances" episode, and they talk to "Lost Somewhere in California," ...more

  • Dear Sugar Radio Live: The Writers Resist, Part 2

    Jan 25 2017

    The Sugars return for Part 2 of "Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist" at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon. They discuss how to counteract post-election cynicism with Zahir Janmohamed, writer and co-host of the podcast "Racist Sandwich," and they answer questions from the audience in rapid-fire fashion.

  • Dear Sugar Radio Live: The Writers Resist, Part 1

    Jan 20 2017

    On November 9th, 2016 -- the day after Donald Trump became America's President-elect -- the Dear Sugar inbox was flooded with emails asking some version of the question, "How do we move forward as a nation from here?" In this episode, the Sugars bring that question before an audience at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon, for Part 1 of "Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist."

  • Letter From A Closeted Atheist

    Jan 12 2017

    The Sugars take on a letter from a self-identified atheist, who doesn't know how to tell her deeply religious parents that she's no longer a Christian. She loves and respects her parents, but worries that she can't be herself around them anymore -- that their beliefs and values are just too at odds. The Sugars discuss with the Reverend Jacqui Lewis, who had her own reckoning with faith.

  • Rapid Fire: Love In Doubt

    Jan 05 2017

    How many times have you heard this: "I love him, we're great together, but..."? There's always room for doubt, even in the happiest of relationships. So this week, the Sugars take on some of those doubts in rapid-fire fashion.

  • The Weight Of Love

    Dec 29 2016

    The Sugars revisit an episode in which they explored the fraught relationship between body image and romance. They're joined by the writer Lindy West, who has much to say on what it means to be a fat woman in our society.

  • Sugar For The Holidays

    Dec 21 2016

    The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and gratitude. But for many of us, they can be filled with anxiety and dread. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they took on some of the big questions of the holiday season. They're joined by Heather Havrilesky, author of "How to Be a Person in the World" and of New York Magazine's advice column, "Ask Polly."

  • Porn, Part 2: The Dark Side

    Dec 15 2016

    The Sugars continue their series on porn with a letter from a woman whose fiancé is "addicted" to porn. They discuss with Noah Church, a self-described former porn addict and author of the book "Wack: Addicted to Internet Porn."

  • Dear Sugar Live In Portland: Part 1

    Dec 09 2016

    Big news, Sugar fans: The Sugars have another live show coming up -- Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist, Portland Edition, on Sunday, January 15th, 2017, at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Oregon. This week, we're giving you a taste of the "DSR Live" experience by revisiting one of the live shows we recorded at Revolution Hall in Portland this summer.