Warning: this one has a dirty word or two in it.

In terms of radio programs, I tend to be more fascinated with what you don’t hear. Graphic, warts and all, details of people’s carnal undertakings can be exhausting to listen to.

I mean I am human, and the less talked about aspects of human behavior (sex) do peak my curiosity. But call in talk shows that deal in sex and relationship advice? They feel like counseling sessions, other people’s too brief discussions with their therapists. And my voyeurism has a tipping point. That’s probably why it’s taken me so long so get around to Savage Lovecast.


Savage Love is a syndicated sex-advice column by Dan Savage, an award-winning author and journalist. The neo-Ann Landers weekly started in 1991 with the first issue of the Seattle newspaper The Stranger. The podcast has been around since 2006. It’s essentially and audio version of the column wherein Savage responds to caller questions.

The show (and the column) are tantalizingly and intentionally irreverent (as regards traditional print and broadcast media). Lots of graphic sexual description. No stone is left unturned, and nothing is off limits. The show’s format is this: a short intro with a personal story or observation, followed by Savage’s response to a series of prerecorded calls–which makes this show an easier pill for me to swallow actually. There really isn’t any dialogue. It’s merely a pristine piece of audio; callers don’t step on the host because of feedback delays or other distracting interferences heard in most call-in formats.

But. Hearing Dan Savage say “fuck” as much as he does is kind of weird. Not because he’s an openly gay man, and he usually says it when referencing the act itself. It can sound obligatory and forced at times. And I like the f-word as much as the next guy, but I too have been guilty of robbing it of its venom with overuse.

Maybe what’s throwing me is Savage’s voice. I first heard him speak on on This American Life, then on WTF, and though the subject matter was edgy, Savage delivered his story in a characteristically dulcet manner. In contrast to his written voice, his actual prolation doesn’t lend itself to expletives. It’s kind of like hearing my aunt cuss. There’s also the expression “for realz.” Yes, I heard him say it.

But again.

Savage Lovecast is one of the more listenable shows out there today. It’s hard to dismiss any of the advice this talented raconteur dishes out. His arguments are consistently backed up with real world examples and personal experiences. He’s stern without being dismissive, and he is never, ever, boring. Just listen to his January 7 episode where he takes what’s his name from Duck Dynasty to task. It’s really a great show despite the “fucking.”