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Episode 174: Spring Fling, A.M. Homes (“A Real Doll”)

This week’s story is about an adolescent boy who starts “dating” his sister’s Barbie doll, and later he does some weird stuff with Ken. You can read “A Real Doll’ via The Barcelona Review. The story is also collected in A.M. Homes’ book The Safety of Objects.

Also this week, we discuss the time Robert Olen Butler went viral for the wrong reasons (his wife left him for Ted Turner and he wrote a weird email about it). We also pay homage to the HBO series Real Sex, a show that was sex-positive before sex-positive was a term. And Mike gives some more dating advice, this time on ghosting.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file to play on your preferred device. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or through whichever app you use to get your podcasts.

Stream Episode 174:

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Thanks for listening!


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Episode 173: Spring Fling, Mary Gaitskill (“The Secretary”)

This week we’re starting a new seasonal feature: Spring Fling. We’ll be reading stories about romance, sex, lust, love, and other affairs of the heart. First up is Mary Gaitskill’s spare, understated story “The Secretary,” which some of you may know as the source material for the 2002 Maggie Gylenhaal / James Spader film. But while the film and story definitely share some DNA, the two are quite different, both in terms of plot and their main characters’ attitudes toward the dominant/submissive relationship they’ve stumbled into.

During Spring Fling we’ll also be bringing you stories of authorial romances and affairs. This week we’ve got some tales of H.G. Wells’s sexual adventurings. Plus an exploration of the science behind spring-time romance. And dating advice!

Strap yourselves in, listeners.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, by clicking the player below. Or download the mp3 file to play on whatever device you’d like. You can also find us in the iTunes store, which is probably the easiest option: download back episodes and subscribe (for free!) so you never miss another installment.

Stream Episode 173:

Download Episode 173 (right-click, save-as)