10 episodes

Indie icon Feist knows a thing or two about love, loss, and everything in between. Through in-depth interviews with a time travel researcher, a Dreamer and activist, a transgender triathlete, an FBI undercover operative, a monogamous couple in adult film, a professional storm-chaser, an alter ego, and more, Pleasure Studies explores big themes from the tracks of her most recent album: self-reinvention and creativity, the power of the natural world, youth, old age, wisdom, and the passing of time. We hear the stories of people who have followed their dreams, lived long lives, endured devastation, and come out the other side with a greater understanding of what it means to be alive.

Pleasure Studie‪s‬ Feist

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 85 Ratings

Indie icon Feist knows a thing or two about love, loss, and everything in between. Through in-depth interviews with a time travel researcher, a Dreamer and activist, a transgender triathlete, an FBI undercover operative, a monogamous couple in adult film, a professional storm-chaser, an alter ego, and more, Pleasure Studies explores big themes from the tracks of her most recent album: self-reinvention and creativity, the power of the natural world, youth, old age, wisdom, and the passing of time. We hear the stories of people who have followed their dreams, lived long lives, endured devastation, and come out the other side with a greater understanding of what it means to be alive.

    Get Not High Get Not Low - The Fulcrum

    Get Not High Get Not Low - The Fulcrum

    Whether internal or outward, the circumstances we’re thrust into invariably shape who we
    become, and the mark we make on the world. Here are the stories of three people who’ve
    adapted to exceptionally harsh environments by tapping into untold reserves of imagination and
    moral courage: Ed Dwight, a former Air Force pilot who faced insurmountable hostility in
    training to become the first African-American astronaut, and later emerged as a world-
    renowned sculptor whose art honors racial progress; Monther Altiti, a Mercy Corps officer who
    endured life-altering trauma while growing up in the Middle East, then created a wilderness
    therapy program to provide similarly troubled youth with the same sense of peace he discovered
    in nature; and Cecilia McGough, a radio astronomer whose work in astrophysics has granted a
    powerful escape from the inner chaos of schizophrenia.
     
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    • 25 min
    A Man Is Not His Song: The Alter Ego's Avatar

    A Man Is Not His Song: The Alter Ego's Avatar

    In life and in art, self-reinvention can let us escape expectation and realize our purpose in an otherwise unattainable way. And yet there’s also a danger in drifting too far from the confines of reality. A layered meditation on the fluidity of identity, “A Man Is Not His Song” centers on three people who pushed the limits of persona in their life’s work: Marc Ruskin, an FBI agent who spent over 20 years undercover, juggling 12 different identities as he infiltrated mafia families, drug trafficking circles, and counterfeit money rings; Michael Redhill, a poet, playwright, and author who began writing under the female pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe at age 40 and found new fame as a mystery novelist; and Jason Beck, an entertainer who adopted the stage name Chilly Gonzales in the late ’90s and soon learned that his outrageous alter ego allowed him to explore forbidden truths in his music and performance. 
     
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    • 18 min
    I Wish I Didn't Miss You: Rock Bottom

    I Wish I Didn't Miss You: Rock Bottom

    No matter what form it takes, abuse leaves us indelibly altered, often consumed by an emotional confusion that feels impossible to untangle. In this episode, we hear from three people with firsthand experience of abuse, each speaking from a profoundly different perspective. Rachel Jeffs recounts escaping the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after years of suffering sexual abuse by her cult leader and father Warren Jeffs, while documentarian Attiya Khan recollects the domestic abuse she endured as a teenager—and the experience of confronting her abuser two decades after breaking free. And in a particularly fraught account, Tom Stranger narrates the night in high school when he raped his then-girlfriend, who later tracked him down as part of her recovery. In sharing their stories with candid detail, these guests ultimately instill us with a more nuanced understanding of abuse, its impact, and the immense possibility for healing.
     
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    • 26 min
    The Wind: Only Seen By Who It Moves

    The Wind: Only Seen By Who It Moves

    Though it’s invisible and formless, the wind is one of the most formidable forces in the universe. In this episode, three guests reflect on their life-changing experience with the wind, inviting a new sense of awe for the natural world. A professional storm-chaser known as “the tornado hunter,” Greg Johnson recalls the terror and wonder of getting caught in one of the most monstrous tornados ever recorded. Sailor/adventurer Sara Hastreiter looks back on competing in a nine-month-long race across the planet, and on living at the mercy of the wind’s erratic temperament. And in a poignant merging of story and song, Ojibwe teacher Jacqui Lavalley reveals how the increasingly catastrophic storms of recent years are the Earth’s way of responding to the damage humans have done to our environment.
     
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    • 18 min
    Century: The Cosmic Elastic Band

    Century: The Cosmic Elastic Band

    Why do some years of our lives seem to pass by in a flash, when the smallest of moments can feel infinitely frozen? In “Century,” two voices offer their radically different perspectives on the sensation of time: Centenarian Margaret Shein shares that time speeds by much faster after having lived for an entire century, while Joy Simmonds details a terrifying car accident where she felt suspended in time and found an odd sense of peace. Adding to the mystery of time’s physicality, geology professor Ulrich Wortmann speaks to certain instances in which the passing of millions of years has left no trace in nature. And in a mind-bending reflection on time and memory, physicist and time-travel researcher Ben Tippett breaks down the very real possibility of future time travel, and explains how the past lives on forever in the space-time continuum.
     
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    • 13 min
    Born To Bond: Modern Intimacy Is On Acid

    Born To Bond: Modern Intimacy Is On Acid

    Is monogamy really so tied to stability—or can a more open approach lead to stronger and deeper relationships? As social psychologist Lucia O’Sullivan shares findings from decades of intimacy research, two couples shed light on their unconventional partnerships: Adult-film actress/director/writer Joanna Angel and her actor husband Small Hands speak to the complexities of commitment in the alt-porn world, while polyamorous couple Mutamba and Olivia discuss navigating their wildly different backgrounds and supporting each other in striving for total freedom. The result is an eye-opening look at connection and communication, one that reveals how undoing our assumptions of what’s “normal” in relationships may lead to a more expansive experience of love.
     
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    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
85 Ratings

85 Ratings

Shvarts149 ,

Like an intimidate theater

This is not what I expected, and it’s probably better for it. The different stories weave together like theater monologues, and add up to valuable and interesting stories. Really good.

tita desiree ,

Round 2

I enjoyed listening to the entirety of this podcast series. The stories were deeply personalized, while emotionally engaging for all. I Hope it returns for a second round.

jamoonbeam ,

Yes

This storytelling is on point. Not like other podcasts. It’s inspired me to consider different ways of storytelling in my own work. Thank you for that.

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