Emily Morse says she's trying to save the world, one orgasm at a time. What she began as a homespun online podcast called Sex With Emily has turned into a live slot on FM radio at a prime time (Saturdays at 11 p.m. on 106.9-FM, aka “Free FM”) in less than a year. The three-hour show features heavy caller participation alongside San Francisco's nonjudgmental sexpert community — amateur and professional — and its topics often ride a provocative razor's edge, from on-air demonstrations of bondage and Brazilian bikini waxing to the hilarious perils of dating via Craigslist.
It wasn't long ago that Morse was trying to save the world, one vote at a time. Having moved to S.F. after graduating from the University of Michigan with a political science degree, Morse worked on legislation and campaigns for Senators Carole Migden and Barbara Boxer, and on Willie Brown's first bid for mayor. She also produced television specials and co-directed a 2001 documentary called See How They Run, about Brown's 1999 mayoral runoff against Tom Ammiano.
Of course, politics and sex are bedfellows, for better and worse. While Morse conducted interviews, she says, “The conversations would always end up talking about sex.”
Her first podcast of Sex With Emily was in August 2005; by January of this year she was on Free FM, encountering an actual studio for the first time. She doesn't know how the radio people came to hear her podcasts, but the transition has fired a new passion: online evangelism.
Morse has been invited to speak at the next Macworld Conference & Expo (in January at the Moscone Center); the convention's organizers told her she's one of the only examples of a podcaster making the transition to terrestrial radio. She says she's had television and book offers as well, but she hasn't jumped at them yet.
Though she says the show has helped her be more verbal when it comes to her own sex life (one pet phrase is “communication is lubrication”), she has encountered a new problem with the gig: “Guys always think I'm going to talk about them on the air. I'm like, 'I change the names!'”
What's more, Sex With Emily has left Morse with less time for dating.
“It's kind of ironic,” she laughs.