Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

181. Seizures, Scottish Music, and Sexuality and Disability: Catching Up with Sassy Outwater

In this episode, Sarah catches up with Sassy Outwater, whose brain is cancer free but is busy doing a bunch of annoying other things. They discuss her seizures, the resurgence of traditional Scottish music (thanks, Outlander!), and the importance of romance and valuing sexuality through disability and illness.

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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

We talked about a LOT of things in this episode, and Sassy had some resources to pass along, too. Links ahoy!

We also sampled two pieces of music:

  • “Theme from Harry’s Game,” performed by Clannad. You can find that track at iTunes and Amazon.
  • “Finlay’s,” by Capercaillie, from their album Beautiful Wasteland. You can find it at Amazon, or iTunes, or wherever you buy your fine music.

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What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at [email protected] or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode's Music

Our music is provided by Sassy Outwater. This track, and all the nifty mouth music within it, is called “Finlay’s,” and it’s by Capercaillie, from their album Beautiful Wasteland. You can find it at Amazon, or iTunes, or wherever you buy your fine music.

Podcast Sponsor

Pride, Prejudice and Popcorn

If you’d like to sponsor an episode in February, please email Sarah! In the meantime, here’s a book we’d like to tell you about!

Carrie Sessarego wrote Pride, Prejudice, & Popcorn: TV and Film Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre  all about her favorite things: movie adaptations!

Three great love stories that started it all…

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— The importance of thoroughly investigating your employers before accepting a job at their isolated, creepy house (Jane Eyre)
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— How to make a proper proposal—and how not to. Hint: don’t insult your beloved while attempting to talk her into marriage! (Pride and Prejudice)

Join blogger and romance aficionado Carrie Sessarego ( as she takes us to the movies with Jane and Liz and Cathy. In her own unique, hilarious style she discusses the books and the various movie and TV adaptations. Your living room will be graced by heartthrobs like Timothy Dalton (twice!), Colin Firth (he shows up twice, too!), Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy.

Whether you are in the mood for serious academic discussion or lighthearted snark, whether you prefer Regency romance or Gothic passion, and whether you prefer your love stories on the screen or on the page, this book has something for you.


Click to view the transcript

This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

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  1. 1
    Coco says:

    I enjoyed this podcast. I always enjoy listening to Sassy, she’s quite droll.

    Okay, so I am a starer (sp?). I’m totally aware of it, I’m mindful of it. But I’m absolutely more of the second, “Oh look, there’s a dog and human working together well,” sort of starer.

    I don’t do this with all sorts of disabled people. I am not confronted by people in wheelchairs, people with canes, people with other sorts of assistive devices. I do SEE them, but I don’t see them as different to the point of stare-worthiness. Perhaps because I have a lot of disabled people in my life, friends and family with varying degrees of physical limitations, I am quite used to seeing that. And I am disabled. I don’t use any assistive devices yet, but I get it. However, I am absolutely amazed by the human and animal working together scenario.

    I try to be very cognizant of the fact that this person is not present in the elevator, the waiting room, on the sidewalk, …, for my benefit. I don’t always succeed there. Sometimes I can’t help myself and ask about the process, the routine, the relationship, all sorts of things.

    Generally speaking, I’ve had only good feedback with this approach, and some great conversations. But sometimes it is quite obvious that a particular person would just prefer to be left alone. And I totally get that. But for whatever reason I sometimes cannot see it beforehand. Then I feel bad that I have interrupted this person’s day. But I suppose that’s true of any person you might encounter.

    On the issue of sexuality and disability, it seems like there should be no difference between any healthy person’s sexuality and a disabled person’s sexuality. I mean that it should be obvious that it’s none of your business. Or mine. The idea that medical professionals, in particular, ought to be assuming anything about it, boggles the mind.

    My experience has been that a person’s sexuality is a thing that can offer them a lot of normality. I mean that their work life may have to be set up in just such a way that they are able to work, that they’re able to get into their work area, that they’re able to use the tools to do their job. And their home life may also be very much impacted by their disability, their home itself having to be set up in such a way that they’re able to live in it. It seems like these things are often controlled by somebody else. A contractor is paid to come in to build the ramp, or install the toilet, or the railing, you have to get the ergonomics specialist from work to figure out the desk set-up, and be sure that the lunch room is accessible. But their sexuality, that is in their control. That’s between them and their partner, or partners as the case may be, and they will work together to figure that out for their mutual benefit. Just like everyone else.

    I do think that there is a sort of grey area where a person is adult but obviously impaired to the point that informed consent might not be realistic. It would upset me terribly to have to say that a person could not ever knowingly consent, as I understand that even severely impaired people, ones who are not able to communicate, or ones who are very limited mentally, still experience sexual desire. I suppose I can just hope that I’m never in a position to have to make that sort of decision for somebody else.

  2. 2
    Kilian Metcalf says:

    I love Sassy Outwater. The time flies by whenever she is on your podcast. I even wrote an email to Dan Savage with a link to the podcast where she was talking about the challenges of being a blind domme. I don’t know whether they thought I was pranking them or what, but they totally ignored my email. She would be such a great guest on his podcast. I hate that she has to deal with all the health issues that challenge her, and hope that when my time comes that I will handle whatever sickness or difficulties eventually attach themselves to me with the grace and strength she demonstrates. I know she hates to be a role model, but sometimes we don’t have a choice about that. I love that she does not allow herself to be defined by her problems. Go, Sassy!

  3. 3
    Robin says:

    I’m the chick at the helm of Ready, Sexy, Able, and I just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out.

    Also, so many yeses to everything Sarah and Sassy talked about. I’m glad Sassy called out the romance novel trope of heroine meets hero whereupon her sexuality flowers and she has earthshaking orgasms. it’s not an accurate, or particularly interesting, portrayal of sexuality. There can be good sex without orgasms, and orgasmic bad or meh sex. Surely authors can get more creative. 🙂

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:


    Hey, Robin! Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for Ready, Sexy, and Able. That is tremendously awesome website – all the kudos to you!

  5. 5
    Kate says:

    I love when Sassy is on–such great real talk about Life. Thank you for the music suggestions. I’m a longtime fan for Clannad and Peatbog Faeries, but somehow missed Capercaillie and Karen Matheson.

  6. 6
    Rissa Brahm says:

    This podcast kicked me in the head and it felt awesome. A lot to think about and new perspectives to consider when I write my characters. Thank you,

    A slightly random recurring thought kept cropping up for me during the disability/sexuality portion of the session. In Jojo Moyes’ _Me Before You_, I not only fell hard for Will, the quadriplegic hero, but he became unbelievably desirable to me… I always _said/boast_ that I see below the surface of people, but I think Me Before You made me see that I never truly have, not the way I was able to see Will through the course of the story, through Clark’s eyes. He was strong, intelligent, powerful, beautiful and sexy. If we romance writers could infuse more of that across the board, for heroes and heroines alike, I think our romance novels would lean toward the more accurate depiction that Sassy explained from her beautiful and personal experience.
    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing! Keep kicking ass and taking names Sassy! And thanks Sarah for another great show.

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