The [Real] Sex and the City Effect

Every guy in my life, from my brother, to boyfriend to dad, and frankly, every guy I’ve ever met, instinctively rolls his eyes at the mention of Sex & the City. My parents used to worry that the show was teaching me the wrong things. Ever since its conception (no pun intended) the show has been seriously and comically (how many times has that scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall been quoted?) criticized for what most people assume is the main theme: sex.

The truth is, the sex aspect of Sex & the City is not the lasting image that I have when I think of the series. Sex & the City did not encourage me to be more promiscuous. Sure it may have given me more of a sense of humor and openness when it came to discussing sexuality over mimosas and brunch, but is that really so bad?

What I DO think of when I think of Sex & the City are the friendships (here’s where I’ll lose my male readers, if I didn’t already with the title). The series made me believe in and crave the power of strong female friendships. Despite each character’s shortcomings, they supported each other for 6 years. Together they faced unplanned pregnancies, infertility, divorce, and cancer. And these weren’t perfect, idealistic, Babysitter’s Club friendships. They had their fights, their falling outs, their judgmental moments but in the end, they always had each other to lean on, to turn to, to tell each other the often not-so-pretty truth about their actions, and then make them laugh about it later.

Sex and the City 3


Another thing critics of the show rarely mention is the fact that each of the four main characters are women who not only have romantic lives, but are also very career-driven: a lawyer, an art gallery manager, a PR mogul, and a writer. In fact, Carrie Bradshaw’s character is part of the reason I fell in love with writing. Whether it was true or not, she made me believe that the life of a writer could be everything I dreamed of. Yes, she was poor throughout most of the series and still managed to buy countless pairs of Manolo Blahniks, so maybe that part wasn’t so believable without amassing major credit card debt, but thankfully my parents, not Carrie, taught me about finances.

In my opinion, the writers of the show kept the sex in the title and in the plot for humor’s sake. It was merely the hook that launched the show and allowed them to develop the true story line centered not around sex, but strong, female friendships. But in the spirit of full disclosure, all deep musings aside, the show made me fall in love with New York City. With fashion. With gossip over brunch and pretty cocktails. So cheers [with a Cosmopolitan, of course] to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda – all their triumphs, all their lovers, and all their shoes.


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1 Comment

  • Reply April 13, 2014


    I actually hate Carrie Bradshaw as a character. It’s one thing to have flaws, it’s another to be 35 and have the emotional maturity of a 15 year old. She was whiny and always complaining and never happy; and she chose to end up with an asshole at the end of the day. And the only people with real careers were Samantha and Miranda.

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