This past Sunday I witnessed the final episode of one of the
most influential series in television history. Although I cannot,
and will not, claim to have been a loyal fan of “Sex and the City,”
I did get the opportunity throughout the show’s six-year run to
catch a couple of shows each season. Also, throughout the years
I’ve had several roommates, both male and female, who have been
dedicated viewers of the program. All of them loved it.
“Sex and the City,” for those who live outside the bubble that
is HBO, was a show about four middle-aged women who lived in New
York City. The show followed them through their many exploits
generally revolving around men, women, work and sex.
I know that the show covered “so much more than sex,” and I’m
sure that the character development and acting were top-notch,
there’s no way the show would have been successful for so long if
they weren’t, but there is no doubt as to what really set the show
apart from other shows – the candid sex and talk thereof.
The female foursome, made up of Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie),
Kim Cattrall (Samantha), Kristin Davis (Charlotte) and Cynthia
Nixon (Miranda), covered topics ranging from threesomes to blowjobs
to anal sex and did so in a way that made women feel comfortable
and open with the discussions. Also, it gave guys an interesting
look into sex through a different perspective.
Of course I watched for the sex scenes, I’d be lying if I said
otherwise, but I also enjoyed hearing the women’s discussions.
It seems women have been pigeonholed in the media as not being
sexually free. Surely there are women who abstain from sex until
marriage and feel very seriously about sex, but likewise, there are
women who are like Samantha-sexual divas. Women who, just like many
men, enjoy sex with one or more partners and are willing to discuss
and try more … unconventional things.
In many ways “Sex and the City” made it OK for women to be more
sexually free. And sexual freedom does not necessarily entail being
like Samantha. It could also mean being like Charlotte, who
understood Samantha but chose instead to take a more conservative
For a long time it has been acceptable, and even a cultural
norm, for men to openly discuss sex. For women it has been seen as
much more of a taboo. Hopefully “Sex and the City” has helped to
begin leveling the playing fields.