Is ‘Sex and the City’ Reality?

First of all, let me say that I’ve never seen a single episode of the show, nor do I plan to. I stumbled upon this article from the New York Daily News when it was near the top of my Google news page. So, I was curious if life imitated art (if it can be called that).

Apparently life does imitate art, at least in some cases, and at least in the Big Apple. First, the article lists the number of men that the Sex and the City characters have been with:

Of the four women, public relations exec Samantha racked up the most sexual partners. She bedded 41 men and one woman, while Carrie hooked up with 18, Charlotte 18 and Miranda 17.

“Holy Cow!” says I, thinking that there is no way life could imitate that art. Well, apparently I underestimated how closely some people come to imitating the women on “Sex and the City”.

“I stopped counting at 56,” says Christine, 35, a locations director from Bayside who lives in SoHo. “There are so many opportunities to meet men here – bars, restaurants, clubs, walking down the street, the deli. Men are everywhere.”

Brooklynite Linda, who has been with 13 men, agrees. “I’m married now, but when I was single, I had a blast. Sex was empowering. I once had sex on [the] F train. It was three in the morning and the car was empty. So we were like, ‘Why not,'” says the 39-year- old Carroll Gardens artist.

Yipes! That sounds more like some jock in a high school locker room trying to prop up his manhood by exaggerating his “conquests” than these “educated” women who have had sex with more people than I have friends on MySpace (I guess I’m just not very popular).

Guess what the sex “expert” the NY Daily News cites has to say about this phenomena:

While women with digits like Samantha may keep their number to themselves, Zdrok makes the case that it’s something to be proud of. “Women with higher numbers tend to be more educated, have more liberal views and higher self-esteem,” she says.

At this point in the article I am about to go barf in the toilet. I say to myself, “Surely there is someone in NYC with some common sense, someone who places some value on sex beyond just pleasure on the same level as eating a Snickers bar or a fresh Twinkie.”

Well, it turns out that the very last paragraph of the article reveals one person with some common sense. Surprisingly, she is an exotic dancer, but her view of sex is much deeper and more intimate than the educated” and “liberated” women previously mentioned in the article.

Not all women think having a high number is a good thing.

“The women on ‘Sex and the City’ went through so many guys they devalued sex,” says Crystal, 22, an exotic dancer at Rick’s Cabaret in midtown. “I’ve seduced thousands of men, but my actual number of sex partners is one, maybe one and a half. Sex should be special.”

How is it that an exotic dancer who pedals sex, understands that it is something special and these educated and liberated women have reduced it to a completely meaningless physical act with no deeper meaning or connection? I find it incredibly sad that the idea of monogamy (I define it as more than just being married to only one person, but also only having sex with one person your entire life), at least in some progressive circles, has become that quaint thing of our grandparents generation. That generation simply wasn’t educated and liberated enough to see sex for what it really is, recreation. If we want to see monogamy we’ll watch TV shows from the 50’s while we drink wine and sigh at their sweet naivety, thank you very much.

Well, I’ll take a stand with the old folks because they have it right on this one (and many other things if we would take the time to listen). The reason why monogamy has fallen out of style is because it demands self-sacrifice, putting the needs of another before yourself, and exercising some self-control yourself. These things are not very popular any more. Shouldn’t we be able to do whatever/whomever makes us happy? The problem is that the happiness that comes from this “Sex and the City” mentality is fleeting. It will never leave you satisfied because you will always be out looking for the next best thing.

My relationship with my wife is special because I believe she is the best thing. The fact that we have to work at our relationship to keep things running smoothly makes us love and value each other so much more than a shallow, selfish one night stand ever could. There is something incredibly reassuring about knowing the relationship my wife and I have with each other was never shared with anyone else. I wish we could recover the value of sex in our society, but I fear that Pandora’s Box has been opened and things will only continue to go down hill.

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2 thoughts on “Is ‘Sex and the City’ Reality?

  1. “Women with higher numbers tend to be more educated, have more liberal views and higher self-esteem.” Ironic, then, that the ONE example they give of someone with a different view is an exotic dancer–who are on average the opposite of “more educated” women with “high self-esteem.” Could it be that the author is using selective examples to prove a pre-determined point??!?!?!?

    I found this article (http://www.newsweek.com/id/137300) interesting from the standpoint that feminists really don’t know what they want, and are frustrated when shows like Sex and the City “devolve” from promoting pure sexual liberation to uneasily depicting some kind of serial modern pop-psychology version of pseudo-romantic “love.” At the same time, in order to uphold the original premise, a show like “Sex” would have to depict a completely false charicature, denying both the humanity and the femininity of women. Such a show would be utterly unwatchable. (Think hardcore porn.) And in spite of its prurient content and anti-Judeo/Christian view of sex and marriage, “Sex” has proven to be wildly popular–largely because the writers and producers have not pursued their premise to its ultimate conclusion. At the same time, this is what is most dangerous about the show–that it is essentially a glossy, movie version of Cosmopolitan magazine, with the consequences of such lifestyle choices airbrushed away and overwhelmed by a sea of high-paid jobs, elegant restaurants, fancy dresses, and designer shoes and handbags.

    On another note, I’m glad you think your wife is the best thing…but your relationship with her will still be special even during the times when you don’t think that! 🙂

  2. SatC in many ways strikes me as an excellent study in how feminism—in all its iconoclastic glory—has changed society so much that it hasn’t changed it at all. When one reads (or in this case, watches shows) about “sexually voracious” and promiscuous women who seek out sexual encounters supposedly “on their own terms,” the question that must be asked is this: is this “sexually voracious” woman actually having the sex “on her own terms,” or is she merely being played for a wanton fool by the even more sexually voracious male she has picked up?

    I strongly suspect that the former is true far less often than the latter. No matter how earnestly the “more educated[,]…more liberal” women of the Western world may believe otherwise, their “sexual liberation” looks curiously like the dismal old world of yesteryear (the one in which patriarchal and chauvinistic societies “used” women for the general satisfaction of the male libido :-P). In that dismal old world, promiscuous women inevitably found partners; in the SatC parallel universe, promiscuous women inevitably find partners.

    Plus ça change…?

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