From sex toys to infertility, HBO comedy raises awareness of sexual health.
When a television series ends, does it really just cease to
exist or do its lessons live on, like those from your last serious
That's probably something that columnist Carrie Bradshaw (played by actress
Sarah Jessica Parker on HBO's Sex and the City) would scribe if her
assignment were to sum up the lessons gleaned from her hit sitcom over the past
six seasons. And in truth, I do feel a bit like Carrie as I take a stab at that
very topic -- except that I am wearing Nikes, not Manolo Blahniks, and I am
writing about the show Sex and The City, not sex in the city.
And as it turns out, this topic is as hot of some of the steamy
sex scenes aired on the show over the years.
By Kimberly Goad
As Amanda Clark, 33, a caterer from Boston, walked down the aisle toward her fiancé, wearing a $15,000 gown and a 7-carat ring, she felt nothing but dread. I don't want to go through with this, she thought, with each step toward the altar.
Just two hours before the ceremony, Clark had gone for a dip in the ocean with her two sisters. When it was time to get ready, Clark wouldn't budge. "I couldn't get out of the water," she says. "It was like knowing you have a work meeting...
The final episode of HBO's breakthrough series Sex and the
City aired on Feb. 22, and leading "sexperts" and women's health
experts have a lot to say on the escapades -- and sexcapades -- of the four
female friends who starred in the show.
Sex and the City covered "all issues that people
face every day when they are dating and in relationships; it educated and
entertained us and made it more acceptable for us to talk about these
issues," says Los Angeles-based clinical sexologist Ava Cadell, author of
several books, including 12 Steps to Everlasting Love.
From masturbation and sex toys to performance anxiety and
infertility, "the show crossed certain boundaries where female sexuality is
concerned," says Cadell, who counts herself among the millions of avid
Sex and the City fans.
Importantly, viewers learned that "It's OK to be single in
your 30s and 40s and its OK to initiate a relationship and/or sex," she
Thanks to Sex and the City, we know that "sex toys
are OK and fun and are not taboo," she says. "On the show, it's done
with such humor that it becomes acceptable."
In one episode, one friend introduces another to the Rabbit
Pearl vibrator, and another episode involves one of the leading ladies using
handcuffs on her bed partner.
More Than Just Fun and Games
"Right now, the show is teaching women to go and get a
mammogram, and that's fantastic," Cadell says, referring to the current
storyline in which the promiscuous Samantha Jones (played by Kim Catrall) is
diagnosed with breast cancer after consulting with a plastic surgeon about
That said, "Samantha is not that realistic, and very few
women can really relate to her sexual behavior," Cadell says. "I would
have liked to have seen a little more realism and maybe to see her promiscuity
get her into trouble."
"She was always having the best sex, and there should have
been some consequences attached to one night stands," she says.