What We've Learned From 'Sex and the City'
From sex toys to infertility, HBO comedy raises awareness of sexual health.
More Than Just Fun and Games continued...
Such as? "Sexually transmitted diseases would have been
good, or maybe rejection in the middle of sex or lack of lubrication,"
"While the Kim Catrall character may carry it too far, the
message that women can enjoy sexual pleasure for themselves is a good one,"
says New York city-based psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Gail Saltz, MD, author
of the forthcoming Becoming Real.
"Samantha is a great model of owning your sexuality being
proud of who you are and what you want to do and taking on the world in your
own terms," agrees Pepper Schwartz, PhD, a professor of sociology at the
University of Washington in Seattle and author Everything You Know about
Love and Sex is Wrong.
But Sex and the City covered more than sex; the show
also tackled infertility. According to RESOLVE, a nationwide infertility
association, 6.1 million women in the U.S. are infertile, and on the show,
Charlotte York (played by actress Kristin Davis) represented these women.
In her quest to have a child, Charlotte tried hormone
treatments, acupuncture, and considered adoption. The show deftly illustrated
that there are not necessarily quick fixes to this problem. As the series draws
to a close, Charlotte is still trying to conceive even after a devastating
miscarriage at the close of season five.
"The Charlotte character was great to have because on the
outside, she looked perfect from her job at an art gallery, a Park Avenue
apartment, and a gorgeous doctor husband, but she has her own issues -- he is
impotent and she infertile," Saltz says.
While she did encourage her first husband to seek therapy for
impotence and he was eventually able to have sex, it did not save their
marriage, and Charlotte ultimately wed her divorce attorney (with whom her
quest to have a baby carries on).
There's Something About Miranda
Miranda Hobbes (played by actress Cynthia Nixon) "is a
smart, professional woman and the one of the four women who has the most
educated professional background, but she seemed to find it mutually exclusive
to a partner," Saltz says. "Women are afraid that if they have a
driving profession, they can't have a man too," she says. "It is
something that women worry about and it's good to bring up the conflict, but
Miranda really lived it out."
However, eventually Miranda did wed her baby's father and
true-love bartender Steve Brady (played by actor David Eigenberg) and the
family migrated to Brooklyn.
Her Baby's Father?
Miranda became pregnant after having sex with her ex following
his diagnosis with testicular cancer. At the time, the two had no plans to get
All's well that ends well, but "talking about the fear of
being a parent alone is great," Saltz says.