Saturday, August 25, 2007

In Praise of Sex & the City

My all-time favorite show on television has definitely been Sex and the City. This might sound a little odd. Let me explain why it isn't.
If you were watching the show to see good television instead of, well, breasts (although it's certainly possible to see good TV and breasts at the same time) you would soon find that the show is actually about friendship, not sex. Sex and the City was so popular for one of the same reasons Friends was-- it presents an idealized and 'fantasy' view of friend relationships that many urban women would like to have. If you look on Craigslist, sort of a community bulletin board for the Universe, you will see women looking for "Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda!" You will not see women looking for "Steve, Big, and Harry!" (Well, maybe Harry.) While I would probably feel quite left out at a brunch with the SATC girls (not to mention under-dressed), I will admit that having such a familial group of friends would be a dream come true to me. And I think many asexuals-- and human beings in general-- could kind of get down with that. These are, after all, women that no one could threaten with scary images of 'dying alone'.
But these aren't just speculations on my part. There was the episode in which Carrie, the show's narrator, asked something like, "What if these women are my soul mates, and men are just nice guys to have fun with?" There was also my favorite episode, in which Carrie is frustrated with the way our society fails to acknowledge the choices of single people. She decides to marry herself, forcing an acquaintance to buy her $400 shoes as a wedding present. Indeed, a woman after my own heart.
Of all the strange ideas people hold about sex, one that is most damaging to A-s is the notion that sex and love are somehow inseparable. But if we can have sex without love (gasp!) then we can also have love without sex. From Episode 1 of SATC, one of the show's premises was "women having sex like men", ie, without emotional attachments. And if sex isn't where our characters are always finding love, then they're free to place that love into the realm of the asexy-- into Manhattan, into strangely matched clothing ensembles, and of course, into friends.

2 comments:

DJ Danjerous said...

Haha, word.

I kept waiting for those four to do it (form a family unit.) I talk about that show all the time when I'm giving examples of nonsexual intimacy in popular culture...

Ily said...

Hello! Ooh, you've got a site here too...it's your podcast, right? I'll put it in my links!