“Sex in the City ” – At the end of the 20th century, the series based on Candace Bushnell’s book was a revolution. Lo and behold, the world saw Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, four singles, carefree partying, celebrating shopping in exclusive boutiques, not shying away from stimulants and – most importantly – liberated sex and equally liberated conversations about it. The series instantly gained a crowd of loyal female fans and ranks of staunch enemies.

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Beyond the mountains, beyond the forests….

The series has helped to show the liberating power of female sexuality. Lunchtime discussions about masturbation or ejaculation, scenes of various sexual acts and the priority perception of the female orgasm had the power of an atomic bomb. In fact, so is the heroines’ declared aversion to marriage and motherhood or questioning of traditional gender roles. However, two decades after the premiere of the first episode, it is quite annoying and very outdated.

Against the backdrop of contemporary series alluding to socially relevant topics, “Sex in the City” is striking for its superficiality, commitment to normativity and cult of consumerism. Conversations oscillate almost exclusively around male-female relationships, and they seem devoid of interest and knowledge of the world. In a word: the heroines glide five centimeters above the ground, carried away by the privilege that allows them to freely rent beautiful apartments and carelessly buy clothes from luxury designers.

In search of the love of life

Carrie, marching down Manhattan in stilettos from Manolo Blahnik, can hardly be considered a flesh-and-blood heroine – she is rather a fantasy of a beautiful princess from a distant land. In her world, female sexuality is readily explored, but only in accordance with aesthetic norms dictating the depiction of slim, powdered and carefully posed women. Admittedly, the heroines are romancing multiple partners, but with the noble goal of finding the love of their lives. Eventually, the existence of all the female friends gains a crowning achievement in the form of permanent relationships and, in two cases, additional charming bubbles. Erotic experiences are mostly successful, men are gallant, and sexual harassment and rape are non-existent.

In addition, Carrie’s story revolves around Mr. Big. In fact, throughout all the seasons we can observe a kind of cat-and-mouse chase. There will always be something or someone who stands in the way of this great love. The final answer to this theme is the first part of the feature film of the same title, where the two of them are getting ready to get married.

Sarah Jessica Parker - sex in the big city
Sarah Jessica Parker – sex in the big city

Towards diversity

From the perspective of contemporary series increasingly focusing on black, non-heteronormative, transgender or socially excluded characters, “Sex in the City” appears as a bastion of white, heterosexual, wealthy and conventionally beautiful characters. However, in the 17 years since the last spanking on the set of 6. The “Sex in the City” season in America has produced productions that are counterpoints to this simplistic vision of the world. They were breaking ground, among other things. taboos regarding women and their carnality. They show slim, athletic, overweight, wrinkled, with stretch marks, scars or tattoos on equal footing. Uninhibited conversations about physiology and erotica are also on the agenda.

Journey to the End of Night

Among the themes explored by the contemporary series, the motif of power and violence, including sexual violence – something that had no place in the candy-slapstick vision of relationships exploited by “Sex in the City”. Corporeality, giving the field to minorities and exploring the darker aspects of sexuality mark the areas in which the creators of the latest series are moving. Among others. “Sex Education” provides a fresh perspective on issues of eroticism and sexuality. With the help of productions such as “Pose,” “Veneno” and “Euphoria,” transwomen are gaining representation. Through “The Queen’s Gambit” or “The Great” we can follow femininity in epochal costume. Taboo status is being lost on the topics of menstruation, abortion, miscarriage or the changes the body undergoes during pregnancy, during menopause or in old age.

What will happen next?

The question is, will 50-year-old Carrie find her way in the world of fourth-wave feminism, Tinder, the #MeeToo, LGBTQ+, body positivity and anti-consumer less waste movements? Or does she face the fate of a boomer helplessly grasping at relics as outdated as computer floppy disks?


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