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5 times the show was sexually positive (and 5 times it was not)




When Gender and city First aired in 1998, it was considered a very progressive show. Carrie and her friends talked a lot about relationships, and sex was a big part of those conversations. Girlfriends all over the world are always the reference Gender and citydiscussion topics, such as female pleasure and freedom of sexual expression.

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The main character of the show was a sex columnist, but that doesn’t mean that the show and its characters were entirely sexually positive. There were some problematic messages in there, and the women were sometimes quick to shame each other. Even Samantha, the child of the sexual positivity poster, had deep-rooted prejudices against certain groups of people.

ten Was: the use of sex toys

Carrie talks on the phone in bed with a vibrator next to her in Sex and the City episode The Turtle and the Hare

The ladies took the fun into their own hands by using sex toys. Even curator Charlotte was blown away by the power of a certain vibrator called the Rabbit. “Once, I came for five minutes,” she said.

In “Escape From New York”, Samantha met a model who invited her to a sex toy launch party. She dragged Miranda and Carrie with her and together they had a long discussion about all things sex toys.

9 Was not: no tolerance for bisexuality

Carrie with Sean, played by Eddie Cahill, in episode Sex and the City Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl

One of the most glaring things that hasn’t aged well in Gender and city is the attitude of women towards bisexuality. When Carrie started dating a man named Sean whom she clearly loved, she couldn’t get over the fact that he had had a boyfriend.

During brunch, the ladies talked about bisexuality and almost unanimously concluded that in their opinion, it doesn’t really exist. Carrie even went so far as to say that bisexuality was “a stopover on the way to Gay-town.” At the end of the episode, Carrie left the party she and Sean went to without even saying goodbye.

8 Was: Miranda had sex on the phone

Miranda having sex on the phone in Sex and the City episode All or Nothing

When Miranda met a lovely Chicago-based lawyer and went out on a date with him, they unfortunately ran out of time to meet again before they had a plane to catch, so they decided to keep in touch by phone. Miranda has had her fair share of bad dates, but this one wasn’t one of them.

Miranda and the guy finally had hot sex on the phone with him. In the end, however, she wasn’t the only woman on the line; it was a setup from the start, so Miranda angrily told him never to call her again.

7 It wasn’t: Charlotte’s advice

Carrie Miranda and Charlotte discuss anal sex in a cab in Sex and the City Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys episode

Most of the time, Charlotte gave her friends bad advice. She claimed that men never marry women “up the butt” and that sex is something that should only happen between two people who love each other.

The show itself didn’t necessarily portray Charlotte as the one who’s right, however. She frequently represented those who are more modest in matters of sex.

6 Was: When Samantha took an HIV test

Samantha passed out before getting HIV test results in Sex and the City Running with Scissors episode

Practicing safe sex was not always a priority for Samantha, but if she wanted to go further with a safe new partner, she had to face her fears and get tested for HIV. Although Samantha passed the test, the wait between the two and the results made her anxious and she actually passed out in the clinic.

In 2000, it was not too common to see a major character on television get tested for STDs. He follows in the footsteps ofGolden girlswhich aired a groundbreaking episode called “72 Hours” a decade earlier.

5 Wasn’t: Carrie Kink-Shamed Bill Kelley

When Carrie met Bill Kelley, the politician who was in the “golden showers,” Carrie considered her sexual request before finally refusing.

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It would have been nice if she hadn’t decided to tell the whole town about her evil in her column and shame him for it. It’s true that Carrie didn’t use her name, but it wasn’t hard for the audience to figure it out. Nonetheless, the two shared an intense chemistry at first, so he ranks pretty high on Carrie’s ex list.

4 Was: SamanthaDatingMaria

Samantha grabs Maria by the shoulders of her future lover Snia Braga before kissing her in the episode of Sex and the City Defining Moments

Samantha has dubbed herself a “try-sexual” and she has kept her words. She briefly dated a passionate woman named Maria, and she didn’t feel the need to explain herself to her critical friends.

As much as this relationship was positive, so Sex, unfortunately, described their relationship as highly dysfunctional and they broke up shortly after meeting. Their entire time together involved a lot of yelling and irrational behavior. Not to mention that Samantha broke up with Maria largely because she was a woman.

3 Wasn’t: Samantha was ashamed of a slut by other women

Charlotte apologizes to Samantha after shaming the slut in Sex and the City Shortcomings episode

Samantha was by far the most sexually positive character on the show, so it’s highly unlikely the reboot will be the same without her. All of the women have made a sarcastic remark about Samantha’s sexuality several times. In return, Carrie never judged Samantha, not even when she cheated on Aidan with the already married Big.

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Samantha’s sex life was generally dismissed as a joke and the ladies didn’t really take the lead. Lucky for Carrie and the others, Samantha didn’t hold it against them. Otherwise, the show would have lost her throughout the first season.

2 Was: the characters spoke openly about sex

Samantha has a sexual inneundo with the waiter holding a pepper mill in the episode of Sex and the City Bay of Married Pigs

Gender and city was considered a breakthrough show in the 90s because it reinforced the idea that women, too, can talk openly about sex, pleasure, and their fantasies without being judged.

Before Gender and city aired, audiences didn’t regularly see the female characters discussing sex during brunch, especially not in details like the iconic foursome. Since then, talking about sex has become so normalized that it’s hard to imagine a time when it was considered taboo.

1 Was not: the portrait of trans women

Destiny and Jo hanging out at Samantha's rooftop party in Sex and the City episode Cock-a-doodle-do

One of Samantha’s worst traits was her attitude towards trans people in the episode “Cock-a-Doodle-Do”. The portrayal of trans women in the aforementioned episode included three sex workers, Destiny, Chyna and Jo, who kept Samantha awake at night with their very loud and steamy conversations outside her new apartment. This led to a feud between the women downstairs and Samantha in her apartment before settling their differences. Of course, that was after she, Carrie, and Miranda all made rude comments about trans women.

Fortunately, things have changed since Sex has stopped broadcasting and many shows are now much more educated on the subject.

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