Friendly Reminder That Carrie Bradshaw Is the Worst Sex Writer of All Time

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Friendly Reminder That Carrie Bradshaw Is the Worst Sex Writer of All Time


There are a lot of And Just Like That… moments that can scar a person—horrors which devoted if reluctant fans of the SATC franchise like myself must now revisit as we prepare for this week’s Season 2 premiere. Did you forget about that time Che Diaz fingered Miranda in the kitchen while a convalescent Carrie peed into an empty bottle? Now you didn’t!

But if there’s one WT-Actual-F-inducing incident I can neither forget nor forgive, one offense for which Michael Patrick King will see me in hell, it’s a largely overlooked scene in which Carrie Bradshaw flatly denies being…a sex writer. Introduced as such to the crowd at a charity auction for Charlotte’s school in episode 7, Carrie protests: “‘Sex writer?’ What, like I write porn?”

When I tell you I gasped. Ma’am, EXCUSE ME? Like literally every single sex writer who has walked the streets of New York City in the past 25 years, I have spent the better part of my career being compared to Carrie Bradshaw. She’s the prototype, the icon—more synonymous with the label “sex writer” than even her actual real-life counterpart, Candace Bushnell. Whenever I tell someone what I do for a living, I brace myself for the inevitable, “Oh, just like Carrie Bradshaw!”

 

preview for How to Sex Toy!

As an admitted Carrie myself (Carrie Sun, Samantha Moon, Miranda Rising, to be specific), it’s not that I mind the comparison for any real reason beyond its being a little trite. In fact, I am Just Like Carrie Bradshaw (derogatory), not just because I am sex writer in New York with, ahem, my own column, but also because I have a bad personality and several pairs of designer shoes despite being in a large amount of debt. Why yes, Carrie levels of solipsism and financial irresponsibility paired with Miranda levels of self-awareness *is* a brutal way to go through life, but these are the cards I’ve been dealt, friends.

So after years of being compared to this admittedly pretty unlikable character, for her to then renounce the role she basically invented came as a pretty confusing slap in the face. And just like that…Carrie Bradshaw is no longer a sex writer?

Baffling? Yes. Disappointing? Also yes. Entirely unprecedented? Not so much. Upon further reflection, the offense that Carrie, a sex writer, seemed to take at being called a sex writer is in line with a gradual descent into sex-negativity her character has been following for some time. It’s certainly evident at other points in the reboot—in the first episode when Carrie tries to change the subject while Miranda talks about her son’s sex life, and later when she balks at discussing masturbation on her podcast—but it has origins in the original series, of course.

While, in recent years, the show’s entire cast of purportedly progressive, sex-positive female leads have been taken to task for various retrograde views on sex and gender (see the infamous “layover on the way to Gaytown”), Carrie, specifically, starts to display a certain squeamishness about sex towards the later seasons. In one Season 5 episode, Samantha effectively accuses Carrie of being a judgmental prude after she walks in on her friend giving the UPS guy a blow job and proceeds to, well, be a judgmental prude about it. Later in that episode, Carrie tells Samantha she no longer dresses a certain way, citing concerns about “age-appropriate” attire—because why not throw a little internalized ageism into the mix?

It’s a confusing trajectory for a character who is literally the star of a show called SEX and the City—one the reboot appears to be doubling down on with little to no explanation of how Carrie Bradshaw, the woman to whom all sex writers have been relentlessly compared for the past quarter-century, became an uptight prude who looks down on the profession she made iconic.

I’m not going to pretend that sex writers are some sort of oppressed class. I freaking love my job and feel incredibly lucky to get to do it. But it can, in certain circles, sometimes feel hard to be taken seriously as a high-achieving professional when that profession is writing about sex. A certain alumni holiday party where I spent the night telling former professors and classmates-turned-junior-bankers that I write about blow jobs for a living to a mix of shock and condescension comes to mind. To see Carrie Bradshaw herself respond to the title “sex writer” like a former frat-bro in a JP Morgan vest was, shall we say, disheartening.

We’ve forgiven our girl for a lot over the years, but I’m not sure I can get over this one. Maybe Carrie’s right—maybe she isn’t a sex writer after all. Or if she is, she was certainly never a particularly good one. Here’s hoping she makes a better sex podcaster—though I’ll admit I’m not overwhelmingly optimistic. Also, there’s nothing wrong with “writing porn,” Carrie.

Headshot of Kayla Kibbe

Associate Sex & Relationships Editor

Kayla Kibbe (she/her) is the Associate Sex and Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers all things sex, love, dating, and relationships • She lives in Astoria, Queens and probably won’t stop talking about how great it is if you bring it up • Follow her on Twitter and Instagram





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