Armed in stilettos from Manolo to Madden, females all over the world have been anticipating Sex and the City 2 to hit the theaters. I’ve been a long time fan of the sitcom and admit to many times rolling on the floor laughing all the way to shedding tears during particularly emotional scenes and topics. While I’ve enjoyed the fashion, humor and entertainment of the show, I’ve witnessed what an influence the show has had beyond just fashion and stilettos. The characters in the show have a very liberal stance on sex and most episodes showcase the topic – from one night stands to “can’t get it up” episodes; the show has been one of the first to really push the boundaries on the subject in prime time television.
I’ve heard the argument from some of my male friends that Sex and the City is “ruining the young minds of females” in terms of how sex has been positioned. At first I didn’t agree, after all, it was a show that I thoroughly enjoyed, and just because characters on TV were having sex with anyone, anywhere any anytime they pleased, it didn’t mean that there was a direct correlation to the audience’s behavior. But is there?
I recall watching the sitcom when it first came out. Being a younger girl, I admit I thought it was so “cool” how Samantha was so sexually free and liberated. Men could be objects or toys to her and instead of her getting heartbroken or hung up over one guy who wasn’t in to her, she seemed to be so strong and had men at her disposal. So personally speaking, yes, the show did have influence on how appropriate and socially acceptable it was to be sexually “free” and casual. However, when you’re a young female, without much of an idea of who you really are and what you stand for, being so “casual” about sex and your body can really cause pain, confusion and low-self esteem.
A factor that girls seem to neglect is that characters like Samantha are over the age of 40, have an established career, a pretty strong idea of what they want and don’t want – and has made the decision that being casual about sex is what works. If you are a woman who has a strong sense of self, esteem and confidence and make the same choice, then hey, all the more power to you.
But unfortunately, many of the girls who watch and are influenced by Sex and the City may not be at such a phase in their lives, in fact, they’re really trying to create their identity and define their own boundaries. And in that case, then I do think the show can send out the wrong message.
Call me old fashioned, but perhaps as I’m growing older I’m reverting back to a more traditional stance, and I believe that the body is sacred and whether you are a male or female, you should be selective with whom you share it with. I have witnessed girls not hold enough respect for themselves and thinking that having sex is a way of having the guy like them more, or rush in to the physical realm before being emotionally ready and getting really hurt afterward.
I think many females can relate to doing this at some point, whether we’d like to admit it or not. We can say all we want that “it’s just sex” and that you can be completely detached emotionally from the physical act, but honestly, if the guy was to want to offer more or be extremely sweet and caring afterward, would you really not want to explore more of a commitment? One study seems to think so.
According to the study, after the first sexual encounter, women feel more attached and care more for the man. Men react differently however. For men who have had many sexual partners, “having sex for the first time with a woman leads to a decrease in his physical and sexual attraction for the woman: (Trees, Andrew. “Decoding Love”). Perhaps it’s due to evolutionary reasons dated beyond our time, where women are looking for a father to help raise children and men are trying to spread their “seed” to create offspring.
Of course, you always have to take such studies with a grain of salt, and there would be no committed relationships if this was always true. But it is interesting to think of the effects that sex can have on us that we may not admit.
I think the key is to just be really honest with yourself and make decisions that will serve you, not just in heat and lust of the moment, but in the long run. Find what works for you .You may think there is no emotion attached to the physical, but in reality, most of the times there is, and that misconception can lead to a lot of hurt feelings and damaging of the self-esteem. Respect your body and be respected. To me, that’s liberating.