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Old 05-22-2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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Sex And The City Turned Her Into Samantha

Oh well, she does say it wasn't SATC's fault. Does that mean you can get your own personal Jason Lewis too if you emulate Samantha?

abcnews.com

Sex and the City' Fiend: Show Turned Me Into Samantha
For Some, 'Sex and the City' Is Both Entertainment and Education
By SHEILA MARIKAR

May 21, 2008

You can only watch Samantha Jones bed so many gorgeous guys before wondering if 4-inch heels and sky-high confidence would allow you to do the same.

At least that's what happened to "Lisa" (not her real name). She got hooked on "Sex and the City" when she was a 14-year-old growing up on Long Island, N.Y. It was the same year she lost her virginity. She soon graduated to ordering cosmopolitans at bars she snuck into and cheating on her boyfriend with up to seven other guys -- in one week.

"When you're that age you try to emulate people on TV. Carrie smoked, so I smoked, Samantha looked at hooking up with random people as not a big deal, so that's what I did too," said Lisa, now 22. "It wasn't 'Sex and the City's' fault. I love the show, but I think it made it a little easier to justify my behavior."

It's a twisted version of monkey see, monkey do. For some 20-something women, "Sex and the City," which hits theaters in feature film form May 30, served as Dating 101 -- lessons in how to hook up, go out and live the fabulous lives of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), no strings attached.

Lisa remembers re-enacting one particular Samantha scene in her own life: Season 3, episode 39, in which the bachelorette-for-life scrunches her face up at her latest suitor and tells him she doesn't like the way he & tastes.

"That was something that happened to me. I used her exact words: 'You have funky spunk,'" she said. "I knew from watching the show that it had to do with something he was eating," so she took a cue from the script and took an ax to a certain item in his diet.

Lisa left her "Samantha" ways behind at 19, when she moved to Utah, became a Mormon, married a man within the church and gave birth to two children. For the first year of her marriage, her husband forbade her to watch "Sex and the City" for fear that it would lure her back to her habits of sex, drugs and one-too-many cosmos.

"I had to sell my DVDs on eBay," she said. "But now it's OK. It took a while to get here."

To be clear: "Sex and the City" can't be blamed for creating a generation of sluts. No one's attempted to quantify how the landmark HBO series changed the way people date and hook up, and both the network and series executive producer/movie producer Michael Patrick King declined to comment for this story on how they believe the show affected women.

But according to psychiatrists, relationship experts and fans, "Sex and the City" changed the way women view hooking up, if not their hooking up habits.

"It did have some impact given that it was a sea change in how women talked about sexuality and what was shown on a network -- full frontal nudity, talking about affairs, vibrators, etc.," said Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociology professor and relationship expert for Perfectmatch.com. "If it's not permission giving, it at least demystifies and normalizes what goes on in women's lives in a more than snickering way."

That's what Angela Hwang, 24, found when she started watching the show in cable syndication, after it went off HBO. She and her girlfriends routinely compare their experiences to "Sex and the City" episodes.

"My girlfriends and I, every single guy we've been with we can relate to one of the guys on the show," she said. "We've all had Samantha moments. We'll say, 'Remember the guy I saw last week? He was exactly like the guy in episode 15.'"

Hwang took away more than just bedroom tips.

"It gives you a sense of independence," she said about the show. "You learn that you don't need to always have someone there. You can have a successful career and girlfriends without needing a guy by your side. There's not one soul mate, there's not one person out there for you."

It seems like the perfect combination of entertainment and education -- a shot of "Peep-toe Manolos will totally turn him on" chased with "You don't need guys as long as you've got your girlfriends!"

But Dr. David Greenfield, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine, believes there's danger in taking "Sex and the City's" so-called lessons off the small screen and applying them in the real world.

"With teenagers and young adults, there's a certain degree of role modeling that goes on. There's a certain 'if it's done on the screen then it's OK, it's normal,'" he said. "You watch 'Sex and the City,' you see these women go out for dinner, come back, and wake up in satin sheets with a gorgeous guy. Who wouldn't like that? But it doesn't show what goes on under the surface in real sexual relations. Sex is an extraordinarily complex, emotional process. No one wants to talk about that. They're not going to see the reality."

Lisa realizes that now. She's reclaimed her "Sex and the City" DVDs and watches them when she's in need of some New York City nostalgia. And while she's excited about seeing the movie on opening day -- though she'll probably be the only Mormon fan in the theater -- she cringes at the thought of other young women modeling their sex lives after Carrie and Co.

"Now that I'm older, looking back, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, these women are in their 30s. What was I thinking?'" she said. "I'm not sure I'd want my little sister seeing the movie -- she's 14 -- but I think it's a fun show for people my age now, as long as you don't take it too seriously."
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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Some people definitely need to find that line between reality and fiction, but part of why I think the show resonated with so many females (and yes, males, too) is because we saw ourselves in these characters, and could relate to a lot of these experiences whether we lived on Park Avenue or a suburb of Anytown, USA.

I think it's ridiculous that anyone would measure their lives in comparison to a tv show. Sure, sometimes my friends and I will say something like, "...just like Sex and the City!" but it's all in jest.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:33 AM   #3
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I personally think the SATC writers got in a time machine, traveled to the future, got into my head because I am 100% Miranda

...but I'm not going to go out and have a 1 night stand with a cute bartender and eventually marry him
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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I personally think the SATC writers got in a time machine, traveled to the future, got into my head because I am 100% Miranda

...but I'm not going to go out and have a 1 night stand with a cute bartender and eventually marry him

Right, because that's what I'm going to do.

And, fyi - totally blame my shoe fetish on the show.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:13 AM   #5
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I guess becoming a Mormon and marrying at a young age is the solution for the lifestyle she was living. Gotta love how her husband "forbade" her to watch SATC-in no universe would a husband forbid me to watch anything.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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. Gotta love how her husband "forbade" her to watch SATC-in no universe would a husband forbid me to watch anything.
Amen, sister. I wasn't aware that being married turns a woman into a child again; incapable of making her own decisions. Anyway, I've been watching SATC reruns for about a year now, and I certainly don't conduct my sex life any differently than I did before I started watching. For example, I didn't ever have a one-night stand with a guy I just met (a la Samantha in almost every episode) before I watched, and I have no desire to do so now that I watch the show regularly. I love the fact that it helped free women to talk about their sexuality in more detail, which men have done for years without repurcussions. I appreciate how more than anything it focused on the female bond above everything. My closest friends and I are like younger versions of the women, not in personality, but in the ways we relate to each other.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
I guess becoming a Mormon and marrying at a young age is the solution for the lifestyle she was living. Gotta love how her husband "forbade" her to watch SATC-in no universe would a husband forbid me to watch anything.
From SATC skank to Mormon? Oh well, from the frying pan into another frying pan... :neil:
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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I wasn't aware that being married turns a woman into a child again; incapable of making her own decisions.
You're right - it shouldn't - but clearly this woman has problems making her own choices anyway - first she takes her cues from a (brilliant) tv show, then does a complete about face and leaves all her decision making to her hubby - aye carumba!
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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proofs that some people at the age of 14 do have issues when it comes to real life and fiction

personally I don't think I would let my 14 year old children watch the show



good thing she wasn't looking Roadrunner cartoons 24/7 or she would have tied a rocket to her back and had gotten into some real trouble
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:45 PM   #10
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proofs that some people at the age of 14 do have issues when it comes to real life and fiction

personally I don't think I would let my 14 year old children watch the show



good thing she wasn't looking Roadrunner cartoons 24/7 or she would have tied a rocket to her back and had gotten into some real trouble
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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'Sex and the City' is a function of television as fantasy, television as a Cosmopolitan feature.

(You never see any of these characters do anything as mundane as go to work and do an actual job, for example.)

I don't identify, in any way, with these vapid shallow characters and their vapid shallow lives.

I suppose, however, that that is precisely the intention - males are not invited to this particular party, with the possible exception of a certain kind of urban dwelling gay male who works in the fashion industry.

Incidentally, it seems to me that programs like this very much re-inforce stereotypes about both young straight women and gay males as vapid, shallow and fashion-obsessed, yet, oddly, the program seems to get a free pass from the media on the sterotyping it presents.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:50 PM   #12
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'Sex and the City' is a function of television as fantasy, television as a Cosmopolitan feature.

(You never see any of these characters do anything as mundane as go to work and do an actual job, for example.)
The show routinely showed the girls working. Part of the show's appeal and success stemmed from the fact that all four of them were successful career women who balanced healthy social lives on top of work. Carrie was always at her laptop, Sam was always working PR events, etc.

Quote:
I don't identify, in any way, with these vapid shallow characters and their vapid shallow lives.

I suppose, however, that that is precisely the intention - males are not invited to this particular party, with the possible exception of a certain kind of urban dwelling gay male who works in the fashion industry.
Plenty of men watch the show, and they are of the non homosexual persuasion. I find it quite funny that if there's a guy who happens to enjoy the show that automatically makes him gay. I watch 24 and other action type shows, does that make me gay? Love the double standard, thanks.

Quote:
Incidentally, it seems to me that programs like this very much re-inforce stereotypes about both young straight women and gay males as vapid, shallow and fashion-obsessed, yet, oddly, the program seems to get a free pass from the media on the sterotyping it presents.
It was always a fun, cutting edge show to me (and from the fan base here at Interference, I am not alone). Take it for what it is, entertainment, and leave it alone. Anyone who bases their life around a tv show clearly isn't playing with a full deck, but that doesn't give anyone free reign to bash anyone else who enjoys it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:49 PM   #13
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good thing she wasn't looking Roadrunner cartoons 24/7 or she would have tied a rocket to her back and had gotten into some real trouble


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I find it quite funny that if there's a guy who happens to enjoy the show that automatically makes him gay. I watch 24 and other action type shows, does that make me gay? Love the double standard, thanks.

Anyone who bases their life around a tv show clearly isn't playing with a full deck, but that doesn't give anyone free reign to bash anyone else who enjoys it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #14
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My boyfriend and I both enjoy this show. Pretty sure he's not gay. *shrug*

It will be fun to see the girls on the big screen.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:00 AM   #15
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This article is a load of crap.

So this Lisa person is a twit. So what? She'd be a twit if she never saw a single episode of SATC. And it certainly doesn't mean most women and girls are such silly, brainless creatures that they look to a fictional TV series for guidance as to how they run their lives. Oh, and women have been having casual sex loooong before Sex and the City even existed.

And this is from someone who has never been able to sit through an entire episode of SATC without her eyes rolling to the back of her head and reaching for the remote.
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