Sex and the City’s Five Worst Pieces of Love and Relationship Advice

Joanna Psaros

19 November 2021

Also-fucking-lutely… not

Which one are you?

Maybe you’re the (relatively) innocent, slightly conservative one of your friendship circle, always looking to lock down the perfect husband to jizz out some perfect babies- in other words, a total Charlotte. Or perhaps, like Samantha, you’re the outgoing and sexually adventurous one who’s as confident facing a room of ball-busting clients as being walked in on blowing the UPS guy. 

Like myself, you may identify with Miranda’s struggles of being an overthinker with a hot-shot career and man-baby boyfriend who’s just a little intimidated by your success. 

Or, just maybe, you’re the least qualified sex and relationship columnist of all time, whose consistently tone-deaf observations (not to mention dating track record) should have readers running for the hills. Hi Carrie!     

Though it may be hard to imagine with the number of dongs out and no-holds-barred portrayals of masturbation, kinks, and general filthiness on tv today, (looking at you, Sex Life) there was once a time when four single women talking about orgasms was revolutionary. That’s right; just by showing single women having casual sex (and what’s more enjoying it), Sex and the City helped dismantle stuffy taboos about gender and genuinely changed the way we talked about women’s’ sexuality. 

And for that, Carrie and co deserve no end of thanks. Unfoundedly, the show’s portrayal of love and dating was not quite as insightful. At times the protagonists’ pursuit of love was even so dire it made us feel like experts (never a good thing). 

So with just a matter of weeks until our second, third, and fourth favourite New York rabble rousers reunite on the small screen, (Kim Cattrall was reportedly “busy”) what better time than to look back at the five worst lessons SATC taught us about love and dating.  

5. After your date dies, use his funeral as an opportunity to pick up. 

This is plain psychopathic behaviour from the usually level-headed Charlotte. After an apparent ghosting (no pun intended) by a prospective partner, an angry phone call from Ms York reveals that the poor man up and died shortly after their first date.

 Putting aside the questionable decision to attend the funeral of a short-term fling (odd, if plot-progressing behaviour), Charlotte takes inappropriate behaviour to a whole new level when she hits on a bereaved man visiting his wife’s grave. 

What. Charlotte’s new man shows his true colours when it’s revealed that he’s “seeking comfort” in the arms of many women, but really, it’s the least Charlotte deserved for taking part in this incredibly opportunistic dalliance. Sorry Char. 

4. Forgive men who eat other women’s “sushi.”

Poor Samantha. Despite breaking her own rule and falling hard for badass entrepreneur Richard, she was rewarded with heartbreak when early into the relationship she walked in on him eating another woman’s “sushi.” Real Dick behaviour if you ask us.

In an ill-advised but relatable moment of weakness, Samantha forgave the serial cheater on the proviso that he stuck to (tossing) her and only her salad. Of course, this lasted about 48 hours before our main man shagged an Atlantic City housekeeper.  

At least Samantha eventually rediscovered her mojo back and realised that as much as she loved Richard, she loved herself more. Now that’s the Sam we know and love.  

Queen of racial insensitivity Samantha Jones

3. When dating a black guy, embrace your ghetto fabulous side.

This storyline is infamous for just how poorly it’s aged; although was it really any less offensive when it originally aired in the 2000s? 

In a rare departure from SATC’s usual all-white line-up, in Season 3 Samantha begins a relationship with a black man. A win for diversity? We’ll let you be the judge. 

In an apparent attempt to bridge the cultural gap, Samantha takes the opportunity to indulge in a range of black stereotypes such as rn’b music, do-rags, and getting into physical fights with women in nightclubs. It would take the cake for cultural insensitivity; if it weren’t for that time that the serially problematic Samantha pelted condoms at religious Dubaians. Jesus, Sam.

 2. Socialite party-girls falling to their death is a sign that you should move to Paris (because the lack of cocaine at a dinner party is a sign that New York is “over”). 

Once again, SATC displayed a bizarre attitude towards death when the grisly demise of a bit-character was played for laughs. 

When an infamous socialite (and MVP of the show’s relatively cheesy final series) falls out a window while indulging in a cheeky ciggie, protagonist Carrie Bradshaw “couldn’t help but wonder” if this was a sign that she should move to Paris with “the Russian”; the party girl’s tragic fall somehow representing the staleness of infamously dull New York City of the mid-2000s.      

Carrie went on to have a miserable time in the city of love primarily because she had no friends there and didn’t speak the language (factors she may have considered before packing in her life to move there).  

Then in a cringey and borderline offensive scene, The Russian accidentally-or-not (it’s evasively unclear) backhands Carrie- just in time for Mr Big to step in as the unlikely hero of the hour. Speaking of that guy…

1. Serial commitment-phobes will settle down if only you give them enough chances. 

Big, Big, Big. (What is it about that moniker that makes us cringe so hard)? Potentially the biggest douchebag in television history, of course he’s portrayed as a complicated if sophisticated dream man and the love of Carrie’s life. 

What’s disappointing about this characterisation is how right SATC got it in the early seasons. Though we understood his bad boy charm, eventually Big always let Carrie down in a depressing reflection of F-boi behaviour the world over. 

Fun fact; creator Darren Star actually intended for the show to end up with Carrie happily single which would have made total sense in the context of this toxic relationship. 

Even Chris Noth objected to the way his character was portrayed by the end of things. When Big himself objects to his dumb character arc, you know you’ve gone wrong. Carrie, we couldn’t help but wonder what’s up with your taste in men.     

Girls’ Locker Room Talk: art, articles and entertainment by women, for women (and everyone else)

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