Commissioned by the Daily Mail 15th March 2004
What a brilliant marketing fraud; thank god it’s all over. My main objection to Sex and
the City is under the Trades Descriptions Act. The programme was neither about
mainstream sex nor the city. Instead they gave us endless re-runs of the Frocky
Horror Show. Scriptwriter Candace Bushnell takes a quartet of female actresses and
forces them to impersonate the lifestyles of gay North American men with a shopping
Put this to my partner Anne Hooper, author of one squillion texts on women’s
sexuality, and you can watch the steam rise from her expensively coiffed hair. After
ordering me to be silent till the commercial break, she’d insist that this was the most
sexually liberating programme for women since the Married Women’s Property Act of
1882 OR since Masters and Johnson first validated the female orgasm. If I didn’t like
it I could go back to playing one-handed bridge on the computer.
Doh! I’m certain that if we applied biofeedback devices to female viewers of Sex and
The City you’d find their pupils dilated most when a pair of strappy Prada sandals
came on screen not when Samantha told us yet again that ‘penetration was just so
yesterday’ or because every woman secretly longs to be taken from the rear. It’s a
Now I like a prettily-crafted high-heel on a beautifully stretched calf as much as the
next man. I know this whenever I see a young woman in a pair of cross-country
boots or Doc Martens looking like a clown. But a programme almost exclusively
devoted to the life and work of Manolo Blahnik (at $700 a pair)? I’d rather watch “Fly
Fishing on the East River”.
My other objection is the lasting damage done to the male psyche by the
programme’s sexism and ageism. Remember the ridiculing of micro-phallic man who
was extorted by Samantha in her passion to “put it in now” only to be told that the
organ was already PLACED? It’s enough to set back the male psyche by a century.
As for the slightly older chap with flaccid buttocks that wobbled when he walked, I
expect he’s been shot for crimes against surgery.