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Let’s talk about sex: will the SATC reboot have anything fresh to say?

In the late 1990s, Sex and the City broke the mould for how women talked about sexuality and desire onscreen. With the show due to return to a much-altered pop-culture landscape, can its portrayal of the sex lives of fiftysomething women be as honest and taboo-busting as its sex-and-the-single-girl origins?

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'Sex and the City: The Movie' (2008)

'Sex and the City: The Movie' (2008)

'Sex and the City: The Movie' (2008)

When Sex and the City arrived on our screens in 1998, sex was already on the brain for much of the audience. The Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal was dominating the airwaves, and talk of incriminating stains, wayward cigars and phone sex was ubiquitous in media coverage and water-cooler conversations around the world. Yet while Lewinsky was cast as a laughingstock and a “tramp” — a popular perception that has since undergone mass re-evaluation post-#MeToo — Sex and the City (SATC) took a very different view of female sexuality.

Carrie Bradshaw was introduced as a sort of sexual anthropologist, investigating whether women could have “sex like a man” — that is, “without feeling”. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were single women seeking sex for sex’s sake, and they weren’t punished for it, nor depicted as “fallen women”.


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