Tag Archives: Sex and the City

Is There More to Sex and the City than Sex?

19 Aug

A month before the movie came out, one close friend expressed that she would not see this movie, as the ‘R’ rating offended her Christian sensibilities.  A week after the movie came out, over brunch, a different close friend, with embarrassment and ample qualifications, confessed that she had seen the movie.

Sex and the City seems to be one more dividing line on the holiness specturm.  Selah.

I have loved SATC since the time when I alone among my Jesus-loving peers dated, and I had no one to relate to about relationships.  I was forced to seek, and happily found, commiseration and comraderie in the dating trenches through the lives of the four heroines of SATC.   Sexual or non-sexual, sixth grade or nursing home, the dance of love has the same steps.  Since the SATC four and I were learning these steps, and my real life friends were not, these four became like friends to me.

So I waited with great anticipation to see this movie.  On opening night my wait was rewarded with more utterly enthralling tales from the trenches of love.   The movie was for mature audiences only, certainly, but more than that, it was for women who love.  For women who have been hurt, ravaged even, by love, and who dare to keep on loving nonetheless.   This was not fairytale romance, but love spelled p-a-i-n.   These ladies were not in a waltz, but a tango.

For the uninitiated the story revolves around the love lives of friends Samantha (the uber-vixen), Miranda (the career woman), Charlotte (the innocent), and Carrie (the everywoman).   Archetypes that we all know well.  I have a “Charlotte” and a “Miranda” in my circle of friends.  At the same time, I am the “Charlotte” and the “Miranda” in other circles.    I couldn’t say that I had any “Samanthas” in my life, until, mystically, when I watched the movie, I myself morphed into the character of Samantha, the almost-slut. 

How could this be??  

I related to her fabulousness.  I related to her lament over the sex that she is not having, but could be having; that it seems others are having. I related to her integrity over the sex issue.  I related to her turning to food to distract herself from love problems she did not want to face.  I related to her being unwilling to commit to the good man in her life, whom, she felt, was simply not the right man for her for now.  I related to her being alone in the end. 

There was a point in the movie when the other three friends see Samantha and observe for the first time that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  Carrie asks her, trying to get to the bottom of the weight gain, “Are you happy?”  In my seat in the theater, with my heart relating to Samantha in a way that my mind did not recognize immediately, I began to cry.  “No,” my heart spoke to me, “no, I’m not happy.  This singleness of ours is not working.  I want, I need, more.” 

I am not the only one who cried.

At another point in the movie my friend L, who was jilted by her fiancee a week before their elaborately planned wedding, cried as she watched.

My friend Amanda, whose divorce was finalized two years ago, was moved to tears at yet a different moment as she watched.  “How does love just fall apart?  So quickly, and over so little?,” her heart wanted to know.

It is a fierce, formidable, and frightening thing to be a woman who loves.  But watching this movie I realized that, like the fabulous SATC four, there is no way to live but to love, and no way to love but all-out.  I  watched four women get through their personal travails on-screen and I was encouraged that I, too, could endure the travail.  After all, the travail of living and of loving, is only part of the story.  I reflect on SATC and remind myself, as often as is needed (which is to say, very often), that this labor of loving brings with it a harvest of joy, and is well worth the trouble.

Also, I think of the four friends and their commitment to one another.   I recognize through them the equally great truth that we women cannot do love alone.  Maybe those of us who make it, who press through the introductory single-and-dating lessons, and the advanced married-with-children lessons, and the masters level betrayal-child burial-insolvency lessons,  and who still dare to love and love again, maybe we make it because we have friends who are commited to us.  Friends who kvetched with us while single, and prayed with us while mothering, and cried with us while grieving.  Maybe our strength to keep loving the men in our lives is directly related to the strength we receive from being loved by the women in our lives.

There is so much more than sex to be found in Sex and the City.