Sex + Dating

'Sex and the City's Most Memorably Awful Dating Advice

sex and the city
HBO/Oren Aks/Thrillist

As a sex writer in New York City, it's harder to avoid getting compared to Carrie Bradshaw than it is to find a place where you can still legally smoke indoors. This is especially annoying for two reasons.

First, unless you're a TV writer or the author of a New York Times best seller, there is no way to realistically budget for rent and a pair of Manolo Blahniks, let alone MULTIPLE pairs of Manolo Blahniks. And more importantly, for all the gems of wisdom the expertly accessorized foursome dished out during brunch, they also gave some pretty terrible advice about sex and dating -- even the professional sex writer herself.

So let's break out the vodka and whip up some cosmos; it's time to pour one out for each time the ladies got it oh-so-fabulously wrong. PS: this is already my new favorite drinking game.

"Men cheat for the same reason dogs lick their balls: because they can. It's part of their biology. Instead of wasting all this energy condemning it, maybe it's time we all got in line with the reality of the situation." -- Samantha

As the face of female sexual empowerment on a show, I would have expected more from Samantha. For shame. Also, let's stop comparing men to dogs… dogs are far more loyal. Kidding!

Anyway, even in the age of 4G dating and swiping right to fourth base, monogamy lives. And before we accept any biological arguments giving men a get-out-of-jail-free pass when it comes to infidelity, it might serve us to examine the patriarchal influence on the medical and scientific establishments themselves. Maybe we can blame this crappy advice on the fact that most of the series overlapped with the Clinton administration… and not Hillary's.

satc
HBO

"I don't want to be the up-the-butt girl, because I mean… Men don't marry up-the-butt girls. Whoever heard of Mrs. Up-the-Butt?" -- Charlotte
First of all, every person in Manhattan is "an up-the-butt girl." This city will give it to you so hard, you'll have trouble walking the next morning, even in flats. In all seriousness, no matter what your position is when it comes to anal, there are men out there who would be glad -- grateful, even -- to wed a woman who's down for some butt stuff. Thankfully, our collective attitude toward anal has progressed since the late '90s; and even by Season 4. Today, we're definitely not a post-butt-sex society, but we're getting there.

"I'm not even sure bisexuality exists. I think it's just a layover on the way to Gay Town." -- Carrie
Looks like someone needs to learn their ABCs -- specifically, their LGBT and Q's. Bisexuality is most definitely a thing... and negating an entire category of sexual preference is almost worse than being prejudiced against it. Bisexuality Ville is as much a sexual-identity destination as Gay Town, except with double the chance of taking someone home on a Saturday night.

"Oh, please. There's always a competition with an ex; it's called 'who will die miserable?'" -- Samantha
OK, Samantha's not totally off-base here. A girl's Instagram game is never stronger than it is post-breakup. But racing your ex to happiness is the surest way to exhaust yourself emotionally. The easiest way to win at the game of love is to not play any games at all. So let it go, unfollow, unfriend, or do whatever people did before Facebook.

HBO

"I only give head to get head." -- Miranda
The whole love-thy-neighbor approach is great; you know, give a cookie, get a cookie. However, conceding to any sexual act as one half of some sort of transaction is just... unsexy.

If you're making the trip downtown, it should be because you want to, not because you expect to be driven there next time.

"Practically all the relationships I know are based on a foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusions." -- Samantha
You could say the same thing about the democratic system and free-market economics, but this article is about sex, not politics. Healthy relationships are rooted in honesty and effective communication. The operative word being "healthy." But happy and productive relationships don't make for good TV. Those are for the movies… and sometimes the sequels.

"If there were unlimited apartments in Manhattan, we'd all be single forever." -- Miranda
Cohabitation does not a relationship make. Still, the housing market in New York City will make a person do crazy things, and we're not just talking about putting down a three-month security deposit and fitting five people into a two-bedroom apartment. The urge to merge can be all too real in a city that treats your wallet like an ATM, but do what you can to resist until you're actually ready. The only thing worse than running into your ex, is living with them.

SATC
HBO

"Wrong ring, wrong guy." -- Samantha
We can all agree that the pear-shaped monstrosity Miranda helped Aidan pick out for Carrie was categorically gross, but that doesn't make Aidan a bad guy. If you're with a guy for his tastes in material things, you might want to double-check his other tastes, if you catch our drift, and also yourself. Rings come with a return policy. Relationships don't.

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Julia Reiss is a writer and humorist alive and mostly well in New York City. She thinks of herself as a Carrie/Samantha hybrid, only she's still saving up for those Manolo Blahniks. Follow her on Twitter: @thereisspiece #TeamAidan