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Episode 17: What's on the plate tonight?


So in search of material for a new monologue to practice, I delved into Sex and the City because… well, they say portraying characters that are near you appeals to casting directors. And if I’m not Carrie, then who am I? (Ruxi, obviously, but beside the point.)

My friend suggested the naked dress episode when Carrie goes on that first date with Mr. Big. Long story short for non-Sex and the City fans, they have sex before dinner. Days go by and Mr. Big still doesn’t reach out to her. So, of course, her friends debate the question: what does it mean to have sex on the first date? Should you have sex on the first date if you want a relationship with the specific person? In what way does sex, and at which point in the course of the relationship you decide to have sex, define the relationship?

I’m sitting at my desk, watching this and taking notes for monologues when flashbacks of very -very- recent conversations with girlfriends come to my mind.

Sex and the City was published in 1997. The first episode was broadcast on HBO in 1998. 20 years later, my friends and I are debating the same questions over our own drinks in another bustling metropolitan city.

One of my girlfriends completely embodies Samantha’s opinion on the question:

“I mean isn’t it better to find out if sex is good right off the bat before anybody’s feelings get hurt?”

Truth be told, out of all of my friends, I think only one could be likened to Charlotte – whose views are a tad more conservative: you have to wait a certain number of dates before sleeping with the other person if you want a relationship with them.

CHARLOTTE: Oh, but this is your bus party. Oh…I told you you shouldn’t have, well never mind. CARRIE: What, he’s not here because I slept with him on the first date?

CHARLOTTE: Basically yes. When you sleep with a man on the first date otherwise it won ’t be anything more than just sex.

And the kicker is Carrie’s next line:

CARRIE: Uh-huh. Cheers (toasted champagne) (V.O.) I didn’t want to admit that she was right.

Here’s my issue with this: from personal experiences and my friends’, it’s pretty much happened this way. There’s no sleeping with the partner on the first date if you want a relationship with them – even though we think, and say, it’s a free world, and "if you want to do it, do it, and there’s no judging." There’s absolutely no judging – except our own. But as Carrie points out, have any great love stories started out from sleeping on the first date?

My friends pointed this out after reading my blog: sex will paint the other person in a certain way. And, honestly speaking, sex for the first time with anyone is not great. You don't know what they like; they don't know what you like; you're too shy (or too drunk to care) to tell them what you like. Unless you've agreed ahead of time that it's truly a one-time thing and you're never seeing each other again (aka One Night in Ibiza), you're very unlikely to tell your partner the kinky stuff you like. It's promising to be a fairly conservative session of mating.

If we go by Sex and the City, Big calls up Carrie. They meet again and he tells her that they could definitely be a thing. Ambiguous.

Episode 7 rolls in, I’m watching Carrie, sporting a silk dress like the one I’ve been shopping around for, waltz into this party, hanging on Big’s arm – days after she finds out he has been seeing other people.

And I’m like, “gurl in that silk dress, with your boobs and nipples looking fabulous, this is way too close to home right now.” (Not that my boobs would ever look that fabulous in a silk dress.)