Book Review: Is There Still Sex in the City? by Candace Bushnell

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Publish Date: August 6, 2019

“Ladies, don’t you ever, ever, ever try this at home.” — Is There Sex in the City?

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Set between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a country enclave known as The Village, Is There Still Sex in the City? gathers Bushnell’s signature short, sharp, satirical commentaries on the love and dating habits of middle aged men and women as they continue to navigate the ever-modernizing world of relationships. Throughout, Bushnell documents 21st century dating phenomenon, such as the “Unintended Cub Situation” in which a sensible older woman suddenly becomes the love interest of a much younger man, the “Mona Lisa” Treatment—a vaginal restorative surgery often recommended to middle aged women, and what it’s really like to go on Tinder dates as a fifty something divorcee. Bushnell also updates one of her most celebrated stories from Sex and the City, “The Bicycle Boys,” a breed of New York man who was always trying to bring his bike up to women’s apartments. Once an anomaly, Bushnell charts their new ubiquitousness, in addition to where, and how to do your own man stalking via bicycle (and whether or not it’s worth it).

In Is There Still Sex in The City? Bushnell looks at love and life from all angles—marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, as well as the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all. This is a pull-no-punches social commentary and an indispensable companion to one of the most revolutionary dating books of the twentieth century.

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Like many others, from 1998-2004 I was obsessed with the HBO series Sex and the City (SATC). The TV series is about a sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends — Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. The show explores Manhattan’s dating scene, and chronicles the mating habits of single New Yorkers. I followed the show very closely – the shoes (oh, the shoes!), the fashion, the luxe brands, the friendships! the men! and read Candace Bushnell’s book of the same name. The show and the book feature strong females and I loved it.

Is There Still Sex in the City?‘s storyline is vastly different than the HBO series or the first Sex and the City book, but Candance Bushnell’s familiar writing style and her razor sharp sense of humor definitely shine here. For me, reading Candace’s work feels like catching up with an old friend. It invokes nostalgia, and it’s very entertaining and funny.

New York City plays a central character in this book, and it’s one of the reasons that I like it. The writing makes me feel as though I’m right there in this unique, diverse, energetic, exciting city. I have always wanted to live in New York, and the story has me living vicariously.

If you’re hoping for this book to be a continuation of Sex and the City and its characters, you’ll be disappointed. This book fast-forwards twenty years from the original SATC setting and the author reflects on the ups and downs of sex, dating, relationships after fifty in the fast paced NYC life through snippets and commentary. These topics might seem depressing, but there is a lot of humor injected throughout and the story is very entertaining. There are many LOL moments.

My favorite quotes:

“I’d been brilliantly played by Tinder. Tinder is the house, and the house always wins.”

“The arrival of houseguests is like giving birth: you’re so happy to see them you immediately forget how irritated you were while waiting for them to show up.”

“In 2007, the most googled porn request was “MILF” — mothers I’d like to fuck.”

“Due to exercise, hair extensions, Botox and filler, healthy eating, and advanced skin care, even if a woman is technically too old to bear a child, she can still look like she can.”

“Just because a cub is young and willing, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.”

The book also covers kids, marriage, divorce and death, and the pressures on women to look youthful and do cosmetic surgery. 40+ women might feel vulnerable to the situations mentioned, and relate to the trials and tribulations in the book. I definitely learned some new terms and was educated on the latest enhancement procedures.

The book has short stories, facts, statistics, and social commentary. Feminists will appreciate it. It’s not for everyone, but the target audience will find it a very entertaining, funny, quick read.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars 3 Stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2 thoughts

  1. I think because I loved the show so much and have enjoyed several of Bushnell’s novels this might be too real for me. Although, those quotes are damn funny.

    Thank you for the review! I’ve been wondering about this one, but thought it was another novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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