Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carrie Bradshaw syndrome

How long would you let the rest of the world read the dirty details of your relationship life?

You'll ask that question after reading this essay from Salon. The title? "I'm done writing about my sex life."

Consider it another drawback to the end of "Sex and the City." In the last two years or so, I've stumbled upon dozens of essays by women concluding that writing about sex isn't really that cool after all.

I like the Salon essay because the writer's conclusion isn't spurred by new boyfriend who hates being a form of journalistic inspiration. Instead, she simply grows up. She writes:

In a way, tossing off pithy, 500-word pieces about sex for $100 a pop was beginning to feel a little bit like a one-night stand. It gave me what I craved in the moment -- attention, excitement -- without sustaining satisfaction.

But still, at the end of the day, I was left with no book deal and no boyfriend. Hardly a tragedy, but at age 28, I was wondering what, exactly, I'd been doing for the past 10 years, both in my personal and professional life.

"Sex and the City" reached its prime just as I secured a spot as a lifestyle columnist at my college newspaper. I had the gig for two years, then put on my first-person writing shoes once again when I moved to Columbus a couple years after graduation.

I write about relationships, but I've never considered myself a "sex columnist." I've always written in towns too conservative for a sex column. Perhaps that's a blessing in disguise.

Maybe due to Carrie Bradshaw, it's easy for 20- and 30-something women to dismiss their romantic failures with a simple, "Well, at least I can write about it."

To some extent, that's a fine outlook. You don't have to put all your lapses in judgment in a cringe-worthy "forget me soon" corner of your brain.

At time same time, while your writing may entertain an audience, it doesn't always leave you feeling fulfilled.

You risk becoming a persona, someone who intricately describes a Saturday night hookup but can't apply that same sense of detail to the time you spend alone.