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Gulfstream Sexes It Up!

Now that the party is over and you're stuck trying to get that damn vodka-and-cranberry-juice stain out of your carpet, it's time to reflect on the single woman's favorite page-turner, Sex and the City. Yes, before it was the biggest hit on cable television, it was a best-selling book by New York Observer columnist Candace Bushnell. Find it hard to imagine that this one little book would change the face of pop culture? Rewind to 1997 and consider the portrayal of the single woman -- pre-Sex. If the theme song from One Day at a Time starts skipping in your head, you're not alone.

Sex and the City has done for single women what Blanche Devereaux and The Golden Girls did for hot flashes and cheesecake. Sex's impact reaches far and wide: academic roundtables, women gab sessions, and, hey, maybe even your own bedroom. It showed women everywhere the importance of emotional honesty leading to closeness in relationships, according to Dr. Joyce Brothers (now, there's a voice of authority). And all of this packed into an entertaining half-hour package.

Even if you indulged in the show only for the steamy sex and bare-ass shots, it probably left its mark. Did you maybe learn the proper etiquette for oral sex from what fans fondly remember as "the glazed donut episode"? The penis jokes alone are enough to live on in video history. Who can forget the line, "So much skin, it was like a Sharpei puppy"? Besides having inspired the television show, Bushnell's book spawned imitations, like Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada, Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed, and numerous others whose cover art showed women plopped next to a journal. Having energized the independent ladies' writing revolution, Bushnell has also written her latest novel, Trading Up. She appears in person this week as part of the Women's Club series.

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Terra Sullivan

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