The perils of being a randy old coot in a world of Tinder


The perils of being a randy old coot in a world of Tinder

Smug marrieds can thank their lucky stars they don’t have to emulate author Candace Bushnell

Lynn Barber

Sex and the City, based on a column Candace Bushnell wrote for the New York Observer, was a huge success on television from l998 to 2004. I was never a fan: I felt the characters were far too old to be carrying on the way they were, obsessing about shoes and boyfriends. But, crikey, they’re so much older in the followup, Is There Still Sex in the City? – Candace Bushnell turns 60 at the end of the book.

It starts with Bushnell’s decision to leave Manhattan – her mother dies, her dog dies, her husband wants a divorce, and she is not allowed to take over the mortgage of their apartment, even though she has plenty of money, because she is now a divorced middle-aged woman. So she bunks off to her country cottage in Connecticut and writes three books which are all rejected. Her friend tells her it is because she is suffering from MAM – middle-aged madness – the first of many irritating acronyms in the book. So then she moves back to New York, and wonders: is there still sex in the city?

Her first date is with her gynaecologist who tells her she needs to sign up for the Mona Lisa treatment, “a new laser treatment that restores thickness and elasticity to the vagina”. Apparently it has much the same effect as Viagra does on middle-aged men – it rekindles sexual desire. The difference is that whereas Viagra only costs a few bucks, the Mona Lisa treatment costs $3,000, and Bushnell sensibly declines. On the other hand, she does spend $4,000 on face cream, which she reckons is only twice as much as she spends on fillers and Botox...

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