‘Sex and the City’ creator talks vaginal rejuvenation and finding ‘Mr. Bigger’
Candace Bushnell has no shame admitting that she nearly shelled out thousands of dollars for the Mona Lisa — a vaginal laser-rejuvenation treatment that has become a cultish obsession among the city’s most privileged.
“Here’s the thing: If I was going to do it, I was going to have to do a before and after,” the 60-year-old author told The Post. “So I was going to have to find someone to have sex with as, you know, an experiment. If I’m just going to spend $3,000, I want to know if it really works or not, OK? But I couldn’t find that person.”
The candid sex talk is nothing new for Bushnell, whose New York Observer column, “Sex and the City,” was turned into the hugely popular HBO series in the late ’90s.
Now, the woman who made Cosmopolitans a must-have drink and “Mr. Big” a household name has turned her attention to what she calls “the New Middle Age.”
In her new novel, “Is There Still Sex in the City?” (Grove Press), out Aug. 6, Bushnell explores the dating dilemmas plaguing a group of middle-aged New York City women who decamp to the Hamptons for refuge and a fresh start.
She delves into everything from “cubbing” — older women dating younger men — to the seemingly ageless “Supermiddles.”
“When you’re in your 50s, it’s expected that you’re going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on these little lasers or filler. It’s the price of maintaining that feminine image,” she said.
Bushnell even dives deep into the perils of dating via Tinder in your 50s.
“I mean, is that really the best?” she asked of the app. “Is that how we as a society want people to start relationships? We can do a little bit better than that.”
While fictionalized, the book’s storyline is one Bushnell knows well.
In 2012 she divorced her husband of 10 years, Charles Askegard, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Court papers claimed he was having an affair.
“The reality is, if two people meet and they are in love and you happen to be in a relationship with one of them, there is not a hell of a lot you can do honestly except wish them the best,” said Bushnell of the relationship’s demise.
At first, she retreated to her country house in Roxbury, Conn., for a few years. “I was just feeling like I needed to be out of the city,” she said.
But in 2016, when a couple of her female friends moved full-time to Sag Harbor, Bushnell decided to follow.
“We’re all single women without children. And you think about, what are you going to do when you get old?” she said. “If you don’t have kids, you realize, ‘Who is going to take care of me?’ Your girlfriends.”
Bushnell said her new arrangement out East reminds her of her younger days in NYC, when she and the same pals all lived within a block of each other.
“It was a weird, great communal living where your best friends who are like your family are right across the street and you can run and see them any time and you’re there for each other,” said Bushnell.
Now, she added, “We live within walking or biking distance [of each other]. We get together usually for Sunday brunch. And sometimes we have a paddle-boarding lunch.”
In May 2017, Bushnell found love again when she was re-introduced to Jim Coleman, a real-estate adviser/consultant, by her good friend, author Jay McInerney.
“Jim and I had actually met before through Chris Noth” — aka the actor who played Mr. Big on “Sex and the City.”
“Jim’s Mr. Bigger,” Bushnell said. “He’s very tall.”
After the two began dating, she even re-considered giving the Mona Lisa a go.
“But things seemed to be OK without the treatment,” she said. “You know, it’s a muscle and you just gotta use it.”
She’s even open to the idea of tying the knot again.
“I think if you get married at 70, you probably will be married ’til death do you part,” she explained. “Because at that point you gotta know something about what’s right and how to make relationships work.”
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