An author who helped usher in a new era of sexual liberation admits that not building a family made her feel “truly alone.”
Carrie Bushnell’s novel, “Sex and the City,” helped spawn the wildly popular HBO series of the same name, in which a group of affluent Manhattan women experience the joys and pratfalls of sexual independence. Speaking with the Sunday Times, however, Bushnell said she regrets not having children prior to her divorce in 2012.
“When I was in my 30s and 40s, I didn’t think about it,” Bushnell said, according to Fox News. “Then when I got divorced and I was in my 50s, I started to see the impact of not having children and of truly being alone. I do see that people with children have an anchor in a way that people who have no kids don’t.”
Bushnell and her husband, ballet dancer Charles Askegard, divorced in 2012 after 10 years of marriage — which she said caused her to go without sex for five years. “It’s not that long when you get to my age. I know women who have gone longer,” she said.
Her experience in exploring middle-age loneliness served as the inspiration for her upcoming book, “Is There Still Sex in the City?” Speaking with Deadline, Bushnell said the lives of 50-something women have changed drastically over the decades and are virtually the same as women in their 20s.
“It didn’t used to be this way. At one time, 50-something meant the beginning of retirement — working less, spending more time on your hobbies, with your friends, who like you were sliding into a more leisurely lifestyle,” said Bushnell. “In short, retirement age folks weren’t meant to do much of anything but get older and a bit heavier. They weren’t expected to exercise, start new business ventures, move to a different state, have casual sex with strangers, and start all over again. But this is exactly what the lives of a lot of 50- and 60-something women look like today, and I’m thrilled to be reflecting the rich complexity of their reality on the page and now on the screen.”
The new book, which already has a television deal on the table, will focus on a group of single, middle-aged women from New York City who move to the Hamptons in order to start anew. Similar to “Sex and the City,” the upcoming novel was inspired by her own experience as a childless, single woman in her 50s, Bushnell told the New York Post.
“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.”
“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,” Bushnell said. “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.”