As Carrie’s affair with Big goes into its third week, the scene turns from ultra-sexy to slightly seedy. In search of some chastising, Carrie turns to the one friend she knows will lay down the law, Miranda. Miranda tells Carrie that she has to stop the affair. Meanwhile, guilt-free Samantha meets her sexual match in Tom Reymi. Tom is ready to strap Samantha into his leather ”swing” and go at it, but not before he is assured that Samantha has had an AIDS test, which she hasn’t. Samantha is terrified to take the test, but the girls encourage her to do it. Meanwhile, Charlotte is obsessed with finding the perfect wedding gown and hires a no-nonsense stylist to help her through the process. After her recent romp with Big, Carrie is unable to relax in bed with Aidan. Still conflicted, Carrie returns to the out-of-the-way hotel where she’s been sleeping with Big. As she’s walking out, she runs smack into Charlotte, who sees Big and sees exactly what’s going on. Later, a horrified Charlotte gives Carrie a firm talking to about the hurtfulness of having an affair with a married man. Samantha has the AIDs test, which comes back negative, and she and Tom take a erotic ride on his swing. Despite everything Carrie’s been told, she breaks all rules and has sex with Big in his conjugal bed. Big leaves and tells Carrie to let herself out. Natasha returns early from the Hamptons and catches Carrie desperately trying to sneak out the back door. Natasha screams at Carrie saying she knew they were having an affair and then she trips down the stairs, smashing her lip and losing a tooth. Carrie gets her to an emergency room and waits for Big to show up. When he does, she tells him ”We’re so over.” Big says nothing and Carrie walks out. She goes home to find Aidan faithfully waiting in her apartment.
”Is sex ever safe?” -Carrie
Samantha throws a self-congratulatory soiree at her new apartment where she tries to convince the girls that they have it all — great friends, good jobs, and plenty of sex. Carrie tries to play along, but her fling with Big eats away at her. Deciding she just can’t hold it in anymore, Carrie reveals her scarlet letter to Samantha in private. Carrie wonders if she’s trying to have it all: the reliable, committed Aidan, and the wild, exciting Mr. Big. Meanwhile, Samantha, who has long thought she did have it all, comes down with a bad case of the flu, and learns all the men in her life are unwilling to take care of her when she needs them. On the Charlotte front, Trey lays down a pre-nuptial agreement which has Charlotte worth a measly half a mill. On Miranda’s advice, Charlotte plays hardball with Trey’s mother Bunny and successfully negotiates for a million. Meanwhile Miranda meets her first man post-Steve. George is a cute yuppie from out of town who turns Miranda onto the wonders of phone sex. But Miranda becomes suspicious of George’s dexterity over the phone and dumps him when she realizes he’s phone-sexing other women too. Carrie knows all about playing on more than one field too. While Aidan is away on a business trip, she hooks up with Big in her apartment again. He tells Carrie he’s leaving Natasha, but Carrie tells him not to. When Aidan returns, he sense something is up with Carrie and asks if she’s been cheating — on her pledge to quit smoking. Carrie confesses she’s been cheating, and reaffirms her vow to quit.
”This is going to be like the ‘Bridges of Madison Avenue’, a very brief affair I’ll write about in sappy letters to my grandchildren.” -Carrie
While he continues to try and find an apartment in New York City’s overpriced real estate market, Steve has taken up residency on Miranda’s couch. Despite his lack of an apartment, Steve finds a new romantic interest, which saddens Miranda and makes her wonder what she’s doing wrong. Charlotte is mixed with bittersweet feelings herself: she’s now engaged to Trey, but it didn’t happen the way she envisioned. Charlotte ended up proposing to Trey, whose response was ”alrighty!” Charlotte is rather devastated, until a few days later when Trey spontaneously suggests they go to Tiffany’s to buy the most beautiful engagement ring they can find. Samantha’s latest sexy professional, Adam, is great except for the ”funky tasting spunk.” When she refuses to go down there on a future date, Adam gets annoyed, and Samantha is forced to spell it out for him. Adam thinks she’s just making excuses, so Samantha challenges him to taste it for himself. Meanwhile, Carrie bumps into a drunk Big at a furniture show. He blurts out that he and Natasha are not working out. If that wasn’t enough, he calls Carrie several times, and learns from Aidan she’s working on a deadline at a hotel next door. Big shows up at the hotel, and drops the bomb: he says he’s made a mistake, and he really loves Carrie. Carrie runs for the elevators, but Big pushes his way in, which leads to the bedroom, which ends with sharing a cigarette in bed.
”Maybe we should get married.” -Charlotte
Charlotte started out the year with what seemed like mission impossible – finding a husband by year’s end, but now things with Trey are looking very promising. In bed, Charlotte is holding out though, hoping she can be ”re-virginized” if she doesn’t have sex for a while. Meanwhile, Samantha is worried she may be ”drying up,” and in a moment of desperation, she agrees to go on a date with Len, an older man in her building. During sex with him, Samantha’s flow makes an appearance on Len’s expensive sheets, which freaks him out, but leaves Samantha overflowing with joy. Unfortunately, things aren’t so joyful for Steve and Miranda. Miranda is having trouble living with Steve and his childlike personality, and when he suggests they have a kid, Miranda realizes she already has one, and she is tired of being the ”mean mom” in their relationship. Steve asks Miranda if she’s just going to throw it all away, and she says she’s tried not to, but it just isn’t going to work. While at a party, Carrie unexpectedly bumps into Big. They exchange short and cold conversation, then she walks away. Later that day, just as Aidan has stepped out for coffee, Big shows up at Carrie’s door to tell her he can’t stop thinking about her. The timing couldn’t be worse.
”Oh my god! Vagina weights!” -Charlotte
”Honey, my vagina waits for no man.” -Samantha
Three weeks into her relationship with Aidan, Carrie begins to freak because everything seems so perfect. When Aidan asks Carrie to meet his parents, she can’t deal and finds herself saying no. Meanwhile, Charlotte presses on in her mission to be married by year’s end. Her latest tactic involves forcing her married friends to hook her up with single men they know. Charlotte’s first date using the new strategy ends up being a married friend who professes his love for her. But after storming out of that date, Charlotte falls down on the street and meets Trey – the chemistry is instantaneous. Miranda continues to settle into her secure life with Steve, pretty much without incident (except for the ”skid marks” in his underwear). Samantha sleeps with a doctor named Mark, who doesn’t ”need” Viagra, but takes it to spice things up in bed. Intoxicated by the idea of an even more thrilling sexual experience, Samantha pops a pill or two. After a few trysts, Mark suggests they try it without the aid of medical enhancers, but Samantha refuses. Nervous she may get cut off, Samantha asks Mark to write her a prescription for her own supply. While at the opera with Charlotte, Carrie spots Big and Natasha in the balcony and leaves. Big sees her and tries to catch her, but Carrie’s long gone. Carrie realizes that in her relationship with Aidan, she’s been behaving like Big, and he’s been acting like the sensitive and available guy she always wanted Big to be. In a rush to try and undue any damage done, Carrie shows up at breakfast with Aidan and the family.
I’m living with skid-marks guy.” -Miranda
After a week and a half of romantic dates but no sex, Carrie wonders why her new man still doesn’t want to get into bed. Even after sharing a candlelit bath together, Aidan forgoes sex. Charlotte is having sex, but the issue is that her new boy is compelled to verbally degrade her as he approaches orgasm. Meanwhile Miranda learns her exploits have won her chlamydia and she’s forced to compile a list of her ex-conquests and let them know they may be infected. The residents at Samantha’s apartment building are shaken by a robber who attacks a tenant at gunpoint. When the security video reveals that the robber snuck in behind Samantha’s late-night sex guest, the residents shun her and she is forced to move to a more seedy neighborhood. Carrie realizes that she’s become used to skipping over romance and heading straight for sex, and that’s why Aidan’s slow and deliberate ways seems so strange. Finally though, when the moment is right, Aidan and Carrie consummate their lust.
Are we simply romantically challenged, or are we sluts?” -Carrie
Charlotte’s first date with Brad is going spectacularly, until it comes time for the ”kiss” at the doorway which is more like a series of sloppy licks from a Great Dane. Charlotte tries to give some emergency kissing lessons, but he’s just beyond repair. Carrie is also pursuing a new prospect — Aidan the furniture designer. To impress him, Carrie buys one of his leather chairs. Aidan is bedazzled with Carrie, until she takes out a cigarette and he lays down the law: he just can’t date a smoker. Carrie tries to go cold turkey, but Aidan catches her sneaking a cigarette after their date. Determined to give the relationship a shot, Carrie says goodbye Marlboro, hello Nicoderm. Stanford scores Marty, a nice guy who turns out to have a an extensive doll collection, which is fine until Stanford breaks a doll during sex. Samantha also has a new man — Chivon, a sexy African-American. Things are steaming along until Chivon’s sister interferes and tells Samantha she’s got the wrong color skin for her brother. Samantha fights for her right to date anyone and everyone, but Chivon ultimately gives in to his sister’s demands. Meanwhile, Steve wins the chance to win one million dollars if he scores a basket from center court. Steve asks Miranda to watch him practice a few shots on the basketball court, but she’s too busy which infuriates him. Finally, Miranda learns she needs to be more supportive.
I don’t see color, I see conquests.” -Samantha
Charlotte invites the girls to a gallery opening for an artist who photographs drag kings (women dressed as men). Charlotte meets the photographer, Baird, and he asks if she’d be willing to pose for him sometime. Meanwhile, Carrie and her new twentysomething boy Sean are having a good time bar-hopping and ice skating until Carrie is thrown for a loop when she learns Sean has dated both men and women. Carrie is confused about who he’s really attracted to, but they end up in the sack anyway. Samantha’s new and cute assistant, Matt, is also confused — about who’s the boss. Samantha tries to put him in his place, but he ignores her, and Samantha is forced to fire and then sleep with him. Miranda feels suffocated when she gets home from work and finds Steve in her bed eating crackers, with a pile of his dirty clothes on the floor. She asserts her need for space, and Steve storms out. But the next day when Miranda comes home to an empty nest, she’s lonely and invites Steve to move in, full-time. After resisting for a while, Charlotte poses for Baird, and looks so fabulous that she and Baird end up getting busy. Things get too busy for Carrie at a party with Sean where it seems everyone is bisexual. During a round of spin the bottle, Carrie kisses another woman, and then leaves, realizing she’s too old fashioned for this scene.
”I’m a trisexual. I’ll try anything once.” -Samantha
A laid back Sunday brunch is ruined when Carrie sees Big and Natasha’s wedding announcement in the New York Times. Twenty five, tall, beautiful, and married, Natasha brings out Carrie’s worst insecurities. When Carrie bumps into Natasha in the dressing room of a clothing boutique, Carrie wonders: Are there women in New York City who live for the sole purpose of making other women feel bad about themselves? To relieve some stress, Samantha takes the girls out for a day at the spa. Charlotte however, can’t seem to let go of her body image issues and get naked in the steam room. Samantha gets a tip that Kevin, one of the massage therapists, performs sexual favors, but when he doesn’t deliver, Samantha makes her own move and grabs his crotch. The spa bans Samantha, but she gets Kevin fired. Charlotte returns to the spa and nervously bares it all; she’s validated when another woman compliments her breasts. Meanwhile, Miranda’s new Ukranian housekeeper takes cleaning up Miranda’s life too far — with lectures about marriage and herbal teas. When she replaces the vibrator in Miranda’s ”goodie drawer” with a statue of the Virgin Mary, Miranda puts her in her place. Carrie tries to impress Natasha by looking fabulous at a high society luncheon. But it’s all for naught because Natasha doesn’t show up. After trying too hard and buying clothes she couldn’t really afford, Carrie feels like a loser — until she gets Natasha’s thank you note featuring an embarrassing spelling error.
”Are there women in New York who are just there to make us feel bad about ourselves?” -Carrie
It’s been three wonderful weeks on the campaign trail for Carrie and Bill when their romance is brought to a deeper level, twice. Charlotte moves ahead with her own campaign — to be elected wife by year’s end. She decides to throw a used date party, which seems to be going well until her new-found interest starts making out with his ex. Meanwhile, Miranda is pushed to confront her ambivalence when Steve says he wants to see her exclusively. She wonders: what if someone better comes along? Samantha is also deeply conflicted about her latest man: he’s a munchkin who shops in the boys department at Bloomingdale’s, but he’s got a great sense of humor and he’s a powerhouse in bed. Carrie gets nervous on the campaign trail when Bill asks her to pee on him, and Bill’s response is to call it quits, saying it’s a bad political move to date a sex columnist. Carrie gets the last word though, titling her latest column, ”To Pee or Not to Pee?”
”The country runs better with a good looking man in the White House. Look what happened with Nixon… no one wanted to fuck him, so he fucked everyone.” -Samantha