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2023-09-12 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Candace Bushnell Wants Men on Dating Apps to Step Up Their Game

Candace Bushnell Wants Men on Dating Apps to Step Up Their Game

"Dude, do some exercise."
Photo courtesy of Candace Bushnell

Blonde icon Candace Bushness is back in town with her one-woman show, Is There Still Sex in the City?, which runs April 25 to 29 at The Carlyle. She dishes the dirt on a new era of dating.

So Candace, is there still sex in the city?
There is! The people who are having less sex are younger. But amongst people who are older, there is still sex in the city — especially now. People are going out and connecting more now that the pandemic is over.

Have dating apps changed sex? Are you on anything like Raya or Bumble?
I am on a couple of dating apps. Its definitely changed sex and dating. It’s very easy to find sex and difficult to find a relationship.

Why is it harder to find a relationship?
There is a certain mindset where you keep looking for the bigger, better deal, which is a very New York kind of thing — [like] when you go to a cocktail party and people are looking over your shoulder to see if there’s someone more important that they need to talk to. The thing about dating and relationships is that people get into patterns. People get used to the little bit of a buzz you get from going on a dating app and somebody responds. And then you have a whole fantasy about what this person might be like. Then if you meet up with them there’s always some disappointment.

Have you had any good dating app meet-ups?
I’ve met a couple of interesting people. When you’re older it’s probably a bit easier because you’re a little more mature and you’ve had more experience and you know yourself better. I met some interesting people. There was nothing particularly wrong with them, but they just weren’t for me.

What’s the proper way to lose someone these days?
I don’t ghost people, but I don’t answer my texts right away which apparently is a no-no. Sometimes I don’t answer my texts for a couple of days. I take my time.

Is it tougher being famous on a dating app?
It’s actually a little bit easier if people have some idea of who you are, as opposed to if they have absolutely no idea and they say “What do you do?” My feeling is: Google me, so at least you know what you might be getting into.

Do you Google people before a date?
All the time. Both dating and other times, for business reasons. Knowledge is power. And if you Google somebody and nothing comes up, that might make you go hmm.

And one of the reasons why I will often Google people is to see if they’re actually still married. ‘Cause there are people on dating apps who are still married.

Any dating app red flags?
One of the things that I’ve noticed — because I am in the over-50 category and it’s kind of shocking to me — a lot of guys think that they’re being clever and funny, and they put up pictures where you can’t see their face.

What’s your type?
My type is anybody who is age appropriate. Look, I’m in my 60s, so it could be mid-50s to 70. I actually want to have a more serious relationship and I don’t think a 40-year-old wants to be with a 64 year old woman. Maybe for sex. But I’m looking for a relationship now.

Candace Bushnell
Photo by BFA

Is there still true love in the city?
I hope so. People do find that person, believe it or not, when they get older. I know somebody who’s over 70 who hasn’t had a boyfriend for 20 years who found somebody — a guy who’s really attractive. I mean, look, they’re 70, but they’re both in great shape and they’re really attractive and they’re in love.

People are looking better and better as they get older these days.
There was always this idea of men age well and women don’t. That is so wrong. I wanna say to a lot of these guys: cut your hair, cover up that grey. There’s so many men who I see on dating apps who are in their 50s and they look like they’re in their 60s or even older. Like, dude, do some exercise. The women out there are in shape. They’re doing Pilates. They’re keeping themselves together and the men aren’t.

Why do you think that is?
Could be also low grade depression. They’re getting divorced and they gave their ex-wife all their resources.

These days everyone is plastic surgery obsessed.
People are so much more groomed than they were 20 or 30 years ago. There’s just so many more things available. Botox, plastic surgery. The people who have the most plastic surgery are younger people. For a lot of people, if they can alter their appearance, they will. I actually wish that I had gotten plastic surgery when I was younger — maybe had a nose job.

You’re a smoking 64-year-old without a nose job. What’s your secret weapon?
I always weigh the same. I weigh within four to six pounds of what I weighed when I was 16. I used to do a lot of Pilates, but then I pulled a muscle. So now I take a lot of Advil.

Tell me about your one-woman show!
It’s my life story. Why I invented Carrie Bradshaw, how I created Sex and the City, how hard I worked to get there, and what happened to me after.

People assume you are Carrie Bradshaw.
At the beginning, the character of Carrie Bradshaw was definitely my alter ego. A lot of things in the show came from my real life. Then it moves on. I mean, I don’t feel like I am the Carrie Bradshaw character in And Just Like That. I never married that rich man.

Have you watched And Just Like That?
I think it’s fun. It’s finding its rhythm. I mean, it’s a spinoff.

Do you base your characters on your friends or real people?
The people who were written about, they knew it was them. And most of them got a kick out of it. What happened more frequently was somebody who I had never met and didn’t know would say that they were one of the characters.

The egos! Name names please!
People like Carol Radziwill. She thinks she’s Carrie Bradshaw. It’s like, no, sweetie.

Are you pals with Sarah Jessica Parker?
I don’t actually know her. I never run into her, except for at a Sex and the City event. She’s always been actually really sweet to me.

What will people learn about you from your one-woman show?
Hopefully they’ll learn how wonderful I am! [laughs] The strange thing is that there’s something about being on stage that’s freeing. It allows you to explore other sides of your personality that maybe people don’t really want to deal with in your real life — being very happy or being very sad. It doesn’t really work in real life, but it works on stage.

You left New York, but now you’re back on the scene.
I spent time out of the city when I got divorced. It was about three years because I was just really, really burned out. I had a house up in Connecticut. I loved it because I’ve got two sides to my personality. One side is the city girl, and then the other side is really country.

Do you think New York is back?
Yeah, I think it’s back. Young people are out and it’s fun to be around that energy, but it’s just different. In the ’90s, there was one scene pretty much. You knew everybody. We were not online. I mean there was barely email in the early ’90s. It will become like that kind of scene again soon, the more people go out. It is really about people.

[This interview has been edited and condensed]

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