As a millennial sex journalist, I've spent all of my career writing in the shadow of a fictional legend in my field. I can recall in 2018, as I transitioned from my sex shop job to starting a blog, 20 whole years after the world met this character, that her life was the image most easily conjured by strangers who inquired innocently about my profession.

"I'm a sex educator and a writer," I'd offer, already wincing. "Oh!" the inevitable reply would come. "Just like Carrie Bradshaw!"

Well, not quite. As the protagonist of HBO staple "Sex and the City," Carrie Bradshaw was indeed a sex columnist for a New York newspaper, just like her creator, Candace Bushnell. The difference is, both the original column as penned by Bushnell and Carrie's on the sitcom it spawned are explicitly intended as entertainment, and not education, or even necessarily to inform.

And yet, woven into the discourse surrounding Carrie's complicated legacy is an underlying assumption that Carrie is