Lena Dunham and her Girls Castmates Talk About Sex (in the City)S

Critics keep referring to Girls, Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow's upcoming HBO show, as the "new Sex and the City," even though it doesn't premiere until next month — as if it's impossible for anyone else to create a show about Manhattan women that's not about Manolos and Cosmopolitans.

25-year-old Dunham and her castmates say they're nothing like Carrie et al — and it's not just because they deign to hang out in Brooklyn — but that much of Girls will be about women being sexually active in NYC. Check out this segment from a NYT Magazine roundtable discussion between Dunham, Jenni Konner, an executive producer, and co-stars Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet:

DUNHAM Half the time when I'm talking about something else I'm just trying to maneuver into a conversation about sex. Especially in your early 20s sex is a playground in which you're working out a lot of your insecurities, and people are in some ways in the most honest in those dynamics, but you also can't reveal yourself to people.

KIRKE Obviously we're not making a documentary here, and even if we were, it would be hard to make it honest. No, it's not "Sex and the City," where it's a total lie. That's four gay men sitting around talking.

DUNHAM Every woman I know is such a bundle of contradictions. It was so important to me that there could be a girl who was confident but sex made her incredibly anxious, or a girl who respected herself but was using sex to push boundaries to understand herself better.

KONNER We have a lot of sex on the show and most of it is bad. We are trying to make truthful sex scenes about women who are young and inexperienced, with men who are young and inexperienced, and what that looks like.

WILLIAMS By the way, as an actor, it's a lot easier to film awkward sex scenes than really sexy ones.

DUNHAM Usually the sex scenes end up being some kind of character revelation or relationship shift. We've never had a scene that's like: We just want to show you how well these people are getting along. [Laughs]

I'm a huge Lena Dunham fan and I can't wait to see how she can possibly write a more awkward sex scene than the one from Tiny Furniture in which she does it doggy-style in a sewage pipe.


Cable's New Pack of Girls, Trying on the Woman Thing [NYT Magazine]