Were Carrie Bradshaw and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy “Pogo Sisters”?
Photographs via Getty Images.
The twentieth anniversary of the premiere of Sex and the City is upon us, and that means no stone can be left unturned.
In an episode of the first season of Sex and the City, Carrie meets gay BFF Stanford Blatch’s single client, Derek, aka “The Bone.” Derek’s claim to fame is that he has recently appeared nearly naked on a giant billboard in Times Square for Calvin Klein underwear. He is, in Stanford’s words, “the human equivalent of a sable coat: he’s so beautiful that sometimes I have to look away,” and Stanford jokes to Carrie and the Bone that he should take “the bulge” from the billboard and put it in his apartment, so that “that way, when women ask him how big he is, he can say, ‘Fourteen feet!’”
Later in the episode, the Bone asks Carrie if he can go home with her. They have a little red wine, talk about his dreams of moving back home and having kids, and confesses, “Sometimes I get so distracted. My thoughts get so scattered in my head. It’s jumbled and it doesn’t make sense.” Relatable!
But wait. That’s not all.
Like so much of Sex and the City’s first season, this episode is based almost directly on one of Candace Bushnell’s original columns, in which she wrote about the dating life of her alias, Carrie Bradshaw. This column, which appears in the eponymous 1996 anthology, is titled, “Portrait of a Bulgy Underwear Model: The Bone Pops Out of His Giant Billboard.” Many of the Bone’s best lines on the TV show come directly from Bushnell’s original piece, meaning the Bone (probably) actually said these things in real life:
“Before I say something, I say it in my head first, so it doesn’t come out wrong.”
“Doesn’t that kind of seem like a waste of time?” you ask.
“It only takes a second.”
And even juicier is the implication that things were a little less PG than they appeared on TV. During the above exchange, Bushnell describes “sitting on the edge of the bed with [her] head in [her] hands staring at the Bone, who’s lying on the bed with one hand in the waistband of his jeans.” Yum!
The Bone is never named in Bushnell’s column, but he isn’t anonymous. The Bone himself—whose real name is Michael Bergin—confirmed his encounter with Bushnell in his 2004 memoir, The Other Man. Bergin writes that one day, he “got a call from Candace Bushnell,” a friend of his manager, Tad Small (Stanford Blatch’s loose inspiration, we presume), in which she said that “she wanted to interview [Bergin] for the column. She thought it would make a fun story: ‘A Day in Manhattan with the Calvin Klein Underwear Guy.’”
Bergin writes that Bushnell came over to interview him, and the two smoked pot, and then he really opened up. “I told her that Tad called me the Bone. ‘He thinks I’m a walking penis,’ I explained, ‘but he’s wrong. I’m actually kind of shy around women. And I prefer sex that’s about more than sex.’” Then, Bushnell said, “Well, I like you. I think we have an emotional connection.”
“The next thing you know, we were tearing off each other’s clothes and going at it,” Bergin writes. “She spent the night, and we went at it again in the morning, and then we went our separate ways.”
Of course, Bushnell isn’t the primary subject of Bergin’s memoir, and she wasn’t the only iconic blonde to bed the Bone. The title of Bergin’s book, The Other Man, refers to his relationship with—ohmygod!!!—Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, with whom he was embroiled in a love triangle with— ohmygod!!!—her boyfriend, and then husband, John F. Kennedy, Jr. until the Kennedys’ death. So: does that mean that Carrie Bradshaw and Carolyn Bessette were, um, pogo sisters?!
And do not forget—as if this universe were not small enough—that Sarah Jessica Parker dated John F. Kennedy, Jr. in the early ’90s. I couldn’t help but wonder: was Carrie’s New York City the real Camelot?