Dave Allocca/Startraks
Jenisha Watts
April 15, 2012 11:35 AM

It’s drawn early comparisons to another HBO show – Sex and the City – but the major thing Lena Dunham’s dark comedy, Girls, has in common with the show is, well, the sex.

Just don’t expect to find any romantic love scenes or glitzy shopping montages.

For this group of young New York women, it’s all about uncomfortable sexual positions, “like legs behind the head kind of action,” Dunham, who wrote, directed and stars in the series, told PEOPLE at its premiere at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.

Joked Dunham, 25: “I was sore the next day in a different place than you’re usually sore after sex.”

Not that she minds the SATC comparisons, though she is keen on differentiating the shows.

“I do think we are looking at a different time in women’s lives and a slightly less glamorized New York,” she told PEOPLE. “Although it’s for women, there is a divide between those two shows.”

But Dunham’s character, Hannah, wouldn’t think twice about making parallels.

“[She] would say she’s a Carrie because everyone says they are a Carrie,” Dunham said. “I once read this really funny bit that [Sex and the City star] Mario Cantone did, were he was like, ‘Everyone says they are a Carrie. You’re not a f–––ing Carrie. You’re from New Jersey, you’re not a Carrie.’ ”

Girls, which debuts April 15 (10:30 p.m.), spotlights four twentysomething women beginning their lives and careers in New York. The show doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects including abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and challenging parental relationships – all underscored with wry humor.

“I try to handle everything sensitively,” Dunham said. “There are certain things [such as] rape and racial issues that to me as a human aren’t funny.”

But her newfound celebrity is – even as she’s just getting used to the spotlight.

“I just thought of myself as someone who acted in their own work,” said a smiling Dunham. “So actually being the face of the thing is surreal, disorienting but a lot of fun.”

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