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‘Frenchmen aren’t that great in bed’ – Five French dating myths exploded

France is seen as the home of romance and a place for lovers, but French writer Olivia Sorrel-Dejerine argues that many of these myths do not live up to reality.

'Frenchmen aren't that great in bed' - Five French dating myths exploded
Is France really the country of romance? Photo: Getty Images via AFP

France is often regarded as the country of love and Paris as the most romantic city in the world.

But contrary to what you might think, the French are not all die-hard romantics. Here are five misconceptions about the French, love and sex;

French singer Serge Gainsbourg turns on the Gallic charm. Photo: AFP

1. Frenchmen are exceptional lovers

Frenchmen are often regarded as being passionate, seductive, romantic, sensitive…and exceptional lovers. Icons of seduction such as Serge Gainsbourg or Alain Delon or, more recently, Guillaume Canet and Lucas Bravo have helped to perpetuate the myth of the sexy Frenchie.

Beyond the celebrity world, even ordinary Frenchmen are generally speaking regarded as being charming and as being remarkable lovers. Unfortunately, this is not an absolute truth.

While French boys have many qualities, they are not necessarily the best in bed.

However, things are changing with the conversation in France growing about female pleasure, and it is not only coming from women!

In his essay Au-delà de la pénétration (Beyond penetration) published earlier this year, Martin Page invites us to open up our ideas of sex,  think outside the box and embrace all the different ways in which we can experience intimacy.

The book was so successful, it sold out on the first printing in 2019.

READ ALSO Jealousy and steel balls: My year of dating French men

2. A classic French date includes a candlelit dinner

A romantic restaurant, candles, champagne, and love songs in the background. That’s how you might picture a typical date for the French. Well, sorry to debunk the myth, but this is far from reality.

In fact, dating will mostly happen at a trendy new restaurant, at a popular wine and cheese bar (yes, this is not a cliché, the French truly love going to wine bars!), or at a fashionable cocktail lounge. Nice places are not hard to find in France, even in small cities.

Contrary to the common idea about a standard French “rendez-vous”, dating often happens in a casual, hip place rather than in a high-class restaurant.

If you see  a couple snogging in front of the Eiffel Tower, chances are they are tourists. Photo: AFP

3. French kissing

When we think of a French couple kissing, the first thing that pops up in our mind is the image of a slow, sensual, passionate kiss, usually happening in the streets. While making out does happen (thank goodness), the French are not big on sexy kisses in public (even before the era of social distancing).

They will typically quickly kiss on the lips to say hi, and maybe cuddle a bit at the movies, but the chances of seeing a  French couple kissing in public are rare.

In reality, the French are quite discreet when it comes to showing signs of love in public places.

4. Frenchwomen are really demanding

Well that might be true, but we’re working on it! Frenchwomen do want a man who is nice, funny and charming (you can find a list of what they are looking for in a lover here).

However, most of them are independent, and more and more don’t believe that they should necessarily be in a couple.

Furthermore, younger French people have a new way of considering love and are not bound to stick to the traditional model of the heterosexual couple. According to a 2019 study led by Tinder, 73 percent of Gen Z’ers [people born after the mid 1990s] said they chose to be single, with women accepting it more than men (51 percent v 37 percent).

5. The French are so romantic they would never date online

Since they are so seductive and romantic, why would they need a dating app?

Turns out, online dating is very common in France. In a 2015 study led by Statista, 37 percent of French people between 18-35 years old declared they thought using a dating app or website was a good thing. Tinder is now competing with more trendy apps such as Happn, Bumble, Hater or Deserve MI that all have a different and amusing way of functioning.

READ ALSO From ONS to JTM: Our guide to online dating in France

So whether you are just playing the field or looking for a French soulmate, at least now you know how it really works.
Do you disagree with Olivia? Share your French dating experiences here.

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