|The French and sex : background....
||Anecdotes about the French and sex....
WARNING ! In terms of sexual capability, there is no difference between the French and any other people on earth ! What is rather different is the way it is seen, the way the French talk about it, the indulgence they show for what would be considered unacceptable in other cultures.
- Sex and sin : for the French, sex is fun ! No sense of sin ! Sex is pleasure and nobody should ruin your pleasure. No moralizing, no religious pressure.
- Sex and jokes : French humor is heavily based on sex. Making jokes about sex is a literary tradition since Rabelais. When someone makes a joke with a sexual allusion, everyone laughs, including women.
- Sex and politics : the French are extremely indulgent for all sexual misbehavior by their politicians and, on the contrary, seem to be proud of them. Why ? The answer is probably in the image of power in French society : all power comes from the King and if the King is sexually over-active, it shows that he is a powerful, therefore protective and benevolent, king. Endless anecdotes are told about the presidents and sex (Chirac, Mitterrand, Giscard, etc...).
- Sex and privacy : Sex is part of private life but less than money. It's much easier to talk about sex at a dinner table than money.
- Sex and crime : Popular jurys are notoriously indulgent when a murderer acted out of passionate love ("crime passionnel") and there are several famous cases of a murderer released without being sentenced although he/she had admitted the murder (well known cases include Madame Caillaux in 1914, Yvonne Chevalier in 1951 and many others).
- More to come......
Facts & figures
- In many French City Halls, the image of the French Republic is a bust which would probably be considered unacceptable in the US : see Brigitte Bardot
- Felix Faure, president of France died February 16, 1899 at the Elysée Palace during a brief "meeting" he had with his mistress, Meg Steinheil, between two political appointments. Still now, it is a matter of constant jokes : a journalist asked a policeman "Does the President still has his conscience ?" and the answer was "No, she just left by the rear door".
- When President Mitterrand died in 1996, his two families led the funeral, wife and mistress, children on both sides.
- When IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was indicted in New York for alleged sexual assault on a cleaning lady in a hotel (May 2011), among the most outrageous comments, a high ranking politician (J.Lang) said "after all, nobody was killed" and a prominent journalist (JF.Kahn) wrote "all that for hanky-pankying"... (read my column)
- More to come.....
- ElaineSciolino gives a very perceptive explanation of the French when she shows how their whole vision of life is based on "seduction", with no sexual connotation, as the English word could suggest.
- More to come.....
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Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French.
Order her books :
- "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
- "French Toast, An American in Paris
Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press,
New York, 1999
- "French Fried, The Culinary Capers
of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
Toast - Heureuse comme une Américaine en France",
Ramsay, Paris 2005
More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming
events, testimonials, etc..)
or separately, Harriet and Philippe Rochefort speak
about Intercultural Differences : click
here for information.