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Many of my French friends – men and women alike – have waited to meet someone special for their first time, didn’t just want to get rid of their virginity, and have never had one night stand.If sex between consenting adults is very much socially accepted, most French people won’t rush into it, and get to know each other before jumping into bed.
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I guess it’s much more accepted in France for men and women to be friends.
However, if a woman is dining with a man, you can bet he will pick up the check. I usually trick them by asking to be excused (as if I was going to the lady’s room, grab the waiter and give him my credit card).
Even for a married woman to go out with a male friend who is single: I often travel to Paris by myself, Leyla and Olivier stay in Paimpol, and have dinner with one (or several) of our good male friend(s), single or not.
Olivier trusts me, and we both trust our friend(s), who would never make a pass at me.
It is so funny to see how some social behaviors are exactly the same between France and the US, and others are completely different. Well, this was a big shock to me when I arrived in the US. I understood of course a man and a woman could be interested in each other in a romantic way, let me reassure you.
One of the very obvious difference is the dating game. But I was not aware that accepting to go out to dinner with a man alone gave the signal that I was possibly romantically interested in him.
Sex is not taboo in France as it is in the US, and it is much more present in humor, art, tv and everyday life than in the US…
and so is nudity: children are often naked on the beach, women can go topless (although it’s less frequent now than when I was young)… I wrote an article about French Sex Vocabulary if you are curious – watch out, it is explicit and written for an adult audience.
And if you like this article, you’ll probably enjoy my “French women beauty secrets” article.
And for more about “l’amour” (grammar, French love vocabulary, cultural tips) in France, check out my Saint Valentin article.
Maybe that’s why things take a bit more time to develop in France – we like the game, and we like to take our time playing it.