Sex in French and English Countries: Interviews
Have you ever wondered whether British people, Americans and French people think about sex differently? Of course you have, you curious, randy devil. This QnA series asks French and English speaking sex bloggers how they perceive sexual attitudes in their respective cultures. They can't speak for everyone in their community of course but this should still be fun and interesting!
The French and British have a long and colourful history of conflict and collaboration. How does each culture view sex? I'm sure many of you have your own theories and stereotypes. It's a shame to rely on stereotypes, which is one reason why this QnA series exists.
Why do I care? Well, I'm British, a Rosbif* caught between cultures. I grew up in a small town in the UK and moved to Paris when I was in my mid twenties. After living in both places for a long time I've had the opportunity to date both British and French people.
* Rosbif = French slang for 'a Brit'. Literally translates to roast beef. They call us that because many of us have skin that easily burns in the sun, making it bright red. I know, charming right??
My original idea with this French connection series was to write one piece with my long-time partner Eve, who is French and helps me run this website. We've both learned a lot about each other and knocked down several cultural biases that we used to have.
Eve still makes fun of me for my British ways and I still tease her about things I consider very French. Yet some things weren't as we expected. For example Eve believed that British people may be reserved in bed before she met me. I believed all French people were overly romantic and sentimental. In both cases, these things aren't true. They're just stereotypes that each of us became influenced by.
So an idea began to spring in my mind. Instead of making this all about Eve and I, I decided that we should have lots of different opinions. Lots of takes on it. We're sex bloggers and obviously aren't talking to the whole population of either France, Britain or America. Not even close. Yet I hope you have as much fun reading these QnAs as we had writing them!
What is each person asked?
Each person answers more or less the same questions. There are just a few specific things that are different between them, depending on the person. My goal when writing the questionnaire was to make it as open ended as possible. It doesn't demand people align with stereotypes but it doesn't ask them to avoid them either.
I ask about tolerance of sexual orientations, non-monogamy and whether sexual harassment is common in their communities. I also ask them whether they think the average person around them is open to talking about sex and if there is a difference in attitudes between the genders.
The people responding to my questionnaire were free to skip any questions they found too personal. For example I ask at what age they first had sex and if they consider that to be typical, because this is something that can differ between cultures. Likewise I asked about favourite sexual acts and kinks.
Everything I asked is in good humour and shouldn't be taken too seriously. When asking all these questions I am fully aware that each community is full of individuals with completely different preferences and thoughts. The sex bloggers I asked to comment are simply giving you what they see in the world around them. It doesn't mean what they see applies to everyone and if I asked another person in their community, that other person may answer completely differently. It doesn't matter. This is about having some fun and sharing our thoughts!
Please engage with us in the comments. If you have anything to add to this conversation it would be interesting to hear! As I said, try not to take this too seriously and stay polite. I will filter out any negativity or insults. The bloggers who answer my questions are doing so in good faith and I won't tolerate them being put down for sharing their points of view.
Do you want to get involved in this project?
I'm more than happy to consider holding more QnAs! As I am British myself and us Brits go so far back with the French in history and culture, I initially plan to focus on British bloggers. People from other English speaking countries like America and Canada are also welcome to get in touch. You share quite a lot of culture with us Brits in the English speaking world too, so your opinion will also be interesting!
The way it works is that I will take a look at your website and write a questionnaire specific to you. Most of the questions will be exactly the same as others have answered, however there will likely be at least two that are specific to you. Take a look at the kind of questions I asked the other bloggers. Some of them are quite personal and it's totally understandable that some people may find answering them uncomfortable.
There is one caveat to all of this. I need to make sure there is one French blogger QnA for every English one. Otherwise this project will be too much of one voice or another. My goal is for there to be an equal amount of French and English voices. At least initially! So when you get in touch please understand if I have to make you wait while I find another French blogger to get involved :)