In a country known for its political sex scandals, its eternally romantic capital city, and its smooth and seductive lovers, you’ve no doubt wondered what is the truth about France’s sexual practices.
Do those in the north or the south of France have more sex, or “legs in the air sessions” as the French sometimes say? How often do the French look at porn? Are they into swingers' clubs?
We took a look at a study carried out by We Romantique, a travel site organizing romantic getaways for couples, to answer these pressing questions.
Read on to find out more than you ever wanted to know about French sex habits.
Number of sexual partners
(Light = fewer than eight, medium = 8 to 11, dark = more than 11)
The long days of sunshine must have something to do with libido, because the south of France takes the cake on this one. In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (PACA), residents have had an average of 13.5 sexual partners in their lifetime. That's quite a jump from the national average, which is 9.9 partners according to a 2014 Ifop study.
But if we were talking individual cities, Paris would probably win, as apparently one in five Parisians has had over 30 sexual partners.
The Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenées and Ile-de-France regions are not far behind PACA however, with their inhabitants boasting of more than 11 sexual partners on average.
Things are a bit less amorous in the north of France, where the inhabitants of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie bring down the national average with less than seven sex partners in their lifetime.
(Light = more than once a month, medium = more than 1.3 times a month, dark = more than twice a month)
Sites like Youporn and Pornhub should really thank the Parisians.
Those in the Ile-de-France region searched for porn more than twice as often as their neighbors, according to the number of monthly searches per inhabitant of the ten most popular porn sites in France.
The people of Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in the northeast also enjoy their fair share of online erotica, with about 1.3 monthly searches per inhabitant, compared to the national average of about one search per month.
(Light = More than 20 boxes/1000 people, medium = more than 25 boxes, dark = more than 30).
The French love their Viagra. So much that they buy nearly 1.8 million boxes of it each year.
But it’s the citizens of the southern PACA region who pop that little blue pill the most. (The numbers might look a bit different however if the Corsicans, the “Viagra Kings of France”, were included in this study.)
Ile-de-France and the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenées also get honourable mentions, both surpassing more than 30 boxes yearly per 1,000 inhabitants.
In Normandy on the other hand, the average is only 21.9 boxes bought per year per thousand people.
(Light = 'a few', medium = 'many', dark = 'crazy amounts')
If you’ve ever wandered through the red light district of Pigalle in Paris, site of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret, you won’t be surprised that the Paris region comes out on top when it comes to the number of sex shops, with around 83 of them. (The neighborhood is so scandalous that the US government even warns its citizens about going there.)
Photo: Mariano Mantel/Flickr
The whole southern half of France is clearly more into sex toys than their northerly neighbors.
So if you’ve been wondering where to buy the perfect Eiffel Tower vibrator, either Paris or the south of France are the places to go.
(Light = fewer than 25, medium = more than 25, dark = more than 35)
There are around 500 sex clubs in France, and of course Paris is home to many of them.
But in a twist, it’s the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region that has the greatest number of swingers clubs, a whopping 75 of them.
Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées comes in second place with about 67 of these scandalous clubs. Still not bad.
And at the bottom of the list? The Pays de la Loire region, with a measly 17 clubs. For shame.
And the winner is…
Ile-de-France. There you have it: the Parisians are more sex-crazed than all other French people.
Although the PACA region (and rest of the south of France) certainly gave them a run for their money.
And the loser? The northern region of Normandy came out toward the bottom of nearly every category. But to be fair, they did give the world camembert cheese.
Each region was given either one, two, or three points for each category based on its colour on the map.
Before you dash off to the bedroom, why not brush up on the sex expressions you won't find in the dictionary?
By Katie Warren