Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France

The French have a reputation for being a bit sex-obsessed... But which region is really the most X-rated?

Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
Photo: tamaralvarez/Flickr

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. 

Porn searches

(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.

Viagra consumption

(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.

Sex shops

(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.

Swingers’ clubs

(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

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France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had ‘marital duty’ to have sex with husband

A case has been brought against France at the European Court of Human Rights by a woman who lost a divorce case after judges ruled against her because she refused to have sex with her husband.

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had 'marital duty' to have sex with husband
Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

The woman, who has not been named, has brought the case with the backing of two French feminist groups, arguing that the French court ruling contravened human rights legislation by “interference in private life” and “violation of physical integrity”.

It comes after a ruling in the Appeals Court in Versailles which pronounced a fault divorce in 2019 because of her refusal to have sex with her husband.

READ ALSO The divorce laws in France that foreigners need to be aware of

The court ruled that the facts of the case “established by the admission of the wife, constitute a serious and renewed violation of the duties and obligations of marriage making intolerable the maintenance of a shared life”.

Feminist groups Fondation des femmes (Women’s Foundation) and Collectif féministe contre le viol (Feminist Collective against Rape) have backed her appeal, deploring the fact that French justice “continues to impose the marital duty” and “thus denying the right of women to consent or not to sexual relations”.

“Marriage is not and should not be a sexual servitude,” the joint statement says, pointing out that in 47 percent of the 94,000 recorded rapes and attempted rapes per year, the aggressor is the spouse or ex-spouse of the victim.