The website Gleeden worked out the “infidelity rate” of each city from their French user base of over two million. To calculate the rate they counted the ratio of the cities’ populations compared to the number of people there hopping between beds.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Paris came out top, with 18 percent of Parisians spending nights away from home, four percent more than in 2015. Lille and Bordeaux tailed the capital with an infidelity rate of 17 and 16 percent respectively.
Rounding out the top five were Versailles and Melun, a town to the south of Paris (see the full top ten to the right).
Next up was Rouen to the north at 15 percent, Lyon in central France, Nancy to the west, and Metz in the north east – all at 13.6 percent, with Evry near Paris finishing tenth with 11.5 percent.
“This ranking shows that infidelity is still easier in big cities: more meetings, easier meetings, more discreet and therefore… less risk! But be careful, the small towns of France are not free of infidelity either,” the company said.
The French don’t exactly have a reputation as the most loyal spouses. In 2014 the French and Italians trumped all other European citizens as the most likely to have an affair. Over one in two men – 55 percent – of French and Italian origin admitted to cheating on their partners and the same goes for one in three women.
But the French by far surpass the infidelity of other Europeans when it comes to their blasé attitude towards cheating.
According to a 2014 European infidelity poll, one in three (35 percent) of the French concede they would have an affair on the condition that they would get away with it. The Italians were more reluctant to cheat with only 28 percent admitting that they would do it. This compares to 25 percent of Brits surveyed and 31 percent of Germans.
French tolerance for infidelity appeared again when a French court ruled that promoting extra-marital affairs is within the law. The ruling came after a French Catholics association attempted to sue the publishers of Gleeden for advertising their services for those hoping to cheat on their partners.
But whether the French are less faithful to their partners than other nationalities is uncertain.
“There’s some mythology here. I don’t think they are more or less unfaithful than anywhere else,” Noel Biderman, the founder of another extramarital affairs website, Ashley Madison, told The Local in the past.
And it seems that the French aren’t proud of any affairs they do have.
“The French are like people everywhere in that they don’t want their partner to discover the fact they are having an affair. They try to keep their affairs secret the way the Americans or British do,” Biderman said.
By Blyth Brentnall