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Liberté, égalité, sexualité: The French are freer than ever when it comes to sex

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Liberté, égalité, sexualité: The French are freer than ever when it comes to sex
Photo: tamaralvarez/Flickr
11:54 CEST+02:00
The French are leading more adventurous sex-lives and are happier to share their experiences with others, a new book reveals.

The French are much more open about their sex-lives, according  «La vie sexuelle en France, l'enquête sans tabous» (Sex in France, a study without taboos), by renowned sociologist Janine Mossuz-Lavau.

For her new book, Mossuz-Lavau interviewed 65 men and women from all over France to find out about their sex lives and how they talk about it.

The book comes seventeen years after the author's first study on French sexuality.

Her main conclusion was that talking about sex has become much less taboo than it used to be.

"People are freer, and happier when they talk [about sex] ," she told Le Parisien. "People are in a process of liberation that started in the 1960s."

So what does this mean in practice?

The interviews revealed that fellatio has become more common, whereas 50 years ago people believed it was associated with prostitution, and anal sex has also become more popular.

Young people have also changed the way they feel about their own sexuality and are less inclined to define themselves as being either straight, gay or bisexual.

Gone too are grungy underground sex-shops. They've been replaced by mainstream 'love store' boutiques where customers can idly wander along isles selling fluffy pink handcuffs, fluorescent sex toys and leather corsets in the light if day.

According to Patrick Pruvot, the founder of French 'love store' chain 'Passage du Désir", which has nine stores nationally, the French have definitely become more open.

"French people without doubt seem to want to be more adventurous. We can tell this by the phenomenal success of our sex-toys which make up 50 percent of our sales," he told Le Parisien.

If the French seem to be having more fun overall and are happier to share their experiences with others, there is one topic that people don't want to talk about... which is not having sex at all.

"Saying that you don't make love anymore has become the last taboo, and that applies to elderly couples as well as young couples," author Mossuz-Lavau told FranceInfo. "They get on well, but they don't have sex. And they never talk about it, or don't allow themselves to."

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