THE one thing most French men have in common is a genuine appreciation of sex.
On leaving I’m A Celebrity, Spurs and Newcastle legend David Ginola, 54, said being apart from his girlfriend Maeva Denat, 32, made his time in camp more difficult.
He said: “What I missed most was making love — especially when you do it every day.”
While we might cough into our Crimbo eggnog latte on hearing that a bloke in his 50s still does the deed on a daily basis, I’m not in the least bit surprised.
I’ve lived in France for 13 years and been married for every one of those years to a French bloke.
A good week for my French hubby Pascal and me notches up the same score on the bedpost.
And guess what? He’s 60. Mais non — don’t blush!
Great sex is something that comes naturally to the French, whatever their age — it’s in their DNA.
But as I’ve discovered during my time living in the country, it can be learned.
Go to bed . . . naked
For starters, French couples don’t wear anything in bed. Skin to skin contact is a must.
Sex is part of the fabric of life.
It’s something we indulge in before croissants and coffee during the week — and whenever the fancy takes us over the weekend.
The French work a strict 35 hours a week so we have off-time to enjoy one another — and there are never any social media gadgets in the bedroom.
Text like a poet
I’m ten years younger than Pascal, who is a carpenter.
What made me fall for a man a decade older than me?
Quite simply, the seduction was exquisite — and from what I gather, that goes for every Gallic guy.
I was 36 when we met, and it was the first time I felt truly seen and appreciated as a woman.
The messages I received on my phone hit Shakespearean levels of romance.
What great French lovers have known throughout history is that women want to be seduced with the language of love. It helps that it’s a sexy language, too.
Say what you mean
In France, there is never any game playing — no leaving it a day or two to call. French men phone when they say they are going to.
They tell you what they love about your body.
With Pascal, it was a delight to be told how beautiful I was and how appreciative he was of my curves — stretch marks and all.
French men listen to what women enjoy when it comes to arousal.
It is also totally normal for them to be unashamedly clear about their preferences.
Communication is key before, during and after the act.
Couples don’t get sozzled in order to have a hope-for-the-best fumble.
And it isn’t boastful or smutty to share your sex stories either — people want to talk about it.
Making love is a vital part of the human experience.
Embrace sex scenes
On the television, sex is presented as part and parcel of daily life.
You get used to seeing pairs of naked boobs and flaccid willies on screen.
In adverts for shower products you’ll see a hint of a nipple or an older male bum.
One time I was horrified to witness a couple having 50 Shades Of Grey-style sex on television at 8pm — all in front of my 13-year-old stepson.
When I suggested we watch something else, he commented: “How else am I going to learn?” And quite honestly, he had a point.
So rather than switching the channel over when things get steamy, watch and learn.
Don’t be prudish
Sex on the first date — why not? Maia Mazurette, France’s best-known relationship expert, says: “Having sex on the first night is not going to affect anything.
“Here we have sex because it’s a cool activity. If something physical is happening, just enjoy it.”
The French are way less prudish than us Brits.
My generation needed to have sunk a vatful of vino to have the courage to give anything beyond the missionary position a go — much less ask for it.
We were educated about what we might like to try in the bedroom by Carrie Bradshaw and co.
But in France, Sex And The City was a flop compared to in the UK.
French women already had fulfilling sex lives.
Dress to impress
French women are clear about what they want, and I’ve discovered over the years that the pomp and circumstance leading up to the deed is as important as the act itself.
That’s why they buy pretty underwear and spend a small fortune on perfume.
If you feel good about yourself then you emanate those vibes to the world too.
French women don’t wear passion-killer leggings, onesies or jogging bottoms.
They take great pride in how they look.
And as you can see from David Ginola, the men do too.
Never stop flirting
French couples, on the whole, live together, work in proximity to one another (60 per cent of businesses are family run) and hang out together too.
They genuinely like being in one another’s company, and never stop being romantic.
They use ten words when one will probably suffice, and this goes for the boudoir too.
Excess and exuberance are the order of the day.
I only have to look to my 80-something in-laws, who are still touchy-feely and flirty with one another today, to know that sex is the secret to a long and happy life in France.
Louise Minchin’s hilarious reaction as David Ginola strips off on I’m A Celebrity
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