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French facts about love and romance in France


  • “French kiss” is a term by the English as a slur on the French culture thought to be overly concerned with sex. In France, it’s called a tongue or soul kiss. The French kiss as a greeting, the number of times varies by region - read more. It is illegal to kiss in trains in France.
  • "French letters" are condoms, the term coined during WWI as they were handed out to British soldiers going on leave in France.
  • According to a 2003 survey, the French have the most sex in a year of any other country.
  • If you cross your glass with someone else when toasting, you will receive 7 years of bad sex.
  • Valentines Day has a lot of history in France and the village of St Valentin makes a lot of this day with its own festival of love.
  • What we now call romantic love can be traced back to the early twelfth century, when French William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, created the first troubadour love lyrics.
  • French is often called the language of love - je t'aime is well known as French for "I love you".
  • Only 50 marriages are performed each year for every 10,000 French citizens – the lowest per capita number in Europe. It is estimated that 40% of children are born out of wedlock.
  • To arrange a marriage in France, either partner must apply at least a month in advance to the town hall where they normally live (they must have lived there for at least 40 days.
  • A civil ceremony, presided over by the mayor or a deputy, must be performed in France to legalise a wedding. Although around 50 per cent of couples choose to undergo a church ‘blessing’ ceremony, it has no legal significance and must take place after the civil ceremony.
  • Despite the French notably French presidents being thought of as not being faithful, ordinary French people claim to be quite faithful. In a 2004 national survey, just 4% of married men and 2% of women said they had had more than one sex partner in the past year (the best approximation of infidelity) -- fewer than in similar surveys in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Scholars claim that "love" as a tennis score is a corruption of the French word for egg, "l'oeuf," because of the egg's resemblance to a zero.

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