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C’est la vie!

French are very relaxed when it comes to talk about sex.

I don’t mean that we like to exhibit our personal experience, simply that generally, this subject is not taboo.

Just look at the recent revelations concerning Francois Hollande, the French president, who had an affair with an actress, cheating on his long-term partner. 77% of the French think that it is his own problem, and some even said that it made him more human. Admittedly, it was a scandal, but, “c’est la vie!” (this is the life!) as I read many time on blogs. Sex is just…normal.

It is normal, and so is sexual education at school.

Last semester, I was intrigued by the announcement of the conference about sex “j-spot”. “Want better and safer sex?”; I thought:“What is it gonna be like? What could we possibly learn from this??”. Curious, I went there, and heard things I was taught about in 8th grade. But I learned something that day; sexual education is not something obvious in every country. And the sexual education that young people receive in my home-country is a chance, for it keeps abortion rate lower and make youth aware of STD.

Sex is normal, can we be equal?

I feel like there are more and more gay-friendly people in France’s big cities, where they can be themselves. But homosexuality is not yet accepted by everyone. I say not yet because I see gay couples holding hands and kissing on the street, and it gives me hope.

Same-sex marrige has been legalized in april 2013. France was pretty late compared to other European countries such as Portugal (2010) Norway (2009) Spain (2005) and Netherlands (2001!) It is a huge progress, but they were lots of demonstrations against it, even after the law passed, and it shows that there is still a lot to do in order to accept each others’ differences.

I’ve been to some places in Portland or in Seattle, where gay people hold hands in public. It made me hope, smile and think that homosexuality is less taboo in America, or at least on the West Coast. I also say that because, during a two weeks school exchange that I did in a Pennsylvania’s high school, I was amazed when a student came out in front of the whole school. In my high school, it couldn’t have happened. A friend of mine who was gay suffered from persecutions at school, and unfortunately such things happen everyday, everywhere.

Sex and music

From the 50s to 80s, some French singers such as Serge Gainsbourg sang sexual songs, to claim the sexual liberty of an evolving society. But in the 90s this trend suddenly stopped with the discovery of AIDS. Sex was bad, sex was criminal! Nowadays you can hear songs talking about sex in many diferent ways; subtle, vulgar, or crude but authentic, just like this song : Nuits Fauves from the “spoken words” Parisian band Fauve. It expresses the hope of living “a fucking beautiful story” that “restores your faith”, in a world full of porn and “plastic tits” where we “make love like we are wiping ourselves off”. I love this song because it takes the image of heartless sex and destroys it, to depict sex as something greater, something beautiful.

>>>Listen to Nuits Fauves – Fauve

*Just activate subtitles by clicking on “cc” on the lower right hand corner :)

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