A lot of us back in the states have this idea that French people are incredibly attractive. This may be because Paris is the city of lust, which ultimately reflects on the whole country. We’ve all seen “Monte Carlo” where Selena Gomez goes on some random French adventure and meets the hottest guy you’ll ever see in the country. So obviously that’s what we all expect.
But let’s get this one thing straight: boys are still boys. No matter what country you’re in.
This goes for everything. A lot of people have asked me to compare them to American boys, since the states is the country that I receive the most views from. There is definitely a difference between the European boys and the American boys. It’s pretty easy to spot out on the street who is European and who is not. And it’s true: what most people in the states consider to be gay are actually very normal around here. Then again, there are a lot of gay people here who are more open about it.
Plus it’s about time that I had a French post in the “Love and Appearances” category. People have started to wonder why I’m in the city of love and have not written a post on love, yet. Even though my experience with finding a French boy here has not worked out so far, I’m pretty well-versed on how it works here. Not like I’m trying to.
Is it possible to be sexually harassed by 14-year-olds? The other day at my internship, I was writing on the board when suddenly I heard the word “fesse” behind me. Because I work with a lot of older students, I can only speak to them in English. So I get the feeling that they don’t think I speak French. Or understand it.
In French, “fesse” is equivalent to ass/butt. Obviously, this was a strange thing to hear in the middle of class. So I listened a little bit more. Apparently, a group of boys in the back were commenting on my ass. I sort of wanted to laugh because this was kind of funny. But, like any time you’re being cat-called, I ignored it. But then I heard them start talking to their teacher, who felt super uncomfortable talking about my ass. Then they’d go, “Mais, nous sommes une famille!”
How appropriate! But note that even though they do stuff like this all the time (like commenting on my ragged jeans or my split-ends), they’re incredibly respectful to me. This is a VERY European thing, and I sort of appreciate it because Americans are nothing like this. If you look back at the post about my experience at the school, you’ll see that these kids are extremely nice to me and compliment me all the time. It’s very “gentleman-like” and we might need to teach our kids how to behave like that. At the same time, though, it’s not like they were being discrete about it, and this sort of behavior would probably never be appropriate in an American classroom.
Outside the school, I probably get cat-called at least a couple of times a day. Sometimes even approached by homeless guys with their arms spread wide. I’m not saying this because I think I’m hot-stuff, but rather that these men are SO much more direct. There have been times where I just walk with my friends and some random 25-year-old man would go up to one of them and say, “You have very beautiful eyes.”
AMERICANS DO NOT SAY THIS TO US!! It doesn’t hurt to be complemented now and again (boys, you should do this for your girlfriends hint hint), but the directness is incredibly unfamiliar. What I noticed a lot of French girls do is that they just plug in their headphones and walk straight forward without a second glance. But fair warning to anyone who travels to France: do NOT respond to any of these cat-calls. You shouldn’t respond in the states, but in France, it is even more important just because your personal bubble is smaller and a man will approach you if you look at him. That’s the culture; you can’t fix it. Just try to blend in.
If you see a boy run by you with very short running pants, he’s probably European. Or with the gelled style where you style your hair to the side so it looks sort of frayed (kind of rad actually). Apparently, they think this is really “hipster.” On some people, I don’t have a problem with this look. However, more often than you’d think, men like to gel their hair straight back, which makes them look like they’re balding. Sort of disturbing and really not attractive because it looks like you’re laziest weirdo out there.
This is sort of how I found out I’m not that attracted to these European
looks…not my style. They also all care too much about how they look, which really causes them all to dress exactly the same way (please stop!). Yes, some of them (especially the ones in our age group of early 20’s) have fine bodies. Something you all need to realize though, however, is that fine bodies may be a sign for “I care too much about my body.” For me, that’s a problem. For some of you, it’s attractive, which is not a problem at all. This is all subjective. For my host sister (who apparently was a model), impossibly buff men were her type. She questioned my taste in men when I showed her pictures of past hook-ups and boyfriends, who were never as jacked as some of her boys were.
So European boys based on appearances….no.
Don’t judge me when I tell you this: at the beginning of September, I decided to get a Tinder. Why? Because I wanted to practice my French. Honest.
I know some of my friends are reading this right now and are saying that I probably desperately wanted a French boy (which isn’t an entire lie). I was also under the impression that French boys were more respectful and courteous, especially when it comes to dates. Because for the first time in years, I may actually go on a real date! This is sad, America. Or to the guys I usually date: shape up!
I was also hoping I could blog about it, but unfortunately this experience did not turn out the way I wanted it too. It’s hard to meet French people your age when you go to a language school with kids who are NOT French. So when I got on Tinder, some boys talked to me and we talked in French (which was good). I was super pumped, thinking, “YES! FINALLY!!”
But then a couple of weeks later, I kept receiving messages about having sex, getting together for three-somes, or sexual jokes that were really not that funny (and sort of offensive). The only person who was willing to uphold a nice and decent conversation with me was American. What the hell is my life? So I deleted this dumb Tinder account and have not looked back twice.
Because all in all, boys are still boys. They just wanted to get laid. After a certain amount of messages, I was questioning why they were all looking for sex. Then I realized it was Tinder.
It’s a lot more common here than in the states. Honestly, if you went up to a random person on the street and asked them to have sex with you, there is an 85% chance that they will say yes. It’s to the point where I question if sex is actually safe here.
But I have a friend who went through this issue. For a reason that I don’t think I will ever fully understand, a lot of girls on my trip are more than willing to hook up with random French boys left and right. Whether or not they have boyfriends or not, they do it. I’m not going to condemn this, because I’m sort of in awe of their free-spirited mindset of “I’m in France!” I really like it. At the same time, if you are one of those people who goes around having casual sex, please be safe! I say this because I care about your physical health.
Anyway, my friend met some male model on Tinder. Apparently, they hit it off and he really wanted to meet her. So she got shwasted one night and they slept together. She looked at it as a one night stand and decided to forget about it.
Here’s the HUGE difference between French people and Americans: French boys do not get the hint when you are trying to blow them off or are not interested. They will just continue to push. In addition, they’re obsessed with Americans because we’re “sexy” and “exotic.” It’s basically the same thoughts that Americans have about French people (funny, huh?). For months, he continued to text her and call her to ask if she wanted to have sex on the streets. These were his words: I am not joking. Sad, huh? And super ratchet…
But I guess that’s the French way. Yet, everyone has the same objective and the same ideas going through their heads. Don’t worry: the language barrier is never a problem for them.