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February 12, 2008

The Frenchwoman Revisited

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Arts & Letters Daily links to a good article by Pamela Druckerman about Frenchwomen, and about how they manage to be sexually vital and active creatures into their 50s, 60s, and (gadzooks!) even beyond.

I find "the Frenchwoman" a source of fascination myself, and wrote a posting about the type here. A shrewd, informative, and blessedly fun-to-read book on the subject is Debra Ollivier's "Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl." It's a pop book, but it's, y'know, a really good pop book. Despite the pretentions of the lit crowd, such things do exist.

Semi-related: I wrote about Catherine Millet's tres francais "The Sexual Life of Catherine M." as well as some other books about sex here. Here's a posting I wrote about the ultra-francais erotic classic "Story of O." Erotica fans, literature fans, and Frenchwoman fans shouldn't miss Toni Bentley's first-class essay about "Story of O."



posted by Michael at February 12, 2008


Did anyone see The Diving Bell and The Butterfly? Can't tell you whether it was a good movie or not because I was completely discombobulated by the 4! encroyable knockout french femmes giving aid and comfort to the lead character, who has suffered a stroke. It was like torture. Damn Frogs!

Posted by: ricpic on February 12, 2008 6:09 PM

"i loved that he was so powerful i was nothing."
- O

Posted by: roissy on February 12, 2008 9:20 PM

Ricpic -- And the poor guy, unable to take advantage of them.

Roissy -- So, the truth about your handle. It's taken from "Story of O"'s chateau?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 12, 2008 9:49 PM

The secret to undersanding the French is that they are far more cynical about authority than Americans--and that reaches into the images portrayed by the media about work, age, diet, sex, etc. They just don't buy into it as much, follow their instincts, and therefore, they are happier.

Posted by: BIOH on February 13, 2008 12:26 AM

It's taken from "Story of O"'s chateau?

but roissy is not about torture or sadomasochism, except inasmuch as it serves the metaphorical purpose to illuminate how even outwardly successful, powerful, intelligent women yearn to be dominated by strong men. and that this dominance, personified by the classic jerk sir stephen, is the key to unlocking a woman's uncompromised love.

a peek behind the crimson curtains at roissy is a peek inside a woman's head and what truly turns her on.

Posted by: roissy on February 13, 2008 12:40 PM

American women (white, middle-class that is) can’t accept that as they get older they start to freeze up and dry out, especially in their faces. And that their romantic power over men freezes up and dries out with the skin. The men disappear, and yet…this is the American woman we’re talking about, and that means a woman who. just. doesn’t. get. older. So she ends up, a ‘woman of a certain age’, still running the same old shit-tests on men that worked so well in the days when the ‘dew was still upon her’…and wondering where all the men have gone. Exemplar of the type: the pathetic Maureen Dowd.

Now, unlike our American, the Frenchwoman does indeed get older. But she seems to understand that when she ceases to be a sweet young thing, she needs to rely on new ways of attracting men, ways that work to her strengths. Which strengths the older Frenchwoman has in abundance: charm, wit and style, for example. And then there’s that thing she’s got, la femme, even when she’s young, and which doesn’t desert her as she ages. You know what I’m talking about, that thing, that relaxed, almost cat-like body sense that so many Frenchwomen seem to have. Which makes a Frenchwoman ooh-la-la at any age just so much as by the way she sits in a chair.

Or smiles.

And, of course, the biggest thing: the Frenchwoman’s general attitude of interest in, and affection for, men. Not from Natalie or Pauline or Claire any of that nasal-voiced, grim-jawed, shoulder-chipped, high-maintenance-wannabe attitude that is such a turnoff from American women. No, just the serene, calm, mysterious, sensuous, feline, fascinating and oh-so-French feminine allure that draws men to her no matter what her age.

Vive la France! Vive la différence!

Posted by: PatrickH on February 13, 2008 2:14 PM

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