The Real International Relations: A Dating Guide

As one travelling motto goes: "Best way to learn the local culture is by _____ing it". Insert whatever action verb is appropriate for your taste, but I'll go with 'dating.'  I believe with all my travelling soul there is no better way to learn the intricacies and subtleties of a culture quicker than through the gentle exchange of pillow talk, candle lit dinners, cooking crazy foreign food together, etc. If you're a guy, you can't complete your informal survey of the female body without some lovin of all the choices in the food court.  A recent study on the sexual habits of the world may serve you well. (Found in the Guardian)

What the Studies are Saying 
 Surprise surprise, French people have the most sex at about 130 times a year. Whereas Italians are considered the least sexually mature, not having sex until age 20, not very often and finishing very quickly (um, was Berlusconi involved in this survey?). The British are the beasts of Europe lasting the longest and having on average the most sexual partners and also the most likely to cheat.  Finland, Iceland and Denmark are the most sexually advanced, having started when they were 16. No ball buster here, women in developing countries are much harder to sleep with due to strict traditions governing women's sexuality. They don't hit the sheets until after 18-20 and much less likely to have sex outside of marriage. For more details check out the article. I've obviously overgeneralized.

However, stats aside, we can all admit that wherever you are in the world sex is more or less the same, but if you are looking to be actually screwed the real challenge is in the courtship.

What They Don't Tell you- A Country by Country Tour
Already men and women are uber-complicated, now throw in completely different cultures, lifestyle and language and imagine the potential for a horrible prime-time sitcom (How I Met Your Mother on Meth?). I feel the need to divulge some VERY KEY cultural differences I've noted in the fragile, often embarrassing world of dating and hooking up. As a  Canadian girl in France I've definitely had some mega awkward moments, like I've even been dumped because I didn't know we were actually 'together'. So let me give some of my observations so hopefully you guys don't get thrown into the same situations, or be too confused by your french lover's cuddles the morning after. *These are not all my experiences (I'm not that "cultured") but is a compilation from friends and tales of students living and working abroad.
(Picture: Brian Donnelly)

Are Canadian/American girls 'easy'?

It's hard to overgeneralise this group, but I will do it anyway for the college to young adult age-group. As my one little French friend studying in Canada (Queens U to be exact), "In Canada, zee gurrls come to yuu. Zey call you all zee time, and it is up to the guy to play games. Not so in France!" (Haha sorry Clement, that's me doing your accent). Similarly, an anecdote from my good looking French ami, lets call him Pat, who was visiting America for the first time said, "I sat in the bar by myself, drinking by myself and so many girls came over to talk to me." He had never experienced that before. 'No effort made and girls will pursue you in North America', aka they're easy is the impression of the women. I will not necessarily argue against, but clarify.

Anglo-Saxon culture is an outgoing and direct way of life. The men are louder and the women are confident with talking to guys (maybe our women's movement was the most advanced, heh ). So compared to stuffy Euro (specifically French) girls, just the fact that a girl talks to a guy and god forbid, flirt with him the Europeans think that the North American girl is an easy piece of ace.

On this point, I think every girl is different with her sexual preferences, but I've heard someone remark that " Just because American girls wear very short skirts and show cleavage, doesn't mean they will sleep with you right away. They tease." I think this is true. The social stigma in North America for actually doing the deed is much harsher than in France.. whereas looking like you belong on Jersey Shore is somehow okay.

It's the other way around in France (as it damn well should be). Maybe it's a remainder of a high religious sentiment running through North America that places way too much emphasis on abstinence? I don't know, up to you to find out. Religious or not it is a shitty double standard women deal with and dudes, you probably will too. Accept her wanting to wait and in the meantime have fun outside the bedroom. NA Men seem to think this means a relationship and will go to great lengths to be just the right amount of cold, but get it through your thick skulls that it's just a way to feel less horrible about "giving it up" (see how the French score so easily below). I mean, it's not that girls want sex less, but in these casual hook-ups let's face it, you as a dude will probably not know how to please her sufficiently to even make it an equal exchange. (Is that why Anglo girls opt for relationships? Higher investment leads to higher returns). In sum, we have no problem flirting, talking, dancing or even paying for our own dinner, but do not mistake that for sluttiness because it often takes a lot to get past the chastity belt we have under our g-strings until marriage (kidding, duh).

Oh dear, what can I say about these men? They too are varied. Relative to Europeans, North American men are spoiled. They know girls will chat them up and make an effort, thus they make much less of one for them. By no means am I saying they're all lazy buttholes (...), of course there is still the tradition of the man taking the leading roll in courtship, but what I'm saying is that it is much less pronounced as it is in Europe. Hooking up is also horrible and very different in North America, so pay attention! Essentially it is much less romantic in the New World. In the morning there is the awkward parting where they don't know whether a cheek peck or passionate kiss is in order. Both parties don't know how to act (granted, this could be the university experience). With the rise of the morning sun, the intimacy from the night before vanishes with the stars. When it HASN'T vanished and the guy kisses the girl tenderly on the lips or cuddles with her in the morning/ there is no awkwardness, it means that the guy probably likes her and may want to pursue a relationship. Otherwise, both people go their separate ways, pretend nothing happened and wait until the next drunken university party to do it again.

Sexually, I cannot put my finger on one category but from what I've heard they seem pretty liberal and not against pleasing their lady partners. However, I've also heard from many male friends that they expect oral from a girl long before they sleep with them, which is not necessarily the case in Europe. If you are a foreign girl with a North American guy, forgive him for seeming so stupid.

The French Lover
 My friend who was in the New York bar mentioned above also said this, "If I went to that same bar in France and drank my beer by myself, I would remain in that corner. Alone. All night." A French girl would never come over to talk to a guy or strike up a conversation. She won't even look at you. Apparently they're colder than Stephen Harper cuddling a kitten.

 All the girls I know have been so fun and awesome, but naturally, they put a different face forward in  the dating world. Essentially, you the guy is expected to make the first move, and well, every move afterward. There is reward early on though. I've heard that they will put out much more easily than her North American counterpart, but only once they have finally been enticed.  So in the end, the Getting-Laid Time Scale probably balances out to be about the same between the Yanks and the Frogs, with emphasis on different parts of the game. Perhaps this is why French girls find North American men so tantalizing. They are much more indifferent in dating and that forces French girls to make a bit of an effort. We all know that everything is sexier when you're chasing it. "Fuis moi, je te suis, Suis-moi, je te fuis," Flea me and I'll follow, Follow me and I'll flea, the saying goes in French.

les mens                                                                       
For North American girls it is so much more pleasant, fun and comfortable to date a Frenchmen. Really, a perfect conjoining of all the universal forces coming together. They are romantic, they will spoon you even the morning after, hold your hand in the streets, even take you on dates, call you, kiss you in public, etc, even if it is not serious! This is compared to NA men who will disregard you like an old bone (this is in a university context) !

However there is a dark side to this romance. We North American girls are used to thinking that when a guy acts like that, he is in love and wants to be your boyfriend. Do not make the same mistake with French men! The romance is normal, it's just how they treat women, but it doesn't mean they want to be your boyfriend. One of my first dating experiences in France led me to that very wrong conclusion and it ended oh so awkwardly! Although the romantic side of French men is superficial, honestly, who.the.hell.cares.  It makes being young and a women so much more like Sex and the City rather than  feeling like one of Barney Stintson's broads in  How I Met Your Mother. Also, Parisian men love to please. Ladies, keep your expectations in check and you will be able to avoid the awkward situations that arise from la French kiss.

Indians and the Diaspora 
Brown guys tend to be much more territorial and jealous even if they are integrated into a new culture. From more than one source, it's been said that they are one of the most sexually active cultures with crazy libidos. As famous Indian/Canadian comedian Russel Peters pointed out, "Just look at the country with the second largest population in the world".  High libidos go for men and women alike.

They like the backdoor (?). Sorry, numerous anecdotes from German friends have led to this statement! I have recently heard that German men are known to be beautiful, albeit wimpy and shy. Because women are very powerful and respected there, it is not normal for a German man to flirt or openly hit on a girl in a bar. Apparently they're shy and it's just not cool. Some North American girlfriends of mine were very confused by this mega non-aggressive male stance when visiting. I haven't personally dappled in the wiener schnitzel culture but I found this article quite funny. Maybe someone can comment on its accuracy.

Funny cultural tidbit: If you're a male of affluent background in Germany you have been taught to pee sitting down. If that is not a testament to a dominant female culture, I'm not sure what is.

Very free with their bodies, this group has no problem getting naked, whether it is to have casual naked wrestling matches with their family or trying to carry on a conversation with a complete stranger. One of the most sexually liberated, the men love to please and are very well equipped for the task(s). Plus, they are just beautiful people.

There is this image of Thai women all being money-grabbing-white-boy loving slews. I agree. The ones you meet on Khao San Road or in the tourist clubs are indeed capable of holding the stereotype true (but not necessarily). But my half Thai half French friend told me something very interesting that I needed to share to all those jock ignorant backpackers. The Thai girls you see do NOT represent normal Thai girls (duh). The normal Thai girls are reserved, shy, and make the guy work hella hard for her. That is all, now try to remember that when a ladyboy reaches for your package.

The British are Coming..
There are two types. The backpacking bogan types: they are wild and will do anything from fart on you to get tattoos of beer bottles on their ass. The other are typically more public but you never know what is behind closed doors. As one English friend said to me, "Wouldn't you prefer a lady in the streets and a whore in the sheets?" He was a quiet, shy guy, so not sure what he was insinuating of his own behavior there.. The point is beware! Even if they seem calm as a farm, prime yourself for another situation when horizontal.

This is the end of the sexual world tour. I don't know it all. This has just been gathered from funny discussions with friends after a crazy night of partying, or of course some personal awkward experiences. My (ex) boyfriend is French/Swedish and he has given me a lot to work with. If you choose to engage in any sort of International Relations hopefully the insight and our embarrassments will help you avoid your own!

If you feel like I've misrepresented anything, feel free to share in the comments! But don't be offended. Take this with a fun grain of salt. Help your fellow travelers out. Like I said before, this is just how I've rocked the world. Until next time,


The Do is a wonderful Franco-Finnish band.
Song For Lovers- The Do.mp3

(Sexy marketing technique!)

Russell Peters. This is not sexy but a comedic comparison of the size of men's glory sticks. One of the funniest comedians around making humorous and astute observations on the races of the world.

See Also..
Does Size Matter? Condoms in Asia vs Europe

3 Ways to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

How to Love Life: Take a Road Trip with Best Friends


  1. this is the greatest! applying lessons from IR in real life. amazing. i've definitely hi fived people awkwardly before too. terrible. so terrible!

  2. I spent 6 months in Germany and as an English speaking Canadian Girl I found both german boys and girls very reserved until you became part of their inner circle. This was very hard to accomplish.

    One Of my American guy friends started hanging out with one of the German girls. They hooked up a few times while drunk and she came out with is on party nights sometimes. There was no talk of a relationship between them but she started telling everyone he was her boyfriend and wanted to take him home to meet mom and dad. I am not sure if this is a common thing but it was my german experiance.


  3. I would like to hear more a about this "awkward" experience with Mr. french man. Or possibly just details into your relationships which i find particularly fascinating - especially when you speak with a fake french accent.

  4. Living in Indonesia now I find everything completely different with ex-pats. The rules have changed. the men are too cocky and ex-pat women have lost their confidence. it's a sad life for expat women here.

  5. French men are the best kissers in the world! And - with the exception of the one you truly love - perhaps the best lovers as well. Paris, je t'aime.

  6. I wonder it French men or just Parisians?

  7. Hi, I just moved about a month ago from Los Angeles to Paris. I'm doing my classes online so I don't have a way to really meet any English-speaking non-tourist college-aged students. If that's too many hyphens for you, I'll just give you the punch(-)line: Can you recommend any primarily English-speaking clubs or other, less obvious (like taking a French class at the Sorbonne, which I'm already planning on doing) ways to meet cool people who speak my language? It would be immensely appreciated.

    PS. Your blog has basically become my bible...

  8. Hey Anon! Thanks so much for checkin the b-log out (i love hyphens and commas..) ! Haha ur pretty much asking for the antithesis to my guides but sure I think i can help u out.

    1) Frog and Princess (on rue princess near odeon). SO MANY ANGLOPHONES at this bar, but cool ones at least)

    2) Queen on Wednesday night (i think..or whatever ladies night was. all my exchange mates wanted to go..)

    3) Cafe Oz at Chatelet and somewhere else i forget, worst place ever in my opinion though..

    4) Pont des Arts (the bridge in front of the louvre on a weeked night in spring is great for foreigners)

    5) Le Baron; Super hype club, but a lot of americans go there now.

    6) BEST SUGGESTION EVER: Shakespeare and CO. The english language bookstore. u can take writing classes there, it's a beautiful piece of history and the ppl who go are mostly anglophones or ppl looking to speak english. u can sit upstairs in the old halls and read to ur hearts content and meet other lovely ppl.

    I think i'll make a blog posting about this. thanks for the question!! Please keep me updated on how this goes for u!


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