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Excerpt from Sex, Cheese and French Fries

Chapter Nine

Sex with Pierre

Illustration by Jeannie Winston

Now comes the good stuff, you must be thinking as you rub your hands together. She is going to tell the world about sex with her husband! Well, yes. But let me preface this by saying that everything you've ever heard or read about the French being romantics is absolutely true; and it is no less true of Pierre. When it is time for us to make love, he is the one who runs around lighting candles, making sure the music is right, and that proper alcoholic libations are at hand. And this is 17 years into our marriage. In fact, he takes so long getting the vibe together that I am sometimes asleep by the time he finally rolls into the bedroom, naked and ready for action.

Let me expand on what I mean by "action." As we all know, Pierre loves to talk. So an integral part of the foreplay for him involves talking about all kinds of things, as he walks around the room in the nude, gesticulating wildly, with candles in the background all aglow. This can really make a wet situation go dry, okay? Therefore sometimes I have to get forceful and tell him to shut up and just get into bed. Creating ambience: good. The time it takes to get ambience just right: bad.

Also like most Frenchmen, Pierre adores women. He loves everything about them. He even thinks a real dog looks good. Years ago, he was in the midst of designing and installing furniture and functional art pieces for three different women at the same time. Curious, I set up a hypothetical situation. "Imagine you are single and Margaret comes on to you. Would you sleep with her?"

"Sure," he says.

At the time, Pierre is 35 years old. His client Margaret is 55 years old with a wide ass and a fiery personality.

"And what about Diane?"

"Yes, I would sleep with her, but only if she wore a pillowcase over her head."

Diane has really bad acne, and she's lanky like spaghetti, but she has a great butt.

"And Hillary?"

"Sure, why not?"

Hillary is an attractive woman with great legs and athletic body, but she talks so much and is so neurotic that whenever he comes home from her place, he has to bang his head several times against the first wall he sees.

Somehow, I find this comforting and see it as one of Pierre's plusses. I prefer men who appreciate everything about the feminine gender. They tend to be better, more generous lovers and they make you feel special and sexy. And since I don't believe he fools around behind my back, I don't care how much he looks at other women. Although let me say right here and now that if he were to be unfaithful, I would not be shocked. I would hound, harass, and torment him until the end of his days, but I wouldn't be surprised. Nothing men do in the hound-dog department could ever surprise me because, simply, it's in their nature. And French men even more so. I think it was Mark Twain who once opined, "a Frenchman's home is where another man's wife is." He must have had firsthand experience. When I first started going out with Pierre, his friends — his friends, mind you — lined up to try to seduce me.

"Aren't you Pierre's friend?" I would ask.

"Yes, so?"

"How would you like it if he tried to seduce your wife?" (who, more often than not, was standing at the other end of the room).

But this is a chick question. Men do not care to give this kind of hypothetical question serious thought, so you often end up with very unsatisfying answers like, "He's welcome to try," or some such bullshit. It's not that American men don't have affairs or follow their dicks around like it was a dog on a leash. It's just that the French are more natural about it. They pursue attached women with an "incontrovertible right" kind of zeal, as if it were their mission on earth, and their God-given privilege, to blindly surrender to the crotch directive whenever it strikes. Attempting to fight it is such hard work; and the French much prefer to play.

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