“Today, we show our sexuality much more”

LP/Emeline Boutry

Number of partners, infidelity, relationships with people of the same sex, unusual places… We went to meet the inhabitants of the capital to learn more about their sexuality. David Simard, philosopher and sexologist, tells us more.

Interview published in Le Parisien on 5 January 2017, on the theme “Sexuality: do Parisians have a liberated intimate life? »

Read the interview on the Parisien website (in french)

 

Complements to the interview published by Le Parisien

Some remarks I made about the IFOP study done for the CAM4 dating site on the sex life of Parisians were not included in the published interview. These remarks highlight the stereotypes, which are biases, demonstrated by the survey institute in the way it conducted the study and in the reporting of some results.

In particular, the question on the use of prostitution was asked only to men and not to women. This is the only question for which the IFOP does not report any results for women. This can be seen as the presupposition that only men resort to prostitution, whereas there are female clients. This study could have been an opportunity to measure their rate among Parisian women, even in the absence of a possible comparison with national results.

Another bias: the grouping under the same chapter of sexual experiences called at risk and sexual experiences called transgressive. This grouping implies that all so-called transgressive practices, considered as such in relation to the norm of sexual relations in a conjugal context and apparently without fantasy (the use of a sextoy for example being referred to in this chapter), are also risky practices. The norm of conjugality is thus presupposed here to constitute the safe framework of sexual experiences.

The last point that will be stressed here and which is briefly mentioned in the interview is the assimilation of any extra-marital relationship to infidelity. Indeed, the question asked by the survey is the following: “And counting all the partners you have had in your life, have you ever had sex with someone other than the person you are in a relationship with? “However, this includes extra-marital relationships in agreement with the spouse, for example in a libertine or swinging context, three-way relationships, etc., situations which are nevertheless considered elsewhere in the survey. The interpretation of the results obtained as producing an infidelity rate therefore presupposes that fidelity is necessarily defined as sexual exclusivity within the conjugal relationship, whereas it is a concept that refers to the question of confidence in the relationship (“fidelity” and “confidence” have a common Latin etymology), not to sexual exclusivity.