Louise from France
I’ve always wanted to figure things out on my own, learning by doing.
I grew up in the suburbs of Paris and as a kid I really didn’t think much about sex. I was good at school, involved in a lot of activities and was just a normal kid. When I finally did become aware of sex though, it was full on.
It started with my drum teacher, who was eight years older than me. I would ask my mom to pick me up a few hours after my lesson finished so that I could stay and chat with him. It didn’t take long before the sexual tension grew and he started to tell me about all kinds of sexy dreams he would have about me where he would do things like go down on me and make me cum. I had no idea what some of these things were, but they were exciting. He really planted this seed in my head. Here was this hot, older guy telling me about these fantasies and desires he had for me. For me it was really like,
“wow, there is this whole other world out there that I have no idea about.”
We kept doing this sexy, flirty thing for a few years and when I turned sixteen, we finally had sex. His idea was to burn the fire by the fire. He said he would fuck me and I wouldn’t have to do anything so I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. I could just lie down in bed and he would just do his thing. When he proposed that I thought, great, no problem at all for me. We kept meeting over the years and building this intimacy. He has really seen me grow from a little girl playing drums to being a woman moving out on my own to a new country and getting married. We really had this loving and caring energy running between us. We really respected each other and did it slow.
After that, I was hooked on this game of flirtation and seduction.
I started living a double life. I was a really good student, had lots of friends and hosted a lot of parties. None of my family had any idea what I was doing. I really liked having these two very separate and opposite sides. Outside of school, I would go to parties and get wasted with men I didn’t know and fuck random guys I met on the street. I would find sexy men on the bus or something and just ask if I could go to their house with them. Just me wanting to fuck guys, I mean why not?
I specifically was looking for the kind of guys who matched the kind of person I wanted to be; this super flirtatious, highly sexual, energetic, blooming person. And so, the guys were a lot of weirdos and intense guys and also, there were some really sweet ones.
Even though I was hooking up a lot with random guys, I never masturbated or wanted to explore my sexuality on my own. It was more about this need for being seen and desired; I needed the exterior conformation. Looking back, I know I was not caring for a lot of the people around me. It was just consuming and throwing away, consuming and throwing away. I wanted to explore the male continent and have as many sexual experiences as possible. I guess I was of the belief that the quantity mattered more than quality.
This push I had for seduction might have been either from not growing up with much of a father figure or maybe an influence of culture. French culture is stereotyped as romantic and sexy so that’s a part of the narrative you grow up with. That sexual dimension is always present. There is the constant expectation of women being sexualized objects- shaved, wearing lingerie, smoking cigarettes and sexy all of the time. No matter what, you always have to live up to these criteria. It’s hard to quantify a whole culture of course, especially since I grew up near the city, but from my experience there was this constant push of seduction and sexuality being more important than almost anything else.
Street harassment is also really bad in France so as a woman you are always very aware that men want you. There are huge debates about street harassment all over France now and different groups are trying to push people to speak up when they witness street harassment (President Macron is even pushing to make street harassment illegal). Most people don’t do much about it though, most of them are cowards.
As much as I liked the sex and adventure part of what I was doing, I really enjoyed telling people about what I had done afterwards. Pretty quickly this started to put some strain on some of my friendships. Some of my friends thought I was insane or too crazy or outside of the cultural and social norms. When I would start talking to some of my male friends about my sexual desires or fantasies, they would start to fall in love with me or want to engage intimately and I was always like shit, no, that’s not the point. It was heavy because I was stigmatized a lot as a whore or as the girl who would have a lot of sex with a lot of random guys in random places.
When people started talking about me behind my back, I really didn’t see it coming. I was so proud of my stories and comfortable talking about these things, it didn’t seem like a big deal to me. Then my last year of high school, I moved to the south of Paris and switched schools. I was trying to figure myself out in this weird growing-up period and I had people of the past reflecting an image where I was like wow really is that me? I didn’t want to be like that. That was a part of me of course but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want that to be all that I was seen as.
In the end though, it was good that I moved; it made it easier for me to imagine different dimensions of myself. I realized that was just a stage and I could move on. Right after high school, I moved to Germany, where the dynamic between men and women is way different. It’s tranquil here. No one whistles at you on the streets, if you go out to the clubs you aren’t going to get groped or have to defend yourself against pushy men. I have a lot more freedom here to explore my sexuality in my own way.
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