The Secret Sex Lives of Ageless Frenchwomen
I know of a rather saucy Frenchwoman who lived late into her 90's and enjoyed a healthy sex life into her 70's. A sex life which only stopped because her husband died and she never took another lover. But I suspect that if she had have, she would have continued her lusty life until the end.
Agatha* was a pretty progressive woman. She was one of the first women in France to get her driver's licence - in 1936! Then after the war, she owned a lingerie shop. One day in the 1980's during the AIDS epidemic, she had her six grandsons staying with her. She sat them all down (aged 11-20 years) and flatly told them :
"Boys, I want you to know that there's a sexually transmitted disease out there, and it's lethal. Now, I'm going to buy a box of 12 préservatifs (condoms). I'll just leave them in the soupière (soup tureen), and when you see it's empty, just leave me a note on the grocery list and I'll buy some more".
Read : "Use 'em and abuse 'em as you want, boys!"
And abuse them they did. The first batch of condoms were gone within the first week.
I like to imagine Agatha's amusement when she discovered they weren't used for the purpose for which she'd bought them ... but as water bombs!
Agatha was, in the words of one grandson, "awesome". But her awesomeness didn't stop there.
At age 61, after she moved from mainland France to tiny a french island, she started fishing, taking lessons from an old fisherman on the island. She designed her own fishing boat, made out of wood and went fishing twice a day, putting out a net each time and serving up the local fish for dinner to her extended family and friends.
As her grandsons grew into young men, they'd stay with her on the island and sometimes go to discotheques until 3am. They'd stop off on their way home to buy croissants (apparently standard fare at 3am on a french island; a greasy kebab in Australia seems a poor equivalent) and she'd welcome them home, sitting up and chatting with them until 4am, at which point everyone would then stumble into bed.
She'd stockpile 400 bottles of muscadet wine in her island wine cellar each year, because she loved providing a "free bar" for friends and family late into her life. Aussies would call her a lush; the French would affectionately call her a bonne vivante.
In her early 70's, Agatha casually confided in her daughter that she still enjoyed an active sex life, saying "It alllll still works".
What's fascinating is that Agatha's daughter (now in her 60's) appears to also have an equally saucy sex life. What's saucy about it is that she won't admit to anyone - not her adult children, their spouses nor anyone else - that she has taken a lover, some years after the death of her husband.
Sometimes, in the presence of her children, she'll suddenly receive a text message from a man unknown to them. She takes trips to exotic destinations such as Tunisia, the south of France and Morrocco ... alone, but clearly not alone.
When pressured to divulge whether she's got a lover, and who the hell this guy is, she brushes them off with "It's my secret garden".
Hmmmmm, French women and their "secret gardens". I tell you, Frenchwomen are just as enigmatic as a zillion Google searches will tell you. And as complex and fascinating as a fine French wine. And like wine, better - and more innately beautiful - as they age.
Is it the Frenchmen who make love to them that make them so? Are they born and raised by their mothers that way? Is it their natural joie de vivre - their love of life itself? Or is it something in the champagne?!
Stuff this notion that one's lustful life naturally comes to a halt at a certain age or after a certain number of years of marriage!
I can't say I have the answer, but I can tell you that my Frenchman treats me like a goddess and I feel more, shall we say, satiated, than I ever did in my pre-Paris days ... and I'm 49 years old!
Ultimately, the question is as ageless as Frenchwomen themselves.
* Not her real name.