Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

George Mikes, How To Be An Alien

“European men and women have sex lives, English men and women have hot water bottles”

I spend the first three or four years in London never hearing the word ‘sex’. I promise you. I even thought that, well, the British didn’t have sex, or simply never talked about it, except maybe when completely drunk at the pub.

It must be said that things have drastically changed in London over the last few years. The British now find it cool to shout about their sexual lives from the rooftops. To make matters even worse, now it’s all about having a ‘fluid sexuality’, and lots of new words have become extremely popular in a very short period of time. If, like me, you are a heterosexual woman who has been married for the best part of 20 years, well, you are an old fart. So boring.


Because it’s all about experimentation nowadays, with new words nobody had heard about a couple of years ago, like: Androgynous, Androsexual, Aromantic, Asexual, Bigender, Cisgender, Demisexual, Gender Fluid, pansexual, Polyamorous, Hesbian, Gesbian…(and the list is far from being exhaustive).

Nowadays if you have read ’50 Shades Of Grey’ you need to bring it with you at all times, and casually leave it next to you, in full view of the whole world, whatever your age or marital status. It’s cool, you see. It proves that you are still on top of your game, and very open-minded. Handcuffs and whips have gone mainstream for a reason.

And on the bus, I even overheard a teenage girls explaining that she wasn’t ‘gay’ but didn’t feel completely ‘straight’. She looked barely fourteen, and the whole episode made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.

As much as I believe that everybody has the right to enjoy his/her/their sexuality, I sincerely hope that this is just a craze and that everybody will keep their private life, well, private. What can I say? I remain very French, and I think that it’s better to suggest than to throw in somebody’s face.

And remember, as we say in French: “ce sont ceux qui en parlent le plus qui en font le moins”. Translation: “It is those who talk the most who do the least.”