• History of Sexual Dysfunction;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Sexuality;
  • Sex Life;
  • Behaviors;
  • Mental Perception;
  • Influencing Factors


Aim.  To analyze behaviors, mental perception, satisfaction, and expectations relating to sexuality in France.

Methods.  A total of 1,002 subjects (483 men and 519 women) aged 35 years and over in a representative sample of the French population were surveyed by phone using a dedicated questionnaire in November 2003.

Main Outcome Measures.  Sexual behaviors and mental perception, satisfaction and expectations concerning sexual life.

Results.  Of the population, 80.2% reported having a sexual partner. The mean number of times subjects had sex per week was 1.8 (2.0 in men, 1.6 in women). The decision preceded the act by a few seconds or minutes in 82.7% of subjects. Thinking about sex was “frequent” in 47.1% of subjects, especially for men (60.8%). Regardless of gender, sexuality was more synonymous with pleasure (44.0%) and love (42.1%) than with procreation, children, or motherhood (7.8%). During sexual intercourse, simultaneous orgasms and feelings of closeness were important for the majority of subjects, 35.8% (41.6% of men) and 22.8%, respectively; foreplay, enjoyment, and vaginal penetration were the most important accomplishments for 13.1%. Regardless of gender, 83.0% of subjects expressed relative or full satisfaction with their sex life. However, only 38.7% of subjects (31.6% of men and 45.2% of women) did not wish to change anything, while 17.2% would like to have more time for it. Of the subjects, 63.0% reported a decrease in sexual desire during periods of work-related stress, especially in women (72.3%). The main sexual complaints reported by men were diminution of sexual desire (24.9%), early ejaculation (23.7%), and erectile problems (14.4%). In women, they were diminution of sexual desire (45.7%), orgasm disorders (15.5%), and dyspareunia (15.5%).

Conclusions.  This survey showed that the attitude of subjects, especially men, toward sexuality is changing through years and highlighted the extent of sexual problems in the general population. Colson M-H, Lemaire A, Pinton P, Hamidi K, and Klein P. Sexual behaviors and mental perception, satisfaction and expectations of sex life in men and women in France. J Sex Med 2006;3:121–131.