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Day 323: Talk Dirty.

Illustration by Garance Doré

Lately, Aurelien has not been very supportive of my new found desire to expand my French vocabulary. He has been avoiding me like Aubervilliers after midnight, as I stalk him around the apartment with my notebook of sentences that I have proudly constructed.

Before we write him off as the next MF, let me back up a bit...

So, I'd consider myself a rather chatty, out-going gal. I take pleasure in striking up conversations with complete strangers. I hold no prejudice in my targets who can be anyone from my next door neighbor to the elderly man standing next to me at a brasserie, sipping on an espresso. I'm just someone who engages in small talk and I have developed a skill of sniffing out those who welcome it. However, the one time that I do find myself at a complete loss of words - especially in French - is during (as my mom calls it) "Hotsy Totsy" time. I thought that I was taking advantage of the electives that were offered at Alliance Française by signing up for the Poetry in French, French Slang and (despite my lack of intuition in the kitchen) Cooking in French classes, not realizing that a Gettin' Down n' Dirty en Français course would have been much more helpful and applicable to my real life. I mean really, how many times have I segued a French haiku into any conversation? 

In general, I feel really cheesy about talking dirty in my native tongue, but in French? Forget about it. I mean, seriously, who wants to conjugate their verbs naked? And I don't care what anyone says but grammar does count in bed. I have this growing fear of sounding like Olaf in the film Clerks and saying the French equivalent of "making 'eff' berserker" to find myself being laughed at by the man who is currently hovering over me. The one time I attempted to get festive in my second language was after several glasses of that white Martini drink that tastes like sweet pepper, with one of my first flings in Paris, François (no, really that was his name...amazing, right?) where I ended up humiliating myself. I called him a bellâtre, a word that I heard in an old movie I caught on TV5 Monde one night in Brooklyn.

I later learned that bellâtre means handsome muscular hunk and no one, and I mean no one says that anymore. Handsome Muscular Hunk? Seriously. I was mortified! It's no surprise that François was never to be heard from ever again.

Whatever, he was like 22.

Moving on. Since then I never ventured back into the realm of spicing things up where the most I can offer is meek little "oui" as my big sexy response during these heated moments. My mom, on the other hand, accuses me of talking dirty with all of my French boyfriends because she thinks everything sounds like sex in French. I remember we had once stopped by MF's place while he was at work, and I called to tell him that there was a lot of dust blowing in through the window from his next door neighbor's kitchen renovation. What could possibly go wrong with this, right? Over the phone, I used the words poussiere and chez toi which my mom self-translated into dirty words. "There's hotsie totsies goin' on, I'll go in the other room while you two talk nasty to each otha," she said, stomping off in her Stevie Nicks circa Bella Donna scrunched leather boots. I've told her countless times that poussiere means "dust" and chez toi means "your house", not English slang for the female genitalia. My god! By the way, this argument is approaching its two year anniversary. She's adamant that we were getting off on his apartment dust that day.

Saying that, I would like to be more creative with my responses, but unfortunately for me and my yearn to learn, Séb - who usually finds my commitment in mastering his language charming - is not on board with my self-inflicted as well as extremely raunchy and offensive French homework. He thinks it's unnecessary because (in his words) I'm sexy enough without forced pillow talk and something about having an open notebook on the nightstand is starting to freak him out. Also, if he hears me say the idiom "sweet nothings" to him one more time, he may just kill me. In short, I'm driving the man insane. 

I don't think I'll ever reach fluency in French dirty talk but perhaps some things are best left to the natives. I'm sure the other expat girls have no problem with this and are more secure with themselves when it comes to this craft, but me, I just can't do it. Mostly because I start giggling, and doubting what I'm saying which then leads me back to Olaf and "berserker". It always comes back to Olaf and really, who wants to think about that guy while you're having sex?

17 comments:

  1. MY LOVE FOR YOU IS TICKING CLOCK, BERSERKER! Ha ha that takes me back.. used to be a bit of a thing between me and an ex, in fact.

    I learnt my fair share of cochonneries soon after arriving in France for the first time as the chef at my work used to greet the girls in the mornings by saying things like "Viens me pomper" or "T'as bien suce le conducteur [the job involved going out on coach trips with school groups] hier soir? Il a une grosse bite ou quoi?" (No beet/bite confusion for me!!) I don't think I've ever put it to use though!

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    1. MY LOVE FOR YOUR IS LIKE A ROCK, BERSERKER! Sooo good, right?? Watching that clip makes me crazy. It's so bete yet so, so, funny. I think it's the "berserker" that I find so funny.

      What?!?! You had a boss who used to talk to you like that? LOL!! That's insane and so illegal! Well maybe not in France... : )

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  2. Well... your mom has a point: you were talking "DIRT" on the phone to MF...;))) Not just THAT kind of dirt;)

    Why the big urge to talk at all during the deed?;) Less talk, more action, I say!:)

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    1. So true! Good point, Duchess! We were in fact talking dirty! We could have really heated things up by bringing up the new Swiffer MF's mom had bought for the apartment. Hot stuff, eh?

      No big urge to talk during the deed, I guess I was just wanting to flex my vocab muscles. ; )

      Okay, that sounds gross.

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  3. Gwan, the chef at your work sounds like a real class act... as a matter of fact, he sounds like he put the "ass" back in "class"...;))

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!;)

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    1. I know - this was well pre-DSK, but don't know whether anything has changed, can't see it flying in anglo countries anyway!! And for the record, there was no suce-ing of any drivers!

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  4. True, it's very hard. That's what two-word phrases are for. "T'es doux" works.. and not in the "you are a sweet person" kinda way! ;p

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  5. God, Ella! I love you! You're amazing, seriously. These little tidbits about and peeks into your life are wonderful. And you're such an excellent writer! Fantastic!

    Keep practicing those words baby girl, keep practicing.

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    1. LOL! Thank you! Wow! So nice of you to say! Who are you Miss Mystery Sue? : )

      I'm totally blushing right now. Thank you for making my day. Lord know it's been a tough one.

      I'll keep practicing mon français! I promise...hahaha!

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    2. Ha! Who am I?

      Well, let's just say that I'm not too different from you Miss Ella. :-)

      I'm NYer to the bone with a love and flair for fashion (had one too many horrible internships notably at Showroom Seven ::shudder:: so now I'm in branding) that feel in love with French language in high school which then grew into a love for Paris and due to a little serendipitous moment a few years ago all that came full circle when I met my very own Frenchie at a bar in NYC a few years ago.

      Right now I'm living between Paris and NYC which blows so I'm in the process of making Paris my permanent home and geez louise what a pain in the ass that is. Dealing with the French consulate on 5th ave is giving me gray hairs, seriously. But, I know in the end it will be worth it when I'm permanently in the city where I truly believe I belong.

      Alors Mademoiselle Ella, c'est mon histoire.

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  6. Can I just say that I love this blog? This isn't just another "Girl in Paris" blog. You've somehow managed to go beyond that niche where Paris is the beautiful backdrop to your observations, experiences and outlook on life, making this dream city seem tangible to a simple girl like me from the midwest.

    You are truly inspiring. Thank you.

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    1. Oh wow, thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad that I am able to reach out and inspire you, whatever you dreams or goals may be.

      I hope you do make it to Paris one day. It is truly magical and completely within reach, especially for lovely ladies from the midwest. : )

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  7. By the way 'bellâtre' means DUMB handsome muscular hunk ;)

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  8. As a Brit who has recently acquired (in an entirely unexpected coup de foudre) une petite amie, can I say that breathy vocalisation during 'beast of two backs' time has provoked me to excesses I had hitherto not expected!
    Prends moi, doucement, mon dieu, plus fort, n'arrete pas and similar 2 /3 syllable exclamations are a huge aphrodisiac, imvho. It doesn't have to be War and Peace just a mix of instruction and reaction.

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  9. Wow great article! :)

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