Perspectives on love, sex, and all things relationships vary around the world. So we talked to ladies and gents from nine countries about the basics on love, sex, foreplay, and more. Their answers are below.
How would you define love?
America: A magnetism toward someone/something with whom you feel an intimate, fair, warm oneness, who regards you comparably and whose heart capacity you find extraordinary and dynamic.
France: An infinite connection between two people, romantic or not.
Romania: Attraction. Mentally, physically, sexuality.
England: I would define love as a state in time where you feel your most comfortable with someone, if that’s emotional or physical.
Canada: When two people would do anything for each other and accept each other for their weaknesses.
Germany: Love is like that stupid song that is stuck in your head that you just have to hum or sing the entire time without knowing why. You pretend to be annoyed by it but you totally enjoy it. Or it is like cake, it is delicious but it is going to ruin me…
China: When you care enough about somebody to want to make their life better.
Spain: Sharing the same interests with someone and connecting spiritually.
Holland: I would define love as something beyond everything — it’s the reason behind life.
Do you believe you can truly be in love with more than one person?
America: Possibly. I think too often people mistake infatuation for love.
England: Honestly no, I think you can lose your attraction to someone and fall for another but never love someone at the same time equally.
Romania: Hell yeah, it’s the gypsy way.
Canada: Absolutely, there’s millions of people to choose from, there’s obviously going to be more than one person you can fall in love with.
Germany: Yes. You are not the same person for your entire life. You change and so do your feelings.
Spain: No I don’t believe you can. Not in a serious deep love. Only in lust maybe but not love.
Holland: Of course you can be truly in love with more people but it’s up to you to choose between them because i think you can’t be in love with 2 people it’s not fair for the other.
Do you think you can fall out of true love? Have you ever stopped loving someone?
America: Not True Love because it’s our underlying nature. However, Romantic Love… yes, and I have fallen out of Romantic Love with more than one person.
France: Yes.. Time changes everything. You should embrace the moment when you have it.
Romania: I don’t really think you can ever stop loving someone, but the intensity of the love can die down, you might be less attracted to them but you’ll always have love for them
England: I believe you can, even if it’s true love. However, you’re always going to have a degree of love for the person no matter what. I think personally, I have been in this situation where I’ve loved someone so much and then it just didn’t work out, and now I’ve found myself where I’ve lost the attraction I once had so strongly. I’ll always still have deep down that love and spark with them though just not at the degree we had before. This is why I believe it was true love.
Canada: Hard question to answer because I’ve never been in deep love. But as Finding Nemo would quote, “You got yourself in there, you can get yourself out.”
Germany: I don’t think you can ever really stop loving someone you once loved. Your feelings may change but a part of you will always be attached to that person. You have shared too much and even if it is in the past, it is still part of you. Feelings change, the past does not.
China: Yes.. Depends on if a person changes or if you fundamentally change, like if you go through a life event that fundamentally changes who you are. No, I have never stopped loving someone.
Spain: I believe so.. 100%. No I haven’t.. I have been frustrated and angry but never stopped loving.
Holland: Love is something magical , and i truly believe you can’t fall out of love if you really love that person so much! But everything is different for everyone, this is my view on it. Love for someone would never fade away but it can become a lot less if someone hurts you.
Choose one: loving yourself or loving someone else?
America: Loving myself… technically… all we have is ourselves and what’s behind our own eyes.
Romania: You gotta love yourself first! 100%. You have to love yourself above all.
England: Loving yourself. As vain as it sounds, It’s important to know your balance before you move to someone.
Canada: I believe you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself.
Germany: I think you have to love yourself in order to love someone else. True love means giving all of you to someone else. If I would not love that (for the most part) why would I give it to someone special? My partner deserves the best, so I have to be my best self only to become even better through my partner.
China: Love yourself first. In the sense of being comfortable with who you are, not in the narcissistic way.
Spain: I would rather love someone else.
Holland: Loving yourself first because how are you going to love someone else if you can’t love yourself.
What do you value most about a relationship?
America: Kind, giving, understanding, trusting, sharing behavior and intense physical attractiveness.
France: The intimacy.
Romania: Honesty and trust, knowing that that person is going to be there for you
England: The adventure that comes with it and just being able to be on a level of comfort that you’re not with anyone else continuously.
Canada: Trust, without it any kind of relationship will fail.
Germany: Loyalty, trust and understanding. To me a relationship should be a partnership where both sides bring out the best in the other and help fix the worst while tolerating it.
China: Being able to depend on someone.
Holland: The connection between each other and being yourself.
What is the most important – mental attraction, physical attraction, emotional attraction, spiritual attraction?
America: Emotional and Physical attraction.
France: I am usually initially attracted physically, but I have to mentally attracted to develop a relationship with them
Romania: Mental. No question. If they aren’t mentally stimulated, its not happening.
London: Spiritual attraction 100%!
Canada: Although they all play a role, I would probably say emotional attraction. You can’t be in love with someone you don’t have any emotional connection or feelings for.
Germany: Physical attraction is important to some extend but love is a combination of all of them with an emphasis on mental and emotional attraction. I don’t just want to look at my partner, I much prefer having a conversation or being with them in general.
Spain: All.. it has to be all.
Holland: They all matter a lot.
Most important quality you look for in a companion?
America: A caring, understanding, giving, loving heart.
France: Intelligence and pure intentions
Romania: Someone who is in line with my morals and qualities
England: Uniqueness. Confident uniqueness, someone who’s not afraid to be themselves and will show it.
Canada: Their personality is definitely the most important, but more specially I look for someone who is on the same mental level as me. Whether that’s sharing the same opinion on important life decisions or just their sense of humour.
Germany: A unique brain that is equally as weird as mine is.
China: Trust, dependant, fun..enjoy each others company and have a common interest.
Holland: Beautiful from the inside is for me much more important than the outside.
Would you ever have an open relationship?
America: Probably not.
France: No, what is the point?
Romania: Not if I cared deeply about her, however the gypsy culture allows males to stray but the female must stay loyal.
England: Yeah, as long as no one’s getting hurt.
Canada: The only reason I see for an open relationship is a commitment issue, so I would consider it depending on if that issue was distance or just infidelity.
Germany: No. If I commit to someone, I commit. If you want to be with other people, be single and enjoy yourself. If you are in a relationship, be happy and enjoy each other.
Spain: No, it wouldn’t be fair to either.
Holland: No never, it’s like ordering a tea and everyone can take a sip of it. That’s a no for me.
Hardest thing you’ve dealt with in a relationship?
America: My own trust and jealousy issues.
France: Keeping interest and not losing the spark.
Romania: Balancing several girls at once [blame the gypsy way].
England: Distance by far.
Canada: Lack of trust, which is key to a relationship.
Germany: Trying to be something I am not to avoid hurting someone but in the process losing myself and prolonging the separation that turned out to be best for both of us. Also, long distance…
China: Trust and mutual respect.
Spain: Accepting their flaw when they started to affect my well being.
Holland: To find out that they were cheating, that was pretty sad.
Have you ever cheated? Have you ever been cheated on? What caused them and/or you to do so?
America: I have never cheated, but I have been cheated on once when I was very young. I was at home sick, and she was out with a group of older folks and grew tempted.
France: Yes I have – I was not fully invested in my relationship and I had a stronger connection to someone else at that time. I broke up with my girlfriend shortly after. No, I have never been cheated on.
England: No I have never cheated nor been cheated on. I don’t see why people do it
Canada: I’ve been cheated on. Simply because of immaturity and they weren’t ready for a relationship.
Germany: I have never been cheated on and I have never cheated. I would not commit to someone only to betray them. If I want to be free then I don’t commit. A relationship is more than sex and a cool facebook update. It is about trust and being able to rely on someone. I have no intentions of ever betraying someone like that.
China: No I have not. No I have not been cheated on, not to my knowledge.
Spain: No I have not, but yes I have been. Why? Probably lack of communicating and not spending quality time together.
Holland: I have never cheated on someone but someone did on me, I was heartbroken but hey, things happen with a reason, i’ve learned from it and need to go on with life.
Do you believe in soulmates?
America: I believe we have lots of soulmates or people with whom we share a grand communion… lots and lots of people.
France: Perhaps, if you are lucky enough to find yours.
Romania: Eh, not really. You gotta make it work and a lot of people match up with what I like but I don’t know if they are my soulmates.
England: I believe there’s a certain someone for everyone, so yes definitely.
Canada: No. I mean yes, there are going to be people out there that are perfect for you, but there is an abundance, not just one you are destined to be with
Germany: Yes, just not only one.
China: Yes, goes along with connection.
Spain: I do. I believe it’s connected to spirituality.
Holland: Yes, I really do.
How does your culture view sex? (i.e. should it be sacred, exclusive, an act of casual pleasure, etc)
America: Sacred, Exclusive, and Casual… But it is very tough to say exactly.
France: It is pretty casual in France and most of Europe, honestly. But you shouldn’t have sex just to have sex, you should be somewhat invested in that person.
Romania: It’s like a game, honestly. Something fun to do.
England: It should be enjoyed, not overused or mistreated – but a bond between two people that is pleasurable.
Canada: It should be something that is exclusive as I would say my culture views it, but this generation has evolved it into something that is less meaningful and more for pleasure than a deep connection, and it is beginning to be more accepted this way
Germany: I am German. We are pretty open about sex and the body (yes, even the oh so scary female body). We start sex ed in elementary school and have it over and over. You can show naked people on TV and it is not a taboo at all. Sex is not a dirty topic at all. The idea is to educate you as much as possible and let you make the decision if you want to be the bee that flies from one flower to the next or if you want to be monogamous. Be safe and do you.
Spain: Sex should be a sacred act.
Holland: Selling sex is legal here, but I completely disagree with that. I think it gives our culture a bad rep. It should an intimate bond between two people.
What would say is the average number of sexual partners for male and females of your country?
America: Let’s say 10-12.
France: Depends, males maybe 20. Females maybe 10.
Romania: 10 to 15 perhaps.
England: Anything between 8 to 12 I assume.
Canada: Hard question but I would guess the average for men is somewhere around 10 and for women around 6?
Germany: I actually read about that… It is something like 3 to 5 I think. Made me crawl into my shower and cry for a few hours. I hope it is about the same for male and female to get rid of the ridiculous double standard of slut shaming and making guys seem cool for screwing around. If you are single, do whatever you want. Gender should not matter.
China: Not sure I can answer, but in the Chinese culture probably 2. They are not very promiscuous.
Spain: 10-15 partners, for both.
Holland: Honestly, I have no idea. It varies on the person.
How long after you meet someone should you have sex?
America: When you feel respected by and trusting of the other person
France: It all depends on the connection.
Romania: One to two months.
England: I don’t think it matters, as long as you both are sure that you want it.
Canada: I think that totally depends on the situation. It should be when both people are ready and want to express their feelings toward each other on a deeper level.
Germany: For something casual… As long as it takes to make sure I won’t have my organs harvested. For something serious… Long enough to get to know the other person. Having sex too fast takes away a lot of the “getting to know each other” and sets a different tone for the relationship. If I care, I will wait until it is right.
China: Depends on the individual. No set time. Chinese culture-after married
Spain: No time frame.
Holland: It depends I think, everyone is different some people will do it right away and some just wait a couple months
Would you sleep with someone on the first date?
America: When I was younger, yes… never felt good about it, however.
France: Yes, I have before. But it is much more special to wait, especially if you care about the person. I once waited 7 months before I slept with a girl I really liked. Worth the wait.
Romania: Hell no, you barely know them. And especially if i’m going to try to make a relationship with her and if someone is willing to sleep with me on the first date, I already know I’m not interested in that type of person anyway.
England: Yeah, sex is not something that’s bad
Canada: I might if I was very psychically attracted to them and I had been talking to them for months before meeting.
Germany: See previous answer.
Spain: Hell no.
Holland: No, you don’t even know the person yet.
Do you think a female should embrace her sexuality? Would you be turned off if a woman was overly sexual?
[Editor’s note: Galore does not necessarily endorse these answers, especially the American one, because equating a woman’s self-esteem/desire for attention with her sexual habits is so embarrassingly retro…]
America: Absolutely. I would only be turned off if she was coming on to multiple people simultaneously or using her sexuality to gain attention… for attention’s sake… exploiting herself stemming from low self-esteem.
France: Yes, to an extent. I think should only share her sexuality with who she is involved with. It is not classy for a woman to be overly sexualized in the public eye.
Romania: Hell no. They should only embrace it in the bedroom.
England: Yes of course! I think these days women are too afraid to embrace their sexual tensions as they worry about the opinions and what they will be called. However, like I said, it’s nothing bad. Everyone should feel equal to exploit, male or female, both should be the same. I would say I would to a limit of extent though.
Canada: I don’t think it’s fair that women are judged more harshly on their sexuality. Embrace it!
Germany: Absolutely yes and NO. I think women are the craziest, most frustrating thing ever but they are the most amazing creatures at the same time. Slut shaming is for insecure guys who got rejected and can’t handle it that they aren’t the gods they thought they were. Women should be as free and sexual as they want to be without having to fear judgement or abuse. Just look at them, they are breathtaking
China: Most likely do not think a woman should embrace her sexuality.
Spain: Yes and yes.
Holland: She needs to be whatever she wants and what she want to do, it’s her choice.
Biggest turn on, biggest turn off?
America: Biggest turn on… too personal to answer (ha ha)… Biggest turn off… sex with someone who is on drugs or drunk… or mean…
France: An intimate conversation and someone who is passionate. Turn off, someone who has no motivation or demands attention.
Romania: Mental stimulation. Turn off, someone who is dishonest and stupid.
England: Biggest turn on, confidence. Girls that know their worth and are not afraid to show it. Biggest turn off, girls that are boastful
Canada: Turn on: Neck kisses. Turn off: No mutual respect.
Germany: Oh boy… Biggest turn on, a woman that knows what she wants and is very comfortable with her sexuality. And knowing that what I am doing (or what I am about to do) is going to make her feeloff.. Obviously poor hygiene, but it is the worst when it feels like she is not enjoying herself. I don’t want to have sex just for myself, that’s terrible. Also, don’t play with my feet.
China: If they show how much they care about you and make you feel special cheating.. Drinking
Spain: Turn ons are being independant and classy. Turn offs are sloppiness and not taking care of yourself.
Holland: A girl who can dance, girls who think they are way too beautiful and talk so good about himself and talking bad about other people, serious I want to take a fucking kill those people.
Preferred type of sexual experience?
America: Intimate roughness… Rough intimacy…
France: It depends on the situation and person.
Romania: All. I’m down for any type.
England: Passionately spontaneously
Canada: Because I don’t have much experience I like a guy who knows what he’s doing and is in command.
Germany: Passionate, free, borderline animalistic, respectful, adventurous… Basically be comfortable with yourself, not afraid to say what you want and maybe push your limits and try new things. I don’t think there is one specific good answer. It depends on the person and the circumstances. But sleeping with someone you care about is very different from casual sex. Both are fun but the former is infinitely better.
China: Romantic but ultimately, sex should be used for pro-creation.
Spain: It depends on the person, but I prefer romantic.