Rules dating french guy
As for the other side of the bargain, it has its ups and downs.
Whereas in some countries (and notably Australia) courtship is something that happens between two people, in France it is the man's job, and quite some job it proves to be.
In other words, the rules of the game on the female side are to stay sexually attractive as long as possible and reap the benefits.
This is true everywhere, you will object; but no, I think that in France it is more important for women to stay sexy longer.
(The club's age group is mainly between 30 and 60, the innuendo getting more explicit among the older half.) One result of this generalized "drague" is the mixing of the sexes: men and women actually talk to each other at social occasions, rather than separating along strict gender lines with the women in the kitchen and the men in the armchairs, like in Australia.
This is rather pleasant, but of course there is a down side: it is hard work to establish any kind of female complicity, let alone the easy-going, almost automatic sense of solidarity I used to think was normal.
It is actually easier for a woman to establish a friendly relationship with a man than with a woman here, though of course this relationship will often be based on a kind of diffuse flirting (in the English sense; be careful, in French "flirter" necessarily involves intimate physical contact -- something of which my dictionary, once again, fails miserably to inform me).
No doubt this is why a (male) Australian friend of mine, who managed, after a year in France, to acquire a French girlfriend, confided "Whew, that was hard work".
Remember that the French, whatever their failings, have had a female Prime Minister, and that a higher proportion of French women have careers than Australian women.