But seeing this congregation of his former lovers hammered home the gulf between our two cultures.
I didn't know it at the time, but I was stepping into a world where educated middle-class - and married - people hopped into bed with one another free of guilt and free of consequences.
If I didn't kiss a boy, I felt nothing would happen.
It was as though they were terrified of putting a foot wrong and being too macho. He took me to Positano in Italy and proposed over a plate of spaghetti vongole.
As the evening wore on, I noticed that a few men and women were peeling away from the table and moving into the next room.
As the Grand Prix was on, I assumed they were watching the highlights.
More significantly, he exuded sexual self-confidence. In England, I'd always felt I had to make the first move.Heatwave, as I nicknamed her, opened the door that evening radiating sexual confidence, wearing a dress that made her perfect body look as if it had been wrapped in black bandages.We sat at a long trestle table that ran down the middle of her garret flat and ate her magnificent food and sipped her carefully chosen wine. The guests, as I would soon realise, were anticipating more subtle pleasures.Those Parisian women, who would become my friends, didn't simply tolerate their husbands having affairs. Why not, when they were enjoying illicit sex themselves?And once it's no longer fun, you move on and there are no hard feelings. I had a place to study English at Magdalen College, Oxford.Omitting them from the guest list would have been unthinkable.After all, most of them had been friends of my husband's since his school days and, until I came on the scene, some had been drifting in and out of his bed for years.The first time I realised just how differently the French view sex was at my wedding.I married Laurent Lemoine at his parents' beautiful house in Normandy.When this handsome man, completely devoid of the self-doubt I had come to expect from English boys, rolled up outside the station, I was smitten. I'd had several boyfriends, but what struck me about Laurent was that he was a grown-up.For the next week, he pursued me with a persistence I found utterly captivating. Not simply because he was 11 years older than me, but because he was utterly at ease with himself.