French women have a reputation for eating what they want -- namely chocolate, cheese and bread -- and staying slim. In fact, gourmet indulgence is so important to most French women that the majority of them prefer sitting down to a gourmet dinner over having sex, according to the results of a survey by Harris Interactive for the French edition of women's magazine Grazia.

If there were a scale for rating pleasure, French women would place food at 7.1 out of 10.

"Chemically, the same thing happens in the brain during a 'culinary orgasm' and a sexual orgasm. In fact, when we are sad and we decide to eat chocolate, we are actually masturbating the hypothalamus," sexologist Gérard Leleu explained to French Grazia.
French women seem to have understood this, as 74 per cent of those surveyed said they preferred sitting down to a gourmet meal over a romp in the sack. Among the foods they go crazy for, the women surveyed were most likely to name chocolate (49 per cent), followed by cheese (39 per cent), foie gras (36 per cent), oysters (33 per cent) and strawberries (29 per cent).
Some even take their love of food a step further: 25 per cent of the women surveyed said they actually get more pleasure out of food than out of sex.

Unsurprisingly, male survey respondents were less likely to indicate the same order of preference. Only 13 per cent of the French men surveyed said they enjoyed eating more than sex. Furthermore, 59 per cent of them said they would prefer eating less and avoiding restaurants over forgoing sex.

The study was carried out from March 18-20, 2014 among 1,000 French respondents aged 18 and over.

It seems the phenomenon is not limited to the French. A 2012 study by Cancer Research U.K. asked women what would be the hardest thing to give up for a full month. The response: less than one in ten women chose sex, while more than double that picked chocolate.

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • This woman loves how much fun chocolate can be.

  • This woman is being swept off her feet by chocolate.

  • This woman wants you to back up off her chocolate, thank you.

  • This woman took her chocolate on a hiking date.

  • I am not kidding, the actual caption on this photo is "Pleasure/Pain."

  • We assume this is what Snapchat is like, mostly.

  • This woman is in a long-distance relationship with chocolate, but they finally get to spend a weekend together.

  • Sure, if you're into that kind of thing.

  • This woman's chocolate made a surprise visit at her job.

  • This woman's chocolate likes when she wears lingerie.

  • This woman just got married to her chocolate and couldn't be happier, but she also might cry, on account of being so happy.

  • This woman can't believe what her chocolate just said.

  • Yeah, I mean, this is happening.

  • This woman's chocolate is HILARIOUS.

  • This woman isn't ready to settle down with one chocolate.

  • This woman never thought she would find chocolate that understands her this well.

  • Um, sorry for interrupting.

  • This woman found the kind of chocolate she can enjoy a lazy Sunday with.

  • Okay, just get a room.

  • This woman is so excited to introduce you to her chocolate!

  • Rooomance!

  • This woman finally knows what it feels like to be in love with a chocolate.

  • This woman's chocolate made her a mix tape.

  • This woman wants to give chocolate another chance, but she's been hurt before.

  • This woman and her chocolate are getting a romantic couple's massage.

  • Wow, there are a lot of these.

  • This woman is going to make chocolate forget there were ever any women before her.

  • Overshare.

  • Caption, presented without comment: "Young girl licking chocolate cake off her friend."

  • This woman is letting her chocolate listen for their baby's heart beat.