Those that are in a relationship, meanwhile, are much more likely to be unfaithful. File photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew

London - Paris may be known as the City of Love but the reality, it seems, is rather less romantic.

The city’s inhabitants have a penchant for anonymous sexual encounters, threesomes, orgies and swingers’ clubs, according to research.

The relaxed atmosphere in the city means it is easy and safe to find a sexual partner at pretty much any time, says the study.

"Paris offers numerous possibilities to meet people while guaranteeing a certain anonymity and great freedom of movement," says polling company Ifop.

About 44 percent of those questioned in the study confessed to having slept with someone "without knowing their name".

Parisians also appear to be far more adventurous – 29 percent have taken part in threesomes, compared with 16 percent in other parts of France.

Almost a quarter – 22 percent – have also taken part in an orgy, which it defined as sex with more than three others. Eighteen percent of those living in the city have also visited swingers’ clubs.

The Ifop survey – Paris, City of Light, City of Debauchery – appears to confirm the French capital’s reputation as "the place of sexual liberty par excellence". The survey also shows its residents have more than twice as many lovers as Londoners. While the Britons settle for an average nine partners in a lifetime, Parisians have at least 19.

Ifop spokesperson Francois Kraus said Paris "clearly comes across as an area of emancipation and privileged freedom".

He said sexuality was "less controlled" than in other parts of the world, and that people felt relaxed about "transgressing taboos".

The number of men in the capital who have used prostitutes is also much higher than the national average – 38 percent compared to 22 percent.

While Paris is full of internet escort agencies, prostitutes still walk the streets in areas close to the Gare du Nord Eurostar hub. Prostitution is not illegal in France, although pimping is.

The Ifop survey, which was carried out for the CAM4 dating website, also found that 43 percent of Paris’s two million plus population is single, compared to 33 percent in the rest of the country.

Long-standing couples account for just 25 percent of Parisians, compared to 41 percent in the rest of France. Those that are in a relationship, meanwhile, are much more likely to be unfaithful.

Daily Mail