With another Paris Fashion Week winding down fueled by Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2000, Jacques Selosse Substance and various other spirits that limit inhibitions, we here at Highsnobiety like to think that we’re arming our readership not only with the best places to stay, eat and drink in cities all over the world, but that those tips also pay dividends in the romance department.
For those lucky enough to have picked up a new belle or beau while being dazzled by the City of Lights – or for those perhaps there on vacation with a significant other looking to add a little spice to their relationship – we thought it only appropriate to stoke the fires with some tips for some PDA that has nothing to do with putting a lock on the Pont des Arts bridge and tossing the key into the Seine.
While getting “lucky” can certainly run the gamut depending on your sense of adventure and the stage of flirtation you find yourself in, these places should all be life changing experiences for your love life.
In 2006, The New York Times noted that although Paris was steeped in many romantic traditions, it was starting to unveil its more naughty side thanks to the rise in swinger/libertine clubs throughout the city.
Les Chandelles (The Candles) on Rue Thérèse in the First Arrondissement holds the distinction of being one of – if not the most – exclusive sex enclaves in the entire city.
Sitting behind dungeon-style doors next to Japanese restaurants and near the Bourse – the Paris stock market – and boasting persnickety bouncers who make entry as hard as earning an Ivy League scholarship, the first major rule for entry involves no stag attendees except on the rare occasions when a Billy or Brenda No Mates are let in for the lunch buffet in the afternoon.
“Tt’s not a pickup joint,” Vanity Fair noted. “If you and your partner are lucky enough to find an inviting hand on one of your arms, then you join in the fun. But no one forces you to do anything. You can stand and watch all night, or just sit at the bar and soak up the pheromones, watching the beautiful, rather spoilt-looking clientele at play. Or you can go in the back, with your partner, and join in.”
In terms of sartorial tips for entry, their website suggests, “The Candles have a holy horror of flat shoes, sneakers, sports clothing, … but also short-sleeved shirts, white socks, … In short, getting ready to go out, dressing tastefully are prerequisites to the ‘Chandellissime seduction.'”
“If someone isn’t sexy enough, we turn them away,” the owner, Valerie, told The New York Times. “But we turn them away with love.” Whips, dog collars and leashes are also forbidden. “This is not an S-M club. We’re only into seduction and sophistication.”
Jardin du Luxembourg
While the aforementioned Les Chandelles could probably be a bit too much for the average couple – and certainly for those who just met – the idyllic beauty of Paris itself often is the only aphrodisiac a duo needs to be put in the mood.
Although public sex can seem taboo, the Daily Mail noted that “12 percent said they have had sex in a public place.”
If we were to suggest a place that was both scenic and provided enough real estate to slip into a corner for some naughty shenanigans, look no further than the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Featuring over a hundred statues, monuments and fountains scattered throughout the grounds – as well as an apple orchard and pear trees – the garden is on a sprawling 25 hectares of land and is not only free, but stays open until 9:30 p.m. at night so a daring couple can use the shadows to their benefits.
Although we’ve basically coached people into heading to swingers clubs and fornicating in public, we can’t undervalue a good, old-fashioned place to merely swap spit with a willing participant.
The Promenade Plantée is to Paris as to what the High Line is to New York City. Situated on the former tracks of the Vincennes railway line which took passengers from Bastille to Varenne-Saint-Maur from 1859 to 1969, the line was abandoned and replaced with a sprinkling of gardens which resulted in a linear park full of lush foliage that intermingles with Gothic architecture.
Marais – Showroom Space
After hours of walking around areas like Place des Vosges, Trocadéro, Montmartre and Parc des Buttes Chaumonts, perhaps the last thing a couple may want to do is to spend more time outside amongst the tourists and Parisians alike.
Currently the most expensive listing on Airbnb, this luxury property goes for $4,119 USD per night and offers peace and quiet and a contemporary feeling in a historic, 17th century monastery setting with a private garden in the Le Marais neighborhood near the Place de la Bastille that is perfect for either some vanilla intimacy, or perhaps something a little spicier without watchful eyes.
The Seven Hotel in the Latin Quarter derives its name from seven different themed suites which perfectly showcase modern amenities alongside the kink factor of role playing with your significant other.
Highlights include the Suite Sublime with crystal chandeliers, furniture with soft and round curves and round beds, Suite Secret Agent which is an homage to 007 with a blend of vintage chic and futuristic design alongside a complete collection of James Bond films so that you know how to perfectly shake and stir your partner, and Suite Cabaret which boasts a stripper pole in the bedroom.
Most people start to feel less inhibited when an activity dictates that they should shed their cumbersome uniforms of the day and submit to the wills of sensuality.
Located in the L‘Hôtel on rue des Beaux-Arts in the 6th arrondissement which is walking distance to the Musée d’Orsay and Louvre, the best amenity includes the Hammam Pool and steam room with exposed stone grotto which can be made private for up to an hour for guests looking to use the buoyancy of the water to get into sexual positions that scoff at gravity. Marco… polo!
Victor Noir’s tomb
While a cemetery seems like the antithesis of a romantic interlude, one particular grave has proven to be naughtier than others.
Victor Noir was a French journalist who was shot dead while arranging the terms of a duel between Paschal Grousset of newspaper, La Marseillaise, and Prince Pierre Bonaparte, the great-nephew of Napoleon.
The Père Lachaise cemetery effigy of the 19th century journalist – depicting Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin – has become especially popular with women visitors due to his reputation as a romantic figure, and partly because of the effigy’s design which is said to result in fertility if you polish his “knob.”
While some use their hands, others go for the gusto by mounting the statue – resulting in a temporary fence that was erected (no pun intended) in 2004 which dissuaded such practices. However, after an outcry from women who said their right to be blessed was being infringed upon, the fence was taken down.
Agent Provocateur dressing room
Buying lingerie for a significant other can often get the blood flowing from the brain to the main vein – especially if couples choose to shop together.
Agent Provocateur is one of the premiere destination in Paris – boasting locations on Boulevard Haussmann and Rue de Grenelle.
As The Sun noted, “Just like the Mile High Club, it seems no sexual bucket list is complete without getting fruity in an Agent Provocateur changing room.”
“Are you all right in there?,” sales people would inquire after a couple hadn’t returned from the changing room for 10 minutes.
The high-pitched “Yes” was all the answer they needed.