[18 SNL] Paris’ Redlight District: Pigalle

How comfortable are you with the whole sex industry/red light district/online sex toys shopping thing? I have to say that I am “pro” legalisation of prostitution as I believe it will lead to less human trafficking, safer practices and better security for all involved. But let me tell you why this is on my mind…

Amsterdam Red Light District

Amsterdam was the first city stop on our honeymoon. Sweet, charming, freezing, Amsterdam. It was Mr John’s first time to the city and we explored as much as the rain would allow us. As we moved along the glossy streets of the red light district at night, Mr John could hardly believe what he was seeing; a world of live mannequins for sale. And while the red light district is both heartbreaking and fascinating, we were so thrilled to be staying far away from drunken British cheers, bright fluorescent cafe signs and clouds seeping from coffee shops and would happily take our leave when we got over the bustle.

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But little did we know that we would then find ourselves in the HEART of the red light district on our next honeymoon stop: Paris! My brother had toured France extensively and came to know Paris very well. He recommended we stayed in Abbesses, but I selected a suburb down, Pigalle, as two Metro lines met at the station and I thought it would be easier to navigate around. I was right. But I had no idea that the area was the Red Light district of Paris, Pigalle!

Map of Pigalle in Paris

Pigalle, Paris

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We stayed at a gaudy hotel called the Villa Royale. It was typically french, very cabaret with over the top pink carpets and corny decor. It was right next door to the world’s biggest adult shop, a four-story shop called the Sex-o-drome! It was also half a km away from the Moulin Rouge, which was most convenient. However, there were sex shops, strip clubs and sex shows all the way down the main road. TOTALLY normal in Paris, no one blinked an eyelid while we took it all in trying to act nonchalant (it’s not every day you eat macaroons while staring at crotchless knickers in a window!).

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I’m not too squeamish about this stuff, but when I got home and met an older friend, she asked if we went in and I was suddenly slightly appalled! Why in heaven’s name would I go to a sex shop with hairy, surly men hanging outside?! Gross! And even if I did, why would I tell her all about it?! And then it made me realise just how conservative South Africans can be. It’s not that we’re not up for it, it’s just that we don’t want to be public about it.

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I remember a mini sex shop called Kink that used to be near Jerry’s in Park Road. It had a bar and a sex shop upstairs, but I don’t think anyone ever bought anything! And it’s a bit of a pity because now it’s closed. But as South Africans we’re rather shop for sex toys online in the comfort and privacy of our own homes.

The French, on the other hand, are TOTALLY liberal. It feels like they even made sex up they’re so comfortable with it. SO comfortable, in fact, that our hotel even offered us sex toy hampers! You could LITERALLY order a sex toy hamper from reception for the duration of your stay in the hotel!

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The Sex-O-Drome, I must add, has EXCELLENT reviews on Facebook!!! I actually feel quite sorry for myself for missing out 😉  But in all seriousness, if you’re down for a little online shopping yourself, but want to be discreet, an adult online shop named Desir reached out to me to make me aware of their services and product range. Their site looks really nice, not sleazy at all (leave that to the bedroom please!) and they have safe and secure shopping with free shipping.

If you’re looking to spice up your life this winter, keep Desir in mind. I’ll just leave that information here and you can make of it what you will 😉  Good night and au revoir for now!

*Commissioned Post

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