Maisons Closes 1860- 1946

365x495-image-annonce In an intimate art gallery Au Bonheur du Jour, directly opposite the site of mythic brothel Le Chabanais, a dedicated historian of French erotic life in Nicole Canet, presents in explicit detail the history of maisons closes in Paris from 1860 to 1946.  The display of carefully chosen vintage photographs, drawings, documents, paintings and objects of desire is divided into seventeen sections: Places, Women, Scenes with women, Spanking and flagellation, Libertine lingerie , Brothels for men, Guides and adverts, Tokens, Props, Painters and illustrators, Postcards, Songs, Illustrated magazines, Literature, Movies, the Saint-Lazare jail and finally the Closing of brothels.

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International Women's day at the Pantheon

Portraits of nine amazing women will hang over Paris' most cock-tastic monument, the Pantheon, thru next Saturday 15th March.

If you really want to soak up the european/white/male/patriarchy vibe just walk towards this monument and look up. It is imposing as it was so obviously meant to be but I'll never forget the Ernesto Neto exhibition which beautifully poked a finger at the pomposity of the space with his great big wobbly scrotum sacs in 2024.

So who are these lovely ladeez?: Olympe de Gouges, Simone de Beauvoir, Charlotte Delbo, Solitude, Colette, Maria Deraismes, Louise Michel, Marie Curie and George Sand....find out more here.

"On ne naît pas femme, on le devient" - Salute Simone

Medium_simone_ds_beauvoir__brassai Simone de Beauvoir would have been 100 years old today.  Salute the be-turbaned one by tuning into the following:

Vintage TV interview footage
Simone De Beauvoir writing in a St Germain Café plus interviews etc  - (check out St Germain looking like Barbès!)

TV - Arte
"Simone de Beauvoir, une Femme Actuelle" - Thursday 22h30
"Les Amants du Flore" - Friday at 21h

Colloque Centenaire Simone de Beauvoir 2024 offers readings and debates. Réfectoire des Cordeliers - 15 rue de l’Ecole de Médecine 75006 Paris

And from our archives a piece on Hazel Rowley's "Tete-a-Tete: Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre":  The 20th century's most controversial public intellectuals do not disappoint.  I couldn't put it down for 5 days and it seriously curtailed my nocturnal activities, or just leaving the house in general.

More on: "On ne naît pas femme, on le devient" - Salute Simone

Secret erotic art exposed for the first time

Libertine_france"Psst......wanna see some dirty pictures?"

From The Times - Tales and pictures of naughty nuns, lustful queens and randy noblemen go on display........when the French National Library unlocks its secret archive of erotic art.

The show of 350 works, ranging from manuscripts by the Marquis de Sade to early pornographic photography, is causing a stir because the library'€™s trove of licentious literature -€“ known as L'Enfer - has been the stuff of fantasy since the early 19th century.

L€'Enfer, to which "€œimmoral"€ works were often consigned after police seizure, was closed in 1969.

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Cartedespedes2 Looking to get a handle on the Paris gay scene? Here's a amusing look at the Paris' geography from Pederama.

French kissing

Vivelafrance1412_2Not entirely without reason, French prefer to think they have a monopoly on sex and seduction (as well as on food, literature, culture, architecture . . . .) A recent survey claimed they are "the most sexually active people in the world". See I V Y Paris' article on Gridskipper for more details.....

Paradise Found in Paris - Betony Vernon

Photo: Ali Mahdavi. This week's I V Y paris article on Gridskipper, the decadent travel guide, features Betony Vernon's Paradise Found Salon....
"Not a million miles away from la Place de la Bastille is what Paris' premier erotic bookstore La Musardine's owners described as "the most exclusive sex club on the Planet."

La pornographie, peut-elle être artistique ?

I haven't been to Palais de Tokyo for sometime, I tend to avoid the 16th at all costs and although it's just on the outskirts it's such a schlep. People seem to love the bar/resto but it's never been my cup of tea. Since I've heard a lot about this film I'll make a special trip to see a projection of "Destricted" on 20th April (reserve your place, limited) , seven films exploring the fine line where art and pornography intersect. Over 18 only. Films by Larry Clark, Matthew Barney, Gaspar Noé, Marina Abramovic, Richard Prince, Marco Brambilla, and Sam Taylor-Wood.

Libération's new sex survey reveals surprising new Anglicism

Don't you love those Anglicisms that pass into French Parlance;

"Oui, Oui, on a un tres bon feeling ensemble" - ("Feeling" could equate to "sentiment" or rapport - a French/English word back at ya)
"C'etait un soiree tres People" - (shortened version of Beautiful People)
Ad infinitum.........
And now, ta da da.........FUCKFRIEND?!

More on: Libération's new sex survey reveals surprising new Anglicism

Erotikon in Bastille

Last night I squeezed myself into the packed salle for Erotikon, one of the 5 monthly parties exploring the erotic and it's effect on art and culture. I would say it was a theatrical-intello crowd from 25 - 55 years old, a lack of noticeable sleaze-balls and a good vibe.  But it was busy, thoroughly packed, hot and sticky (but a pleasant absence of too much smoke).

I had to go home early after the sexy breakdancing,  writhing Geisha woman, art-house porn (people cat-called and hackled the director shouting it was too long) and the couple that did a tap-type routine about Baked Beans on the bar - in English.

The best act ( it was almost a cabaret-style evening) was the Italian lady who did a puppet show featuring two amorous turtle glove puppets.  It was all too much for a Monday evening but probably a lot more interesting than Pigalle or St Denis, if you're looking for a little titillation with a  slightly intellectual edge. I didn't feel much frisson in the air but there was very little room to move.

The next events are in April and May, last Monday of the month at Le Reservoir, 16 rue Forge Royale, 75011.

Photographs by David Mccairley, who got frightened and ran off home leaving me to walk around looking for him for 45 minutes - or rather walk around feeling paranoid that people thought I was looking for someone to have sex with.

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