By: David Llawrence
Once upon a perfect spring evening, Mary and Don, a happily married, mainstream couple (well, okay, they did watch a little porn now and then) were walking back to their hotel after enjoying a late dinner on Paris' Left Bank. Stopping to cross a street, they spotted an alluring neon sign above an old, windowless building on a dark corner. Working through their rough translation capabilities, they read that this was a place for "Couples Libertines." -- one of those notorious, couples only Paris "disco clubs" where it was understood that "activities" other than dancing occurred. With some apprehension, Mary and Don discussed what this might mean if they dared enter. Clearly they were not shocked at the notion. After fifteen years of togetherness, perhaps it was simply a natural inclination for some sort of spiced up variety beyond those porno tapes. For twenty minutes or so, Mary and Don watched from the curb side as rather normal looking couples poured into the place; the women dressed mainly in little black dresses of various sorts and the men in ties and jackets. In all, it was what you would define as a very proper crowd. After swearing allegiance and pledging mutual protection, Mary and Don drew up their collective courage, knocked on the door, and someone who later identified herself as "Chantal" slid one of those peek-aboo, speakeasy things open to check them out.
Mary spoke with her for a minute or two, the door unlocked, Chantal welcomed them in, took their coats, ushered them to one of the banquettes around a special effect filled disco floor, and then brought them some wine.
Once settled in, Mary and Don were delighted with the people watching, content to gape away at couples talking together, dancing sexy, just sitting around and looking very Euro.
Let the Action Begin After about an hour, Mary and Don noticed that one couple walked off the dance floor, with some degree of flourish, and headed through a beaded opening at one end of the club. Don recalls thinking that they must be going to the bathroom together -- perhaps it's a cultural thing.
But another couple left right after. Then another. Then others. Then all the others but Mary and Don.
They guessed about 100 people had gone through the mystery opening within about fifteen minutes. The obvious hit them like a load from their favorite money shot: there must be something behind those beads. Maybe those "activities" other than dancing.
Holding hands like two innocent kids, they crept through the beaded opening filled with worries like, "Hey, what if these people are all falling into a Dante like inferno?" Or, gasp, maybe it was, in fact, a coed bathroom. Or, worse yet, "That must be the midnight buffet and we already ate."
Pushing aside the beads, Mary and Don found themselves in a cave like stone foyer, with torch lights leading from the entryway down into a dark, very steep, stone staircase. And down they went, their fears taken over by natural curiosity and obvious temptation. As they descended, they heard moans and groans from a deeper unknown, along with sighs and whispers. No doubt about it, those were the serious sounds of something very seductive.
The stairway led into a long cave like area. At the bottom of the steps, before their eyes even adjusted to the surroundings, they encountered their first (of what was to be many) visual delights: a pair of highly sensual looking women clinging to each other, up and down and wrapped around using hands, legs, arms, lips, tongues -- they were all over, top to bottom and inside out. Don almost had an "in-pants accident."
As their eyes adjusted fully, Mary and Don peered further into the cave and saw a series of small bistro tables with seats, and several hallways leading to who knew where? They also saw many people wandering around, in different states of disarray, all seemingly quite comfortable and confident, and not because they had a good day at the office! A bit fearful, but charged with excitement, Mary and Don asked themselves, "So, what do we do about this?" Before either could answer, or bolt away, a charming woman approached. She spoke to Mary. After a minute or so the woman laughed, reached out, took both their hands and sat them down at a table. Mary had told her they were Americans, virgins to the scene, completely unaware of what was happening -- or could happen. The woman explained that this was one of many couples' clubs throughout Paris, France, Europe, the world!
She explained that these clubs exist for sexual encounters between men and women. There is no male-to-male sexual play, saying that the male gay clubs were well-known and well-established to attract that clientele. However, as Mary and Don had recognized from the start, play between women was not uncommon La femme continued, saying emphatically that at this club, and at every club, there is a strict etiquette, which must be followed. The most sacred rule is No means NO. There is no negotiating a NO. It is unconditional. And so you only do what you and your partner agree to and are comfortable with, together or alone.
She went on to say that "Play" means anything from pleasurably watching others to pairing off with another couple, joining in for group groupings, or engaging in all out mega orgy. Regardless of setting or circumstance, if you reach a point where you'd rather not go further, you only need to say so or push a hand away. And it always works because No means NO. There is no pressure to do anything; ever.
Sex of Many Sorts Well, this woman painted a civilized yet pretty sexy picture for Mary and Don. They both felt very comfortable from her orientation and easily agreed when she offered to guide them around. And they saw amazing things. There were a lot of "buffet" encounters, where people casually felt each other under tables or against walls, soon moving on to others. There was a fair amount of more intense oral sex and intercourse, between couples, or foursomes, sixsomes, and moresomes -- on and off beds, in rooms of varying sizes that were at the end of those hallways from the main room.
Their "guide" quietly explained some more rules: No smoking or drinking in the play areas (imagine people actually obeying those restrictions!) and zero tolerance regarding drugs. Safe sex was optional and, like everything else, based on consensual agreement. After about an hour, the woman left Mary and Don on their own, giving them both a warm hug and kiss on the cheeks. For a few hours after, Mary and Don stayed and watched. (The club is open from noon until 5 am everyday of the year!)
For the most part, the playrooms were lit well enough for those with voyeuristic tendencies to enjoy the action. Throughout the club, Mary and Don found things were not at all grimy and there seemed to be an enhanced ventilation system that kept the airflow fresh.
During their wanderings, they declined a few invitations and appreciated how polite people were in respecting their wishes. Nevertheless, the atmosphere definitely heated their mental mode, and much more. So by 3 am they headed out, completely wired in the most erotic way. Once back in their hotel room, they took steamy showers, and then had even steamier sex. Naturally, they couldn't sleep a wink. They talked, and talked about what they saw, what they liked and what they desired; until the cafes opened for coffee. They remained blissfully exhausted the rest of the day, meandering their way to typical touristy sites, including an old place Don recalls as The Louvre, or some such. (He thinks they had a few paintings there. He's not sure, being a bit mushed-brain, after all.) As evening approached, they somehow found a burst of energy. Over a bistro dinner, they eagerly agreed to return to the club, surprised at how much they were mutually intrigued. And so they returned later that night, and every night for the rest of their stay in Paris -- and every year since for the past decade.