Moulin Rouge, the Sexodrome and sex shop after sex shop showing lingerai clad figures and toys meant for adult play.
Wecome to Pigalle, the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the red light district.
My apartment is in Montmartre, 3 blocks North of this infamous region. When you walk the gentle slope downwards past cafes, little 10 foot wide restaurants the neon lights bleed their way up, some flashing, glowin gently on the pavement as you descend into Pigalle. There is a rapid transformation when youa rrive at the intersection and the seduction of the place is almost suffocating.
The newstands are filled with porn magazines, thier covers show figures of women graphically demonstraing what is sold in the many peep shows linging the road. There is a lingerai shop on the corner that specializes in S&M, it’s windows advertising leather whips and corsets, gags, and with models in erotic poses that suggest a melange of pain and pleasure. The sidewalks are a mosaic of peepshow venders shouting loudly and singling out potential customers, prostitutes in black boots strutting with the attitude of a true Madame, young people clad in clubbing clothes on thier way to dance and a few paranoid tourists with their backpacks slung frontways heaidng in the direction of the Moulin Rouge’s bright lights and crowded front.
There is loud music, horns honking and music pumping from the stripclubs and peepshows. The paris breeze blows the smell of the sex shops, and urine from the alley ways up to mix with the crowds sordid musk. Here infront of the sexodrome, anyone’s, but a true parisean’s, knees would go weak.
Open 24/7, the sexodrome offers everything to meet one’s lusty needs. A theater of porn, a shop of everything sexual, an erotic bookstore full of fetish writing, a variety of live shows, sexy sauna and private salons. The neon lights blaze high over the street, and all the manequins seem to beckon over the street. It is a mansion of lust.
The museum of erotica down the road has a window display of the most outrageous things one could imagine. The most shocking is actually quite funny: A chair with a small rotating gear with 5 rubber tongues that “lap up” what ever sits there. Also there are posters advertising the exhibition of fetishes and fantasies. With every step, your pulse rises, breath quickens and hold as you register what you see. The people, the establihsments, the sexual things you can smell in the street lingering without propriety. How strange, that this is the way.
This is an industry in the open here, the same as ours in North America, only it does not hide in the ghettoed alleyways and druggie hangouts.
Pigalle is worth the shocking walk and gritty sights to understand what sexual liberation means. Dirty, skanky, glorious pigalle… the Madame of the arrondissements in Paris.
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