When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the iconic line “Hell is others” in his existentialist novel No Exit, was he perhaps alluding to the crowded Left Bank cafés he frequented with his lover Simone de Beauvoir? Because Deux Magots and Café de Flore may be popular neighborhood institutions where Parisians go to “see and be seen”, but they’re not exactly the best places for an intimate rendez-vous with your sweetheart. In fact, so many couples come to the City of Light for romance that it’s actually quite difficult to avoid bumping into each other. A little planning ahead will help you carve out your own space to smootch and cuddle in relative privacy.
In most restaurants and cafés, especially the latest trendy neo-bistrots, booths are non-existent and the tables are so close together that you can practically caress the leg of the stranger next to you without anyone else noticing. If you’re going to propose or want to have a seriously private conversation, look for nicer restaurants with ample space. Lapérouse and 1728 have private rooms that can be booked, while Michelin-starred hotel restaurants at L’Hôtel and and Le Cinq at The Four Seasons George V will happily accommodate “romantic corner” requestsmade well in advance.
Fashionable bars crank up the music so loud you can’t hear your darling’s naughty whispers, so opt for more discreet locales such as Le Forum, The Bistrologist, or the Bar Bibliothèque at the St-James.
Think taking your man lingerie shopping with you at the historicGrands Magasins will get him in the mood? He’ll certainly be in a mood after having to shove through hoards of international shoppers just to get to the elevators, but not the mood you were hoping for! Opt for more intimate boutiques with personalized service, such as Cadolle or the by-appointment-only Mise en Cage for a private shopping session.
And if you’re looking for the best spot to steal a lingering kiss, forget the clichéd spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Parisian bridges ruined by the rusting, spray painted mass of padlocks. Instead, seek out a quiet corner among the flowering trellises at Bercy Park, escape the crowds on your own private motor boat on the Canal St Martin, or enjoy a bit of naughty culture when smaller museums stay open late (and are practically empty): Wednesday night at the Rodin, Thursday-Saturday nights at the Quai Branly, Monday and Saturday during temporary exhibits at the Jacquemart André, Wednesdays at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, and Fridays at the Institut du Monde Arabe (bonus for rooftop terrace views over Notre Dame and Ile St-Louis).
And if you still end up finding yourself constantly surrounded by others, keep in mind that the French don’t have a problem with (or an equivalent phrase for) public displays of affection. So puckers up and strike a good pose…you’ll probably end up in the background of another couple’s selfie!
Find more suggestions and tips for a sexy trip to Paris in the new edition of the award-winning “Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City”. Download a free chapter and order an advance copy of the book for a limited time exclusively through Kickstarter until July 8th: http://bit.ly/naughtyparis
(Beautiful) Photos by Kirsten Loop