Thursday, 8 October 2009

Paris, the city of love. And grunties.
And boomshakalak (etc.)

WARNING: this article is not safe for prudes.
There's nothing very racy in it, but if you are offended by mild sauciness
then you may prefer to look at these pictures of unicorns and rainbows. G'bye!

The French have a reputation (and I'm not talking about the one involving smelling of garlic). Fiery French passion and French kissing are famous throughout the world, and the cliché of amorous French couples smooching in public places is to be seen in many a film, from An American in Paris to Ratatouille.

Although canoodling has never gone out of fashion here, the art of canoodling has become big business, and three shops just near the Great Apartment have a host of objects - from the cheeky to downright saucy - to help you out. Boutiques 1969 and Passage du Désir (love that name) are both very relaxed, classy, sleek establishments that proudly say that there's no shame in pleasure.

Here's Passage du Désir. They call it "The ♥ store" and the products range from postcards to vibrating eggs and (obviously) a lot more. Its huge window display and bright interior are miles away from the dingy, dodgy sex shops of the red light district in Pigalle.

They also have a large webstore with star products such as the Hitachi Magic Wand (presumable not the same Hitachi that makes televisions), 24h or 48h discrete delivery and - above all - a panic button marked "my boss is back!" that instantly brings up a page looking very much like a Word document (with the Google homepage displayed behind it). Very smart/handy.

Passage du Désir is at 11 rue Saint Martin (here, and on our great Google map of everything cool near the Great Apartment), with another branch not far in the Marais (although I haven't been) at 23 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie (here). Both are open every single day of the year from midday to 9pm (2-8pm on Sundays and public holidays).

1969 (with the tagline "desirable curiosities") is in a very similar, er, vein. Their main store is much bigger than Passage du Désir and they are also manufacturers of various silicone and rubber items that are longer than they are wide.

Once again, this is a highly respectable, bright establishment with lots of space to show off its wares, some of which I found surprising, others a little puzzling. Seems I have some learning to do.

There is also a decent selection of books, fragrances, underwear, scented candles and a large selection of objects for the man in your life.

1969 have not only the obligatory webstore, but also what they call a pop-up store just round the corner (which was actually their first location until they moved to larger premises). It's a concept store which changes every 69 days to showcase a new product or brand. Currently they are introducing their own range of 11 different love aids in juicy colours, presented in surroundings that look much like a sweet shop...

1969 even has its own YouTube channel and Facebook page, plus a special delivery service that can get your goods to you anywhere in Paris within 45 minutes. Handy for emergencies!

The 1969 main store is at 69 (obviously) rue Saint Martin (here) and the pop-up store just round the corner at 5 rue des Lombards (here). Both are on our great Google map of everything cool near the Great Apartment. They're open weekday midday - 8pm and Saturdays from 11am - 8pm.

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