The Pros: Monia and Denis Grattepain, Libertines From Head to Toe
It is Friday night, Denis is hosting a book launch party with his wife Monia at the Dreamstudio club. His book, called ‘Tranches de vies libertines’ (Slices of libertine lives) is an overall view of libertinism lived by Denis and other libertines evolving in the same network. The picture on the cover is that of Nelly, one of his ‘courtisanes’ (the way he calls his girlfriends).
Monia and Denis met when they were 19 and 30 years-old respectively. Monia always wanted to try sex swapping and other libertine experiments, but was quite young and her previous boyfriend did not quite approve it. So she tried for the first time with Denis… and another man, found via the Minitel. Exactly the same way Denis had started nine years ago: he had found an older couple who were looking for a younger man in order to form a threesome. Monia’s said her first experience went quite well. Although the man was tactless, especially regarding Monia’s lack of experience, it was OK.
Now aged 36 and 47, Monia and Denis know how to find out almost at first sight if someone is going to please them or not. And most of the time, once Monia has chosen her first partners for a ‘gang bang’ (it is the word used by libertines themselves to design a group of men pleasing one women), it is Denis who then decides who can join them to please his wife. He knows what she likes. And since Denis is a candaulist (which means he takes a great part of his pleasure in seeing his wife with other partners), they both take advantage of the situation.
Monia and Denis like to go out a lot, and when they are not hosting a party at the Dreamstudio club (which is not one of their favorite ones), they go to all kinds of places. Their favorite club is the ‘Overside’, in the 6th district, which they define as their ‘canteen’. Monia says she feels well there, and, against all expectations, she feels way more respected in a ‘horizontal club’ (opposed to ‘vertical’ ones, the way libertines call libertine or non libertine clubs. Compared to what any women could experiment in clubs, women are not touched in the horizontal clubs. Any man who acts in an inappropriate way would be asked to leave immediately. No buttock touching in libertine clubs. Women can go there to just dance and have a good time together if they want, without being bothered.
This is actually the number one rule in the libertine world: the woman is the queen. It is she who decides who can or cannot go with her (and her partner if she has got one). A glance and a smile are enough to say ‘yes, come on’ or ‘no, thanks’. Rule #2 is to never do what you do not want to do. No one can force you into anything. So you are the one to blame if you do something that displeases or even disgusts you.
As Dr Lazarus-Matet explains, “most of the women we see in consultation about bad experiences of sex partner swapping did it to please their husbands or partners. In this case, the woman often feels like a piece of meat her partner is ready to exchange for his own pleasure.”
Another club Monia and Denis regularly visit is the ‘Quai 17’. The ‘No Comment’ and ‘Les Chandelles’ are also well known, but they are not the couple’s favorite. If one would want to be original, one would also go to the 10bis: an historical ‘maison close’, which is now spread over the three first floors and a hotel for illegitimate couples (the hotel closes up at 2am, which is quite explicit) on the 4th and 5th floors. And although Monia and Denis do not visit them, there are also clubs for ‘older’ people (aged over 50), like ‘Le Château des Lys’, or the ‘Plurielles Club’.
The important thing, before going to a swapping club, is to know what exactly each partner is expecting. There are different kinds of clubs, for couples, trios, ‘gang bangs’. It would not be appropriate to just pick a club because it is in the right area. Moreover, almost all clubs have special nights, some on fixed days. For example, the ‘Overside’, which is a club for couples, has trio nights on Wednesdays and Sundays.
But the advantage of all of them, any night of the week, is that you can have dinner there. Be it a sit down dinner or a buffet it is included in the entrance price. A libertine night out can quickly cost up to 200€, but for this price you get everything you need (food, drinks, condoms, the right to use the bathrooms… and hopefully the fun).
The other places where one can find many libertines are the Turkish baths. Not all of them, of course, and actually the ‘vertical’ ones are often used as places to flirt with a new acquaintance, without going any further. But if you want to get naughty, then libertine ‘hammams’ are the places to go.
If you ask anyone, the first name to pop is the ‘Moon City’, in Pigalle. The biggest, maybe one of the prettiest, too, and also the most famous. But lots of ‘real’ libertines do not like to go there anymore. Like Denis and Monia, who used to go there twice a week when the place opened and decided not to go anymore. The decision was taken after an argument with Julien, the director, who said if they wanted to come back, they would not exactly be welcome. Monia and Denis did not say more about this argument and Julien refused to answer my questions, but all the people I could meet who already went there converged to say it was not so much the place to be, unless you go in the morning, when it has just opened and is clean. Because as long as the day gets passed, places are not cleaned that much, and one can sometimes slip on ‘something not so unidentified’, as Denis describes what is actually simply sperm. Not to mention people ‘doing things’ – again, Denis’ way to say ‘having sex’ – in the spa, when it is supposed to be highly forbidden for obvious hygiene reasons.
Fortunately, for those who want to try the hammam experience, there are other ones to visit. ‘L’Hyppocampe’, in St-Maur-des-Fosses, may be slightly less pretty, but is extremely clean and guests are very well received.
Denis’ favorite hammam is actually a ‘horizontal’ one, ‘Les Cent Ciels’, in Boulogne. A real Moresque Turkish bath, with both temperature rooms, and a tea room in the summer.
Obviously, private parties happen all over Paris. If Denis and Monia organise theirs in a club for reasons of convenience, there are people who rent out large lofts (often artists lofts, rented out to make them a bit more profitable) for private venues. As the world of libertinism works through networks, guests have to be invited or request an invitation.
Not to forget that libertines do go on vacation. In the Cap d’Adge, especially during the month of August, and to the Héliopolis side, one can find all of the Parisian libertines, and also libertines from all over France and Europe. The Libertine paradise offers everything in a tiny area: naturist beaches, lots of clubs and boutiques.
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