“I love Paris, but some neighborhoods are a little weird,” says my hostel-bunkmate upon returning for the evening.
“What do you mean?” I ask her. “Well,” she says, “I went to one street today that was a little sketchy. It was full of *whispers* sex shops.”
I laughed at my bunkmate a little then, as the sex shops that line the Red Light District in Paris are for some, quite the tourist destination. These shops line the streets that feature the famous Moulin Rouge, once a prime location for peep shows and, well, the red lights.
Nowadays, though, Moulin Rouge is home to an infamous, albeit arguably sexy, show that brings in tourists from around the world. The street it lives on, though, still holds onto its past as the epicenter for all things sex in Paris.
With windows wide open, these shops aren’t afraid to show all. So if traveling with grandma or a youngster, we suggest strolling away from the Moulin Rouge during your trip to the city of lights.
But, as a young person, don’t be shocked to stumble upon these streets during your time in Paris. They hold secrets of a different Paris, one that is in tune with its sexuality and unashamed of it. Live free, live young, and live unashamed when you explore sex in the city of Paris, because trust us, the Parisians already are.
This summer, Jessica roamed through many winding French streets in search of three things: white wine, red wine, and rose. With just a single phone power bank and absolutely no understanding of the French language, she found just what she was looking for along with many, many croissants. Her adventures ranged from trying to get a French SIM card from a man who spoke no English, to air drying in a towel-less hostel, to even lugging her 40L Osprey pack up a 3 mile mountain hike to get to her AirBnB in a French vineyard. After her trip, she’s found a profound new love of lavender, macaroons, and waking up before noon. The only thing France was truly missing this summer was Jessica’s cat, Gerty, who she missed very dearly throughout her journeys. She saw The Great Sphinx of Tanis at the Louvre, but it just wasn’t the same. Jessica is currently planning her next backpacking adventure to Greenland and Ireland, where she hopes to find out just how many ways you can cook a potato.