I find myself in the Hotel Amour in the red light district of Paris. My room is called the Library room, the far wall is lined with French porn books and magazines. The remaining walls are painted black and the only piece of furniture in the room is a large double bed.
I have not run off for a dirty weekend with some porn-obsessed Frenchman. I am with Rupert who is writing a series of Paris hotel reviews for the Times. Today we leave our den of iniquity and head for a hotel without naked women on the walls.
Last night we ventured out into the surrounding red light district. As we walked past yet another sex shop Rupert commented that there is something deeply unsexy about sex shops. I agree. They are cheap looking, badly designed, badly lit and full of unsavory characters. In fact I don’t really understand the point of porn. In our hotel there are tasteful black and white photos of naked women on the walls as you go up the stairs. They look quite sexy. If they were pornographic they would not be. It’s like that old saying that using the feather is sexy, using the whole chicken is perverted.
Maybe it’s an age thing, but I was in no way tempted to go into any of the sex shops we saw, even the one that rather intriguingly offered to cater for lesbians, homosexuals and amateurs.
There is no doubt about which category I fall into.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell