Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ladies of the Night



Last week, after a visit to the cinema with a girl friend, she hopped into my car and I drove her to her car a few hundred metres away. We chatted in my car for a few minutes saying goodbye, when suddenly, there was a knock on the car window. The two of us jumped out of our skins before realising that we were being propositioned by a dirty old man. Unwittingly, we had parked up in an area known for soliciting, and in Perpignan, the ladies of the night like to hang out in their own cars. We belted him with our handbags and hightailed it out of there - the cheek of him!!
Prostitution is not illegal in France , although brothels ( maisons closes) and advertising your wares are .. most prostitutes do their business out of their parked car, very discreetly, or in their vans as is the case in Lyon:
Prostitutes in Lyon doing their business in vans
When au pairing as a teen in Lorient, I happened to be in the bank one day when this gorgeous glamorous lady dressed in furs sashayed into the bank and was met with respect and deference. My eyes boggled as I was informed me that she was a "madame" and a very weathly one too, living in one of the most bourgeouis neighbourhoods in town. 
There isn't the same taboo about prostitution in France as there is in other European countries .. the "traditional" sex worker is a part of society, the French "Fille de Joie" holding her own place in France's cultural heritage ( and in every french town!). In fact, a traditional independent "madame" can make up to 500euros per day..
France does pride itself on being relaxed about sexual practices and the oldest profession in the world is allowed within certain parameters. However, there are moves to change all this as France's parliament has backed a proposal to fight prostitution by making payment for sex a crime punishable by fines and prison.
There is, of course a darker side to the romantic 'Pretty Woman" image and with over 30,000 working in the sex industry (80% of these estimated to be foreigners), one wonders would new legislation just make the industry go deeper into the very seedy underworld?

5 comments:

  1. My personal thoughts... if they do this the problems concerning trafficking of prostitution may well get to the same levels as in Spain. Not a good example to follow...

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  2. I agree awconsulting. A trip over the border is a real eye opener!

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  3. Hi Kaz, This belting of the hand bags amused and reminded me of a certain Lady coming home from Bingo one night, was approached from the back by a man trying to steal her bag. Well she also belted him with her handbag, and he got such a fright he ran for his life, but she ran after him. Luckily she did'nt catch up with him, or it would have been a different story.

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  4. Hee hee, God I remember that! Not a Lady to mess with! How old was she then, prob in her 60s?

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  5. Betty O'Reilly BanaghanJanuary 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Well, if she was fit enough to run after him, she was probably in her 50's.That story was told for many years after!!! your stories are great, Love to all. G A B,XXXXXXXX

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