Gay Paris – Not So Friendly

I have heard from straight people that they found Paris to be unfriendly. But we went with an open mind. Afterall, being gay is like being  part of a brotherhood. Usually, the gay community is very welcoming, very friendly, and very eager to meet tourists, wherever we go.

Not really so in Paris. I expected rudeness and unfriendliness in the non-gay areas. But even at the gay clubs and restaurants, people were just not friendly, overall.  No one was rude to us – they just didn’t want to be bothered. – Where in comparison, we had just been in Prague for a week, and the men there were so welcoming and friendly. Even if they spoke no English, they wanted to meet us and tried to communicate.

We had heard about a sauna in Paris  called  SUN CITY. 62 bd Sebastopol. We were told it was one of the best in Paris! And it was a  Gorgeous place!  Huge!  3 floors decorated in a neo-Indian motif. Very clean. Spent 2.5  hours here and would NEVER  go back. The Parisian gays are just NOT friendly. And all they want to do is stand and pose and not be touched!  We had a couple cocktails, relaxed in the hot tub and  beautiful swimming pool, and no one wanted to talk or even make eye contact.    A  lot of people here sleeping by the pool and  20 people watching  DIE  HARD in the video room! Where is the porn?! Plus  they charged us  20 Euro / $30  each to get in.

The place was busy too –  about 100  people  maybe  125. It was 6pm on a  Saturday. But no one was nice. Save your money ! – It’s funny, the same owners own a place around the corner – Le Depot, 10 rue aux Ours .  It’s a bar / nightclub and the biggest crusing bar with private cabins in Paris. 1400 square meters of corridors and labyrinths.  Much cruisier. More friendly there, but still some attitude to deal with.  The boys can be beautiful but walk for hours!  Admission was about 8 euro / $12. And the DJ, a girl by the name of Benji de la house, rocked the place! You go late, like aftr 10 pm  and they stay open till about   8 am.  –  Overall, still more fun and better deal than Sun City. Much more fun at least.

We did not make it to  L’impact, 18, rue Greneta, but was told that was  a great place to go next time.

Parisians maintain a rather blase, even discreet, attitude about personal issues, from sexuality to religion to politics. Paris does have one distinctly gay neighborhood, the eminently walkable and unabashedly romantic Marais, on the right bank of the Seine. If you’re expecting a  robust gay scene complete with storefronts draped in rainbow flags and mammoth queer discos pulsing to state-of-the-art sound systems, you may be a little disappointed. The gay offerings here are decidedly low-keyed although generally quite cozy and inviting.

Marais gay bars tend to be guy-oriented and a tad cliquey, but the cafes, most of which have pleasant seating along the sidewalks, draw gay men, lesbians, and plenty of heteros. With few exceptions, the Marais is not especially known for memorable dining, although the neighborhood’s gayest sector does buzz with lively restaurants – just be prepared to be more impressed, in most cases, with the decor and people-watching than with the food. – And what I would call pricey – from an American perspective. Most places charged $10-$14 for a glass of cheap wine, and $15 – $20 for a sandwich – which was bland.

I am so glad I got see Paris – it is a beautiful city. But I would not run back there.

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