Tag Archives: Parisian men

Ms. Umbrella Warrior Princess

For those of you who haven’t heard, the eastern coast of the U.S. was recently bombarded by Hurricane Irene.  The reason I bring this up is because the torrential rains have forced us to break out our wellies and umbrellas.  From my experiences in Paris, I’ve found that the umbrella can be an essential man-shopping tool for avid man-shoppers of all levels.  Think of it this way: The umbrella is a fashion accessory AND a weapon.

When I say “umbrella”, I am not referring to those dinky foldable umbrellas that slide into a lady’s handbag.  I am referring to a proper brolly with a hooked wooden handle and a large enough wingspan to encompass both a lady and all her handbags underneath in order to protect them from the elements.  In my humble opinion, this is the only kind of umbrella worth owning.

Moving on, let’s discuss how an umbrella can enhance your man-shopping experience in Paris and elsewhere.

The umbrella as a fashion accessory

  • A lady can strike quite a debonair pose while leaning on a full-sized umbrella.  I’d like to think that a worthy man would be attracted to a lady in a trench who carries a striking cane-like accessory.
  • From a practical point of view, I find it much more difficult to lose or mislay an umbrella if I can hook it on my arm or lean upon it whilst in conversation with and perhaps getting distracted by potential suitors.
  • For those blustery rainy days, maintaining dignity is difficult if one is constantly wrestling with an uncooperative foldable umbrella that turns inside-out and breaks at the slightest gust.  Without one’s dignity intact, there’s no decent man-shopping to be done, I assure you.

The umbrella as a weapon

  • In Paris, the men can be (physically) aggressive ass-wipes.  In the states, you may get cat calls and appreciative under-the-breath comments, but in Paris, you will need to beat these idiots off with a stick — namely, your umbrella stick.  With a large umbrella, a lady can do some effective damage to an unwanted suitor, should she need to make her lack of interest clearer when he attempts to grab her in the street.
  • If a lady sees a worthy man-target in her midst, but her path across the room is blocked by passers-by and less desirable suitors, she can more easily part the crowd by rapping people in the shins with her handy cane-like umbrella.
  • If a lady needs to run away from unwanted attention on a rainy day and is faced with a narrow parisian sidewalk filled with clueless people, she can easily hog the sidewalk to make a quick getaway, as other pedestrians with less hearty umbrellas would easily be intimidated and back away from the superior rain accessory in order to avoid injury.

In conclusion…

I highly recommend big umbrellas to supplement your daily man-shopping operations.

They.

Are.

AWESOME.

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Ms. Nostalgia

It’s taken a while to settle into my non-expatriate life, and blogging hasn’t been on my list of priorities lately. And, quite frankly, I’ve had a hard time finding my blogging mojo.

Words seemed to flow pretty freely for me on the other side of the Atlantic, and now that I’m back in my own country, I guess I’m eager to start anew, and blogging seems to be something that my subconscious associates with my former life as a foreigner in France.

But for your sakes, dear readers, I am determined to overcome this subconscious block.

So to kickstart my new bloggerific life on this side of the Atlantic, I’ve decided to publish a list of all the things I miss about dating in France — all those elusive, intangible things that I took for granted while I was there.

Ready?

Things I miss about dating in France:

……

………

………… Nothing.

You know that saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”?

That’s a load of crap.

The grass is greener on THIS side, folks.

Let’s face it. If you’ve been long-time followers of Man-shopping in Paris, you must be convinced as I that there is nowhere to go but onward and upward from there.

Stay tuned. As soon as I get around to changing the above header to “Man-shopping in DC”, mayhem à la man-shoppeuse will continue to grace your internets.

Make no mistake, I am still as bat-crap mad as ever.

But trust me, I’m also still as delightful as ever, and I am ready to rumble.

The poor american lads will have no idea what’s in store for them.

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Mr. Geisha Fantasy

Even after all this time, the most popular post on my blog is still Mr. Asian Fetish.  Apparently, and perhaps for good reason, this is a hot button topic on the interwebs.  Frankly, I have been reluctant to write about it again because I don’t want to give the impression that being Asian or being fetishized is the sole or primary component of my identity.

However, sometimes I think that parisian men can’t seem to think otherwise.

I recently encountered somebody whose exotification of my slanty-eyes got me so riled that he left me no choice but to revisit the topic of the Asian fetish.

To sum up my previous post on it:

  1. I don’t think of it as a fetish.  I think of it as a personal preference that may sometimes manifest itself as broader stereotyping.
  2. I don’t mind if I’m your physical type for whatever reason, but come on, fool, don’t be an asstard about it.
  3. Parisian men are usually asstards about it.

After being waylaid by Mr. Geisha Fantasy on my way out of a cafe the other day  I still stand by all three points.  I cite the following excerpts from our conversation.

He commented on my accent:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You speak French with a Japanese accent.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Kill me now.”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “I’m American.  That’s like saying you speak English with a white person accent.”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “No.  You do.  I am telling you.  I know what I’m talking about.  I lived in Japan.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “I hate my life sometimes.”

He has, I suspect, absolutely no idea what he is talking about:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “I like to work out too.  I lived in Japan, you know.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “What the hell is going on here??”

He clearly has some thrilling insights about pan-Asian uniformity:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You Asians are all kind of the same, aren’t you?”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “@$#%^~*!!”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “Yes.  Of course.  You’re right.  We are all the same.  You can switch me out with any other Asian.  We’d be having this same conversation.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “He MUST understand sarcasm, right??”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean!”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Oooor… not.

He likes an Asian in red:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You obviously like brightly colored dresses.  You should wear bright red lipstick.  I know lots of Japanese women who wear red lipstick.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Seriously?  SERIOUSLY??”

What a charmer.

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Sir Dance-a-lot

The other night I caught a glimpse of some of the most entertaining dance moves I’ve seen in a long time.  Now, keeping in mind that my own dancing skills are questionable at best, the fact that I can criticize anyone else’s dancing must mean that his/her moves must truly be trainwreckerous.

I wish that I had the skills to create some kind of video demonstration of what I saw that night.  But alas, we will all just have to live in hope that my attempt at written description will suffice.  (It won’t.  But it’s not like we have a choice here.)

Picture this combination of all the following dance moves, performed simultaneously… BY ONE GUY…

  • Index finger dancing : You all know what this is.  This is when you stick your index fingers out, point up to the ceiling, and pump your arms up and down like pistons, as if pointing upwards actually serves as a locomotive force for your existence.
  • The twist :  Yes.  The 1960s dance craze.  You know what I’m talking about.  We’ve all seen those movies.
  • The foux da fa fa dance à la Flight of the Conchords : Now, for this one, I actually do have video evidence, at the end of the video below.  (But if you haven’t seen the whole 3 minute episode, this is a must-see.  It.  Is.  Hilarity.  CUBED.)
  • The hunchback :  This is the time-honored awkward dancing position in which someone hunches his/her back over while performing all other dance moves in his/her repertoire.  My guess is that Sir Dance-a-lot thought that hunching would increase his overall cool-ness.

Now… picture all these dance moves being performed by a man wearing the following:

  • denim shirt doubling as a jacket
  • denim-colored walking shorts
  • red and yellow loafers… without socks
  • bottom-lip-biting dance expression

Here’s the thing, as a not-so-great dancer myself, I am all for pulling out the jokey dance moves and embracing my lack of skills.  I’ve contorted my body in any number of embarrassing ways at the club.

But the whole game changes when you take yourself seriously.

Sir Dance-a-lot really seemed to think that he was breaking out some truly swoonworthy gyrations on the dance floor as he attempted to make eyes at all the ladies in the room.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t help but be a judgmental cow here.  When I saw this guy, all I could think was:

With moves like that, there is no possible way that this man could be any good in the boudoir.

No way.

NO POSSIBLE WAY.

Any perceptive woman would likely NEXT this guy before he could open his mouth.  My guess is that he would never stand a chance with any woman with blood alcohol content below 0.39, which, according to wikipedia, means that she is experiencing symptoms such as “loss of understanding”, “impaired sensations”, “stupor”, “unconsciousness” and “possible death”.

That is all I have to say.

Carry on.

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Ms. American Whore

France has always had a reputation for being somewhat more overt in the kind of sexuality that it allows to be portrayed in its advertising, media and entertainment.  One would think that this would lead to a more desensitized sex culture — a sexually open culture that is based on instant gratification.

I thought that too when I first arrived here in Paris years ago.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Well, actually, I suppose I could have been wronger, but that means that I’d have thought that Notre Dame Cathedral was made of pineapple.

Wouldn’t that be delightful?

Anyway, when it comes to sex, in general, I’ve found that people here are so repressed that the tension in the air is palpable.  Walk up to any parisian man, and you’ll find that he is strung so tightly that any woman with a pulse could pluck his strings with just a look.

Sure, he’ll walk by a perfume advertisement featuring a naked woman the size of a bus, and he’ll be unfazed.  But show him a bit of leg on a real, breathing woman, and he’ll likely walk into a lamppost or into oncoming traffic as his eyes follow her down the street.  (I’ve definitely seen this happen.)

Here’s my theory…  I think that this media-diffused sexual imagery has been embraced by women in some countries; they’ve emulated what they see in the media, so you see women wearing suggestive clothing fashions and being more open with the way the speak and express their views about sex and relationships.

But here, I think that women have gone the opposite direction.  They try to disassociate themselves with these highly sexualized women that they see in advertisements and in films.  Women here go out of their way to associate appropriate comportment with LESS openness, LESS skin, LESS provocativeness.  If there were to be a motto, it’d be “WITHHOLD, WITHHOLD, AND WITHHOLD”.  Obviously, slut-shaming is off the charts here.

French fashion is the antithesis of daring and individualist.  Cover up.  Hide your curves.  Conceal your cleavage.  Your bare legs do not see the light of day.  Do not smile at a man.  Do not speak about sex or anything provocative.  Because, above all, YOU MUST NOT BE PERCEIVED AS A WHORE.

All this withholding and repression on the frenchwoman’s part means that frenchmen follow their lead.  A woman wearing a suggestive outfit must be “the kind of woman” who will give it up at the least provocation and is not deserving of your respect.  A woman dressed in a black potato sack, she’s a proper lady — a quality lady — that you court properly and take home to mum.

And while I don’t think that I dress particularly provocatively, I like to feel pretty and to wear clothes that flatter my figure — whether it’s a simple black dress or a bright red blouse.  In my book, it’s a matter of self-respect.  Yet I suspect that this is why I get harassed in the street but why I’m otherwise ignored by the general date-able populace.  And I suspect that this is why frenchwomen often treat me with a certain amount of disdain or otherwise just categorically dismiss me.  Both men and women here seem to be working with the same paradigms.

The men seem to get their instant gratification not from their own wives and girlfriends, who are withholding and therefore sacred, but instead from other, “easy” women, easier targets — the ones that look like what they see in the media… the ones whose legs they ogle in the cafes, the ones whose hips that they see swaying in the streets, and the ones in plunging necklines that they pick up in bars.

I’ve been told that American women dress like whores.  American women are easy.  American women aren’t classy; they are crass because they say whatever they damn well please, when they damn well please.

Compared to the alternative, I think that I’d rather be a crass American whore than what passes for the feminine ideal here.

I like to smile and laugh and wear a skirt that makes my butt look great.

So sue me.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m an egg cooked over-easy, thank you.  I’m still a classy lady who deserves some respect and decency, which is not something that I’m accustomed to getting on a daily basis.

The kind of imagery that may result in an over-sexed culture that promotes instant gratification… it can also have the opposite effect on cultural norms.  There are two sides to that coin, and here in France, I’m looking at one side of it.

It makes me miss what’s on the other side.

I wonder if the Washington Monument is made of pineapple.

* Today’s topic was brought to you by the Insomnia Club!  See what the other cook cats have to say about sexual tension in the age of instant gratification and sexual imagery bombardment…

AV Flox

The Book of Love Was Written By A Sadist

Confronting Love

Feisty Woman

F*cking in Brooklyn

How Very Lucky To Be A Girl

Jess Downey — Not What I Ordered

KB in NYC

Single Much

Simone Grant

Thank You For Your Sex

Met Another Frog

Miss Taylor Cast

My Pixie Blog

Totally Tyler

The Urban Dater

Women Are From Mars

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Mr. Sexy Suit

Right.  Time for some positivity about man-shopping in Paris!  The last time that I wrote something nice about parisian men was probably my post on their derrieres.

This time…

… Let’s talk about suits, baby!

The average american suit is boxy, ill-fitting, and generally drab through and through.

But in Paris?  Hell to the no.

Ladies, if you’re like me, and one of your time-consuming hobbies is admiring a snappy suit on a man, I advise you to take the metro line 1 out to La Défense on weekday mornings.

I used to work out there a few years ago, and I swear to you, the ONLY thing that made rush hour commute bearable was the fact that you could get up close and personal with some of the most impeccable suiting on the planet.

They’re not all sporting Zegna, but they don’t need to.  The suits are well-tailored, are cut to show off all my favorite man-parts, and, in short, are glorious to behold.

Defined man-shoulders.

V-shaped man-torsos.

And, of course, a nicely framed man-butt.

These are not to be confused with boy-shoulders, boy-torsos, and boy-butts.  I have absolutely no love for the skinny-ass coat-hanger sculpture with no meat or muscle on him.  No lady wants something to poke her eye out whilst cuddling.

That being said, the skinny TIE, on the other hand…

I am a fan.

In my humble opinion, a man needs a perfectly-tailored jacket to pull off the skinny tie, and I am happy to report that there is a pleasant proliferation of nicely pulled-off skinny ties on the line 1.

The take-home message here is this:

I like the parisian suit.

However, that does NOT mean that I have to like the parisian IN the suit.

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Ms. Boyfriend Trainer

Julie over at French Toast sent me this link a while back, and I thought that it accurately/ironically illustrates the Parisian idea of a functional relationship.  The link takes you to an online game called The Boyfriend Trainer, in which the player, presumably a female, is supposed to train her boyfriend to be the perfect companion by implementing a negative reinforcement scheme — punishing him for undesirable behaviors.

The game is divided into four different stages:

  • Player must slap boyfriend if he even so much as glances amorously at another female.
  • Player must taser boyfriend if he leaves clutter on the floor of the house.
  • Player must whack boyfriend with racket if he hogs the remote or drinks wine instead of juice.
  • Player must strangle boyfriend with a pre-tied noose/leash if he drives too fast or attempts to change the radio station.

And voilà… the perfect boyfriend.

And voilà… the ultimate parisian relationship.

Minus the taser.  I don’t think that civilians can legally buy those here.

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Mssrs. Gym Casanova

While I was tidying the other day, I found my old workout notebook, in which I also scrawled some of the more memorable lines that men have fed me at the gym.  My long-time readers may remember that I spend big chunks of my life at the gym.  And since I signed up over a year ago, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the kind of barbarism that is somehow accepted as civilized human behavior at a parisian gym.

I picked out some of my “favorites” and added a few recent gems in order to present to you, dear readers, the Gym Casanova Hall of Infamy:

In the lobby:

  • “Hey, girl, you don’t need to work out.  Don’t go upstairs to work out.  Stay here in the lobby with me and I’ll give you a workout.”
  • “Don’t see many of ‘your people’ in here.”

In the free weights room :

  • “Hey, little girl, are you lost?”
  • “Aren’t you afraid of turning into a man?”
  • “You must be in here to find a man, no?”

In the weight machines area :

  • “Will you marry me?  Oh, not YOU.  I don’t like asians.  I was talking to the girl behind you.”
  • “Are you lesbian?”

In the stretching area:

  • “Women shouldn’t do push-ups.”
  • “Do you give thai massages?  You’re thai, right?”

In the cardio area:

  • “You know, a lady is not supposed to sweat like that.”
  • “Finished already?  <as he looks me up and down>  Don’t you think that you need to burn a few more calories?”

From the mouth of a mean trainer:

  • “You’ve gotten fat over the holidays.  Looks like I have my work cut out for me.”

  • “You look terrible today.”  (For the record, I thought that I looked pretty good, dammit.)
  • <pinches the area of my back right above my butt>  “Got to trim this down!”  (Ever since then, I’ve been terrified about back fat.)

I love working out.

But goddamn it, I hate going to the gym in Paris.

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Mssrs. Greatest Hits

This post is dedicated entirely to the assclownery, tooldouchery, and general rudeness that men have thrown at me over the past few years of my expatriate adventure.  It’s unclear whether they wanted to get into my pants, offend me, or just wanted a laugh, but that is hardly the point.  The point is that they just don’t know how to treat a lady.

I’m not going to commentate much here, as these little sound bytes speak for themselves.  Below I have compiled the worst opening overtures from complete strangers.  Off the street…  At the gym…  At the bar… In the supermarket…

  • “Are you a lesbian?  I assumed that you were because of your arms.”
  • “How much?”
  • “You are eating SO MUCH.”
  • “I’m in a band.”
  • “It’s not ladylike to order beer.”
  • “You sound unattractive.”
  • <pointing to my beer>  “You’re actually going to drink THAT??”
  • “Hey!  You!  Chinese girl!”
  • “Soooo…. yes or no?”  <eyebrow wiggle>
  • “You’re Lucy Liu!”
  • “Hey!  Whore!”
  • “You know, it’s pathetic to sit by yourself.”
  • “Hey!  Yoo hoo!  Oy!  Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  HEY!  HEY YOU!  OVER HERE!  COME OVER HERE!!!  What the…  YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!!”
  • With my back to them, guys have tugged my hair so that I will turn around.
  • Guys have thrown stuff (water bottles, orange peels, wads of paper…) at me in order to get my attention.
  • One guy ran up to me and screamed in my face.

Whatever happened to “Excuse me”, “Hi”, and “Hello”?

Anyone in the United States want to offer me a job?  I can start immediately.

 

P.S.  To the guy who spit on me : how dare you?!

P.P.S.  To the guy on the metro who licked me : EW.

P.P.P.S.  To the guy who tried to slap my face : I will find you.  I will kill you.

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Mr. Normal

Bueller?…  Bueller?… Bueller?

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