Tag Archives: Parisian women

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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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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Ms. Mantissa and the Russian Red

After reading the Man-Shopper’s musings on red lipstick, I decided to give Red Hot a try on a night out.  It was something of a last-minute impulse as I was heading out the door, so I unfortunately didn’t have time to change my clothes in accordance with the “Parisian queenbitch-vixen” look.  In fact, I was probably pretty far from the parisienne as depicted in her Ms. Russian Red post.  Imagine:

  • No swooshed fringe.  Probably some flyaways.
  • No cigarette.
  • By-no-means-skinny jeans (blue, not black)
  • Legs with flesh on them
  • Fitted black top (if I’ve got shape, why hide it behind a shapeless tunic?).
  • Rockin’ brown heels.

However, I did have the following:

  • Non-smiling red pucker
  • No cleavage showing

Did I have the right attitude?

  • I’m not half-starved.
  • I wasn’t wearing a kick-ass matching lingerie set.  I don’t even own one.  In fact, I think I was in desperate need of doing laundry and was on my last pair of knickers (and no, I won’t tell you what pattern is on them).
  • But hey — I still OWN the sidewalk.

Regardless, the Man-Shopper’s theory is that the red lipstick defines the queenbitch-vixen image, thus mesmerizing the men and empowering the pouter.  If this theory is true, it shouldn’t matter what the rest of me looks like–the color of my lips should bamboozle the senses and render men powerless against me!

So what happened after walking into the club with the reddest lips in town?  Firstly, I had to wait in line to get to the actual dancing.  Behind men.  Who turned around and saw me and were in no way hypnotized by my crimson kisser.  I was willing to attribute this to the dim lighting of the foyer, which made all colors indistinguishable.

Once we were on the dance floor, I made absolutely sure not to smile in order to maximize the effect of the pouty red lip, eliciting multiple comments from my friends about my serious dancing face.  But in the interests of science, I merely shrugged and tried to channel my inner Parisian vixen.

As the night progressed, some of my girlfriends began pairing off with strange men.  They did not have red lipstick.  No man so much as looked twice at me or my lips.  One guy did invade my dance space a couple times, but that could have been because he was too busy making out with some blonde chick to pay attention to where he was dancing.

At this point, my friends abandoned their new men-friends, and we removed ourselves to the rooftop bar to rest and cool down.  I was starting to get very frustrated.  Why wasn’t the red lip working?  Had the Man-Shopper failed me?

But wait!  Were those three men sneaking glances at us?  Lo and behold, one of them sidled on over to us!

Unfortunately, he was drunker than pink elephants on parade.  The conversation started something like this:

Him : “D’you wanna hear a story?”

Friends : <shrug>

Me : “That depends.  Is it a good story?”

Him : Silence.  “I dunno.  It’s all, well….subjective.”

Me : “If you don’t think it’s a good story, how are we supposed to think it’s a good story?”

Him : “It’s, uh, subjective.  Y’know, an opinion.”

I was about to add that I was asking for his opinion on his story, but he interrupted and began telling the story anyway.  He had just gotten a new bike with the clip-in pedals and was biking down U Street when all of a sudden, he had to stop at an intersection.  So he braked, and since his feet were clipped in to his pedals, he fell over.  And of course it was necessary to mime this fall as a cheap way of initiating physical contact with my (non-lipsticked) friend.

That was it.  It was not a good story.  AND, he showed no sign of being bedazzled by the red lip.  Neither did his friends when they sauntered over.  They were much more interested in the lovely ladies next to me, who at least had the good manners to put on fake smiles.  If I wasn’t shooting full-fledged glares, there were certainly some withering looks sent their way.  Thankfully, we left pretty soon after that encounter, and I was able nurse my erstwhile red lips’ wounded pride at home, curled up in bed with my hot water bottle.

So the final score for the night:

Red lipstick: 0 men

No lipstick: ≥ 4 men

What does that say about the power of red lipstick?  There are a number of possible conclusions:

  1. The Man-Shopper’s red lipstick theory is false, and you need the rest of the Parisian bitch-vixen look for red lipstick to be effective.
  2. Red lipstick only enchants Parisian men and not American men.
  3. These men are outliers.  Not enough data.
  4. There is something wrong with me.  I am repulsive to all men.
  5. Some option not yet considered.

Given these options, I’m inclined to go with option 3.  If anyone else has any red lipstick data — in Paris or otherwise — I urge you to share your results.  In the meantime, I fully intend to do more research.

Reporting from the American East Coast,

Ms. Mantissa

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Ms. Drunk at a Club… Again

WordPress statistics tell me that ya’ll like it when I get drunk.  Who am I to argue with public opinion?  So, because I love you all so much, I am (not) proud to present another episode starring Ms. Drunk.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I’m a friendly kind of gal, and I’m always willing to meet new people and help out fellow expats in Paris.  So it wasn’t out of character for me to agree to go on a girl-date with someone whom I’d never met.

I proposed coffee or quiet drinks, but she insisted on going to some club party.  In retrospect, this should have been a red flag, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and agreed to meet her in front of the club.

After I had waited about a half hour in the cold for this girl, I realized that I didn’t have her mobile number.  I’d received no word from her about her e.t.a., so I decided to look for her in the club.  It was early and not yet crowded, so it would have been easy to find people.

Upon obtaining entry, I was instructed to pick out a bracelet from a basket.  I picked a lovely green one and, after faling to find my girl-date inside, headed to the bar to wait.  The barman asked me if I had come alone, and when I responded affirmatively, he gave me a withering look of pity and returned with a beverage that can only be described as Death By Drink.

I’m not sure how long I sat there at the bar.  All I know is that people were staring at me.  Not in the holy-cow-look-at-that-foxy-lady kind of way.  More like the check-out-that-sad-sap kind of way.

I eventually figured out the problem:

It was a traffic light party.

And my green bracelet was broadcasting my singledom to the world.

AND I was at the bar by myself.

Being unsociable.

And pathetic.

So not only had I been stood up by my girl-date, but even the lads in the joint didn’t want to approach my green light; I was that pathetic-looking.

At this point, thanks to my pity-cocktail from hell, I was D to the RUNK and  decided to abandon ship.   I downed the rest of the Death By Drink and teetered off to use the ladies’ room on my way out.

Now, I must remind you all that the ladies’ room in any boozy establishment is like a magical place.  This is something that transcends national borders, and even in Paris, a city of parisian bitcherinas, all ill will is set aside when tipsy girls find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder in front of a vanity.

This is where I met Véronique, a lovely redhead from southern Paris.

The chain of events from here on out is very very hazy, as Death By Drink had pretty much taken over my brain by then.  But I can tell you this: during that time that we spent together in front of the vanity, Véronique and I became BEST FRIENDS.

In that short timespan, we swapped life stories, we laughed, we shit-talked our exes, adjusted each other’s bra straps, and told each other how hot we were.

Then Véronique came up with a brilliant idea.  Her Drunk Brain said, “Since we are so hot, we should take pictures of how hot we are!  That’ll show ‘em, all those stupid idiots who don’t appreciate us!”

MY Drunk Brain said: “MUST.  TAKE.  PICTURES.”

And oh good god, did we take pictures.  We took all kinds of pictures.  Some of them were hot.  Some of them were somewhat sloppy.  And some of them were downright scandalous.

No, I will not elaborate.

But I will say this, when I flopped down on my bed that night, I remember thinking that despite being stood up on a girl-date, my drunky photoshoot reminded me that not all encounters with Parisians must be horrible after all.  For now, at least, my faith has been renewed in parisian women.

Véronique, you rock.

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Ms. Russian Red

This morning it occurred to me that my previous post about lingerie in Paris came just a tad too early to be considered a proper Valentine’s Day post, no matter how appropriate the subject matter.  And it probably wouldn’t be good form for a man-shopper to keep silent on V-day.  So in honor of this red, pink, white and chocolate Hallmark holiday, I will regale you some of my thoughts about…

… RED LIPSTICK.

Right.  So I do realize that many of the lads have mentally checked out by now — as if I’d said that I was going to discuss the finer points of the women’s shoe industry.  But that’s fine.  You boys probably had way too much fun with the lingerie blogpost pictures anyway.

So, for those of you who are still interested, here’s my skinny on the skinny bitches in Paris and their red lipstick…

Parisian women LOVE red lipstick.

No reason why they shouldn’t.

THEY ROCK IT.

They rock it so hard that reality ripples around them as they walk.  Red lipstick parts the sea of men as if it were Moses’ staff itself.  It’s uncanny.  And it is beautiful to behold.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Stick-thin parisienne.  Always in black.  Loose, often unflattering clothing.  (Olivier over at Stuff Parisians Like has a theory that it’s because they are terrified of being perceived as slutty… I tend to agree.)

But regardless of the season and of the time of day, you will always see a significant number of women sporting a red, red, pouty lip.  The ensemble is mysteriously elegant.  And they walk the street as if it were their runway.

I believe a few key factors enable the red-lipped parisienne to pull this off with such confidence and panache:

  • In the spirit of runway modelling, she is probably half-starved anyway.
  • She is likely wearing some kickass matching lingerie set (see previous posts about lingerie).
  • Like many parisiennes, she is a queen bitch.  She knows it, she doesn’t care, and she owns the sidewalk, dammit.

My newest — albeit completely unfounded — theory is that the determining factor is the red lipstick.  Sure, with the above three factors alone in play, the parisienne has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi about her.  But in my opinion, the red lip catapults her from the confident elegance of a slightly snobby parisian lady to confident elegance of parisian queenbitch-vixen.

And we love it.

By “we,” I refer to both men and women.  Men seem to be mesmerized.  And we women love the way that it makes us feel when we wield so much power with just a smattering of rouge.

But with such great power comes great responsibility.

When a lady wears red lipstick in Paris, she must comport herself accordingly:

  • She must always pout and pucker in order to show off the red lip and cultivate the bitch-vixen persona at all times.
  • She must avoid grinning like an idiot or even smiling with teeth.  The red lip is more powerful when it’s uninterrupted with teeth.  Besides, seeming warm and friendly ultimately undermines the bitch-vixen image.
  • Since she must limit the range of movement in the bottom half of her face, all meaningful communication must be achieved with her eyes.  Seduction.  Mirth.  And especially… repulsion and distaste.  Glare, bitch.  GLARE.
  • A true parisian bitch-vixen does not sweat and above all, does not look unkempt, so a perfectly crisp red lip must remain perfect at all times.  Therefore, she must limit eating, drinking, and smooching.  (I suspect that this is one of the reasons why parisiennes are rarely seen eating or drinking in public.  It’s also probably one of the reasons why they are often accused of being frigid.)
  • On the other hand, smoking is permitted because it actually enhances the bitch-vixen image.  And it suppresses the appetite, which feeds into this cycle of self-deprivation.

That being said, I am not against red lipstick.

On the contrary, I love it!  (I’ll admit that I’m just not too keen on many parisian bitches.)

Even though, on me, the effect is a little reminiscent of a geisha, the red lip is saucy and sassy.  I really do feel like a vixen with Russian Red on my kisser.

So, no matter where you are, dear lady readers, I personally recommend that you follow the example of the red-lipped parisienne and find yourself that ideal shade of red.  Not just for Valentine’s Day, but for life.  For you!

Find a little bit of that incorrigible parisian bitch-vixen inside you and let her loose on the general population.  Go on, see what happens!

As long as you’re not actually frigid, withholding and starving, I firmly believe that the red lip is a GOOD thing.

Just don’t forget to remove it before making out with anything.

(When it’s not on my lips, Russian Red can be a messy business.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers.

You love me, and you know it.

Side note: I found my red lip right here in Paris thanks to Claire Sulmers, fashionista, fashion blogger of The Fashion Bomb fame, and my dear friend.  (She posted pictures from our MAC adventure here.)

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Ms. Lingerie Goddess

Some of you may recall my thoughts about the Parisian lingerie scene, and you may remember that I observed that Parisian women seem to universally embrace the matching set on a daily basis. I was skeptical.  I didn’t want to admit that these ladies knew something that I didn’t.  However, since then, I’ve decided to give in to peer pressure, and I resolved to try to blend in with the locals.

This is not as easy as you would think.  Here are the obstacles that I foresaw:

  • Affordable lingerie is NOT easy to find in Paris.
  • I have never owned a matching set in my life.  I understand the idea, I understand the appeal, but I’ve always been pragmatic, and it would take a monumental effort to force myself to give in to a little lacy frivolity.
  • It’s winter, and trying on lingerie would necessitate removing all kinds of layers each time.  Highly inconvenient.
  • The chances that any given parisian man would have the opportunity to see and appreciate my scanty underthings?  Answer: slim to none.

But I recently had an a crystallizing moment that changed the whole way that I approached the concept of underwear.

This moment changed my life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kate Moss in Agent Provocateur : How can you NOT feel sexy in stuff like this?

I was on my way to the bank when I passed by a shop window that displayed an impressive selection of lacy and satiny underwear.  It was a tiny place, but it exuded a certain old Hollywood glamour.  The furniture was lux, there were huge, gilded mirrors scattered around the one-room shop, and there were flimsy underthings and overthings draped over everything — seemingly haphazardly, yet actually strategically.

I was in a saucy mood that day, so I said to myself, “Why not?”

When I walked in, the salesgirl asked me what I was looking for.  I replied that I was in search of more adventurous and sexier sets in saucy colors.

She looked me up and down.

I froze in terror, expecting her to assess me as a fat non-parisian cow and hand me something eight sizes too big.

But, surprise!  She pegged me straightaway as a 90A and medium on the bottom.  She went on to say, “Don’t worry, I have exactly what you’re looking for.”

She then pulled all  sorts of fantastical things from the racks and hustled me off to the fitting area, which consisted of little more than a corner, a transparent lacy curtain, and an antique mirror.

She insisted that I try everything on, including whatever accoutrements that came with each set.  Lacy fingerless gloves!  Sky-high heels!  Garters!  She was fascinated by my body, commenting on the curvature of my butt and insisting that it should only be clothed in thongs and g-strings in order to show it off to its best advantage.  (Incidentally, she also taught me to avoid balconet bras.)  She made me strut around the entire shop (wearing almost nothing, mind you!) so that I could “get the full effect” in the larger antique mirrors that she had placed around the shop floor.

Christies. I dare any woman to try on stuff like this and not to feel like a salacious goddess.

Let me tell you, dear readers, that I felt TRANSFORMED.  Gone was the awkward nerdy chick, the goddess of man-shopping disaster.

Enter the sex pot.  The slinky, lacy, satiny and barely-clad queen of awesome.  I really was wearing nothing except a few bits of strategically placed, slightly pigmented air.  But these exquisite luxury sets made me feel like something else.

Even my normally insecure, self-conscious self had no problem sashaying around this shop — wearing next to nothing — in full view of anyone who passed by the shop window!

So now I understand.  I understand why parisian women always wear matching sets.

It.

Is.

GLORIOUS.

It’s really too bad that I couldn’t afford to spend 400 euros on lingerie.

That would have been my total for only TWO sets.

On sale.

Le sigh.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I learned quite a bit of new vocabulary on this lingerie adventure, for those of you who are curious.  This may prove useful for some, as Valentine’s Day is coming up!

  • balconnet : balconet bra
  • bas [m.] : stockings
  • body [m.] : bodysuit
  • bonnet [m.] : cup
  • bretelles [f.] : straps
  • bustier [m.] : bustier
  • corbeille : underwire bra
  • culotte [f.] : panties/knickers (handy wikipedia chart)
  • déshabillé [m.] : negligee
  • guêpière [f.] : bustier with attached garters
  • jarretière [f.] : garter
  • nuisette [m.] : baby doll
  • peignoir [m.] : peignoir, dressing gown, robe
  • porte-jarretelles [m.] : garter belt
  • push-up : push-up bra
  • sans bretelles : strapless bra
  • shorty [m.]: boyshort
  • slip [m.] : briefs
  • soutien-gorge [m.] : bra
  • string [m.] : thong
  • tanga [m.] : g-string

 

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Ms. Victoria’s Secret Angel

Before you get your lacy panties in a twist, let me clarify that this post is not about my future career as a lingerie model.  (Try to contain your disappointment.)  This is about how, according to my (surprisingly extensive) first-hand experience with half-naked Parisian women, many of them seem to have secret lives as a lingerie model underneath their potato sack dresses, baggy tunic tops, and generally conservative over-garments.

For quite some time now, after clocking overtime hours at the gym, I’ve gained some first-hand insight into how Parisian women dress themselves.  And what I find baffling is that they all wear matching lingerie sets.

ALL THE TIME.

I admire their ambition and their meticulous attention to detail.  But come on!  As an American pragmatist, how in bloody hell do they pull this off?

They can’t all have the disposable income to own that many expensive-looking lacy concoctions that they can wear every day.  And they certainly can’t all have the disposable income to replace them all the time, since this is what they wear to the gym.  (I mean, that must chafe, right?) Furthermore, how can they possibly have the dedication to match their undergarments every day when it’s all I can do to match my socks every morning?

I suppose HOW they can afford such a lingerie collection isn’t too difficult to figure out.  Going on observational data alone, I’d venture to guess that they just forgo other frivolous expenses like — well — food, for instance.

Dear readers, please don’t misunderstand.  It’s not like I wear granny panties all the time.  On the contrary, I am morally opposed to evil panty lines showing through clothing, and I make it a point to always sport appropriately skimpy knickers so that nothing interrupts the curve of my bum.  I am religious about this kind of thing, and I make no secret of it.  Tenacious Ken over at Lustmongers, a fellow ass enthusiast, will back me up on this.

And we all know that cute underwear ensures that we have enough confidence to strut our stuff much more effectively in everyday life.  I consider sexy underwear to be a service to mankind as well as a service to womankind.

But that doesn’t mean that a lady needs to match her bra with her panties every day.  That is just absurd and impractical.  As long as my undies fit me beautifully and deliver just enough visual stimulation via lace and/or color to make me feel like a foxy minx on the prowl, then my mission is accomplished.

However, the Parisian panty scene is just… baffling!  But I have a few theories about this ubiquitous need to wear matching underwear sets:

  1. The pressure to find a man must be so overwhelming that a Parisian lady must be ready pounce and lock that shit down at any moment.
  2. They are all in relationships and so terrified of their men’s infidelity that they invest in frilly underwear in the hopes that the sheer (I mean this both figuratively AND literally) enticing nature of their lingerie will be enough to prevent cheating.
  3. This must be the absurd parisian female equivalent of the old adage that implores us to wear clean underwear at all times in order to avoid the humiliation of being taken to hospital in unsavory skivvies — the equivalent being that a lady must always wear ridiculously embellished matching lingerie sets at all times in the off-chance that she needs to have a sexy soap-opera scene with a hunky doctor upon her arrival in the emergency room.
  4. Lingerie ONLY comes in sets in Paris.
  5. Every woman at the gym is a high-end “escort.”

Obviously, the last two theories are the least likely to be correct.  And, after some heated discussion with my homegirl, Julie the Irish Parisienne, and after her thoroughly disturbing anecdote about a Parisian colleague who bought FORTY matching sets of underwear in ONE sitting, we determined that 1, 2, and 3 must be the winning tickets.

However, I can’t figure out a way to prove that conclusively.  I’ve tried asking strangers in the locker room about the rationale behind their underwear choices… but without success.

Please don’t follow my example, people.  The poor girls just looked askance at me and backed away as if I was a creepy perv that was about to roofie them.

So alas, I still have no insight into the lingerie question.

But don’t worry, I am on the job.  I will find out.  Knowledge of all things lacy constitutes essential background research on the man-shopping scene in Paris, so I will not let you down, dear readers.  I will just need to take some time to perfect my methodology here…

But in the meantime, to my female French readers, I implore you to comment here or email me.  Help us to understand!

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