Down in small town France, we enjoy sex. many new comers to Bourges, say that the town is f***ing boring, so while you are here why not just … I have to say that this is a very good town to raise a family. However, when, you have stopped the procreation cycle, and sex has just become a little too mechanical, you might like to visit one of our local sex shops. The aformentioned emporiums don’t actually sell sex, but they are well equipped with a full range of toys, clothing and gadgets to help you enjoy a moment of intimacy with the one you love. We have four sex shops in Bourges. Come with me now, to meet Madame Eva, whose establishment caters for the “marital needs” of the local .
“Recent surveys have shown a growing number of French couples complaining of boredom in bed” – so writes Matthew Campbell in the Sunday Times. (April 13th 2008)
Indeed, so bored are the French, that they are heading to the nation’s sex shops, in search of inspiration. The result has been the “gentrification” of the sex shop. Forget shifty-looking men in dirty macs perusing the blue videos; today’s clients are far more respectable. Even the term “Sex Shop” has been banished. Welcome to the “Love Store.” Paris is full of them. Warm friendly places, where women no longer fear to tread. On offer, the traditional range of toys, but also professional sex advice and service with a smile.
For Madame Eva though, the “Love Store” revolution is no more than just another Parisian fad. Out here « en province », Eva has been catering to the sexual needs of small town France for the past ten years. Eva sells pleasure and offers advice to the good citizens of Bourges in the Cher.
“I am not just a shopkeeper,” says Eva, “I am a sex therapist, a psychologist and a social worker.”
Former sales assistant in a fashion boutique, Eva opened her shop “by chance” ten years ago.
“Selling pleasure is better than selling fashion. The clients are easier to please and we like to please our clients,” smiles Eva.
And who are Eva’s clients?
“Men and women from all walks of life. From 20 to 70 and over. I have my regulars and a lot of passing trade.”
Eva’s advertising proudly claims that her boutique is, “the largest purveyor of erotica in the Région Centre.” Eva has “something for everyone.” At the moment the best seller with the ladies is the “I Rub my Duckie” – personal bath massager. The remote controlled vibrator is very popular with male clients. It can be activated at a range of eight metres, and is apparently just the ticket for spicing up a boring dinner party.
It seems that the provincial sex shop is not so different from the Parisian “Love Store.” Eva, however, would say that the good citizens of Bourges are just a little more shy than the big city folk.
In a small town, people are scared of being seen. For some reason people are supposed to feel “ashamed” of going into a sex shop. According to Eva, there is nothing wrong in helping people fulfil their fantasies.
“There should be no shame of sex. We’re all the same,” declares Eva. She would even go so far as to claim that she is “helping society”. Rather people fulfil their fantasies with a trip chez Eva, than in more “sinister” ways.
Be it Love Shops in Paris, or Sex Shops in the provinces, there is one current trend that transcends all social and sexual barriers – the lack of purchasing power. We are all hard up.
Eva confirms that people are spending less on pleasure, but with a coy smile she reassures us that she has “something for everyone” who wants to spend their wad, however small.