Man-y Pedi

A letter home, just weeks after moving to Paris…

Email Subject: Sex with strangers.

Well girls, I have finally found the Parisian woman’s secret to sexual satisfaction (didn’t take me long, did it?).

Lisa (yes, you, princesse) asked me to ship home some Darphin products, so I made it a special errand to walk the half block from our flat to their spa and discovered that this would be an ok place for a much needed pedicure to tame those funky alien callouses you all saw at the beach. Darphin is nothing like any of the 700 vietnamese owned and operated mani-pedi salons in Noe Valley. No risk of vainly trying to drown into the foot bath as a handful of hard working women laugh at my monster feet in a language I can’t understand. I’d be a tough horned rhino in an elegant spa, but I was desperate and made an appointment.

I have had a pedicure in Paris once before, and it was at a training school. The experience taught me that pedicures over here are generally given in a private room and that it is predominantly a clinical event involving a series of scalpels and a really cool power tool.  No nail polish.

I showed up at my appointment and was immediately greeted by one of the better looking members of the French male genre, my new podiatrist. You know, the shaggy, intellectual looking kind that so melts my butter. He welcomed me with a warm handshake, a smile in his chocolate eyes. Something was clearly wrong; Parisian men do not smile broadly at strangers, it is not in the culture. I must have had spinach between my teeth…

(c) Maurice Sendak My feet pre-pedi

We proceeded upstairs to a cosy little chamber which was decorated in prissy rose-bud and aqua tones and smelled of something floral. Relaxing music could be heard and I started to unwind just as humiliation struck. I was asked to remove my shoes and show my very ugly feet to this very male presence. He wanted to know  exactly what is wrong with my paws. As if it isn’t obvious. I change shoe sizes after a proper pedicure! The torture ended and the treatment began.

Imagine; you are lying down, completely relaxed in a plush spa recliner. Your surroundings are pleasant, very private and intimate as someone gently tends to your feet with large, warm hands, treating each toe and the spaces between with their undivided attention.  MMMMMmm delicious.

The treatment was finally over, when Monsieur Foot warned that my skin was quite dry and advised a regular application of lotion and would I mind if he applied some immediately.  That was fine with me, and so began one of the more innocently erotic foot messages of my life.  MMMMMmmm sinful.  I melted on the spot.

This, of course, would not be considered sex in the strictly Clintonian view of the act, but I came out of that room trembling.  I then had to descend the stairs and pay for services rendered which added a surreal validation to my feelings of having just hired a gigolo. I paid quickly, unable to make eye contact with the next patient and scuttled out of the store to brace myself against the sturdy coolness of a nearby wall before being able to walk home. Ok, I am exaggerating slightly. I stayed in the shop long enough to make an appointment for the podiatrist’s next visit to the spa in two weeks time before scuttling anywhere. Sinful pleasures.

Cheers to you all and much love, S


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