An unholy Sunday at the Bains

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Unfortunately the majority of French day spas are closed on Sundays, especially Easter Sunday. Thankfully the North Africans realize that rejuvenation should be possible 7 days a week. So off I plodded to the Marais, for my first experience in one of the best known hammams in Paris, which we shall call les BdM.

After a brief tour given by a heavyset Moroccan woman dressed in a black one-piece, I changed into my bikini and hit the hammam. Sundays are co-ed at the spa, so bathingsuits are a must (not so on other days). After 30 minutes of alternating between steam and cold showers, I was already feeling more alive.

Then, it was time for spring cleaning. I went into the utilitarian chamber off from the hammam and got “gommaged” by that same big Moroccan woman. For those not familiar with gommage, this involves an exfoliating glove and a lot of scrubbing, until you have left behind a lot of dead skin you didn’t know you had. There is nothing pretty about it, except the feel of your skin for days after. Though it wasn’t my first gommage, I am now addicted to this Moroccan technique, which is much more effective than the salt scrubs used in most spas.

After showering, I chilled out in the relaxation hallway and read a magazine. Unfortunately, my reverie was soon disturbed by two French men who kept eyeing me and eventually sat down on a chaise longue next to mine. I should have pretended not to speak French, especially since they were total guidos– sporting the white robe AND gold chain look, and with enough grease in their hair to withstand the steam. Unfortunately I was caught off guard and got caught in a conversation.
Fortunately, my masseur rescued me. Or so I thought, until I realized I had just traded one draggeur for the other. Alex (not his real name), a 30-year-old Morocaan, escorted me to the massage room and perceptively noted that I had been getting hit on by the 2 guidos. Yes, I know. Then, once completely naked and lying on the massage table, he went on explaining his relationship status and other stories of his 3 years in France. Somehow, (through no fault of my own, I swear!), the conversation drifted to body types, nudity, and eventually… sex.

Of course, the conversation was passive and subtle, but I couldn’t escape the feeling that he was propositioning me for a dirty massage. Especially when I asked him to place my cell phone (which had been next to me because I was expecting a call) on the side table, and he replied “You might have to pay me to do that, you have to pay for everything these days.” Excuse me?? To put a cell phone on a table? Relevance?

Once this possibility occured to me, my mind started racing and I had trouble relaxing. Call me naive, but in all my spa experiences, a massage had never taken this kind of turn!

Sadly, had I been of a more libertine mindset and actually found him attractive, I would not rule out such an encounter (though PetiteBrigitte would never pay!). It would have been very Samantha in Sex in the City. But in the end, I left feeling somewhat relaxed, perplexed, and very greasy. It was not the ideal happy ending. :)

I dare any of my more kinky readers to try a dirty massage with this masseur. We need confirmation that this happens at les BdM! (I’m so naive– it’s the Marais– of course it does!) Some of you will find him hot– and if you e-mail me, I will give you his real name to request!

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2 thoughts on “An unholy Sunday at the Bains

  1. Marianne says:

    I have been a regular client of Bains du Marais since they opened over 10 years ago. I have never had the slightest problem with the staff, including the masseurs, e.g. Moustafa or Abdul (yes, there is an Abdul). I could sometimes be hit on by clients, but if I complained, they would be immediately told to stop (I even saw Moustafa throw some people out). In fact, one of the things I really like with BdM is that the atmosphere is not seedy, contrary to other hammams in Paris (it’s “Sentier” but not seedy). I am therefore surprised and very sorry to read about your experience. Maybe it was an unfortunate “lost in translation”?

  2. petitebrigitte says:

    Perhaps a lost in translation, or a reflection of my dirty mind! I can confirm nothing!

    Also, I was unaware that there is a real Abdul working there— this NOT the masseur I was with! (and I have changed the name in the original post just so there is no confusion!) Thanks for alerting me!

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