“The “”Libertines”” of Dentists”
Everyone who lives here has great stories to tell of experiences that rock their ‘cultural default modes.’ Get any one of us started and we could tell tales for hours.
One story told recently was sparked by a conversation about Sacha Baron Cohen’s recent movie and character, “Brüno,” which RottenTomatoes.com says is “crude and offensive, but with ample cultural insights and gut-busting laughs.” There are scenes in the film one must be mentally and emotionally prepared to see that could leave one shocked and speechless…or laughing hilariously as we did, with the question, “What was that we just witnessed?”
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Parler Paris Nouvellettre® continued…
Nonetheless the telling of the story resulted from the audaciousness of the sexual subject matter when a friend innocently went to see a dentist here in Paris, one he hadn’t been to before.
Cleverly, the dentist had positioned a TV screen above the head of the patient so that while he was working away on his mouth, he could be entertained. That part isn’t so particularly unusual, but it’s what was on the screen that made an impression. Instead of the usual news, sitcom, talk show or game show…it was France’s specialty programm
Yep, the dentist found a most ingenious way of dropping the patient’s jaw to allow the dental tools to do their job…and perhaps for all those in the office to get more than just a numbing from the Novacaine. Imagine his surprise…and perhaps appreciation for the most pleasant visit to the dentist he’s ever had! This will surely change the way one might feel about going to the dentist, “n’est pas?”
This led to a discussion of Sharon Stone’s breasts. They are exposed for all of France to see on this month’s cover of “Paris Match.” At the age of 51, she looks sexier than most women half her age and to the French, the nudity is not even worth a glance.
We ‘puritanical’ Americans eventually get used to the French attitude of sexuality as completely normal and natural, so even a poster sporting Sharon’s mammaries no longer gets much of a reaction, but porn at the dentist!? That might still raise an eyebrow or two.
About ten years ago French rock star Johnny Halliday performed free to a big Paris audience on the Champ de Mars, accompanied by none other than the Crazy Horse dancers, nude as they usually are. The French thought nothing of it while we Americans were dropping our jaws…once again.
So, if you’re more of a “libertine” than a puritan, France is just the right spot on the planet to satisfy your unrestrained tendencies. This (and Britain) is where the concept was born by such notables as John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, and the Marquis de Sade. The term, “libertine,” defined as “a person who is morally unrestrained” and coined by John Calvin to negatively describe opponents of his policies, it is also the title of a soft porn program one can tune into just about any night on French TV.
When in France…do as the French…and unrestrain yourself. Sharon Stone did.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(drawing by Kathy Burke)
P.S. For the best guide to Sex, Seduction and Romance in the Sublime City of Light, get Jonathan LeBlanc Roberts’ “Sensual Paris.” Visit /parlerparis/books/booksaboutfrance.html to get your copy.