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Cock-Blocked By Macron, French Return to Sex ClubsBalls, Brie, and Masks

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

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Doctors who said sex from behind wouldnt pass COVID, feasts before sex, and lots and lots of decor. Welcome to French sex libertine style in the age of coronavirus.

Melanie Hamlett

Long-time libertine (and new buddy of mine), Alexandre, ventured on over to one of the clubs here in Lyon during this brief moment of freedom before a second then third confinement shut all fun things back down for an eternity. Even though hed already had COVID, he wore his mask the whole time (even while inside of people!). Despite being vaccinated now, Alexandre still doesnt want to catch COVID or anything else at the clubs and is maybe even more pandemic- cautious and responsible than the average non-libertine (including our trusted French leaders). Hes no unicorn, either. Several people I know who frequent French sex clubs have been the same way. Funny how some of the very folks known for flouting dominant cultures oppressive, heteronormative rules are sometimes the people who most respect COVID ones.

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Just a mask!

I myself have been dying to check out a libertine club since moving to France a few years ago. In fact, Ive had more and better sex on French soil than the four decades before. Combined. Maybe its partly due to the confidence that comes with age, but I have no doubt Frances more sexually liberal mentality has played a huge role. Once I got away from Americas puritanical extremism (I mean, we were originally colonized by those pilgrim fucks too crazy for even old timey Europe), I felt totally free to try new things, like an open relationship, a threesome with two dudes, and letting a guy with a foot fetish blow his load on my toes. Ive juggled several sex friends, got eaten out on lots of beds and beaches by strangers, and even got slut-shamed in the British tabloids for having too much fun as a cougar. But the French libertine lifestyle and sex clubs were something I was just getting up the courage to dip my jizz-covered toe into. And then the unthinkable happened: I started dating someone worthy of time and love. Oh and there was a global pandemic too!

Until now that is.

I asked friends and acquaintances in the libertine world what the hell theyve been doing for 15 months while clubs were closed. My former sex friend, Alex and his girlfriend said COVID pretty much killed their libertine life. Theyve only hooked up with one other couple since last fall. Between confinements, interregional travel bans, and endless early evening curfews, its been a logistical pain in the ass to plan a three-four-five-whatever-some with other libertines. That and a lot of people didnt want to take the risk of getting a 135 euro fine if stopped by the cops. Those of us who were hunkered down with a partner or sex friend didnt have the horny and alone factor to deal with. My buddy, Remi, spent over a year at home, mostly alone. During the first lockdown he joined Tinder to flirt with women and have occasional sex via WiFi. One sex friend did come over a few times by checking the hour of exercise box on her permission slip, then jogging on over, having a quick brown chicken brown cow, and jogging back.

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So stressful!

Even though most of the libertines I know have respected the rules more or less, there are plenty who havent. Remis best friend, whos a doctor at the local hospital, told Remi you cant get COVID from sex as long as you do it doggy style.

Natasha, by the way, has never once been stopped by the cops. Me? Four times. While jogging or getting groceries. Thats the French way, though, Ive been told. There are laws you break, ones you dont, ones that are totally your call.

Now that the vaccines are here and life is opening back up, not all the libertines I know are rushing back to the clubs. Remi and his sex friend Camille went a couple weeks ago, but their first night back didnt go so well. They failed to read the program before showing up. Gang Bang Night. Oops! Ive been assured by everyone that most nights at the sex clubs are comfortable, respectful, and safe. In fact, thats how my old sex friend Alex sold me on the idea. He said unlike normal nightclubs, where men harass, touch, or even grind up on us without our consent, sex clubs dont tolerate that nonsense. With the exception of Gang Bang Night, women usually dont have men following them around either because the men arent allowed in alone or if they are they pay 74 euros. Women? Free if we dont bring a man.

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Camille offered to take me the next evening to Couples Night because men arent even allowed inside without a woman. Much better stats. Id always assumed you go to sex clubs with a partner, but shes taken girlfriends there before just for the ambiance. A free night of hot tubs, a buffet, drinks, and girl talk, all in a place where men leave you alone unless you explicitly show interest? Hell yeah. Take me there, queen!

So after years of wondering and waiting, I finally head on down to the swingers club, which is only a block from the mayors fancy office, and meet Camille, my sex club tour guide/hand-holder. After ringing a little doorbell, were let in and are greeted by a sweet lady. She explains the ridiculous mask rules, then gives us each a towel big enough to cover tops or bottoms but not both, a see through pink scarf, two free drink tickets, and anklets, which hold a key to our assigned locker and a little pocket with a mask tucked into it.

I wouldnt use that if I were you, Claire laughs, or eat the food.

Hot air hits our faces as we open the ginormous wooden doors and enter what I can only describe as a 9,000 square foot Kamasutra dungeon museum of amazingness. I mean, this place is just incredible. Apparently the owners imported 240 tons of statues, masks, walls, and doors made of marble or wood, all the way from India. There are elephants, monkeys, and that wise-looking fella sitting with one hand held out like hes waiting for a high five or telling you to stop with your shit already. First things first, thoughgotta take off these here clothes! We find our assigned lockers, strip down entirely (except masks!) and throw a towel around our waists, then check out the gym. Yes, there is a gym in the locker room. Not an elliptical machine or any cardio. Just a bunch of heavy shit that makes mens veins pop out. Barf.

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Lucky us, we arrive just in time for the buffet! My expat friend, Natasha, always bragged about these sex club spreads, but I can finally concur. Shit looks delishhh. Camille is French, though, meaning her food standards are far higher than ours. She drinks water while I scarf down a plate of mysterious French cuisine with far too much egg and cheese but fuck it, yummm. I cant even see what Im eating because this room is literally a giant cave lit up by purple and pink lights in the corner. If I had my phone Id pull out the flashlight like old people to see what the hell is on the menu this evening but such things arent allowed outside your locker. I forget Im eating a meal almost entirely naked until I notice a mans junk swinging ever-so-gently as he slices off a big ole hunk of brie.

Except when were eating, bathing, or drinking water, Claire and I keep our masks on because thems the rules! After I scarf down something Im guessing is chocolate because again I cant see shit, we drop our towels and go fully nude in the ginormous pool behind us. Even without masks now (but fully vaccinated), this room feels pretty safe because its tall enough to fit half a Rockefeller Christmas tree and there are only maybe 20 people here max.

Almost every square inch of this room is filled with statues, including every character from Noahs alleged ark. Honestly, the decor is the only shocking thing about this place. The rest is to be expected. Red velvet couches and throne type chairs. A stripper pole in the middle of it all. Three stories of rooms, dozens of them in varying size, with beds, condoms, gel, and stuff to wipe clean the filthy mattresses. Most are actually pretty boring or surprisingly small, but some have things like a swing, handcuffs, windows to watch or be watched, and oversized glory holes minus the duct tape. There are rooms for gang bangs, others with locks, and because its France, one just for smoking. Its 9 p.m. on a Thursday, so we only see maybe five couples having sex, three of which are men with their faces buried into moaning womens crotches.

God I love it here.

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My only real complaint is that its easy to get lost because its so damn dark in the labyrinth. Luckily the kind janitor in jeans and a mask walks around with a broom and a flashlight, which helps us find our way. After a couple hours of girl talk and sight-seeing, we decide to bail. Im barely comfortable being in the same room with people at all, much less sharing air with them in a hot ass cave.

The only thing truly shocking about the whole sex club experience (other than the decor) is the fact I wasnt interested in screwing a single dude. Life's funny like that. I finally got to go to a libertine club... when Im a goddamn newlywed. Yep, much to everyones (especially my own) surprise, I got married. I guess being locked in a tiny flat 23 hours a day for months with that man worth my time was a totally new kind of adventure for me. One I didnt want to end. Furthermore, hes not only OK with Camille taking me to a sex club, he waved all proud as I rode away on my bike like a nervous school girl. When I asked one last time if hes sure he doesnt mind me going without him, he swatted by doubt away with his hand. I trust you fully babe. And I want you to always be the curious free spirit I fell in love with.

We might experiment with libertine stuff down the road; we might not. The important thing is we talk about it. Like everything. We did decide long ago that we wanted go to a sex club together at some point. But theres one place neither of us has any desire to go soon when they re-open or maybe even long after this pandemic crap is over. A goddamn nightclub. Fuck those places. Sex clubs are safer all around.

Read more on: thedailybeast, sex


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