Les Chandelles is one of the most elite swingers clubs in Paris. Courtesy of Les Chandelles.
Elite swingers club Les Chandelles offers a veritable feast for the senses.
by Akil Wingate
Paris is the city of lights and love. But the word love gets stretched to rubber band proportion when visiting some of Paris' more exotic night spots. There are your regular nightclubs for dancing the night away to an electro beat and a heavy strobe light. And then there are your libertine clubs for couples wishing to spend a luxurious night in the company of another couple. And while such a thing might turn heads stateside, the French don't bat an eye at échangiste clubs, or swingers clubs.
In fact, they're quite well-known, even perched in the fabric of the more posh sections of town. Note to those adventurous types salivating at the idea of visiting one of these clubs: they are very selective about who gets in. With entry fees starting at about 300€ a head and menu items starting at a 200€ minimum, only Paris' elite frequent such places as Les Chandelles for a night of group sensuality.
Only the elite of couples can enter and for a night they can engage in threesomes or more with other willing couples. Les Chandelles is often referred to as the five-star of échangiste clubs. Its ominous black doors and golden door knobs bear no signs, windows or even a number. Instead, its low key façade belies a much more libertine interior. Politicians, sports stars, entrepreneurs, business people of all hues drink, eat and get cozy with new lovers at any time of the day or night, be it happy hour, brunch, or a midnight special.
Les Chandelles sits in the heart of Paris in the uber elite 1st Arrondissement. Mere steps away are the Louvre and Place de l’Opéra. And when you enter Les Chandelles you are gently reminded of the fact that you are in the most select part of town. You are first greeted by a fully-equipped bar, gently backlit with rose-coloured lights and well-appointed with top shelf bottles.
“Are you a porn actor?” Are the first words I hear in a smallish, lilting French accent from one of the petite production assistants flitting between the rooms, hideaway chambers and alcoves in the club. On my visit to Les Chandelles I was filming for a French series. But it wasn’t that kind of series. However, here in the club, anything goes. Porn stars and political stars rub shoulders, swill glasses of Deutz, and eat ravenously from plates of caviar and steak tartare. Sidelong come-hither glances shoot from one couple to another in the reflections of the huge floor-length mirrors on every wall.
Everyone is immaculately dressed on the first floor: Dior, Givenchy, Burberry, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, etc. We are all swallowed up in the chic magic of rose colored lush furniture, fully stocked metallic bars, intimate hideaways on each level to eat, drink or seduce. You suddenly understand why there are mirrors everywhere: to give a strategic voyeuresque perspective on any and all potential lovers that may intrigue a couple, a single man or woman.
Descend one floor down and you find an even larger bar and a stage equipped with a stripper pole. And people are less dressed, less inhibited, and less preoccupied with what they are eating and drinking. On my visit to the club, everyone availed themselves of the pole for a chance at living out some sort of stripper fantasy.
Adjacent to the bar is another room fitted with a huge rose bed big enough to keep several bodies warm. On this particular day, three Eastern-European women clad in black and red lingerie are all perched in the bed with a male friend stripped down to his boxers. Across from the bed sits a smaller sofa bed, equally plush and inviting to the adventurous types. And here two couples recline in various states of undress.
Lastly there is a hallway that leads from this group bedroom through a darkly lit space. A series of rooms, some showers, some private hideaways to be entertained or handcuffed, and a bathroom all await. The stone walls betray a sense of old libertine traditions, even a nod to Marquis de Sade (which at the time was coincidentally running as an exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay a few minutes away).
People brush by me, gently patting my shoulder or arm, or even reaching around my waist. The sense of familiarity even with strangers is pervasive here. There are no inhibitions by the time you reach the bottom floor. You’ve eaten and drank copiously above. Here you strip off any reservations about having fun with strangers, and those expensive clothes to boot.
Should you decide to visit Les Chandelles, you can plan your day or night here with a full menu of 4 star eats. Evenings run around 300€ for single men to enter and dramatically less expensive for single women. Dress code is top designer...then it eventually becomes au naturel. Beautiful people are expressly welcome. And beautiful couples are a priority for the venue. Happy adventuring.