PHABRIK Magazine

Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City

By Tracey Ellis

March 2012

A New Generation of Women’s Travel Guides

You will not find a ‘must-see or do’ list of the top tourist attractions in Heather-Stimmler Hall’s naughty travel guides, but you may find an exclusive boutique hotel or a swanky bar etched with some glamorous history in which to have a cool cocktail in.

The American-born author helps women travel independently to the sexiest cities on the planet – Paris and New York – with style, grace, and sex appeal. Heather shows you the slicker side of city life; daring lingerie shops, luxurious hotels, sensuous spas, and romantic restaurants are just a small part of the seductive path she leads you on. Although described as ‘naughty’ travel guides, these books are more about discovering your sensuous and adventurous side rather than misbehaving.

But when in Paris it is not just all about tempting lingerie and cabarets. There is advice for what to wear from ‘Petite Brigitte’ (an insider Parisienne view), who describes the fashion as an ‘mélange of artless elegance’ which should encompass silk scarves, tailored white shirts, and flattering white jeans in a dark rinse. There are also recommendations for erotic photographers, body art salons, clubs where you can be a dancing diva, and sexy shoe shopping.

More than just your regular tourist guide, these suggestive handbooks provide insight to your inner ‘femme fatale’; perhaps provoking you to explore other areas of the city you may not have previously considered or even knew about. The most famous vintage dealer in Paris, Didier Ludot’s shop overlooking the gardens of Palais Royal, will let you discover 1960’s Givenchy dresses and Hermes bags in pristine condition, and when you’re hungry the decadent Laduree ‘salon de the’ serves up the most exquisite pastries in a sumptuous atmosphere. Or get a custom corset made at Cadolle on rue St-Honore. Herminie Cadolle was the inventor of the bra who freed women from the constraints of the corset, then reintroduced it to the fashion world after World War 1. These are just a few of the hidden gems to be discovered in Naughty Paris.

More and more women are traveling alone for business and for pleasure, and they have individual, feminine requirements. According to Wanderlust, even married women are traveling more often alone or with girlfriends. Of course the main concern is safety, but there are still many fun adventures to be had. This is where Heather’s recommendations reflect the strong, independent women of today, as it is foremost a lady’s guide, for girls who are ‘no longer girls but who still want to have fun’. On their own terms, of course.

Written with a sophisticated flair, there is nothing seedy or vulgar about the recommendations in this guide. The author has done her research and is refreshingly informative with punchy and clear descriptions of what to expect if you do decide to cross that adventurous line; her writing is as seductive as the content. For the woman who is curious but a bit shy, this book will potentially open up new exciting doors of adventure, or provide them with a perfectly indulgent itinerary to follow.

Heather provides the best solo-female-friendly places to go where you can feel wildly independent without being harassed. She also suggests the necessary ‘girly weekend’ places to rendezvous with your gal pals, or the best places for intimate dining a deux with your partner.

Beautifully designed and photographed, it was named the Best Travel Guidebook of the year in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards, but be aware; there is a racy side to this book if you so choose to read, and it is fascinating. You can take what you want from this guide and leave the rest. Perhaps just reading about it is enough…but as the saying goes; “what happens in Paris, stays in Paris”.

Heather Stimmler-Hall is a travel journalist and creator of the blog Secrets of Paris (www.secretsofparis.com). She has also recently released Naughty New York with the help of eight local experts and journalists.

All of the major online booksellers carry the Naughty Paris Guide, including Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Borders, and Powell’s, as well as the Kindle edition on Amazon.


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