This article originally appeared on VICE France
A while ago, I saw one of our regulars in action. I knew she enjoys gang bangs, but this time, she was even more adventurous than usual. It's difficult for me to describe the scene exactly. But let's say I was facing a line of guys queueing up, waiting to have sex with her. She loves having something written above her bum, things like "fill this" or "needy hole". According to her, it stimulates "the stallions" riding her. If that's what she likes, that's what she likes. It's my job to accommodate her with having any kind of debauchery she'd like to engage in.
I work in a sex sauna in Paris. I welcome the clients and make them feel comfortable. I choose the music we play in the background, I prepare coffee or tea, I make sure the towels are washed and that the sauna in general is tidy and clean – which is by far the least sexy part of my job.
I heard about the job from a friend that also works in the sauna, and mostly wanted it because I felt like getting out of my comfort zone – like exploring an unfamiliar world.
In the sauna we see people of all ages – although no one is under 18, of course. It's a very diverse mix of all social classes, religions and backgrounds. Some people just come to the sauna to relax but most of them come to have sex, watch people having sex, parade around naked, jerk off or be jerked off.
But some of the clients are a bit creepier. There are some very needy guys who've been on a very long dry spell and aren't afraid to show it. I've met some shady, weird, crazy guys during my time at the sauna; guys who believe everything is allowed, even though the place only works because everyone follows the rules.
The first rule of our sauna is to respect others – which is basically the first rule of human interaction in general. The other rules are just as basic: learn to accept rejection, always ask before touching and, above all, never cross any line indicated by the women in the sauna or their partners. Showering is mandatory for obvious, hygienic reasons. And lastly, it's forbidden to do anything more than just touching in the jacuzzi. You can't have a hard on in there, and you can't ever come in the jacuzzi either. Men have to be naked in the sauna, while women can choose to wear some kind of sexy outfit, if they feel like it. We hand out condoms for elementary safety reasons, and some lube for those who like it.
I've seen a lady being gang-banged, while her husband checked with a flashlight if the guys who were having sex with his wife were wearing a condom.
After they've come in, the men wait for the women to arrive; they drink tea and sweat it out in the saunas, or they jerk off to the porn that's always played on TV screens throughout the building. Only the regulars talk to each other, the others talk to me. Most clients have a chat for a couple of minutes before moving on to massaging each other, before moving on to fucking.
The competition in the sauna is extremely fierce – there are about ten men to every woman. Luckily, most of these women enjoy gang bangs and being watched, so it's never really a problem.
I'm a woman, which means I have to deal with tons of annoying men hitting on me too; telling me their life's story or rambling on about their achievements while trying to sound like they're not horny. Some of them smell terribly. Or they don't respect the rules; they go to the cabins and leave their used condoms or their tissues behind, even though there are rubbish bins everywhere. I divide the clients in two distinct categories – there are the respectful regulars, and then there are all the rest.
There are recurring S&M parties, so clients can discover that world. But my boss also organises traditional masked balls and Caribbean themed zouk parties. He does it to cater to our diverse clientele and everybody comes to them – from total strangers to French celebrities.
I've witnessed so many incredible and sometimes sinister scenes. I've seen a lady well into her sixties being gang-banged while next to her a woman forty years younger was sensually dancing, naked, with the sole purpose to get the onlooking guys excited. All of that was happening while the husband of the elderly lady checked with a flashlight if the guys who were having sex with his wife were wearing a condom.
I also discovered so many new things that I could never have imagined myself. I've seen a man wearing a kind of locked G-string – like a chastity belt. His wife had made him wear it because he had gone on a business trip for a week. That was one of the most perverse cases of domination I've seen. But it apparently worked, because the guy still ended up in the sauna, but couldn't take the chastity belt off.
I also remember a curvy woman in her forties wearing a nightgown and parading around in the sauna. She was followed by a flock of clearly, very horny guys. When she had gone full circle through the sauna she told them: "You, yes. You, no." She chose a couple of them and had a threesome in one of the cabins.
What happens most in our sauna is candaulism, where a woman fucks other men, while her husband is watching. You could call that very free spirited, but there are some tacit rules to it: A woman can't have an orgasm with the other men – she can only come if her husband has an orgasm at the same time as her.
I was never the picture of female modesty but since I started working at the sauna, I'm slowly getting more and more out of control. I'm bordering on exhibitionism. I went to another sauna once and ended up giving a blow job to a guy while other guys were jerking off around us. When I realised that was happening, I immediately asked them to get out – which they did, without any protest.
Being permanently exposed to sex hasn't influenced my libido but it did change my perception of sex. Since I'm constantly around people who like to experiment and take their sex life a little further, I now actively look for new sexual experiences myself.
I have at times had the inclination to do something with a client, but my contract clearly states that I cannot. I remember meeting an extremely beautiful guy in the sauna once, and I asked him if he'd like to meet in another sauna later. I'd never ask him for a drink: Seeing someone naked is radically different from getting to know each other over a drink. All we both wanted was to fuck.
I've met very interesting and sexually liberated people through this job. Most of them are around 40 and express their sexuality without any inhibitions. I think our generation voluntarily creates many sexual barriers – especially women. I know some women who I think would feel a lot better off if they visited the sauna once or twice. Nothing weird would have to happen: These days, when I go to the sauna after work, the clients are very respectful and don't hit on me. Of course, they don't mind watching me when I take a shower but that's about it.