In 2002 the French decided to do what most of the world had done previously, open a gentlemen’s (ahem) establishment. You see although the French were famed for their saucy, dancing girls at the legendary Moulin Rouge they did not have a club where champagne and lap dances went hand in hand.
It was chilly January in London and the peak-time money making fabulousness of Christmas was over. We were in for a crash and after having spent all my money over the holidays I knew I had to get booty shaking or face financial ruin.
And then came the call that a club called Pink Platinum was opening in gay Paris and they needed a group of girls to go over and work. We paid our own Eurostar and they provided us with accommodation. How glamorous, my first work trip and to Paris.
I had literally only been dancing for a month when I got the opportunity so along with my gal pal we headed off to the bright lights and big city.
Paris blew me away, it was winter and so there were lots of dark nights and the buildings looked amazing lit up, enough of that though.
We met up with the guy Graham who was looking after us and were then introduced to the managers of the club a little known DJ called David Guetta and his wife Kathy. They were totally OTT and the host and hostess of some of the coolest places in the city at the time.
The club had the usual blueprint, just a smaller version of Spearmint Rhino with pink leopard print carpets rather than the usual variety; there were small dancing rooms, which had crystal curtains. These curtains were a danger when you were in and out of the rooms either getting tangled in your sequins or swinging back into your face.
We had been homed in an old building up the street from the club, it was one of those tall four storey creaky buildings and it very much felt like we were in a very haunted dorm except for a spa where after a big boozy night we would jump in and carry on drinking.
Before our night at work we were taken to a wonderful Moroccan restaurant also on the same road and given a medley of tagines and couscous, great for when you were starting work. Oh and lots of red wine.
You see it was hard enough to start at the Rhino, where the men spoke English. I spoke no French so was hoping the language of love would prevail, which led to some funny moments.
For anyone thinking of dancing – it’s so much fun – one rule, don’t start work in a new club on the night it opens. Firstly there is press, secondly there are the VIPs, normally friends of the owners or minor celebrities, sports stars. Some of these guys get tits and ass for free so they aren’t going to hand over the wonga. And these were the sexy French who normally just have to speak for women to drop their knickers.
That night was like drawing blood, moody men who didn’t get the concept, viewing you up and down and there was no way of chatting them up. I recall gesturing with my hands and pointing to the booth while rubbing my fingers together to demonstrate I needed payment for all this.
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The night was fun in the end, we gave up trying to make cash and instead drank lots and lots of bubbles with outrageous people… well, when in France.