Prostitution … in France … and the Lille Prostitute and Pimping Case …

Prostitutes: one sees them in certain areas of Paris be it broad daylight or in the dark of night. Ask any Parisian (male or female from the age of 14 or 15) which areas these are and you will be told. I am therefore not going to name them. There are 20,000 prostitutes in France. […]

Crudite a volunte (Copyright Marilyn Z Tomlins)

Crudité à volonté.(Copyright Marilyn Z Tomlins)

Prostitutes: one sees them in certain areas of Paris be it broad daylight or in the dark of night. Ask any Parisian (male or female from the age of 14 or 15) which areas these are and you will be told. I am therefore not going to name them.

There are 20,000 prostitutes in France. This is an official figure calculated in 2013 when France’s National Assembly – Parliament – debated legalities of what is known as the ‘oldest profession in the world’. It is not. The oldest profession in the world is that of farmer, after all man had to eat before he could satisfy any other desires.

Of the 20,000 85% are  women and 99% of their clients are men. (The mind boggles about the other 15% and 1% but never mind.)

Of these prostitutes 90% are foreigners. In 1990 only 20% were foreigners: so hello Schengen and open borders!

Of the 90% most are from Romania, Bulgaria, Nigeria and China.

Prostitution is not illegal here in France, but pimping is. Also since the 2013 parliamentary debate on prostitution, a prostitute’s client can now be prosecuted. Complicated? I agree and the Senate is set to debate the issue which will result in the law being revised.

Seeing pimping is illegal, brothels are, of course, too.

The prostitutes therefore work from the streets. They walk up and down the streets and they are thus called ‘walkers’ – in French ‘marcheuse’ if it’s a woman, and ‘marcheur’ if it’s a man.

Normally, in polite society on does not talk about prostitution, but at the moment the profession is front page news here in France and it leads every television news bulletin. It even does on such networks as the BBC and CNN.

The reason for the above is the current pimping trial in the northern French town of Lille and that one of the 13 standing accused of aggravating pimping is Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), former head of the International Monetary Fund and before our 2012 Presidential election front runner for the Socialist Party’s nomination for the French presidency – and once France’s Minister of Finance. And today financial adviser to companies in Latin America and Africa and in Serbia and Russia. Or at least so he was at the opening of the trial.

The alleged pimping had taken place in six countries and the sex in hotels in Paris, Brussels,Vienna, Madrid,Washington and Lille. The case is being held in Lille because it was in this provincial city where a pimping ring had operated from. The pimping had been for either a sex orgy or, for several prostitutes with one man, or one-on-one sex in hotels or private residences.

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s defense is that he never organised any gathering where sex had taken place  with prostitutes being paid for their services and that he is therefore not a pimp. He did not even know that the women involved were prostitutes. He thought they were at these sex orgies because that was the kind of thing they went for: they were ‘swingers’.

As he said in the box of the accused on the first day of his interrogation,  he had no uncontrolled obsession with sex orgies and had attended such orgies just four times a year. Therefore as the accusation covers three years which had begun in 2008 to 2011 when he was accused of having forced the New York Sofitel Hotel chambermaid to perform oral sex on him, he had attended just 12 sex orgies.

“I had other things to do,” he said.

He was also married at that time to the charming French journalist and news anchor Anne Sinclair, now his ex-wife.

He said: “When you read the criminal complaint you get the impression it was this unbridled activity, but it was four times a year.”

His lawyers were arguing before the trial that as everyone looks the same without clothes on who can tell at an orgy whether a woman is a prostitute or a socialite. Oupla! I wonder if it would have been impossible to tell a naked Mother Theresa from any other naked woman.

While the trial is providing sickening details of how men in high places and considered pillars of morality had been behaving, many of the headline writers of France’s newspapers are being supplied with good lines.

Today’s Le Parisien (Thursday, February 12, 2015) for example had this heading to their story: Crudité à volonté. When food is à volonté in a restaurant it means you help yourself and you can eat as much of it as you want, helping after helping. And crudité is a dish of salad and meats. However, crudité also means crudeness, so there is a double meaning to that heading.

The ‘only four times a year’ is especially providing much laughter on French television talk shows as it is being likened to our electricity bills. Here in France one gets a bill for our electricity use four times a year – and he used to be France’s Minister of Finance, the one deciding such things.

If found guilty he faces 10 years in jail and a fine that could come to €1.5 million ($1.7 million). For this to happen the prosecution will have to prove that he had participated in the organisation of orgies and prostitution.

The last of the orgies he had attended had  taken place in Washington the night before his arrest in New York in May 2011 accused of forcing the Sofitel chambermaid to perform oral sex on him.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “Prostitution … in France … and the Lille Prostitute and Pimping Case …”

  1. 1
    Hélène Says:

    Very good review. A prostitute is also called “une gagneuse” par son “mac” (de maquereau = souteneur)
    By the way … Je me demande comment cet homme qui ambitionnait la présidence de la République, n’a pas pensé une seconde que les gens qui lui fournissaient des femmes pourraient un jour le “faire chanter” (blackmail). L’un d’eux pensait d’ailleurs obtenir le poste de Chef de la Sécurité de l’Élysée, une fois DSK élu. Sans parler de toutes les filles qui auraient parlé, ni celles qui auraient sollicité ses bons offices pour les 5 à 7 à l’Élysée. Nous avons échappé au pire. C’est dommage pour nous, parce qu’il aurait sans doute été un bon président. J’aurais voté pour lui je pense. C’est le seul socialiste auquel je faisais crédit.

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