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Kiss of the femme fatale

I was driving the vessel over the Williamsburg Bridge one night when I realized that I had stopped dating. It wasn't a conscious decision. It just got boring going on the same date every night with a different woman. I wasn't looking for hookups but thought at some point a woman would show up who wanted to have fun and we could build off of that. It wasn't happening. Dating in New York had become an endless job interview. Every woman in search of the elusive long term relationship but unwilling to throw a bit of caution to the wind. The women who I had fun romances with had either fallen in love with someone else or relocated. I had turned into the dreaded, jaded New Yorker.

Realizing that this could spiral downward quickly I decided to shake things up with a month in Paris. I was curious about what dating was like in the city of lights. It took a little profile tweaking to get rolling and then things got interesting.

Not unlike New York, I noticed a lot of women looking for une belle rencontre, partenaire, etc. Yeah we all want an awesome partner. But unlike New York where every other profile emphasizes NO HOOKUPS, in France they draw the line at NO COUPLES. So you can extrapolate that a lot of couples take on an additional lover for excitement. I can envision the horrified expression of American women reading this now, heading for the Xanax drawer. You were warned in Episode 1.

My first rendezvous in Paris was with an architect who invited me for a drink and then a private exposition of an Italian furniture designer. When she arrived at the cafe on Rue de Seine I didn't recognize her. As it turned out her photos and age on the app were off by 10 years. In other words, lying about your age by 10 years wasn't exactly a New York thing. I went with the flow. She was pretty cool all things considered. After our cafe drink and vernissage she invited me to a private party at the Swedish Institute of Paris. Throughout the night we each had to make excuses for our little vices. For her, just one more cigarette and for me another glass of wine. We parted ways at 2:00 am.

There was a dinner at Cafe de la Gare in Trocadero with a wealthy divorcee. Good food and wine but she wasn't my type.

Then Ms. Ruby Tuesday walked into my life. Actually we matched on the app but I'm still counting it. I booked a table at the restaurant at Hotel de L'Amour in the 9ème. I had been to a 2 hour wine class prior and was desperately trying to shake off a major buzz when she arrived. Looking good may I add. Coming off a French wine class she handed me the wine list and expected a perfect choice. I was still a Left Bank Bordeaux wine snob, errantly thinking that you couldn't get spectacular complexity and tannins in a good Saint Emilion. Still, if you avoided anything from 2013 you couldn't go wrong.

I had to brush off some pretty rusty French to get into the groove. Ms. Ruby Tuesday was a hairdresser who owned a few trendy salons. She was into street art, full bodied reds, and [ ]. She was so typically French. Her facial expressions, gestures, attitude. After dinner she proposed after dinner drinks in Pigalle. While waiting for an Uber outside we met 2 women from Ireland and Ms. Ruby Tuesday immediately told them we had just met online to their amazement. Whatever happened to subtlety? I awkwardly came up with the line "if you pick the right wine, the rest falls into place."

Stumbling out of Les Justes cocktail lounge in Pigalle, with the Moulin Rouge lit up in the background I was sensing magic in the air. We went then decided that the previous nightcap wasn't really a nightcap and hailed a cab for a proper nightcap at the National Hotel on the Rue Saint-Martin. Over a tequila infused concoction she confessed that her previous boyfriends accused her of being over the top, excessive, manic. I was starting to understand why. Once you wound her up she was a dynamo. Realizing that the current nightcap wasn't really a nightcap she was thinking of after hours clubs we could go to. Neighborhood didn't matter. Finally, we decided to head back to my apartment.

As I was saying Ms Ruby Tuesday was typical French. She reminded me of a previous French girlfriend from years past. The mating ritual is so different than New York. There's a lot of push forward and pull back. For example, she would look into my eyes with passion and say "what do you really want?" And when I responded "I want you close to me, to taste your mouth," she would seductively smile and respond "I don't think I want that." This banter continued as I opened a bottle of Vacqueyras.

And when the clothes started flying off and she kissed me I was smitten. There are 3 types of kisses: 1) Chemistry killers, 2) Sweet but lacking complexity, and 3) Welcome to nirvana. This was level 3.

Our bathumping session started at 4:00 am and just kept going. She was an orgasm machine. Every time I thought I would fall asleep for a bit she put her tongue in my mouth and revived me for another hour. At one point she climbed on top of me and said, "I'm going to lick you like an animal. Like a fucking dog." And her tongue was all over my body and I took a momentary break from thinking about the raw pleasure of it all to realize that this was a moment in time that I would remember forever.

When she left at noon she told me that we probably wouldn't see each other again. She pulled out her phone and showed me a bunch of other matches on the app. I was devastated.

The next day - to my surprise - she texted a "thank you for dinner" note over. Probably 1 in 10 American women are polite enough to do this. Just saying. Femme fatale or not, at least she had manners.

Two days later I was passing a wine shop and saw her favorite wine: Saint Joseph. I took a photo and sent it to her. "Is this the wine you like?" I asked, followed by "Fuck - I was trying not to think about you but couldn't help it."

She responded by confirming the selection and inviting me to lunch. And paying for lunch. I'm looking at you American women - just saying. If you put NO HOOKUPS in your profile then at some point split the bill and act like a partner.

She came over later that night for a bottle of Languedoc and a dip in the jacuzzi I was fortunate enough to have in the apartment. To feel the heat of her body next to mine was extasy. Her private parts had a bit more bush than I was used to which I casually mentioned to her. Her reply: "if you don't like it then shave it off." Which I did.

The next morning she told me she didn't feel strongly enough about us as a couple. That news came as I was really starting to fall for her. Smitten! Devastated! I couldn't see her again. But two days later when she invited me to join some friends of hers for a night out, I immediately accepted.

We went to some nightclub in the 11eme and danced for hours to a wild mix of music. Old David Johansson, Brazilian Forro, Prince, French pop. At 4:00 in the morning, after her friends left the two of us headed to au pied du cochon for a late night dinner. At that hour, it's a brightly lit place for very shady people. She pointed out the high end call girls, mistresses, criminals, etc. No one who was leading an honorable life was there at that hour.

I popped the question "can't we be lovers?"

"No" she responded, as she held my hand tight and gave me that seductive look.

A few hours later I was in the British Airways lounge waiting for my flight back to New York. Groggy, heart broken, invigorated I received a text from Ms. Ruby Tuesday. "Have a great trip. I hope to see you in New York!"

For a second I thought I was dating again. But was I?

In good health, wine, and tequila,

— JJF


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