Culture Magazine

Paris Clubs: Not Always Easy to Get in

By Sedulia @Sedulia


I have never been a club-goer and the closest thing I've ever seen to a nightclub I liked was the Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming. I love to dance but I don't like earsplitting music and have never seen the point of standing in line to be looked over by what, in France, are called physionomistes. They're the guys whose job it is to make sure a club has a good mix of people, preferably with lots of pretty, stylish girls and goodlooking, rich guys. 

A, L and N, though, have been going to clubs in Paris since they were about 16. They come home at four, five or six in the morning reeking of cigarettes, tired and happy. N hangs out with an international crowd, often no two people of the same nationality in the group, and always seems to see Lindsay Lohan or people of that ilk at the next table. A and L have been several times to a girls-only club night where the pretty girls (ugly girls are refused entry) are offered free dinners, free drinks, a male-stripper show, and free makeup lessons. (Interesting that girls' reaction to male strippers seems universally to be laughter.) Shortly before midnight, the club opens the doors to the guys... who have to pay at least 30 euros to get in. According to A, they skew quite a bit older than the girls, and look very rich.

"And ... there are all these drunk, beautiful girls!" said A. She likes to go because it's a free, amusing evening once in a while. She always comes home shortly after the guys arrive. ("They're thirty years old!")

But the last time she went with a group of friends, they didn't get in. One of the friends is plain, but far, far worse, doesn't know how to dress. "The bouncer looked us up and down, and he couldn't make up his mind. He called over the other bouncer and he looked one by one at all of us. Then he looked back at [dowdy girl] and just said, 'Mmm, NON.'"

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