Paris Shop Signs, Part Five: Sex Edition

Some Streets (and This Piece) Should Be R-Rated

October 2, 2012By David JaggardC'est Ironique!
Paris Update Layher-Scaffolding
It’s the biggest scaffolding contractor in Paris, with signs all over town, sending a not-so-subliminal message to the male population.

The City of Light has long been associated with a light-handed attitude toward morality. By some accounts, Parisians are a bunch of hormone-addled sex maniacs who see something suggestive everywhere they turn. And, judging from the material I collected for this fifth installment of a regular feature (see parts one, two, three and four), that’s quite an accurate assessment.

Consider this soft drink ad, which was spotted by gracious reader P.K. Munroe:

Paris Update Orangina-Ad
In France, even Bambi gets pearls, lash extensions and a Wonderbra.

Conclusion: this is a culture in which they can’t sell a bottle of orange soda without sexing it up. And, in some neighborhoods, it seems like the entire city is sexed up with sex shops, like this one on Rue La Fayette near the Gare de l’Est:

Paris Update Sex-Shop-Gare-De-L-Est
Judging from the blackened “x” right above the door, there must be something smokin’ hot going on in there.

And what exactly are they selling at that sandwich stand on the right?

Paris Update Hummeur-Buns
I still don’t know what “hummeur” means on a lunch menu — when I went in to ask, they told me to try next door.

I guess it’s a symbiotic arrangement: a confused customer could walk into either place, ask for a “hummeur” or “buns” and get some kind of satisfaction. And if he’s still not sufficiently sated afterwards, right around the corner is this perhaps aptly named hotel:

Paris Update Hotel-Hor
If they open a branch in Manhattan, it could be called the Hotel Hor NY.

Speaking of confused customers, I bet they get quite a few Anglophone guests who are sorely disappointed with the room service. They might find what they’re looking for at this place on Rue du Temple:

Paris Update Fanny-Fouks
If it quoaks like a douk…

Then again, they might not. It’s probably just an unfortunate choice of trade name. Speaking of which, there is a Vietnamese restaurant on Rue Descartes that used to be called…

Paris Update Dac-Phuc
This photo from Google Earth dates from a few years ago.

…but they apparently grew tired of the constant snickering of passing tourists, because the place was renovated last year and reopened with a new name:

Paris Update Hong-Phuc

Ah, yes. Muuuuuuch better.

Maybe they’ll open a massage parlor next door called “Hong Phood.” And maybe they also own this establishment near Pigalle:

Paris Update Yin Yang Massage
Since this is in the red-light district, isn’t there a “g” missing?

And maybe the plumber who Hong out this sign on Rue Maubeuge is a regular customer:

Paris Update Plumber-Sign-Close
Always nice to see a man who loves his work. And his tools.

My advice: if you hire this guy, don’t leave him alone in the bathroom. And you better hope that he — or any of the employees of Layher, Hotel Hor or any of the businesses shown here — doesn’t ride one of these scooters:

Paris Update Stalker-Scooter-Close

It doesn’t stop for red lights. Or restraining orders.

Seen a ridiculous (or ridiculously sexy) sign in Paris? Send a photo to

© 2012 Paris Update


An album of David Jaggard’s comic compositions is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, for purchase (whole or track by track) on iTunes and Amazon, and on every other music downloading service in the known universe, under the title “Totally Unrelated.”

Note to readers: David Jaggard’s e-book Quorum of One: Satire 1998-2011 is available from Amazon as well as iTunes, iBookstore, Nook, Reader Store, Kobo, Copia and many other distributors.

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