This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.
“May I take your order, sir?”
“Yes, I’ll have some café con fellatio, please. Cream and two sugars and a blonde.”
If you ever entertained a future that involved colonizing Mars, a high-speed rail link between New York and San Francisco, and coffee with a blowjob on the side served not in a dimly-lit establishment whose decorative style is best described as seedy minimalism enlivened by gloryholes, but in a respectable-looking restaurant in a respectable city like Geneva, well, you might just get your wish.
I suppose one could say the Swiss are particularly staid about certain things, and permissible about others. Beneath that Calvinist exterior obsessed with keeping precise time, counting money, and making a virtue out of predictability beats a hedonistic heart.
I recall being in the Fogal store in Geneva once, buying hosiery. Well, my choice of nude fishnet tights was positively spinsterish next to what the sexagenarian ladies in their prim but chic Chanel tweeds were buying. Luxury with a touch of lacy and racy was clearly the order of the day.
In fact, it’s rather a European thing, these well-born ladies way past a certain age still vamping it up, at least underneath their clothes. And no mass-produced fast-fashion lingerie for them, not even a mid-market label. It was the level of La Perla, Sabbia Rosa, and Simone Perele all the way. When I visited the Wolford headquarters in Bregenz, Austria, I was told the same thing—senior citizens were snapping up tights, bodysuits, and lingerie that started at 70 euros and went up to quite substantial heights, price-wise. And in Paris, some years back, at the much-awaited Eres sale, I overheard a couple of undeniably seizieme ladies—again in chic suits, sensible but expensive low-heeled pumps and white hair—discussing the one-piece swimsuits they were interested in, remarking at how much they liked the decolletage of this maillot, and the scoop at the back of that. I had to admire them for still wanting to show off their poitrine in their 60s.
However sensuous such women insisted their undergarments should be, and however sexually liberated they were in private, the idea of a public establishment purveying coffee to be savoured at the bar while being orally pleasured would be something they would consider quite vulgar. Did these men really have to go all Patpong and have their cocks sucked with their morning lattes? Could they not go somewhere more discreet but upmarket like Madame Claude’s?
But such is the nature of sexual economics; where there is demand for oral satisfaction, there is an endless supply of mouths to perform the deed, most of them appended to leggy Eastern European stunners who, thanks to borderless travel between member states of the EU and Switzerland, can live, work, and blow men unencumbered by visa restrictions. Besides, prostitution is legal in Switzerland.
Inspired by similar establishments in Thailand, Bradley Charvet, whose company Facegirl specializes in “erotic services,” aims to bring tech into the picture, with the men ordering first their coffee, then their preferred “server” based on an iPad they will be provided with. Then they sit at the bar and wait to be served. It’s over in 10 to 15 minutes, and for about 60 to 70 euros, everybody gets their cup of morning joe. And the most expensive cup of coffee in all of Switzerland.
Bradley told Le Matin newspaper that the partaking of coffee was “un moment privilegie et rapide,” a morning ritual that’s indispensable, enjoyable and quick. Studies, he said, have shown that men perform better at work after having been satisfied in the morning. He’s just offering a simple solution to a therapeutic need.
As for women, Charvet said there were no plans to provide a similar service, but he would look into the matter.
Historically, such services were provided for women, albeit without the jolt of caffeine. But they were not meant to pleasure; rather, they were intended to cure a variety of ailments bundled under the umbrella of “hysteria,” a disorder only women seemed to suffer from. The symptoms ranged from everything, really: insomnia, irritability, impertinence, loss of appetite, phlegmatism, unhappiness, nervousness, disobedience, even.
In Victorian times, a physician would employ manual stimulation to a woman’s genitals until she exploded in paroxysms and was thereby calmed and freed from hysteria. Until the next doctor’s visit, of course.
Curiously, a woman—married, most likely—being masturbated by her doctor was not considered an act of infidelity as the purposes of the hand job were purely therapeutic and not sexual. Besides, a woman’s sexuality was apparently defined by her having a husband; since he was not administering the therapy himself, it was not meant to be a pleasurable experience. The resulting orgasms—paroxysms, they were called—were considered involuntary, because heaven forbid a woman shake all over with pleasure willingly at the hands of a man she was not married to. However, I am sure quite a few sly women visited the doctor under the guise of hysteria just to get their rocks off.
And lest you assume the physicians themselves enjoyed administering the treatment, think again. Many apparently dreaded rubbing their patients’ clits, inserting their fingers into their vaginas and clinically bringing them to climax. It was tiring work, as Hysteria, the 2012 film featuring Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal. So much so that, fed up with the attendant cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome, one enterprising doctor, Joseph Mortimer Granville, decided to patent the world’s first electric vibrator. Called Granville’s Hammer, it freed the doctor’s hands and did the job, with a jolt of electricity to boot.
Still, female sexual pleasure remains a private matter. Men might not care who blows them where as long as they get off, but women have been known to have special relationships with their vibrators. So it’s unlikely that a Vibrator Cafe will be opening anytime soon.
B. Wiser is the author of Making Love in Spanish, a novel published earlier this year by Anvil Publishing and available in National Book Store and Powerbooks, as well as online. When not assuming her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, she takes on the role of serious journalist and media consultant.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.