France: Bring Back the Brothels?

Is sex the civilest service of all? Many Frenchmen seem to think so, and there is a campaign building now to institutionalize the point. Back in the halcyon haze of the '20s and '30s maisons de tolérance such as the Sphinx, the Chabanais and above all the One-Two-Two (for 122 Rue de Provence) were Parisian tourist attractions outranking the Louvre and Napoleon's tomb. During World War II, however, the bordellos disintegrated in quality—the Gestapo used them as intelligence sources—and in 1946, Marthe Richard, a municipal council member, led a successful campaign to...

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