It’s Valentine’s Day in the world’s most romantic capital and as some couples cosy up in restaurants around Paris, others furtively slip through a purple tinted door for a night of sexual titillation at a libertine nightclub.
One by one accountants, engineers, businessmen and parents are buzzed into the discreet club on the banks of a Parisian canal, where gently flickering lights play across an interior decorated in warm, sensual reds and violets.
Couples like Nathalie and Antonio, Maxime and Aurelia, enter what appears to be a normal nightclub, with a large bar area where a sumptuous buffet is set up, and a mirrored dancefloor.
But a closer look reveals that alongside buckets full of champagne and peanuts on the bar, are glass jars stuffed with condoms.
Quai 17 is one of nearly 500 libertine, or swingers clubs, across France — a sexual lifestyle that has come under the spotlight in the trial of former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn.