There is no sign over the door. A surveillance camera discreetly monitors those trying to get in. Jeans are not permitted — or trousers of any kind for women. Welcome to Les Chandelles, the most exclusive club échangiste, or swingers’ club, in Paris.

A plush, winding stairway leads down into a bar and subterranean warren of velvet-walled alcoves where “Madame Valérie”, a brunette with a penchant for white silk and six-inch heels, holds sway from her “boudoir”.

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