Business is pleasure for Francesca “Frankie” Parker, Montreal’s go-to guide for all things seductive in the Underground City. “Sexy Tourism for Canada’s Fetish Capital” is what her card promises, and mon ami, she delivers. So toss the travel pamphlets and enjoy your tour as Frankie leads you deep into the Sin City of the North and all your wildest fantasies. If you haven’t developed a fetish yet, don’t worry – by the time Frankie bids you adieu, you may have a hard time choosing a favorite!
Conjuring Sex Appeal: Creating the Cast of Naked Montreal
By Laura Roberts
Naked Montreal is a relatively unique series, in that my main character, Francesca (aka Frankie), is one of the only constants in a growing cast of characters. As a tour guide to Montreal’s Underground City – which includes everything the official guidebooks don’t want visitors to know about, from sex shops and strip clubs to restaurants where you can eat sushi off live nude girls – she’s the one that sets up all of the action and gives background information on the places her clients visit. So naturally, she needs to be knowledgeable as well as charming, seductive, dressed to kill, and eager to please.
Frankie’s a fun character, because she’s seen it all before, but loves to introduce newcomers to her city. My main inspiration for Frankie’s character came from my own time as a sex columnist in Montreal. I often felt a bit like a tour guide, writing my weekly columns about different places in the city that catered to people’s sexual appetites, giving them an insider’s view of places like the “sexy breakfast” joints where waitresses serve coffee and pancake topless or the sex shop that aimed to please women rather than men.
Collecting all of these stories each week, there was inevitably plenty of information I had to leave out, due to space constraints, and I ended up jotting additional notes into a file that eventually became Naked Montreal. Lucky for Frankie, she gets to get out of the house and explore all of Montreal’s sexiest secret spots while she’s on the clock. It’s definitely a better-paid gig than that of a newspaper columnist, despite what Sex and the City might have led you to believe.
One writer friend has compared Frankie to Virgil, Dante’s tour guide through Hell in the Divine Comedy, although I like to envision her more as a bawdy Beatrice, guiding visitors through Montreal’s eternal pleasures.
As for my colorful cast of supporting characters, however, it’s always something new!
Frankie has a few associates from the sex industry that she calls on for information, advice and companionship. These characters include Joy Hendricks, the proprietor of Joy Toys (a woman-friendly sex shop); Honey Lee, a self-made indie porn star and director; El Greco, a male escort who enjoys the kinky side of sex; and a trio of French-speaking male strippers named Jean-Marc, Maxime and Luc.
Joy is a completely fictional character, even though there is a real sex shop in Montreal by the name of Joy Toyz. I thought it would be fun for the owner of a woman-positive sex shop to be all-business with her clients, yet eager to tease – and please – an intimate like Frankie. Since they frequently share business associates (Frankie, as the fixer, will bring groups of women to the store for parties where they can sample toys in a private space, sans judgment), they’ve become close enough to flirt with one another. Joy and Frankie are both open to same-sex relationships, too, so they’ve hooked up a few times over the years.
Honey Lee (who appears in Part Two) is someone Frankie met when they were both a bit younger, stripping as a way to pay the bills. Both of them were ultimately more entrepreneurial-minded and couldn’t stand having to share their hard-earned dollars with so many men (a pitfall of most strip clubs), so while Honey branched off into creating adult videos for her own website, Frankie began setting up her sexy Montreal tours to reel in the tourist dollars. I haven’t fully explored their relationship yet, but I do know that Frankie also worked for Honey at some point as an amateur adult film actress, which she found more rewarding than working as a cam girl for another local company – and I will definitely be including more scenes with Frankie and Honey Lee in my forthcoming additions to the Naked Montreal series!
El Greco appears in Part One in a brief cameo. He doesn’t get to strut his stuff, due to some plot twists, but he’ll be back to show off the goods to a few lucky ladies in another installment. Although he’s won Mr. Leather contests in the past and loves men more than women, he’s got the buff body women love and doesn’t mind swinging both ways to make a buck.
Jean-Marc, Maxime and Luc are a package deal, and a bit of an amalgamation of different fun-loving, sexy guys I met while dating in Montreal. These three happen to be male strippers, frequently found onstage at two of the city’s clubs, giving women plenty to froth over. Jean-Marc likes to seduce women with his French accent and any number of absurd pick-up lines that make no sense when translated to English. Maxime is more of a goth and a book nerd, quoting Rilke and seducing women with poetry he scribbles in a Moleskine notebook that can always be found in his back pocket. Luc is the rock star of the trio, concentrating more on his hip-shaking dances to woo women. Together they occasionally moonlight as escorts, and Frankie considers them her go-to guys for entertaining female visitors to the city. In Part One we find them whooping it up in an absinthe bar, teaching three American women how to properly fly with the green fairy.
Of course, there are always plenty of visitors to Montreal, and lots of them like to look Frankie up for a good time. Perhaps you will, too?
My name's Francesca Parker, but everyone calls me Frankie. I'm a tour guide, in case you hadn't guessed. Mostly because I love facts – or perhaps more correctly, I'm addicted to trivia.
I like to know exactly how many people live in my city at any given time (currently 3.6 million), because I enjoy picturing them all having sex. I like to know how our male/female demographics break down (48% male, 51% female) so I can accurately picture the possible threesomes (FFM, not MMF, though it depends on the swingers in question). I like knowing there are about 15,000 rainbow flag-waving LGBTQ folks living in The Village; that an average Montrealer's yearly income is around $68,000 (Canadian, bien sûr), that the average price of an evening out is around $125, and the median age of city residents is 39. All of these facts and figures help, in my line of work.
And not for the reasons you might think.
Showing people around town is relatively easy. Montreal's a beautiful city, full of cobblestones, spiral staircases, and quaint 19th century French architecture. It has the je ne sais quoi that the tourists love. But it's not what they come to me for.
They come to have a good time. Good food, strong drinks, a little dancing – and a little more, if you know what I mean. Not the average tourist stuff, the Bateau Mouche on the river, dinner on Mount Royal. They can get that from any guide in the city. They come to me for l'amour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Laura Roberts writes about sex, travel and ninjas. Because what's better than hot sex on a dream vacation while dodging shuriken?
As the author of the “V for Vixen” sex column, Laura began her career writing about Montrealers’ sexcapades, which have been collected together for her book, The Vixen Files. Blending real-life observations with fictional fantasies, she’s penned parts 1 and 2 of her serial novel, Naked Montreal, along with the short story collection The Montreal Guide to Sex, saucy poetry volume 69 Sexy Haiku, and satirical novella Ninjas of the 512. She’s currently hard at work on a sexy murder mystery entitled The Case of the Cunning Linguist.
Laura lives in an Apocalypse-proof bunker in sunny SoCal with her artist husband and their literary kitties, and blogs regularly at Buttontapper.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Signed by the author via Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/originaloflaura
Laura will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card + free ecopy of Naked Montreal to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway