Culture Wine & Food

    The cafe's promotional material

    The Fellatio Cafe is a low blow for London’s food scene

    4 August 2016

    There’s an epidemic of wobbly bits at the moment. Everywhere you look, people’s privates are hanging loose, and it’s putting me off my Quorn sausages. First it was that show on Channel 4, Naked Attraction, then Bunyadi – ‘London’s only naked restaurant’, and now: the Fellatio Cafe.

    I read about this appetising enterprise today in the Independent, where its founder – Bradley Chavet – was interviewed. He stands proudly, with a coffee in his hand. You could be fooled into thinking he’s the latest star of Silicon Valley with the expression he’s wearing, as if to say: ‘Look, Mum and Dad. I’ve made it.’

    Chavet will open the first Fellatio Cafe in Geneva later this year, and then plans to expand to London’s Paddington (which, to be fair to him, does need a bit of excitement). At the cafe, customers will be offered fellatio and a cup of their favourite coffee, £50 per head.

    Innovation is a wonderful thing, and over the past few years London has seen a number of imaginative joints open – such as the Cereal Killer Cafe and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. But the Fellatio Cafe takes the biscuit. And I’m hoping that Sadiq Khan will have it out with Chavet, and reject his strange concept of cocks and coffee.

    The Fellatio Cafe is part of a wider issue – ‘prod culture’, as I call it. There are now so many things to help people explore their sexuality that I fear we have ended up in an eternal gastroscopy of gonads. So much so that prostitution has entered the mainstream, and not even a cup of coffee can be enjoyed without mention of winkies or worse.

    We laugh at the concept of the Fellatio Cafe, but let me tell you, Chavet is like Donald Trump – bear with me – and the cafe is his wall (though I think the cafe is more probable). Beyond the silliness, I suspect that there are many who secretly want it to go ahead. Indeed, one in ten British men have paid for sex; that’s a lot.

    This is a low point for the restaurant industry, because it completely excludes female customers from the outset. At least we can console ourselves that we are not working for Chavet’s business, where we’d be considered equal to a coffee machine.

    It’s strange that as our society becomes more technological and interconnected, we expect our human interactions to work with similar aplomb. Now we can buy romantic services in an organised and casual way, as if renewing our Netflix subscription. Sexual reductionism is on the rise, with so many television shows and cultural entities that promote people as body parts, services or both. As a result, the public is increasingly desensitised to the lewd. Just this week, reports have come out that millennials are more celibate than ever; probably sick to death of nudity on the TV.

    Still, we must not be so desensitised as to let prostitution, which so regularly limits women’s quality of life, seep into our culture and every day activities. Luckily the Fellatio Cafe still has many legal loopholes to go through before Chavet can go ahead – like bypassing the UK’s ban on pimping, and owning or managing a brothel, among other things. Plus there would be the food industry regulations too. Whatever happens, I guarantee that Chavet’s venture will suck.