Let’s talk about sex! We deserve it. And as in most countries of the world, this is a touchy subject here in Brazil. Because some people have this very wrong image of Brazilian women as easy to get. The big problem with sex tourism, mainly in the poor northeastern part of Brazil, may add to this misunderstanding, because the everyday life in Brazil is quite different. Brazilians tend to be quite conservative, especially when it comes to sex. And so it is even more fascinating for me to see, that there is a very obvious and efficient logistic of sex here. A whole business sector for the logistics of having sex in Brazil. Let’s talk about Motels.
My confusion with dating in the US
But first lets talk about relationships. When I was living in the US I found the American approach to starting a relationship interesting but also very confusing. “Is it a date?” was the respond, when asking a woman out for a beer. This confused me. A date is a serious approach in which both parties are testing the other for being a potential partner. But how should I know this before getting to know the person first? The practical formalism of dating seemed strange to me, it still does. I always preferred to get to know someone and then let things happen. Or not …. the latter was what mainly happened in my case.
My confusion with Motels in Brazil
Luckily, when I came to Brazil I was already married, so I did not have to go through any of this confusion about dating a Brazilian woman in Brazil. But since I spent some time in São Paulo, I was soon confronted with the concept of Motels. Because when you take almost any highway out of São Paulo, let’s assume you want to go to Santos, there are these sometimes strange looking buildings with very flashy billboards on the side of the road. (To get an idea, take a quick look on a motel guide for São Paulo). These Motels are strangely fascinating building and completely shut-off from the outside: most of them are theme-styled arrangements of rooms and suites, which you can be rented by the hour or for a whole night. You can usually enter without leaving your car, park in a private garage from which you enter your room(s) – everything is possible without the necessity of showing your face. And yes, motel rooms and suites can be very fancy (and expensive) with indoor pools, saunas, various flat-screen TVs and other amenities.
The sex infrastructer…
But Motels come, as their rooms, in all colors, shapes and variations. You can rent a simple room with a bed for a small price or a big suite with pool, sauna, a pole for pole dancing, showers with glass walls, even a seperate room with a pool table, sun roof etc. Many have room service, but of course nobody enters your room, instead you order via phone and your food and drinks are put into some kind of a box in the wall, accessible from both sides, from where you take your order whenever you want. But three things are almost all Motels seem to have in common: a bed, a shower and a TV with a leat one porn channel (though some motels advertise the TV extra and stress, that there is not only one but many porn channels). There are even motels with “Swing Suites” aka more than one bedroom – for sharing couples. Brazil may be conservative, but then again, not everyone is.
…in the outskirts..
Big streets and the outskirts of the cities are where motels are usually situated, but some of them are in the cities. And you might wonder, who uses them? At least I was wondering, because the concept of motels is not known in Germany, where hotels paid by the hour are only used for professional sex workers. And in the USA motels are something completely different. Let met tell you – basically everyone in Brazil is using them or has been using them at one point of their life.
… for the people not living alone…
Because in Brazil young people usually live with their parents until they get married – even in the more progressive states and in a big city like São Paulo this is absolutely common. So when it comes to sexual encounters, a Motel is the easiest, most affordable and hassle-free and usually only way to do it. You don’t want to invite a stranger or your partner to your parent’s house, where privacy is often not the highest concern.
There are other advantages of this sexual infrastructure, of course. Brazilian men (and sometimes women) are said to not be very faithful, and to them Motels offer a comfortable way to organize an affair, away from your home, partner and maybe children. In respect to that, and since paying with a credit card is absolutely common in Brazil, many motels bill your card without their name, but with cryptic or harmless sounding titles.
…or just for fun and to get into the mood
And not only that, some people I know – all of them happily married for quite a while – told me that they like to go to a motel every once in a while as a special treatment for themselves. It is like going to a spa, only that you know that you are not necessarily (or only) getting a massage. Motels in Brazil seem to me like adult playgrounds, a comfortable way to have fun and take care of the most important unimportant thing in life.
To say it with Voltaire’s words: “God created sex. Priests created marriage.“ And Brazil created Motels.