Her very first night in Seoul, South Korea, Alex Hamel slept in a hotel dedicated to dirty sex. “It was the middle of the summer, but I slept in long pants and a long-sleeve shirt to minimize contact with the cum-soaked sheets,” she says over the phone.

Although she’d never heard of such slimy establishments before moving abroad, the culture of love hotels is incredibly common outside of America. In a number of Asian, European, and South American countries, love hotels allow anonymous pay-by-the-hour bedrooms for young couples, prostitutes, and spouses.

While neighbors of the bone zones may complain they’re a scourge on the community, love hotels actually create some valuable cultural benefits — discouraging public sex, allowing unmarried young adults to do the deed outside their parents' homes, and offering designated spaces to be kinky in sexually repressed societies.


Couples love getting busy where an audience can witness their O-face. However, public boning is generally a disturbing sight for everyone but the boner and bonee.

To protect the innocent eyes of its unsuspecting natives and visitors, Cuba has recently announced its intentions to open state-run love motels, known locally as “posadas,” to help end the popular practice of bumping uglies in public spaces.

In Havana’s parks and on the peaceful shores of the beaches, sightings of humping couples have become commonplace. This is a natural consequence in areas where scarce housing and overcrowding leave few locations to screw. When poverty makes homelessness pervasive and forces families to live together, paying for a place to plow is difficult.

But at the state-established price of five bucks for three hours, fucking behind closed doors suddenly becomes affordable. As the Spanish newspaper Trabajadores asserts in its news feature about the love hotels’ openings, “El amor no puede convertirse en un lujo,” or “Love cannot become a luxury.”

[Couple on the Malecón seafront, Havana, Cuba]


In cramped countries like Japan and South Korea, young adults tend to live with their parents until marriage. This presents a huge issue for couples who haven’t tied the knot: bone in the bedroom beside mom and dad, or stay celibate until the wedding day.

Love hotels are vital to meeting these couples’ premarital needs. Unlike American youngsters, who begin banging around age 17 in anyplace from cars to closets to treehouses, Asian youngsters demand refined, private spaces with a bit of discretion.

Minimal interaction with staff is the norm. Rooms are often selected using a panel of buttons, and the bill may be paid using a pneumatic tube, a machine, or paying an unseen staff member behind a pane of frosted glass. These seedy features are ideal for unwed couples — whether they’re sexually inexperienced or kinky perverts.

[Select a room with the click of a button. Source: Adam Fletcher]


Not all societies celebrate debaucherous casual sex. In many countries, sexual expression is associated with guilt and shame, and deviants with kinks and fetishes are heavily stigmatized.

However, love motels can fulfill a very human necessity for a sexually accepting space. Accommodations often include rotating beds, ceiling mirrors, and vending machines that exclusively sell sex toys, panties and lube. Many ‘concept’ rooms encourage role playing, designed with intricate themes ranging from space ship, to carnival, to the classic sex dungeon. Sexy school-girl and naughty nurse outfits can even be purchased in the costume shop in the hotel lobby.

[Sleep in a sexy human-sized birdcage. Source: Misty Keasler]

Love motels aren’t a cultural component in the US, but perhaps that should change. Given the myriad benefits they provide, American society could certainly benefit from a few designated bone zones. Until then, shooting splooge all over the homes of our unsuspecting Airbnb hosts will have to do.