The Liberty Inn

This is New York’s preeminent hourly hotel. Their business is hourly, not daily. Their web site proclaims that they are “your rendezvous for romance.”  There’s no pretense it’s otherwise, no shame or secrecy in what they are. Their rates are posted, their rules are posted. They provide a specific service and they do it well. The rooms are steam-cleaned between guests. There are only two sounds inside the hotel: the sound of fucking and the sound of cleaning.

Guests have a wide choice of porn, included in the price of admission. Some of the rooms (particularly on the ground floor) have mirrors on the ceiling. They are lit with soft purple neon – the light obscures the imperfections on the walls – and the guests. Everyone, it turns out, looks good in soft purple light in a ceiling mirror.

On the floor by the door is a black vinyl cube – it unfolds to a curvy, wedge shape, “for all your favorite exercises,” says the laminated placard next to it. There are two sets of lights – regular and those labeled “romantic.” In many of the rooms, Jacuzzis fill the bathroom. In all the rooms, the floors are heated.

It’s not quite luxurious, but it does have features to which one is (I am) unaccustomed. It’s how a working-class family might decorate their house if sex were there top (or really, their only) priority. Accessories aren’t expensive, but they are present.

And then… and then….

When you leave, anyone you pass in the hall or in the lobby knows what you just did. And you know what they did: they either did what you did, or they just cleaned up after what someone else, doing what you did, did.

There’s something… liberating? exhilarating? about being in this post-coital environment.

Sex so often goes unspoken. We ride the subway, eat in restaurants, shop in stores, and everyone we encounter fucks. (Well, almost everyone.) It’s a commonplace that we all think about it all the time. But we rarely acknowledge this.

At the Liberty Inn alone (apart from sex clubs), fucking is the point.

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