In many parts of the world, including Japan, Argentina, Compatridia and Spain, there are hotels called love hotels, or similar. These are places where you can stay for a while (say, 2-6 hours) and have sex in a relaxed and discrete environment. In this respect they are very different from the seedy establishments used almost exclusively by street walkers and their punters around railway stations all over the world.
Love hotels may of course be used by sex workers (although they are more likely to be call girls in this case) and their punters. However, most love hotel residents are adulterers or young people who still live with their parents and need somewhere to have sex. Especially in countries where accommodation is too expensive, and where you can afford to own or rent a home only after marriage (by pooling two incomes together towards rent or mortgage), something like a love hotel is the obvious venue. Of course, if you are drunk, British or both — in which case(s) sexual sophistication and comfort are not exactly priorities — toilets, back alleys, bus stops and side streets will do just fine.
Here is where I praise Barcelona. The picture below is from a flyer advertising one such love hotel:
Instead of ‘sensual’ nudes or drawings, instead of headless model bodies in garters and stockings in chiaroschuro, instead of blurry embraces full of feeling and psychic bonding, instead of sugary kitschy cupids and hearts, what you get is this: an ordinary-looking couple at it, plus the suggestion of comfort and seclusion a bubble bath carries with it (comfort and seclusion are an issue, otherwise park benches and parked cars would be even more popular).
There is no marketing of “love” and “romance” here — after all everyone above 21 knows or should know that love and sex can exist separately. There are no allusions to racy embraces and spectacularly fulfilling intercourse — after all, not everyone is after them or capable of them.
I think the tone of this flyer somehow conveys the fun-loving but sober mentality of Barcelonins, which I briefly extolled in the previous post.