By Ken Hegan for Toro magazine
So I’m training to become the World’s Greatest Lover. This week: I’m back from a hot summer road trip that took us to some of the seediest, dankest, sexiest motels on the continent.
My favourite was the lovely Bel-Air motel in Penticton, BC.
The Bel-Air is a faded, two-storey, park-in-front-of-the-room joint. I believe it was named after the fancy, lily-white neighbourhood in L.A. where rich celebrities and Fresh Princes cavort in sprawling mansions.
Built in 1967, the Bel-Air motel was renovated in … actually, I’m not sure it’s ever been renovated.
It’s a sun-bleached, horseshoe-shaped motor hotel that surrounds an outdoor pool, picnic tables, and barbecues.
Sure, I found a used earplug floating in the pool. Sure, the pool’s leaking so a running hose is always filling it. And yes, maybe some of the grizzled long-term residents stare too long at your girlfriend’s teeny bikini. But it’s cheap, the management’s friendly, the mattresses are firm, there’s free wi-fi for porn, and if you do it right, motel sex is incredible.
I learned a few tricks during my short hot stay at the Bel-Air. So as a public service then, here they are:
DON’T STAY ON THE GROUND FLOOR
Demand a room on the second floor away from the highway, hot tub, and meth lab, i.e. the room with the blackened window, ‘Keep Out’ sign, security video camera, and scorched grass from poured-out toxic chemicals. The value of a second-floor room:
a) Just like your apartment at home, you want to be the loud one in a motel. You don’t want to be the lonely chump downstairs who’s banging the ceiling with a broom.
b) Prevents sex-interrupting break-ins. Let’s face it: burglars are lazy. They keep their break-ins low to the ground because it makes for a fast escape with fewer witnesses.
PAY IN DODGY CURRENCY
While your girlfriend covers her face in the car, pay with a handful of crumpled greasy bills as if you’ve robbed a gas station. Or pay with a $100 bill that’s half-stained with blue bank heist ink.
AMP UP THE FUN BY CONFUSING THE CLERK
When the clerk slides you the room key, slip him five bucks or a toonie, tap the side of your nose, and say, “We were never here, right?”
Even if you’re not using the motel to cheat on your spouse, it’s fun to pretend you are.
WEAR SUNGLASSES FROM YOUR CAR TO YOUR ROOM
No eye contact with other motel guests. If the long-term residents can’t see your eyes, they’ll be less inclined to strike up a conversation and bore you to tears with boner-killing small talk.
The moment you enter your motel room, hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign over the doorknob and close the drapes. The sign prevents the motel managers (and grizzled long-term tenants) from saying ‘hi’ and interrupting your afternoon delight. The drapes keep your room from boiling up in the Okanagan’s dry desert sun. Pulling the drapes shut also prevents you from getting arrested.
FLING OFF THE SHITTY OLD BEDSPREAD
Kick that syphilis-ridden thing into the closet. And don’t let it touch your skin.
I suppose you could prepare the motel room beforehand with oils and candles and sweet romancey stuff like that. Or you can simply man up, grab your girlfriend by the hair, throw her onto the creaky bed, and flick open your lube.
Face it: motels are for hard pounding sex. Look at the room: the bed’s the centerpiece. Just walking into this den of sin should make you both want to tear off each other’s clothes.
DRINKING FOR ONE
Sure, fill the beer fridge with booze. It’s mainly for women, though, not men. Alcohol’s a major motel mood enhancer but can be a bigger boner killer than talking to the locals. Your hard and fast motel rule: for every two drinks she has, you have one. Keep to this pace and you’ll get both night sex and morning sex.
NEVER TURN ON THE TV
They hire pretty people to act on television. You don’t need the competition.
MOTEL POOLS ARE FOR LATE-NIGHT SKINNY DIPPING
Chevy Chase did it and he got to see Christie Brinkley naked.
ORAL SEX POOL CHAIRS
Motel pools often feature weird vintage lounge chairs. The Bel-Air pool has curvy white ‘ergonomic’ lounge chairs … and they’re great for oral sex. Wait ’til dark when the pool’s shut down. Then hop the low fence, let your girlfriend relax in the chair, and lay a towel on the cement pool deck to keep your knees from getting thrashed on the cement. Then go to town on her.
If the shower rod is strong enough, use it for chin-ups while you’re having sex. Great workout, helluva adrenalin rush.
BUILD A FORT
When it’s time for round 2, 3 or 4, throw all the sheets and pillows to the floor and use them as a sex nest.
MAKE A MESS
Destroy your room with every sex position in the Kama Sutra. Break things. Stain things. Spill all your fluids on everything. Take the paintings down, write filthy diary entries on the back, tape shocking Polaroid photos to the back, and then mount the paintings again.
That’s the beauty of motels. Someone else wants to clean up your mess. If you leave the room looking like it wasn’t used for a crime scene, the motel maid will sigh, judge you, and think you’re bad at sex. You want to satisfy her, too, don’t you?
AVOID SCARY MOTEL MOVIES
Do not watch the horror/thriller films Vacancy, Psycho, Identity, or Joy Ride before you stay in a motel. You’ll never want to travel again.
Read more of Ken’s World’s Greatest Lover columns