Let’s talk about something I am definitely not proud of and Mom, Dad, if you are reading this – feel free to close this window as soon as you can.
Before I came to Korea I had already heard of the legendary Lovemotels you find around every corner. They usually look like a shitty building, with tinyass windows, curtains at the parking lots (you will understand why) and even weirder names. Even though Korean socitey is becoming more and more westernized, talking about sex or even the existance of it is still a big cultural taboo. And since many young Koreans live at home with their parents or in one of the gender-seperated dormitories – having some one-on-one quality time with your significant other can become quite difficult. You might have seen this on a night out before:
A young man and woman (usually in their 20s) standing at the side of the street, desperately trying to get a taxi. They finally spot one, the guy opens the door and helps his way too intoxicated female companien to get in without her flashing everyone with her way too short skirt. Yes…I have been this girl. Multiple times to be honest. What happens afterwards you ask? It’s simple. The destination is already set at this point and doesn’t even need a lot of communication. See it as the equivalent of “Netflix and Chill”. Only with a lot more chill, no Netflix and a more comfortable bed – a thing I like to call “Motel and chill”. Within the first thirty minutes of the couple disappearing in the dusty streets of Seoul the following scenery is routine. They will get off in front of a dark building surrounded by many other tallass buildings that totally look the same, the guy pays and they get in. And this is where the real shit goes down – a side that granted most K-Dramas don’t want you to see and a part that will probably forever be written out of the scripts. The couple gets greeted by an often bad-tempered young girl or older man at the desk. The IDs might get checked and they will get a small bag filled with all the goodies that promise a fun night for everyone – toothbrushes, a hair tie, condoms … The couple usually takes the elevator and once again – disappears in the dark, stuffy hallways of the mystical labyrinth of the motel. The rest of the night is pretty much what you think it is: A drunk girl and a random guy that probably barely remember each other’s names, tearing each other’s clothes down just to fall in that way too bouncy bed with way too many pillows to make love (or in this case fuck) until they pass out. I mean – that’s what they came here for right?
As weird as it might sound … but Lovemotels are a great invention in my opinion. I admit, my experiences with them are mixed – I mean Hey…I’m in general not a big fan of drunk sex with strangers (Shout out to Whisky Dicks and early morning regrets) but at least they give young Koreans a place to outlive their sexual fantasies far away from Mom and Dad, spend some X-rated quality time with their significant other and are a great anonymous place to take your One-Night-Stand to – No weird questions about your old Baby Photos on the wall or, even worse, the awkward excuse in the morning of why you have to kick them out.
Lovemotels – a place not as shady as it sounds like but still awkward enough to make many westerners cringe. As much as I used to hate them I can promise you: The longer you live in Korea the more you will get to love them and granted – enjoyed with the right person you cannot wait to fall into those bigass pillows again after a long night out.