Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

Motels: Where Rio gets naughty

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The motel above is where the football star Ronaldo was embroiled in a confusion with a she-male prostitute, a news that hit the headlines of the soccer world a few years ago. This article is about the kind of place he decided to take the object of his desire rather that the fact itself.

The concept of Motels as they are used in Brazil would raise the brows of most people in the Anglo-Saxon world; these are places that rent the room by the hour and are used, and are designed, exclusively for having sex.

Although there are areas in town where they concentrate, namely the beginning of Barra da Tijuca, and a notorious stretch of Avenida Brasil, the motorway that exits Rio, they can be found in one form or another in almost any neighborhood in town. Although they vary in terms of sophistication and of price, they have essentials that are common to all of them: round beds, generous mirrors, an internal video system with porn films, disco-like lighting and a mini bar. The more expensive ones include saunas, mini-swiming pools and all sorts of gadgets to keep the passion alive. They also protect their clients anonymity with an impersonal payment system at the car entrance and with separate and lockable garages.

Their abundance is a testament of their popularity, and they are busy places. Their customers vary from young couples who don’t have anywhere else to go to bosses with their secretaries, illicit couples and prostitutes with their clients. Cariocas are very naughty when it comes to sex and what is unexceptional and understandable for them is downright shocking and immoral in colder climates. The motels are there to prove it.

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