I had a friend who would—for his live-in girlfriend’s birthday or their anniversary—book a hotel room in the same city they lived in. Which is clearly insane. I couldn’t figure out why his girlfriend liked this. “Hey, for your present, I’m taking you on vacation—down the street!” That’s like buying her a piece of jewelry she already has and making her pack a suitcase to get it.
Then, when I had to book a hotel through a magazine’s travel department and they suggested the Mondrian, an expensive place in Los Angeles, I took it, since I was traveling with a girlfriend I wanted to impress and I was a magazine writer, which doesn’t impress anyone. The huge lobby, the employees constantly saying hi—all of it did nothing for me. But interestingly it made her want to have sex. I don’t think it even mattered that the sex was with me; I think she just wanted to have sex inside that hotel room. If I had understood all of this earlier, not only would I have booked way nicer hotels, but I would have gone to Cornell’s hotel school.
I’ve since learned that when a woman walks into a hotel room she immediately starts to think about sex, whereas I think about sex no matter where I am. I’m thinking it’s a good time to have sex when we’re hiking in a forest. When we’re in a car. When we’re at a place with a one-person bathroom. When we’re at a place with a bathroom for a whole lot of people but it has stalls with doors on them. Basically anytime we’re in a room and our biological parents are not.
Women think about sex in a hotel room because it’s the one place they don’t have to stress about stuff. Dinner? Not their responsibility. The pile of laundry that has to be cleaned? There isn’t one. But there’s about to be. You can say lame stuff like that in a hotel room and still have sex.
There’s no stack of bills, no stack of dishes in the sink, no stack of magazines they’re supposed to read. In other words, when the worries of the world are removed, women think just like men. Or the logical contrapositive: Men’s minds are always empty.
The hotel’s pay-per-view television still has porn, which seems to make no sense in this age of wi-fi. It’s there because women will playfully suggest watching porn in a hotel room even if you can never coax them into doing that at home. Because on a hotel TV—for 15 discreetly billed dollars (approximately infinity higher than the cost of far superior porn online)—porn is classy. This super nice hotel, after all, has sanctioned it. This is rich-people porn. Porn in which men might ask permission before they come on your face.
I would have imagined all this to be even truer in a crappy motel room, which is a place where you don’t have to think about anything, and when you do think about something it’s really, really dirty. In fact, I have no idea what people do in cheap motel rooms besides have sex. Maybe drugs. But they probably have sex after the drugs.
But in a bad motel women are right back to worrying about things—specifically, the kind of things that happen in bad motels. Bedbugs, dirty bathrooms. Even women who fantasize about bad things happening to them want to act those things out only in a really nice hotel room.
The reason men cheat when they’re away at conferences isn’t that they know they won’t get caught. They would cheat anyway. It’s that conferences are the only time women are attracted to them. Because the women at conferences have hotel rooms. And for them, not using a hotel room for sex is like showing up at happy hour and not eating the chicken wings is for us. The point is: Women will have sex with you in a hotel even if you’re married and just ate chicken wings.
I clearly don’t know how women think, but I do know they think. All the time. And if you can find something to turn off all that thinking for 12 to 18 minutes, it’s worth the money. It’s why there are spas, yoga studios, serotonin inhibitors and fashion magazines. And nice hotel rooms. If a hotel room comes with a glass of wine when you walk in and has a robe in the bathroom, make a reservation.
And you can do this anytime. You barely need an excuse. “Oh, I think I might drink a lot at dinner, so let’s get a hotel nearby” works. She won’t mention Uber. She won’t question all the times you drank a lot and didn’t suggest getting a room. Because she’ll already be thinking about sex. And some other stuff. But once she gets to the hotel, she’ll forget all about the other stuff.