Skin on skin or it doesn't go in
There are tons of hotels in New York City, and I'm sure there are plenty of hourly hotels. BUT hourly sex hotels separate themselves from the brood with their explicit intentions.
The Liberty Inn is a hotel for fucking. This was abundantly clear as my girlfriend and I sat on the bed and listened to the chorus of groaning, pumping, and skin-slapping in the rooms around us. It was a cacophony of guttural pleasure that permeated the air and seeped into our skin in a very uncool way.
All we could do was sit and listen to the sounds of friends, lovers, and perfect strangers plugging each other silly in the rooms next to us.
American Psycho style
I had read online that the Liberty Inn has six channels of free pornography on the massive room TV in front of the bed... and boy, do I love being right all the time. We sat on the bed and watched some comically low-budget XXX -- well, I sat on the bed, my girlfriend stood near the windowsill and made comments.
It was bad porn... the kind of startlingly low-budget '90s porn that makes you appreciate the notion of HD erotic. You know the stuff: rail-thin, coked-up blonde girl with comically fake breasts and an obligatory guy with a penis.
"Oh my God, look at her vagina!" my girlfriend cried.
"She's not even wet. He's sucking on it like it's an oyster." I laughed and looked up at my own reflection -- I think it's a common courtesy for love hotels to feature an enormous mirror on the ceiling... you know, for those American Psycho moments when you want to watch yourself having sex and flex your muscles in the mirror.
Man, I wish I had muscles.
The Liberty Inn > Pyongyang
The room itself couldn’t have been more than 50sqft, including the bathroom. In one corner was an "exercise" pad with a laminated set of instructions explaining how the maids will clean it with antibacterial cleaner.
While my darling dearest refused to have sex with me due to her fear of cross-contamination from bed bugs, dried lube, crusted semen, or some kind of horrific amalgamation of the three, I couldn't have asked for better company. We swept the room for details like the crack squad of amateur reporters the hotel turned us into.
We were the Hardy Boys, but way cooler. Shelby Woo, but not Asian. Sherlock Holmes and Watson, except I was deeply attracted to Watson and wished she'd let me at least get to third base. We were just two people in love at a sex hotel. As we peered out the window across the Hudson, our view of Jersey gave us some semblance of normalcy that we deeply desired in such a strange place.
Comparatively speaking, a night at the Liberty Inn kicked ass compared to a night in Pyongyang or 1950s East Berlin. It wasn't until afterward, silently munching on a couple of burgers down the block, that we could finally reflect on the two hours we had just had in a hotel designed for sex.
"I'm going to take a shower when I get home," she said.
"I'll probably just wait until tomorrow..."
I ended up (begrudgingly) showering that night, still unwilling to let go of the Austin Powers/Blue Valentine fantasy that I was hoping to walk into. I have to admit that I was disappointed, which usually happens when I try to bring any semblance of cinema into my real life. I knew it wasn't going to be romantic, but I wish there had been more than that coffin-sized room with blurry porn.
I guess, what I really wanted, was a love-makin' hotel rather than a room for fucking. However, if you have to go the extra mile to hide your lascivious behavior at the Liberty Inn, you're not in the position to choose your surroundings.
Oh, by the way: that ATM in the hotel's lobby? Using it caused my bank to cancel my debit card. Suspicious activity, you know? That's the UTI of finance.
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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and is writing this from the shower.