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Afternoon Delight

How One Couple Spiced Up Their Sex Life

Adding some zing to married sex can come in many forms, but no matter what new idea you try, your relationship is typically strengthened by the shared experience. We liked this unique tale of a couple who travels to a foreign country and tries a new spin on the "afternoon delight" concept. —Glo

I'd told my husband that I'd booked us a private session with a Pilates instructor. As we approached the nondescript building, Rob started asking questions: “Are you sure this is the address?” We were on a working vacation in Buenos Aires, and my bungling of Spanish had become a joke between us. “It's where she keeps her equipment,” I said. Then Rob noticed a sign: albergue transitorio, or “temporary lodging.” “Zoe,” he said worriedly, “I think this place is for prostitutes.” ...Read More

I pushed past him to reception, where I planned on ordering a “suite con hidro,” as my two expat friends had coached me. But the clerk, sitting behind bulletproof glass, was helping another couple. As we waited, Rob began to grin: “Are we getting a room?” he whispered. I giggled, still insisting that we were there for Pilates. The woman ahead of us began to laugh as well. We were all about to have sex! How embarrassing! How exciting! Her huge implanted breasts bounced, and it occurred to me that she actually did look like a hooker. Her companion was talking on his phone: something, something “puta” — in plain English, “whore.” I stopped laughing.

I'd been assured that all sorts of people frequent telos (“love hotels” is the closest English translation) — young couples who live with their parents, married people having affairs and couples with children who want peace and privacy, like my husband and me. According to an organization that represents telos, there are 180 of them in Buenos Aires alone, ranging from the modest El Paraiso I'd chosen, where a basic room — bed and small bath — costs about 40 pesos ($10) for three hours, to the deluxe General Paz, where rooms can fetch $115. General Paz features private elevators that lead directly from an underground parking lot into an elegantly appointed suite — perfect for trysts between, say, South Carolina governors and their Argentine soul mates.

There are telos with themed rooms featuring blackboards and miniature desks or faux-jeweled Oriental boudoirs. At Caravelle, in the trendy Palermo Soho neighborhood, you can get in touch with your superpowers in the bat cave. Other telos cater to gay couples, provide extra beds for orgies, or come with special chairs that look like a cross between something you'd find at the dentist's and the gynecologist's offices. Our 55-peso room was pretty vanilla, with a large Jacuzzi (hidro) on the first level and a bed and wall-mounted TV up a small flight of stairs. The windows were darkened, blocking out the bright sun of a South American afternoon.

When we got inside, I sniffed the air and scanned the tiled floor. Everything looked and smelled reasonably clean, but I couldn't shake the memory of the guy preening to his friend on the phone. Rob sat on the bed and gingerly bounced up and down. The prospect of afternoon sex in a cheap hotel room seemed to make him alternately nervous and excited. He reached to take my hand. “Want a massage?”

I pulled away and crossed my arms. “Did you catch that guy calling the girl a ‘puta'?” “Not puta,” Rob replied. “Punto.Al Punto del amor.' I think he was telling his friend that he had to go because he was ‘on the point of love.'”

“On the point of love,” I repeated. I liked the sound of that. I sat down next to Rob and nodded toward the TV. “So do you think they have a porn channel?”

With our responsibilities locked outside the red metal door and three hours alone, we made love that afternoon with a level of abandon and enthusiasm that I hadn't felt since our early dating days.

Oh yeah, I thought with a smack-in-the-forehead revelation, I'm hot for this man.

Over the next few weeks, Rob and I returned to telos twice more. We'd made sex dates in the past — scheduling around work deadlines or favorite TV shows (pathetic, I know) — but it was hard not to view them as another item for my to-do list. In Buenos Aires, I looked forward to our “Pilates,” wondering which room we'd get and what would happen. I was fantasizing — fantasizing — about having sex with my husband.

The anonymity and knowledge that everyone was there for the same purpose freed us from both our work-day selves and our usual inhibitions. Whether it was a willingness to try new positions or role-play, what happened in the telo stayed in the telo: It didn't become a new staple on the married-sex diet. We could be whomever we wanted. On our second excursion, I was Adriana and Rob, Pablo. We'd met online and made a date for sex. When I found him sitting on the bench out front, I told him that he looked even cuter in person. When we got to the room, he wondered aloud if the gorgeous Paraguayan chambermaid in the hall (very much flesh and blood) might be persuaded to join us. “Hmmm,” I cooed. “Maybe you should ask.”

Rob started for the door. “Wait!” I said. “Aren't we just pretending?” I wasn't able to leave my regular self that far behind, after all, but she (and her evening turndown service) provided much fodder for that afternoon.

Back in Brooklyn, reminiscing about those languorous afternoons, Rob and I have concocted a new fantasy: Turning the rentals in our brownstone into a mini telo. We start working through what we'd charge, how many turns we could expect per day, and we get excited. The extra cash! The good deed for parents! But who are we kidding? Between tea parties on one end and Tiger Woods on the other, there's no room in American culture for a clean, discreet place devoted exclusively to having sex.

What in Buenos Aires had seemed so sane and normal looked slightly tawdry here. What would our neighbors think? We imagine the campaign: NSIMBY- No Sex in My Backyard.

  • Livening up your sex life could be as simple as a mid-day roll in the hay.

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Afternoon Delight
How One Couple Spiced Up Their Sex Life
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