Masked by Brazil’s immaculate beaches and shrouded in disguise, love motels in the country are quickly shredding their reputation as dingy places at which couples secretly rendezvous. According to the Brazilian Association of Motels, there are about 5,000 love motels nationwide, as a report by The New York Times concluded. Many of them exude a welcoming facade and are equipped with amenities comparable to luxury hotels. Guests frequent these establishments because they afford a sense of privacy not typically found at one’s disposal, with the motels often playing host to covert affairs or appointments with prostitutes.
As anthropologist Dinah Guimaraens puts it, “Motels in Brazil are like the Disneyland of sex. They provide a combination of entertainment, fantasy and escapism, allowing the middle class to feel powerful for a few fleeting moments.”