1794 c/o Andrew Bomback

One of my favorite things about Geoff Dyer’s Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It, besides its title, is how much sex he has in hotel rooms, sublets, and resorts.

We honeymooned in Hawaii, at a resort in Kona. All guests were given private huts – over there, we referred to them as hales. Each hut was equipped with an empty coconut shell to use as a do not disturb sign. Just before fucking, my wife or I would run out of the hut and put the coconut shell on the front path. We should have taken the shell home as a souvenir. We talk all the time about how great the sex was in that hale.

I stayed at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco for a conference. My colleague, Sally, stayed at the same hotel. One night, when we were returning to the hotel after dinner, a man approached us a few feet from the hotel’s entrance. He was wearing a suit and tie, although the suit was very dirty, and the tie was loosened about halfway down his chest. His glasses were broken and sat crooked atop his nose. He had dried blood on his forehead, and his cheeks were smeared with either dirt or older, dried blood. He told us he had just been mugged by “some black kids” and asked us for twenty dollars cab fare back to his home. Sally and I both apologized and quickly entered the hotel. On the elevator ride back to our rooms, we justified our mutual decisions not to help the man. Me: It doesn’t make sense why he wouldn’t just go into the hotel and ask for help. Or at least use their phone to call someone who could pick him up. The whole thing felt like a scam. Sally: It was weird how he had to tell us it was black kids who mugged him, as if that made the story more sympathetic. Sally hugged me before getting off the elevator at her floor, and then I went back to my room a few floors up. At the time, I considered myself a fiction writer and thought that the scene downstairs might be interesting for a story. Specifically, a married man goes away on a business trip, meets a woman at his hotel, takes her out to dinner and drinks, and on the drunken walk back to their hotel, they encounter a man who says he’s just been mugged. I didn’t flesh out the story much beyond that fairly generic set-up and the idea that this unfortunate confrontation would likely ruin any impending, adulterous actions. I never actually got to any writing that night, and this may be why, in retrospect, I often failed as a fiction writer. As a non-fiction writer, I wonder today if this whole episode meant that I was attracted to Sally.

My friend, who travels often for work, told me that the best time to use a hotel’s internet is during the day. At night, the internet is much slower due to high usage rates. My friend: Bunch of guys downloading porn.

Renata Adler, in Speedboat: I have often been in hotels alone. It is no good unless you're on assignment. One sits in the lobby, the bar, or worst of all the restaurant, with a book, and pretends to be preoccupied. One gets soup or vegetables on the pages, and they stick.

A website lists the “50 Best Places to Have Great Sex.” Some examples include the back of a pickup truck (#49), Grand Central Station (#30), a restaurant’s kitchen after closing time (#21), and a graveyard (#3). Interestingly, hotels get listed twice. #28: In a hotel (this is where you do it hard). #10: In a luxurious hotel suite. I have no idea why these are two separate entries. I think I understand the parenthetical explanation the website gives for #28.

I could never cheat on my wife. It’s not in my fabric, or not in my fibers, however it is that people use that phrase. If I ever did cheat on my wife, though, I’m certain it would be in a hotel room.

From a profile of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon in the New Yorker: Gordon moved to New York after studying art and film at several colleges. She drove across the country with artist Mike Kelley, whom she briefly dated. She recalled a night when they checked into a New Orleans motel room and, the following morning, discovered that someone had blacked out the window, turning the room into a camera obscura. “We lay in bed surrounded by upside-down reflections of all these secretaries on their way to work,” she said. This anecdote is intended, I think, to show how Gordon has always surrounded herself with artists and has always had an artist’s perspective of the world around her, years before she became the quintessential art rocker. Maybe it’s because I love Sonic Youth and find Kim’s throaty vocals incredibly sexy, but I can’t picture the blacked out windows or the inverted secretaries. All I can see is a young Kim Gordon lying in a motel bed in the early hours of the morning.

From Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898: So many transients arrived, for business as well as pleasure, that taverns and boardinghouses proved unable to accommodate the influx. This dilemma led to the construction of New York's first hotel in the modern sense – the five-story, 137-room City Hotel, which opened in 1794 on the west side of Broadway just north of Trinity Church. Besides room and board, it offered the facilities for public dining and dancing hitherto provided by taverns. The book was published by a university press and won the Pulitzer Prize, yet it’s hard not to read more into words like “transients,” “pleasure,” and “facilities.”

George: I've always been attracted to cleaning women. Cleaning women, chambermaids. Jerry: Yeah, chambermaids. I'm attracted to them, too. George: Why is that? Jerry: It's a woman in your room. Every Seinfeld script is available on the internet. Fans transcribe the episodes. I was surprised to find that I had this exchange wrong. Jerry, in my misremembered version: It’s a girl in your room. I don’t like the line as much with the word “woman.”

We’ve stayed in hotels a few times since the baby was born. A night in Philadelphia, two nights in Boston, four nights in Newport, and a week in Mexico. When we go to bed, our mission is solely to get under the covers and into a slumbering position without waking up the baby. We keep the iPad continuously playing lullabies as background noise. We squeeze each other’s hand rather than kiss goodnight because this is a much quieter action.