The “not so secret” pleasure of Motels in Brazil!

Want to rekindle a lost spark? 
Or break the routine of a monotonous intimate life? 
There are many reasons to visit a Brazilian motel, never alone, always to spend a few hours with a significant other. Brazilian Motels or Brazilian “love motels” as they have come to be known to the world, are not the same as American motels, in fact, they are far from it!

A paradoxical phenomenon?


Looking in from the outside, Brazil may appear as a country of extreme or unbridled sensuality, at least according to the media and to popular belief. Paradoxically, it´s actually a country where people seldom speak openly about sex. Brazil is a country where many women are comfortable in the most minimalist clothes but you will never see a topless girl on a beach. A balance exists within Brazilian culture, one that is somewhere between prudishness and sexual liberty, two notions inherited from ancestral times.

Brazilian society as we know it today has its origins in the arrival of Portuguese explorers (long before the arrival of Brazilian motels) with firm Catholic beliefs and Indigenous tribes with other philosophies that were completely different. Clad in their heavy armor and harbouring unwavering faith, these European sailors landed on Brazilian soil to find a people who lived naked. Shortly after, the same explorers began to bring shipments of kidnapped African slaves, who because of their captivity would have had strong sexual impulses. This mixture of cultures, over the centuries has resulted in the ambivalent attitude of Brazilians towards sex.

In Brazil, it can be difficult to discuss the subject with your family, or even your friends. Sexual intercourse itself is an activity that is quite difficult to “exercise” serenely at home for a fundamental reason: in wealthy and low-income families, many Brazilians live with their extended families. Living with parents, siblings, cousins and grandparents can make privacy at home rare. It is fair to say that in many homes in Brazil, there is discomfort regarding sex.

Brazilian Motel, ready for customers.

A product of the political environment


Brazilian love motels first appeared in the mid-sixties, under the military dictatorship. The strict, conservative elite, confiding in their Catholic faith, saw the romantic “get – togethers” that were occurring in the country´s hotels as distasteful. To try to combat this, they simply banned the “rentals of a hotel for short periods of time”. Never short of ideas, the Brazilian people counter-attacked with a business model based on the American motels whose initial service was to welcome tired truck drivers for a few hours rest. The famous Brazilian motels, were thus born, later renamed “Brazilian love motels” by foreigners passing through.

Whether rich or poor, just about every Brazilian has had their experience at a Brazilian motel. Something that may confuse some visitors to Brazil, and something that should be made very clear is that “Brazilian motel” does not mean “brothel”. However, prostitution does exist in Brazil, and it is indeed legal. Again an incredible paradox in a country where abortion is against the law.

The Brazilian motel is an ideal place for relaxation and pleasure, where someone takes their companion to rediscover lost feelings, for an adventurous thrill or to escape the proximity of Brazilian families. It is not a taboo, nearly everyone uses the services of these establishments who use the Internet and social media to promote their rooms, as any hotel would. Almost everyone does it, but hardly anyone talks about it.

Brazilian Motels - A luxury suite in São Paulo.

Brazilian Motels – A look inside


Brazilian motels pride themselves on their hygiene and anonymity. The rooms are clean and the secret is well kept. The motels range from the small, refurbished VW Kombi hired for the equivalent of $5, to luxuriously equipped suites that can reach $1000! On average, you would spend between $30 and $60 for a few hours in a Brazilian motel, known as the “periodo”. These prices vary depending on the time of day, or night.

The most common way to enter a motel is by car. You drive down into a garage and park in one of the empty spaces. If the car park space is occupied then the room is taken! After entering the room, the couple is welcomed by an atmosphere entirely dedicated to the night´s activities: dim lighting, suggestive photos or paintings hanging on the walls, condoms, sex toys, erotic TV and, for the most posh, pool with jacuzzi, bathtub for two, fireplace, and drink service, or even food. However, it is rare for people to spend more than a few hours there.

Many couples frequent motels to celebrate a wedding anniversary for example. The Brazilian equivalent of Valentines Day: “O Dia dos Namorados” celebrated on June 14th is naturally a busy time for Brazilian love motels. On this particular date, if you forget to make a reservation, you may find yourself in a queue of cars outside the motel! On these busier dates, the famous “periodo” is limited as well.

Young people with some spare money can also afford the services of these hidden rooms, used to escape the eyes of Mom and Dad, teenagers will often escape for a few hours to go to the “shopping centre”.

Brazilian Motel

The Motel in Brazil: Pivoting from the Shelter of love?


Some Brazilian motels have evolved with demand. While the majority of them continue to stick to their original vocation, some have pivoted, especially during major international events such as the Olympic Games in 2016 or the Football World Cup in 2014. In response to a peak in demand, these motels have turned into normal hotels. This led to some becoming recognized by the tourist authorities and able to benefit from the advertising that comes with that accolade. Most institutions however, consider that their DNA is in the offer of a private moment to all people who need one, and refuse to deviate from this mission.

The future of the Braziian motel seems relatively secure.

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