In Japan, a society where many young adults live with their families and generations share a small space with thin walls, love hotels seem like a logical extension of life. A quiet place where you can slip away for a few hours to satisfy your basic human needs. They run the gamut from grim and minimalistic rooms by the hour to elaborate love dens, and the prices vary accordingly as well.
While I have never stayed in a love hotel, I am intrigued by the concept. A love hotel is a simple and honest thing which does not hide behind a facade. You come to a love hotel to have sex. You pick out a room you like, you pay for it, a key is slipped across the counter, and you go get it on. When you’re done, the sheets are changed and the room is tidied up for the next customer.
We have many skewed perceptions about the sexuality of other nations. Japan, especially, seems to confuse the Western mind because from Japan comes tentacle porn, but also the tea ceremony. Shibari, and cherry blossam festivals. Japanese erotic art is some of the most intriguing, stimulating, and…interesting in the world.
Misty Keasler has a photo set up at Photographs Do Not Bend which consists entirely of shots of love hotels. The technical skills demonstrated in the set are impressive: the composition and lighting of the images is impeccable. But in addition, the photographs have a strange poignancy about them. They are glimpse into another, magical world, much like love hotels themselves.
I particularly like the traditionally styled Japanese room with sliding doors and tatami mats that is obviously fitted out for bondage. Another bondage room features a giant red and black bed along with traditional Japanese erotic woodcuts on the walls. A number of the rooms artfully integrate a St. Andrews cross—I think I might need to acquire one. I think it would accent the hall beautifully.