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31 January 2008

Younghee Jung »oasis in the city: love hotels

by Younghee Jung

I haven’t found a reliable explanation where the name “love hotel” came from, but it is undeniable that love hotels have strong connotations of sexual activities. My first experience with a love hotel was in Korea when we had to set up our temporary fieldwork office space in one because of its proximity to the university campus that our local research assistants were from. One of our local research assistants refused to come up to our ‘temporary office’ because she did not want to be shown to enter the hotel with her male classmate.

Seeking privacy – including the need, or desire for having sex – topped up with affordable convenience may be the main reason why people use love hotels, because:
- they have no personal space at home, often because of pure lack of space or cohabitation
- they live with parents which makes it morally unacceptable to bring a partner home without a serious commitment to the relationship
- they are having an affair in secrecy
- they want/can, at the spur of the moment
- they need to kill time till the first train runs. For many Japanese, taxi is too expensive as an option for returning home at night...SOURCE

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