Cuba Goes from Motels to Rooms for “Quickies”

Jorge Milanes

Passageway along the Malecon sea drive. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — “Osmel, do you know anyone who rents out rooms for the night?”

“You mean, for quickies?” he replies, trying to clarify my question.

“I’m asking because your house is on a busy avenue, Via Blanca. You could set up a business like that.”

“No, I don’t have the money for that. I haven’t been in any, either, and I don’t know anyone who rents out rooms. The first time I planned on going to a motel, I asked one of my aunts for money, and she gave it to me, but the girl and I finally decided to go to the woods to do it. What d’ya think about that?” he asked.

After a few good laughs, I said to him:

“There aren’t many motels in Havana today, but, in the 80s, motels or inns where people satisfied their sexual needs were everywhere and, in contrast to hotels, they had relatively affordable prices.

El Amanecer, 11 y 24, in Vedado, Las Casitas de la Via Blanca, La Venus, Villa Ensueño and La Monumental, the one on Vento and Santa Catalina, these were some of the most renowned, because of their good services. There were less popular ones, but people went there anyways.”

In time, housing would become one of the major issues in the country and the motels that were in good structural condition were turned into residences or shelters by the government, for people who didn’t have homes.

That’s how these rooms for “quickies”, today a licensed business with the same aim, came into being. Even though such places had existed before, they were then illegal.

A night at one of these places costs 120 Cuban pesos (or 5 Cuban Convertible Pesos). One can also pay by the hour, after talking to the owner. Generally, all of them have a bathroom, running water and the fancier ones have a small fridge with drinks in them.

There are of course other places where people satisfy their sexual needs, but that is another story.

3 thoughts on “Cuba Goes from Motels to Rooms for “Quickies”

  • The demand for sex always exceeds the places to enjoy it in poorer neighborhoods all over the world. Likewise, the poorly educated and unemployed, due to inadequate housing options, are the most likely to lack convenient and comfortable options to enjoy romantic interludes. The DIFFERENCE IN CUBA is that these disadvantages cross all economic and neighborhood boundaries. A young male doctor in Cuba is just as likely to be having sex in a dark stairwell as a SESPSA security guard. A female lawyer can be found having intimate relations with her boyfriend in a park as often as a house cleaner. Castro’s revolution has succeeded in making it possible for the well-educated to be as desperate as anyone else. Viva!

  • Cuba needs cabañas similar to those in the Dom. Republic.

  • An interesting look at a slice of Cuban life not usually mentioned. But where there is a will, there is a way.

    In Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s novel, “Infante’s Inferno”, he describes the troubles a pair of young lovers have trying to find a room for a few hours. The nice rooms cost more than the young man can afford, while the cheap ones are too seedy for the young woman to accept.

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