>As we headed out of Santo Domingo on our road trip, J. pointed out an interesting site: cabañas de amor. Since many Dominicans live with their families until they get married, they must sneak out and find a private place to get their swerves on. Cabañas de amor are rented for four hours at a time, allowing for some time to fall into an exhausted nap after a couple hours o’ fucking. As we drove past the glowing neon sign, I thought that this concept sounded familiar. Then I remembered Sybaris.
Anyone from the Chicago area will know that Sybaris is our very own Midwestern cabaña de amor. Sybaris was located nearby, would often advertise their pool suites for a “romantic experience.” Each room had its own pool and round bed! As I kid, I thought that place looked like a rockin’ place to have a birthday pool and slumber party. I’m sure the people in the cabin next door would have loved that. Nothing says hot, sleazy pool sex like a roomful of screaming kids next door.
One summer day when I was home from college, my friend N. and I were on our way somewhere when we drove by the place. I mentioned that I had always been curious to see what it was like, and N. admitted that she was curious as well. We decided to see if we could get a tour, and devised a clever cover story that our parents were celebrating their anniversary soon and we were thinking of giving them a gift certificate to get away and be alone together. The woman in the office at Sybaris’ main cabin thought that we were very considerate daughters. She showed us a video that explained that each room was in a little cabin set apart from the others. The smallest ones had only a hot tub and bed, but the larger ones also had a small pool. I swear that the biggest one also had a water slide, but this was a long time ago and my memory is not what it once was now that I am 30.
The saleslady obliged our request to see a room. She showed us the hot tub, the pool, and the bed with a light under it surrounded by mirrors (including the ceiling). She explained that all this would help our parents reconnect to their wedding night. (Honestly, if I was really scouting the place for my parents, I think I would have gagged at that comment. No one likes to think about their parents getting it on, much less in some kinky hotel.) As we walked by the pool, I was finally able to ask the question that had dogged me for years: how, and how often, did they clean the water? Did they drain the hot tub and pool after each guest and refill it with new water? No, no, the women reassured me. The pools and hot tubs were highly chlorinated to kill bacteria. They did some sort of additional cleaning about once a week.
This disturbed me a bit, so I then asked her about floating jizz, which was what I was specifically worried about, not bacteria. I mean, if people are having sex in a pool or hot tub, what were the odds that bodily emissions would not get into the water? The saleswoman seemed quite perturbed by my questions, and shuttled us out rather rapidly. I knew then that I would never be able to go to a place like that. Sure, sex in a hot tub and on a waterslide sounded fun in my dad’s hidden stash of Penthouse, but I could never shed my worries that I’d just be sitting in a vat of water with someone else’s chlorinated spunk in it.
I don’t think I could deal with a cabaña de amor, either. I’m not some sort of obsessive compulsive germophobe, but I freak out at regular hotels when the sheets aren’t pristine. The fact that people go to cabañas de amor solely for the purpose of having sex would make me extremely suspicious of the sheets. Thank goodness I wasn’t getting it on until college so that I didn’t have to deal with shit like this! There are definite benefits to waiting a bit, and not having to go to fuck shacks or fuck shacks with pools is one of them.