Where to Have Sex in Havana?
Where to Have Sex in Havana? / Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro
Posted on June 1, 2014
Havana, Cuba. It happened in the Motel on 11th and 24th streets, near
the iron bridge connecting Vedado and Miramar. In a room rented for two
hours, the unpleasant whisper was heard: “Mami, you have a wonderful
stench!” It was the 1980’s, Cuba was still receiving 5 billion in
subsidy from the Soviet Union, the shortages of the Special Period were
still far away, but vulgarities were emerging.
More than two decades ago those hotels where people go for sex* (or to
make love) — Cubans call them posadas — were abolished in Havana. A
cyclone was guilty. The wind and heavy rain left thousands of people in
Havana without a roof, and the government, due to the lack of housing,
sheltered them in these posadas.
It was a difficult solution for the sheltered ones: “We had to put up a
sign at the entrance: ’This is not a posada anymore, families are living
here, do not disturb,’” said a person housed there, in the old Venus
posada, near the train station, and he added. “Couples would arrive,
drunk, screaming, ’Desk clerk, give me a room we are dying to …!’
Imagine those vociferous vulgarities, where small children and old
people were living. What a shame!’
The destiny of the posadas in Havana definitely changed after the
so-called Storm of the Century, in March 1993. During that time the
majority of them were under the control of the Popular Power. Some of
them were in a state of disrepair, with leaks in the roofs and mold in
There are cities in the interior of the country, such as Holguin in the
east, where posadas still exist. In that provincial capital, the
government managed to set aside years ago a budget for basic repairs of
old hotels in the urban area; the Majestic and El Turquino. These
maintained payment for services in Cuban pesos (CUP).
In another inland city of Cuba, in Santa Clara, the two hotels, Modelo
and América, received investments for repairs and were reopened with a
grand pomp. The inhabitants of Santa Clara fixed them in order to have a
room where to make love for two hours, which the desk clerks don’t
report. Sweet deal.
In the capital, the price for one room — in private houses — corresponds
with the facilities that offer, and the location. They charge more in
Vedado, close to the zone of the Oncologic and the Calixto García
hospitals. In Playa, the tenants, situated close to the Casa de la
Música de Miramar, have regular customers. The prices range from 5 CUC
per hour. Depending on the quality of the room and the day of the week,
the amount may be higher.
Near Havana’s Malecon — basically an area of prostitution — a lot of
families rent their daughter’s room, or that of any family member, by
the hour to prostitutes and pimps. One tourist said that, accompanied by
a mulatto girl, he came to a house in the Laguna Street in Havana, where
the family was watching the soap opera on TV and the father of the
family said to one of his daughters: “Go wake up your grandmother, a
couple is here.”
In the meantime, in the popular memory the remembrance of the posadas of
eastern Havana or of the Circunvalación, immaculate hotel rooms with
air-conditioning, bathrooms with cold and hot water, clean sheets and
bar service 24 hours, to which any couple could come by car, without
being seen by prying eyes.
In today’s Havana you will find it difficult to find a safe, comfortable
and clean room to have sex, if you can’t pay in hard currency or a pile
of money; you can risk going down to the reefs, venture into the
darkness of a park, although this is not recommended: bad guys are
*Translator’s note: Because of the crowded housing conditions in Cuba
and the fact that young people can’t afford to live on their own, nor do
they own cars, privacy is hard to come by.
Cubanet, 20 March, 2014 | Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro
Translated by: AnonyGY, Michaela Klicnikova
Source: Where to Have Sex in Havana? / Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro |
Translating Cuba –