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When it comes to exterior design, there are two schools of thought for love hotels, the short-term accommodations for consenting Japanese adults who want to get friendlier than is advisable in public. Some try to blend in to their surroundings, hiding in plain sight with a low-key, windowless ground floor and miniscule sign. Others go the opposite route, lighting themselves up in blazing neon and announcing their presence to the world in a manner as uninhibited as their patrons are about to be.

The love hotel staff, on the other hand, is always discreet, since the whole point of the business is to shield guests from prying eyes. But make no mistake, each love hotel has a full complement of workers, and we recently spoke with one who shared her experiences with us, and rest assured things she’s seen things get crazy and nasty.

As tempting as it would have been to make our bosses pay for us to stay at a love hotel for research purposes, it turns out we didn’t have to. Our own Sachi Ojiya, writer for our Japanese-language site, used to work in a love hotel, and today we’re bringing you the five things that surprised her the most about working in a building filled with people boning.

1. Who works there

At the hotel Sachi worked at, almost all of the employees were women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s. One had started based on the recommendation of a friend who also worked in the hotel. Another, a single mother, picked the job because it had more flexibility than office work, meaning she could suddenly take time off if needed to look after her kids.

▼ A love hotel room selection board

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Love hotels are commonly located in or near bar districts, and one of Sachi’s coworkers was spending her money in the same neighborhood she earned it, saying she wanted to earn a lot of cash working nights in order to financially support her favorite guy at the host bar she frequented. But most surprising of all were the numerous married women who were attracted to love hotel employment because it meant having to work during the business’ peak hours on the weekends. “Many of my coworkers said ‘I don’t want to be in the house with my husband on his day off,’” Sachi tells us.

2. Some customers try to stick it in before they stick their key in the door

A big portion of a love hotel’s clientele is people who’re in the mood right now and don’t want to waste time having to go back to his place or hers, so it’s not surprising that some couples start getting hot and heavy in the elevator or the hallway leading to their room.

▼ Going up, or going down?

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But those parts of the hotel, being outside the guestrooms themselves, are still monitored by security cameras, meaning the staff can see you and your date pawing at each other.

But hey, that’s all part of the business of giving people a place to do the business, and the staff at Sachi’s hotel didn’t mind couples making out as they stumbled to their rooms. What was a no-no, though, was guys who, in Sachi’s words, “unsheathed their swords” in the elevators or halls. “In those cases, we’d send our manager, who was a really scary-looking guy, to put a stop to it.”

3. Presetting the TV to prime customers’ pumps

On the other end of the spectrum, some couples are a bit more restrained, and manage to make it all the way into their rooms without tearing each other’s clothes off. Love hotels commonly have complimentary adult video programming running on their in-room TVs to help couples get their lusty juices flowing.

However, sitting down with your companion, flipping on the TV, and having, say, the business news come on might spoil the mood, so the cleaning staff at Sachi’s hotel were instructed to always set the TVs to one of the adult channels. That way it would be the first thing customers saw when they turned the set on.

Of course, this meant the workers got an eyeful in the process, and two-person cleaning teams would often become momentarily transfixed by what they saw on the screen, trading comments such as “That’s incredible,” and “Wow, I don’t think I could bend my body into that position.”

4. Doing the nasty (dish washing)

While they’re different from their less sexy counterparts, love hotels are still hotels, and Sachi’s had basic amenities such as cups and a kettle with packets of tea and coffee. These, of course, were washed after each use.

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Notice we said “washed,” not “cleaned.”

The average love hotel stay is just two hours, meaning there’s a lot of turnover for each room during the course of a day. This means that after one couple leaves, there’s only a short amount of time in which to get the room ready for its next temporary occupants. Love hotels don’t have room service, though, so they also don’t have kitchens, and Sachi’s didn’t have a central dishwashing area, either.

To make the quick room turnarounds possible, she and her coworkers would wash the cups right there in the guestroom sink. Ordinarily, the cleaning staff had specialized towels used only for drying the cups, but sometimes, when things were really busy, they’d run out of drying towels. “Some of my coworkers would dry the cups with hand towels, or bath towels, the guests who’d just left had used,” Sachi reveals.

▼ Somehow, all that milky white porcelain doesn’t look so classy anymore.

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We’re not sure if that’s more or less disgusting than her other coworkers, who she said would use the bath mat in a pinch.

5. Poo

While the rooms at some love hotels look like ordinary hotel guestrooms (albeit with unusually spacious beds and bathtubs), many have themed rooms. At Sachi’s hotel, there was a pink, frilly Princess Room, and also an Animal Room with a leopard print motif. For those who wanted something kinkier, there was also a Fake Dungeon Room.

“I don’t know how people used it,” Sachi says of the chain-filled room, “but there was a string of incidents in which someone left poo behind when they checked out.”

▼ Yeah, we wish “poo” was a typo, too.

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Thankfully, this wasn’t something that happened every day, but roughly once a year, someone would come in to clean the room and discover the unrequested memento. “A charming little poo atop a slipper. Poo mashed into the floor by someone stepping on it. Poo on the bed…I won’t bore you with the rest of the list,” Sachi says.

“But we never found poo in any of the other rooms. I don’t know if the Dungeon Room had the power to make people drop a deuce, or if we just had a regular customer who liked to poop. It was a mystery.”

Some mysteries are best left unsolved.

Top image: Yahoo! Blogs Japan
Insert images: RocketNews23, So-Net, Rakuten, Wikia (edited by RocketNews24)
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