I’m a woman who has had a hell of a lot of grotty, functional, hungover wanks, so I was over the moon when today’s guest blog landed in my inbox. Please welcome Hazel Southwell, who is here to give you an intense and intimate journey through the pleasures (and frustrations) of solo sex in grotty hotels and hostels all across the world. Travel with us to some exotic locations, while remembering that some things stay the same no matter where you are…
Solo sex in grotty hotels
It’s midday and I am hungover as hell. I feel like the worm from a Mezcal bottle, some karmic revenge from the amount consumed last night along with dessicatingly-salted beers that must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
I’m in Mexico City and I really ought to get up and go outside and look at things. I’ve nearly run out of water, which will be the point I’m really forced to go and contemplate this city I’ve got the immense good fortune to have a reason to be in for work. And am currently incredibly physically ill-equipped to deal with.
I’m lying in one of the two beds in the private room I’ve booked in this hostel, the wallpaper is peeling and the sheets are those unmatched pastels that must have once been lurid 80s bolds, clean (at least, they were when I arrived) but threadbare to the point they’re more transparent than the lace curtain over the one, high, tiny window to the outside world. Through which an endless barrel-organ repeat is filtering, sending me slowly insane.
It’s not very glamorous. Not a lot of what I do actually is, despite sounding breathtakingly cool in a sort of flippant socialite Insta-traveller way; being a journalist who travels internationally, alone and on a budget is mostly hanging out in shabby hotel rooms and being tired. It’s a lot of trying to either wheedle yourself into spending some money to enjoy something but feeling guilty about it or piously not spending and instead feeling like you’re wasting this opportunity by sulking in a hostel with your laptop.
But well, there are some things pretty much designed to do in a hostel, with your laptop and surprisingly unlocked WiFi. Which is how I’ve ended up repeatedly travelling across the world to lifetime-dream destinations to very literally go fuck myself.
Waking up with a disgusting hangover either makes you wish sex had never been invented or surprisingly horny. I’m the latter category. Once the initial, urgent need to find some fluids and paracetamol has passed, it’s all just a waiting game of finding stuff to do before you can stand upright. Which is how, in stiflingly non-airconditioned hotel rooms, I’ve ended up twisting mucky sheets around myself for some of the least-sexy (but definitely worryingly filthy) sex I’ve ever had with anyone
Like many of us, I have a lot of experience of having sex alone. Sometimes it’s exactly what you want, sometimes it’s the total opposite but if you can manage to wrestle off the bra you accidentally fell asleep in last night and dip a hand lower, you’ve probably got this. If your feverish groping can find, between the sheets and your thighs, whatever sweat-soaked underwear you’ve just about kept on during a night of fitful, panic-drunk snoozing then I believe in you, pal: you can absolutely make yourself come.
Sex in hotel rooms is supposed to be the ultimate luxury fuck. In sheets perfectly clean and ironed – on the balcony, in the bathroom, wherever the fuck you want to do it. Go wild with abandon and the slightly greater amount of floorspace afforded by not having most of your stuff. Hotels have sexy lighting, you can pack fancy underwear – get a bikini wax, go to the spa centre beforehand, go out for wildly expensive dinner or cocktails and look at a city lit up with opportunity that says to you: go on, try it in a slightly different position.
You don’t have to go off-the-charts kinky to get a little wild in a hotel room. It’s clearly not doing it in public or even close to that, but it is doing it somewhere that doesn’t belong to you. You’re only transiently fucking here, as millions of strangers have fucked before you and like them you’ll be cleanly and efficiently erased by housekeeping half an hour after you’re gone.
Stuff you do in a hotel can be a little riskier by default of not needing to face up to it every morning for the rest of your life when you’re trying to find your socks and not tread on the cat. You’ve got space, you’ve got Special Designated Fucking Time, you can give this your full attention with whoever or however many people you’re getting it on with.
Unless you’re not in that type of hotel.
Solo sex in grotty hotels
There’s no mood lighting in my striplight-illuminated room and even if I’d used some of my hand luggage allowance on Agent Provocateur, there’s no way in hell I’m dressing up any sexier than the flimsy slip I take as a travel nightie to go take selfies in the communal bathroom.
This is not about sexy wanking. I’ve never been keen on bringing a vibrator in my hand luggage (and to be fair, am not that keen on them at all) and washing one off in dubious water in communal sinks feels like a way to make this even grosser than the enjoyably rancid potential. So: fingers. I recommend throwing back the covers a bit, it’s gonna get unpleasantly sweaty and you might have a few more nights here. This isn’t the type of establishment that’s going to launder anything until you leave.
Somehow I always end up entangling one foot in the process, so actually what’s happened is counter-productive, but this isn’t the luxury hotel sex experience. That’s all about taking some special, reserved time – a seductive chance to step out of all the things that normally worry you.
A grotty hotel or hostel or motel isn’t somewhere you’re planning on luxuriating. This is a functional bed for the night and god you are extremely aware of the limitations of that after five days on whatever lumpen monstrosity is calling itself a mattress. And you’ve got to negotiate that, as part of the sex.
I’m not talking about fucking in Premier Inns rather than Four Seasons here, this is like the nasty seaside B&B where you’re hiding from the Daily Mail-reading draconian couple who owns it in your bedroom, illicitly naked and feeling triumphantly perverse. It’s paper-thin walls through which you can hear every obnoxious word of the four Australian backpacker boys who are discussing their trip to Machu Picchu with a level of cultural sensibility that makes wanking next to it feel extremely wrong. It’s carefully locking the door of your guest house room in the remote Balkans so you can get 7 to 10 minutes of special alone time before the owner tries to propose to you again.
So if you’ve accidentally got into one-ankle, sweaty restraint in the the series of ways you’ve absolutely fucking suplexed yourself into your own (rented) sheets here then you kind of have to just go with it. Move the other leg, crook a knee, it’ll be fine.
There’s no time or frankly, space to be fancy here. It’s the sweaty fumble, nothing teenage about it as every single year of practice at getting myself off is put into urgent action. Getting frantic would be far too much effort but it’s probably been tempting to just get into my own pants for some time now, the boredom dilemma having only one answer, so foreplay is totally unnecessary.
If you’ve ever got yourself off while listening with one ear to the stairs, hoping the Australians don’t come back because you can’t get off when you’re eye-rolling and trying to keep every other sound blocked out before you think about the mosquitoes in the room, then congratulations. You’ve passed the survival-wank test, you can probably do it anywhere.
Solo sex and survival wanking
It takes a special kind of determination to come when everything around you is trying to remind you you’re a mess, in a disaster. When everything is clearly too sordid to be doing this, there’s a kinky dignity to rising above your surroundings to skillfully, defiantly get yourself off despite the fact you can hear someone coughing up a smoker’s lung across the lightwell and you’ve just tipped most of a can of Tango over the (one) pillow.
There’s the adventurous wanks. In a 14-bed mixed room in Hong Kong’s criminally-densest towerblock, lying on top of my laptop in case it got stolen, having a dead-silent and near-motionless wank. Or the times, during the quiet, dark hours on a longhaul flight when you’ve looked at yourself in the toilet and thought… maybe? Like, it would be nasty – there’s no space and it smells of ammonia and you can hear someone shuffling around outside but yeah, maybe.
Or the jetlagged times when you think sure, I probably shouldn’t have another [insert cheap, local beer brand here] while I’m hanging out in the garden of this hostel mostly full of migrant workers, who are understandably asleep at 3am but crucially could become awake and come outside for a cigarette. Sure I definitely should not be currently allowing a hand to creep lower but like, is it worse than in a dorm? I mean, if you’ve gotta fuck yourself then under a bruise-coloured night sky and stars that say you’re far from home, night blossom scent thick in the air cutting through late night food smells and ozone – that at least sounds kind of romantic, right?
Or like I’ve become some sort of really grotty nympho. (but I knew that anyway)
How to fuck yourself
Anyway, back to the Mexico hangover: dry mouth, wet pussy. All alone in a big city with nothing specific to do but myself. It’d be rude not to, really.
Wanking can be so functional, sometimes and you’d think this would be – a hobbyist’s distraction from the state of everything. But maybe this isn’t so unlike Proper Hotel Sex because ok, you’ve got to not think about the guy who’s just returned to the hallway to tell his mate, in an awed tone, “I think we’re going to see where they killed people, dude!” And you’ve got to overlook the mosquitos and the pipe organ but that’s what tinnitus and horny dissociation are for. Fingers: they touch, everything else is just buzzing.
Touching yourself is a feedback loop. It’s sexy pushing your hand into flimsy underwear, fraying at the elastic and feeling the hot, humid microclimate of skin and cheap cotton-mix. If you press your fingers to the top of someone’s pussy and they slide, slick with sweat so easily to the clit it’s the stuff to make you huff out a hot breath.
Spreading wet, hot, sensitive labia is fucking sexy. Feeling the way the flesh parts with no resistance, oiled and wanton is like – OK, I’ve done this to other people, too and when you get someone really horny for your touch it’s just the best fucking thing.
When they’re gasping and trying to get their legs further apart even though one of them’s irrevocably tied in the bedsheets like earphones that have been in a pocket for 5 seconds. When they’re pushing back against your fingers and rubbing at your palm for – ah – lovely, wet contact it’s just so good. I could watch so much porn that was like, people getting really honestly hornily desperate and then fingered in their pants.
And when it’s you, you get the added bonus of feeling it both ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for other people giving me a hungover hand and the more I can just lie there, the better but Australian Dave in the corridor really isn’t doing it for me and I don’t think he’s gonna know what to do, from the way he’s assuring his mate tacos have rice in so it’s extremely OK to go with my most reliable, longest-term partner here.
Whatever stuff you have, when you really want to be touched because you’re aimless-horny and need the attention, fingers in the right place are so fucking good. If you’re configured like me then the opening tease of a bit of below-the-clit rubbing, a bit of running your fingers over everything, is great. Lets you work out a good position, allowing for the restrained leg and the fact this bed can only be called a ‘double’ by the same people that design budget airline seats.
Once your fingers are as soaked as the skin they’re touching and the slide’s audible, soft and wet in the way only sex stuff is, it’s time for the good bit. You could get another hand involved, maybe but when you’re sprawled, knocked horizontal by the power of desert cactus spirits, concentrating on coordinating one is plenty.
I love getting fucked, it’s ten times stronger than clit stimulation, for me – that’s nice but it’s too high in the register, has to be treated so sensitively and I’m in a clumsy, staggering mood. So even though I have laughably tiny hands, two fingers feels so good, when you know exactly where you’re going.
Thing is, I have no timeline really aside from when the dehydration’s going to kick back in and that’s a while off yet. So two fingers can push in and hold still, press upwards so gently that I’m slowly driving myself insane and have to bite a knuckle because I’ve forgotten about Australian Dave but that doesn’t mean he gets a free audio show.
Two fingers gives you so much scope for like, pulling back and rubbing a thumb over your own clit and who cares if it’s sweat or what because everything is so fucking wet and friction’s become non-existent against lovely, sliding pressure. You can be so much firmer when it’s like this, press the nerve endings that much harder and even a half-still-drunk body will light up.
And the fingers inside – man, I fucking love getting fingered, anyone who says it’s a dying art is an idiot because you’ve got all that control. A bit on the g-spot, a bit not, a bit just fucking yourself for the sheer, wanton joy of it and I always imagine it’s going to last so much longer than a barely-capable-of-standing human’s endurance was ever going to manage.
Coming is great – although barely the point of the whole thing – and I’m definitely gross enough to suck my own fingertips while I’m lying around, eyes closed and waiting for Aussie Dave to fuck off to Machu Picchu already cus no backpacker is getting to see how slick my thighs are on the way to the communal showers.
And that’s how you fuck yourself in grotty hotels, with your rum-clumsy fingers. The reservation’s got days, yet.