The Story Of The Man Who Spied On Hundreds Of Sexual Encounters
Books

The Story Of The Man Who Spied On Hundreds Of Sexual Encounters

Avatar of Carlos Urena

By: Carlos Urena

April 5, 2017

Books The Story Of The Man Who Spied On Hundreds Of Sexual Encounters
Avatar of Carlos Urena

By: Carlos Urena

April 5, 2017






A voyeur is someone who is aroused by spying on other people undressing or engaging in sexual activity. This fetish reaches its maximum peak, even orgasm, when the observer remains undiscovered by others.

This practice is favored by more men than women. The profile tends to be someone who was a shy teen growing up in a strict household. Despite voyeurism being an old sexual pleasure, it is a topic that causes plenty of morbid curiosity and interest. There’s been many stories written about the topic, but The Voyeur’s Motel has reignited the interest in this scandalous subject.


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Written by celebrated journalist Gay Talese, it tells a story that began in the early eighties, when he was contacted by a motel owner in Colorado. In 1981 he’d published a book titled Thy Neighbor’s Wife, which caused its fair share of controversy. This peeked the interest of a peculiar person named Gerald Foos, a man from the town of Aurora who made a surprising confession: he bought the motel to be able to satisfy his pleasure of watching people having sex.

He’d installed several holes in different rooms, strategically hidden to spy on his guest. What interested Talese was that, during those fifteen years, Foos had kept a journal describing all he’d seen. He believed himself to be a social observer rather than a fetishist. He extended the journalist an invitation under an agreement of confidentiality.


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The writer not only met and interviewed the man, he also went to the motel, even being able to watch guests in their rooms himself. After the encounter, Talase started receiving copies of the voyeur’s journal. In these texts, Foos narrated with plenty of detail what he’d seen and the evolution of sexual practices throughout the years.

This is merely the beginning of the book, made out of a compilation of the motel owner’s words with its share of commentary from the writer. The text describes traditional intimate encounters, classified as boring. It details the rise in group sex in the decade of the sixties. It also includes anecdotes on interracial relationships, homosexuality, incest, oral sex, hygiene habits, fetishes, violence, and even an account of murder.

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The Voyeur’s Motel is a collection of observations that include from the business of drug trafficking to the sexual complications of wounded veterans. Its fast paced narrative takes hold of the reader, surprising even the most experienced sexual connoisseur. Each page challenges the limits of propriety, which is no surprise why it unleashed a debate on ethics –both on the part of Foos and Talese’s journalistic integrity– when it was first released.

Shortly after it was published, the Washington Post added flame to the fire by questioning the book’s truthfulness, given the lack of proof, as well as the lack of evidence regarding dates and Foo’s narration. The journalist responded that he had always claimed the voyeur to be an unreliable narrator.

Beyond the scandal over whether this is a work of fiction or nonfiction, The Voyeur’s Motel is an outstanding piece of prose that will take the reader on a wild ride of personal debate on the limits of privacy. It leads the audience to question their personal bias on social and sexual topics that could result in a change in perspective regarding these taboos.   


Can't get enough to satisfy your morbid curiosity? Check out this photographer who paid to spy on hotel guests, as well as the couple who roamed Japan's after-hours circuit to document people's fetishes. 

 

Translated by María Suárez










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