and love making are the topics of kitchen table conversations, class room
lectures, whispers between friends and serious medical discussion throughout
the daily life of the world. The Tribune took a look this week into
just a few of the voices to be heard in Queens on sex and the borough.
By BEN ABELSON
Honesty, trust and relaxation
are the keys to a happy and healthy sex life, according to local medical
experts who talked to the Tribune about the best ways to build an
Many times, when couples are
having difficulty in their sex life, it reflects problems in other aspects
of their relationship, according to Dr. Leonard Tuzman, director of Social
Work at The Zucker Hillside Hospital. “It’s
not too often that people are just having problems sexually, there’s often
some other problems going on,” he said.
Dr. Burshan Khashu, director
of the Men’s Heath Center for the North Shore University/Long Island
Jewish Healthcare System, agreed. “The
couple can have marital discord, problems with communication. . . the idea
is to develop a treatment plan for those suffering from a non-physical
disorder through the help of a therapist or a sex counselor,” he said.
However, poor sexual interactions can be damaging to even the healthiest of relationships, Tuzman explained.
First and foremost among the
keys to pleasurable sex is open and honest communication between partners. “I think people need to have reached the level of maturity
to the extent that they don’t use the bedroom as a battleground.
There needs to be some agreement amongst couples that sexuality is
part of being intimate, and there needs to be a recognition that the
people’s needs are not exactly the same,” Tuzman said. “Frank, honest
communication about what they do and don’t want – what makes them feel
good and what doesn’t – is the key.”
Honest communication can
really only develop when sexual relations occur between two individuals in a
committed relationship. So, for
a variety of psychological reasons, sex from a one-night stand will never be
as good as that found in a monogamous relationship.
“It requires that people get to know each both physically and
emotionally, so they can both enjoy the pleasure of the actual sexual
experience, leading to and including orgasm,” Tuzman added.
Stress from other aspects of
life can definitely hamper love-making, Tuzman noted, and it’s important
to relax and “get lost” in the moment.
“Sex should be a joyous, exploratory, pleasurable, intimate
experience…it’s one of the few opportunities people have to be alone and
be totally involved with one another.”
While sex is a great stress reducer, according to Tuzman, making love
should not always be attempted at times of especially high stress.
“People need to recognize
that the stress that they have outside of their intimate moments can effect
the pleasure that they have while making love.
If you really had a bad day at the office, it might not be the best
time to make love,” he said.
According to Tuzman, many
couples have trouble setting aside time to be intimate.
If you fall into that category, it’s imperative to actually
schedule – if necessary – intimate time. “Schedule
a night out, another environment. Go
to a hotel or take a long weekend. Keep
the romance alive, as the commercials say.”
Most importantly, Tuzman
stressed, if there are any performance issues hampering your sexual
relationship “don’t let too much time go by before you talk about it”
and get some professional help. “Most
of the dysfunctions people have can be corrected.”
Impotency, or erectile
dysfunction, occurs when there are problems with blood flow into the
chambers of the penis, according to Khashu.
Viagra can help about 80-85 percent of all erectile dysfunction
sufferers, and has been a revolutionary drug in helping couples maintain an
active sex life. It’s also erased much of the stigma associated with
“It’s freed people to
acknowledge that it’s a problem that’s relatively common,” Tuzman
said. “We know a lot more of
how to help the problems of sexual dysfunction.”
Those patients suffering from erectile dysfunction who are not helped
by Viagra can often get assistance through several other available medical
treatments, including drug injections and a manually operated vacuum pump.
Surgical installation of a “penile implant,” is only used as a
last result, according to Kashu, but does have an enormously high success
impotency, the two biggest problems that restrict a healthy sex life are
premature ejaculation and vaginismus, an involuntary contraction of the
vagina that Tuzman described as “when a woman is particularly tight and
has a lot of pain during sex.” These
problems can have both medical and psychological bases, but can be solved by
either a medical doctor or sex therapist, depending on their origin.
The Right Motel
Sometimes, after spending an enchanted evening of dinner and dancing together, Queens lovebirds find they need a private place to whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears, and when that need arises, the borough’s motels oblige with hourly rates, oversized hot tubs, and mirrors in all kinds of crazy places.
But finding the right place to
quickly ignite an evening romance isn’t always easy for Queens couples,
who may be on a budget, may be unsure of what various motels have to offer,
or may be embarrassed to ask about hourly rates.
One place where every couple
is welcome is the Kew Motor Inn in Kew Gardens Hills, a spot where
Queensites have been going for decades to spend a few hours in sheer
ecstasy. The motel’s ad in the Yellow Pages says it all: “For your
pleasure . . . The Kew Motor Inn.”
A matter of legend in Queens
folklore, the motel includes a restaurant and cocktail lounge, features all
kinds of interestingly designed rooms for the borough’s adventurous
couples, including Cupid’s Room, the Waterfall Room, the Love Nest, the
Safari Room, Oriental Delight, Southwestern Oasis, the New York Skyline
Room, and Arabian Nights. The rooms have colored lighting and fancy decor to
make the experience as pleasant as possible. The motel also boasts
king-sized beds, waterbeds, and mirrored rooms.
Rates at the Kew Motor Inn
range from $38 to $50 for a minimum of three hours – a price that is about
the average for hourly motels throughout Queens. Most short stay motels
charge between $35 and $50 for a minimum of between three and five hours.
That’s much cheaper than the between $55 and $100 that Manhattan motels
But the question that most
Queens couples ask is how they can find the motels that accommodate lovers
looking for an exciting evening. A quick look through the
“Hotels-Motels” section of the phone book will answer that immediately.
Many motels subtly advertise hourly rates with such terminology as
“special day and evening rates,” or “king, sized beds available.”
Others have photos of couples
happily smiling at each other or holding hands as they enter a spacious room
for an evening of fun. Two Queens motels – Crossbay Motor Inn in Ozone
Park and the Kew Motor Inn – actually have the same picture of a scantily
clad couple about to kiss while grinning ear to ear. Crossbay also calls
itself “Your Home Away from Home,” and charges $40 for four hours.
Some motels aren’t so
subtle, and use blatant language to advertise their short stay options. The
Capri Whitestone Motel, which charges rates of $40 for four hours,
advertises “fantasy rooms,” and uses the slogan, “Your privacy is our
concern.” Waterfront Views in Howard Beach, which charges $50 for five
hours, advertises, “full and short stay rates available,” “whirlpool
and waterbed rooms available,” and “floor to ceiling mirrors.” The
Haven Motel in Woodhaven, which charges $40 for four hours, advertises
“Short stay rates” and “newly decorated rooms.”
The New Boulevard Motor Inn in
Elmhurst, which charges $40 for four hours and features round beds, uses a
photo of a couple dreamily looking into each others eyes with the words,
“couple oriented” underneath, while the Windjammer Motor Inn in Brooklyn
advertises, “large rooms,” “secluded parking,” “mirrored
ceilings,” and “jacuzzi rooms.” The Windjammer, which is a short drive
from Queens, charges $45 for four hours.
This is just
a small sampling of the hundreds of short stay motels in Queens, which all
accept credit cards and usually don’t ask questions. A manager at one
motel, who didn’t want his name mentioned, told the Tribune that
couples, “shouldn’t be embarrassed,” to ask for a room because,
“that’s what we make money on.” He also said, when looking for a
motel, to stay away from places advertised in the phone book as
“conference centers,” or “corporate.” He said, “Those usually
aren’t looking for couple clientele.”
By BEN ABELSON
Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration regulated the adult entertainment
business in 1995, the nature of the business has been moved and changed in
Queens, and as legal battles continue to define what residential areas
should allow, strip clubs are still finding a home and thriving business in
1995 rules prohibited adult businesses from “locating within residential
and neigborhood retail areas, and within 500 feet of schools, day care
centers, houses of worship, or any other adult establishment.” On the surface, it appeared that these regulations would
force Queens’ strip clubs into industrial neighborhoods in Long Island
City, or, interestingly, places like the College Point Corporate Park.
owners of adult entertainment establishments put their lawyers to work to
protect their business and a loophole in the very strict wording was found:
now simply called the “60-40 rule.”
City zoning code had identified an adult business as one where a
“substantial portion” of the premises were used for “adult” purposes
— which a court ruling defined as more than 40 percent of the floor space.
This allowed businesses that devoted less than 40 percent of their
floor space to “non-adult” activities to remain open, even in zones that
allowed residential buildings. Many Queens clubs have since redesigned their
in August of 2001, the City Planning Commission (CPC) approved amendments to
the zoning regulations that would close the rule that allowed the majority
of Queens’ adult businesses to stay open.
A Manhattan club called “Tens” is currently challenging the new
zoning rules in Manhattan Supreme Court, but barring their victory, the
end-game for Queens’ adult hot spots is rapidly closing in. According to a
CPC spokesperson, all adult facilities must comply with the new rules by
Nov. 1, or be shut down. And the new rules hold a standard of an on-site
inspector’s observation as the determination of whether or not a business
is an “adult entertainment establishment” – eliminating the
Tribune stopped in to one of Queens’ more famous “gentleman’s
clubs” — Wiggles, in Rego Park, which made headlines for its proximity
to homes and synagogues and was on target for a line of protest that stopped
traffic along Queens Boulevard prior to the 1995 regulations.
heavy, metal-plated, exterior doors squeaked open into a long, twisting
corridor, leading to a large room occupied by two lonely pool tables – a
sign of the changes made to the club since the new square foot usage
main dancing room appears small, but is surrounded by more mirrors than are
in the Palace of Versailles, which gives it an illusion of size.
The minimum age at Wiggles is 18, and due to restrictive City codes,
they serve only non-alcoholic drinks. For $5, guests can have their choice
of bottled water, juice, or O’Douls.
chest-high stage fills the center of the room, which is lined with smaller
tables around its perimeter. Bar
stools encircle the raised platform, where the girls dance around two poles
under a mirrored-ceiling. Admission
is waived during happy hour, it’s normally $10 – with a two-drink
Those in search of adult
entertainment in Queens have a variety of options: topless strip clubs,
all-nude clubs and adult book and video stores. One thing’s for sure:
despite the government’s best efforts, sex is definitely still for sale in
in Rego Park, one popular adult entertainment hotspot, still attracts
patrons to its doors, despite the City’s crackdown over the years.
Rego Park is still open for business, thanks to a loophole in zoning
And The Law:
It may be the world’s oldest
profession, and nestled between the apartment buildings and multi-family
homes of Queens, brothels continue to meet the consumer demand while civic
organizations and vice squads look to shut them down.
In the most ethnically diverse
county on the planet, prostitution has molded to fit the neighborhood and
the immigrant population. Many women find passage to New York City includes
time working in a brothel and in the more industrial areas of Queens,
prostitution keeps much to the stereotypical “street walker” . . .
though in one police bust a would-be customer (a “john”) tried to pick
up the undercover cop while riding his bicycle.
Even the constraints of
parking can effect the trade, as law enforcement officials look for the
issues that surround prostitution to take the profit out of the Queens
business. Summons and building violations are the tools used to rack up the
cost of doing business, but it is hard to fight the overwhelming profits
some brothels collect.
Flushing is home mostly to
massage parlors, often with new immigrant women working off huge debts they
incurred traveling to the United States.
Streetwalkers frequent Prince
Street in Flushing, where they are protected by “enforcers.”
Roosevelt Avenue was a
prostitution playground until special teams of cops and prosecutors shut
down most of the brothels on the strip.
Maspeth and Astoria have
something in common in the style of prostitution, as practitioners pick up
‘johns’ and go with them to nearby motels.
The going rate for sex with a
streetwalker has increased in the last three years, police said.
Oral sex currently costs $15,
intercourse $30. Patrons must buy a condom for $1. However, prices vary with
independent prostitutes, police said.
Time in a Queens brothel can
cost between $40 to $80 an hour, depending on the services provided.
For a Tribune story on
prostitution enforcement efforts in 2000, Queens Assistant District Anthony
M. Communiello, Jr. explained the Queens prostitution business profile.
According to Communiello,
brothel prostitution is heavy in the Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona
Street prostitution gravitates
toward Queensbridge, Long Island City and Queens Plaza, he said.
brothels will look rather quiet from the outside. Some feature legal
businesses, others are strictly residential buildings, and the brothel
“manager” may only be another tenant.
lookout, or “doorman,” is the first line of defense at the door.
a customer makes it inside, they may now be required to take a shower with
the manager, Communiello reported, because law enforcement activities have
been so bad for business that it takes this legal strip down to insure an
undercover cop has not just entered the premises.
prostitutes work independently, other managers will have twenty women
working for them. These women will have “punch cards” which are punched
with every new customer that they see. At the end of the day, the manager
can tell how much he has to pay his employee by how many punches there are
on these cards, Communiello said.
explained that the illegal act itself is the exchange of sex for money.
for anything else is not illegal,” he said, and as a result it is
difficult to prove someone is engaging in prostitution unless an undercover
operation catches offer of a business transaction on tape or a former
customer is willing to testify to the illegal purchase.
Communiello’s Civil Enforcement Bureau was using the Nussiance Abatement
Laws, civil lawsuits and the Bawdy House Statute to address the quality of
life issues involved with prostitution. Communiello explained that the Bawdy
House Statute holds a landlord responsible for evicting a tenant if it is
shown “by a preponderance of the evidence” that illegal activity is
in Queens have made more than 1,200 prostitution and prostitution-related
arrests in the last 12 months, authorities said.
Tamara Hartman contributed to this story
And The City
says Queens isn’t sexy?
a matter of fact, the city’s biggest borough is also home to the
production of one of television’s randiest shows – the HBO smash hit
“Sex And The City.”
show is put together at Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios.
first studio was opened in 1983 in the former “flour silo room” of what
was once the Silvercup Bakery.
has grown into the largest independent, film and television production
facility in the northeastern United States.
HBO hit “The Sopranos” is also filmed there.
the major motion pictures that have been filmed at Silvercup’s are
“Godfather III,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Romancing the
Stone,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “Working Girl,” “First Knight,”
“Men In Black,” and many others.