Is Your Hotel Spotless?
© 2008 Teresa Cook
Alan and Drew ducked their heads into the doorway. "Want to come watch a movie with us?"
Brandon looked up from his book. "Sure. Why not?" He followed the boys down the hall to their hotel room and
settled on the side of the bed. Brandon didn’t know until the movie began that one of the boys had called the
hotel desk and ordered an adult Pay-Per-View. Embarrassed and afraid of being labeled "weird" if he objected,
Brandon sat and stared wide-eyed at this forbidden fruit—until one of the boys accidentally rolled over
on the remote and cut off the movie.
Brandon is our son, and the above incident happened several years ago on a chaperoned youth trip to Washington,
DC. Ideally, Brandon would have indignantly left the room when he saw what was playing and reported the
infraction. He did neither. Peer pressure is strong, and so is a young teen’s curiosity about sex.
We didn’t learn about the exposure until three years later when Brandon confessed he was addicted to pornography.
We have no doubt this experience, while not the cause of his addiction, desensitized him and predisposed him to
become more easily hooked the next time he stumbled upon porn.
I don’t know what hotel chain Brandon stayed in when he saw the pornographic movie, but it really doesn’t matter
since scores of hotels provide x-rated offerings. I’m sure many men can trace the roots and/or feeding of their
pornography addictions to adult movies they saw in the privacy of their hotel rooms.
The episode left me with many unanswered questions. Why wasn’t the hotel staff suspicious? The Pay-Per-View
request came from a block of rooms reserved for youth. Why didn’t the trip coordinators question the charge?
Even though hotels don’t list movie titles on clients’ bills, a Pay-Per-View charge should have alerted the
But the burning question is: Why do hotels offer x-rated movies in the first place? The answer is, of course,
money. Few chains willingly forgo profits from adult Pay-Per-View, which represents one-half to three-fourths of
in-room movie sales. In addition, cable companies sometimes supply free TVs to hotel chains that subscribe to
their Pay-Per-View. Dropping adult movies can entail costs in the millions when hotels have to replace the sets.1
Some hotels, however, put moral responsibility ahead of profits. Omni, Drury Inn, and Ritz Carlton have eliminated
adult movies from their chain-owned hotels.2 Omni began phasing out the movies in 2000 and sited family values
as the reason.3
Now Marriott International, owner of more than 3000 properties worldwide,4 is considering banning pornography
from its in-room line-up. In May 2008, Marriott met with pro-family leaders to discuss the matter. At the
unprecedented meeting, Focus on the Family presented Marriott officials with a petition signed by over 102,000
people concerned about the effects of hotel pornography. Marriott took notice and promised a decision by July.5
I pray that Marriott will, in fact, close the door on its distribution of pornography and that other chains will
follow suit. But for now, you can find a safe hotel for your family vacation, business trip, or weekend getaway
or check out your child’s accommodations before they travel with their youth or school group by going to
. Enter your destination, and Clean Hotels will give you a list of facilities that do not
offer in-room pornography.
By supporting these hotels, you can send the message that family values are important and protecting our children
is paramount. Take a stand against hotel pornography. After all, you can't always measure how clean your hotel is
by the dust on the countertops.