The Voyeur’s Motel
I know a wedded man and father of two who purchased a twenty-one-room motel close Denver numerous years prior keeping in mind the end goal to end up its occupant voyeur. With the help of his better half, he cut rectangular gaps estimating six by fourteen creeps in the roofs of in excess of twelve rooms. At that point he secured the openings with louvered aluminum screens that resembled ventilation grilles yet were really perception vents that permitted him, while he stooped in the loft, to see his visitors in the rooms underneath. He watched them for a considerable length of time, while keeping a thorough composed record of what he saw and heard. Not even once, amid every one of those years, was he gotten.
I initially wound up mindful of this man subsequent to getting a transcribed extraordinary conveyance letter, without a signature, dated January 7, 1980, at my home in New York. It started: Dear Mr. Talese: Since learning of your hotly anticipated investigation of across the nation sex in America, which will be incorporated into your destined to be distributed book, “Thy Neighbor’s Wife,” I believe I have imperative data that I could add to its substance or to substance of a future book.
He at that point portrayed the motel he had claimed for over ten years. The purpose behind obtaining this motel was to fulfill my voyeuristic propensities and convincing enthusiasm for all periods of how individuals direct their lives, both socially and sexually. . . . I did this absolutely out of my boundless interest about individuals and not as only a disturbed voyeur. He clarified that he had “logged a precise record of most of the people that I viewed” also, accumulated intriguing insights on each, i.e., what was done; information disclosed; their individual qualities; age and body compose; some portion of the nation from where they came; and their sexual conduct.
These people were from each stroll of life. The specialist who takes his secretary to a motel amid the twelve hour, which is for the most part named “hot sheet” exchange the motel business. Hitched couples making a trip from state to state, either on business or get-away. Couples who aren’t hitched, yet live respectively. Spouses who undermine their husbands and visa versa. Lesbianism, of which I made a specific report. . . . Homosexuality, of which I had little intrigue, yet at the same time watched to decide inspiration and strategy. The Seventies, later part, presented another sexual deviation, specifically, aggregate sex, which I appreciated viewing . . . .
I have seen most human feelings in the entirety of their silliness and disaster conveyed to consummation. Sexually, I have seen, watched and considered the best direct, unrehearsed, non-lab sex amongst couples, and most other possible sex deviations amid these previous 15 years. My fundamental target in needing to give you this secret data is the conviction that it could be significant to individuals as a rule and sex scientists specifically.
He proceeded to state that despite the fact that he had been needing to recount his story, he was “not sufficiently gifted” as an author and had “fears of being found.” He at that point welcomed me to compare with him in care of a mail station box and recommended that I come to Colorado to review his motel activity: By and by I can’t uncover my character in light of my business advantages, yet [it] will be uncovered when you can guarantee me that this data would be held in entire certainty.
Subsequent to perusing this letter, I set it aside for a couple of days, undecided on whether to react. As a true to life author who demands utilizing genuine names in articles and books, I realized that I couldn’t acknowledge his state of namelessness. What’s more, I was profoundly agitated by the manner in which he had abused his clients’ trust and attacked their protection. Could such a man be a dependable source?
In any case, as I rehash the letter, I mirrored that his “research” strategies and intentions bore some comparability to my own particular in “Thy Neighbor’s Wife.” I had, for instance, kept notes while overseeing rub parlors in New York and keeping in mind that blending with swingers at the Sandstone vcooperative in Southern California (one key distinction: the general population I watched and gave an account of had given me their assent). Additionally, the opening line of my 1969 book about the Times, “The Kingdom and the Power,” was: “Most writers are anxious voyeurs who see the warts on the world, the blemishes in individuals and spots.”
With respect to whether my journalist in Colorado was, in his own particular words, “an unsettled voyeur“— a variant of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, or the deadly producer in Michael Powell’s “Peeping Tom”— or rather an innocuous, if odd, man of “boundless interest,” or even a straightforward fabulist, I could know just in the event that I acknowledged his welcome. Since I was wanting to be in Phoenix later in the month, I chose to send him a note, with my telephone number, recommending that we meet amid a stopover in Denver. He cleared out a message on my voice-mail a couple of days after the fact, saying that he would meet me at the airplane terminal baggage carousel.
After two weeks, when I moved toward the baggage carrousel, I recognized a man holding out his hand and grinning. “Welcome to Denver,” he stated, waving in his left hand the note I had sent him. “My name is Gerald Foos.”
My initial introduction was that this affable outsider looked like a large number of the men I had flown with from Phoenix. He appeared not the slightest bit exceptional. In his mid-forties, Foos was hazel-looked at, around six feet tall, and marginally overweight. He wore a tan coat and a buttoned down dress shirt that appeared a size little for his intensely ripped neck. He had perfectly trimmed dim hair, and, behind horn-rimmed glasses, he anticipated an inviting articulation befitting an owner.