In the north of India, where it’s still warm but you can see the mountains, there is an old hotel. It’s not open to the public. It’s full of English women public servants, aged from their late 20s through to, oh, 80 or so. Apart from the hiking and other healthy activities, there are two things the regulars come to do: smoke opium, and, mostly for the younger members, have sex with each other.
I dropped by because a friend of mine’s sister lives there. He’d asked me to drop off some gifts from England. (Gloves, gingerbread, a riding crop, and tampons for her younger girlfriend.) She – my friend’s sister, that is – has retired and intends to stay till she dies. Others, like her girlfriend, just come to spend a few weeks there each year, fucking in the day and dreaming pipe dreams in the night. Or vice versa. Membership’s by invitation only, and they don’t advertise.
My friend gave me the errand partly as a favour, because he knew I’d find the place astonishing. They showed me around, since they don’t dislike men (conditions apply), and they don’t get many visitors. It is an extraordinary place. You may be wondering where older women go, who prefer women, and who don’t have close family connections. I know where about eighty of them went.
I’ve been as specific about the location as I’m going to be.