What Really Happens At A Couples Only Resort?

Couples only resorts may not be all their cracked up to be.

Image: Trip Advisor

Hidden in broad daylight, adults-only resorts offer couples the chance to truly indulge, all the while enjoying time away from home and work, usually in the confines of five-star hotel walls, numerous pools, fine dining and views to die for.

These erotic zones of paradise are already showing signs of recovering from 2020, with Google searches for “adults only resorts” seemingly on the rise and resorts such as Jamaica’s Hedonism II – whose mantra is “be wicked for a week,” – reopening their doors to those starved of love during the global lockdown.

If you’re someone – or a couple – who has had their interest piqued by the idea of being able to frolic around in the nude, becoming truly comfortable with your own body, and to perhaps inject some spice into your relationship, but aren’t too sure exactly what to expect after you check-in, this first-person report from Popsugar will open your eyes just a little.

Love and Sex Editor Hilary White describes her own experience when she and her partner visited the Desire Riviera Maya and Desire Pearl couples-only resorts in Mexico. While she doesn’t provide any account for how they navigated the current global landscape and The Bat Kiss, she begins by talking about what made her book a visit in the first place.

“Clothing optional? Great, no more tan lines. Couples only? My boyfriend was very down. Sexy shows every night, great food, and sensual experiences geared toward turning up the heat in your relationship? Sign us up,” she begins.

Explaining that these resorts allow you quite literally escape society and its public indecency laws, you can pretty much do whatever you please, with the only real rule being “no means no.” The result? If you try to retain a little modesty, you’re the one who looks like the odd one out.

“This isn’t a nudist resort where people mostly keep to themselves. This is a full-on sex resort, with public rooms decorated with round pink and black leather beds dedicated to group sex, massive hot tubs where couples and groups can go at it to their hearts’ desires, and where (in my case) attempting to casually rock a bathing suit bottom made me stand out among the sea of bare butts.”

However, despite considering herself to be “open-minded, sexually adventurous, totally fine with nudity”, Hilary soon found her and her boyfriend were “were in way, way over our heads”.

“We rolled with it, to an extent. But it wasn’t exactly the experience we expected. For the first time in my adult life, I felt incredibly naive and unprepared — and it was pretty hilarious. For the most part.”

How so?

After being asked several times if they were “lifestylers” – a new way of saying ‘swingers – and finding a sex-swing drilled into their hotel room ceiling within the one hour period they’d stepped out (the Desire resorts offer fantasy menus, packages that you can pick and choose from to help spice things up a bit), they soon realised the couple they’d made friends with were likely seeking more than just some chat about politics over a bottle or two of red wine.

“Nope. It was the erotic preamble to what would’ve been sex with my boyfriend — guided by a beautiful (and amazingly sweet) woman decked out in black lace and silk. But (due to my own obliviousness) it turned into the preamble for what was essentially a foursome — since I’d invited our newfound friends along for the (literal) ride. I guess the rose petals on the bed should have been my red flag?”

With crisis averted, Hilary and her boyfriend (and the other couple) laughed off the whole ordeal and continued their night in a rather more PG fashion. And, upon reflection of their stay, Hilary adds,

“We got closer not only because of our admittedly awkward roller-coaster ride, but also because the resorts really do foster a sense of eroticism and sexual openness that was entirely contagious. Did we know what we were getting ourselves into? Absolutely not. Did we have exciting sex in places and ways we never have before? Yup.”

And if you’re still unsure as to whether a couples-only resort could be the thing for you and your partner, Hilary says,

“Bottom line, going to an erotic couples resort got my partner and me out of our comfort zones, but more importantly, the resorts allow others who visit to truly be in their comfort zones, whatever those may be.”

Indeed, Vice‘s Alex Temblador has been one of those fortunate to have visited Jamaica’s famous Hedonism II, and spoke to the resort’s social engagement manager Michelle Facey. Facey says “[It’s] very important that people coming here have a basic understanding of what the resort is about so that they have the correct expectations; Hedonism II is not for everyone.”

But, speaking of her own experience, Alex adds, “As a single, 28-year-old woman, I found Hedonism II invigorating and empowering. I felt sexy playing naked volleyball and dancing with the Men at Large models, and empowered in conversation with the BARE retreat women.”

“I even connected positively with guests of my parents’ and grandparents’ age. They looked me in my eyes, even when naked, and provided useful insight on the resort. They wanted me to enjoy Hedo, just as they did.”

Other journalists who have visited “sexy resorts” include Anna Davies who, now a single-mum, visited the Temptation resort in Cancun, Mexico, wholly expecting to feel out of her comfort zone and to hate the whole experience. She could not have been more wrong.

“For me, while I welcomed motherhood, I assumed it meant certain things were out of my life forever. But it took Temptation Resort to remind me there’s no reason I can’t go solo to a foreign country, that I can’t be the sexy, independent, try-anything-once woman I used to be.”

“Is Temptation Resort cheesy? Yes – but that’s exactly the point. What I hadn’t realized just a week earlier when I was earnestly buying lingerie online to try to fit society’s expectation of sexy is that the people who went to Temptation, and came time after time, were all ages, shapes, and sizes, and they didn’t come for an Eyes Wide Shut bacchanal—they came to shed expectations and just enjoy the moment.”

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