I’ve been to four
sex-themed resorts and a relationship retreat. I went to two of them on my own, and three of them with my partner, and I had different experiences with each. But I will tell you one thing about them all: They were an adventure. Sex vacations and adult resorts are growing increasingly popular, with attractions like sex shows, erotic massages (we’ll get to that later), and playrooms for public sex. Many people I’ve spoken to at these places enjoy the nudity aspect because it removes one major way people tend to judge one another: their clothes. They also like the ability to be as sexual as they want without censoring themselves.
Still, what you get out of any
trip you take as a couple depends on what you put in. Couples and sex therapist Marissa Nelson, LMFT tells Bustle that you'll need to put aside your computers, phones, and lives back at home for at least a good chunk of the trip. "Take the time to have in-depth conversations about your future together, what you want to achieve personally and as a couple," she says.
If you go to one of the following places for a
sex vacation, though, staying present probably won't be an issue. There's just way too much excitement that you won't want to miss. Here’s the low-down on every sexually adventurous vacation I’ve been on. Courtesy of Desire Riviera Maya
four-star couples-only resort has an upscale Italian restaurant, a hibachi restaurant, and more, plus a pool with foam parties and other fun events, a spa that offers “erotic massages,” a disco with a “playroom” for public sex, and a jacuzzi where people get rowdy every evening. It’s common to see people have sex on the chairs outside the hot tub (I even saw people clap after one couple finished), but if you don’t want to partake in those antics, guests are just as happy sipping cocktails and making conversation. I’ve never met a group of people so simultaneously sexually open and respectful of boundaries.
Desire Riviera Maya Pearl
Courtesy of Desire Riviera Maya Pearl
If you want all the perks of Desire Riviera Maya with a bit less, er, stimulation,
Desire Pearl might be more up your alley. In the five-star couples-only resort’s beautiful rooms, butlers will deliver you fresh chocolate-covered strawberries and wine every day, and you can spend the day lounging in big beds on the beach or chairs by the pool. The jacuzzi’s also home to raunchy conversation and the occasional couple fooling around, though I saw less public sex here. The Desire resorts also all have nightly “theme nights” where guests dress up and staff members put on shows, followed by dancing at the disco if the day's activities haven't worn you out.
Some fans of
Cancun’s Temptation resort say it's “spring break for adults.” It’s known for its topless beach and pools, which are less upscale than Desire's and not completely clothing-optional, though it’s not as Girls Gone Wild-like as you might fear. Guests spend the day in the “sexy pool,” where people bob along to DJs and live bands in the water, and then dance the night away at the outdoor nightclub. The resort is also home to a huge variety of restaurants, most notably including She, which serves seven-course meals full of aphrodisiacs. A typical day at Jamaica's three-star resort Hedonism II looks like this: naked water aerobics, mingling on the nude beach, lunch complete with multiple Jamaican desserts, naked pool games, socializing with cocktails in the pool, a sexy musical performance with dinner, getting naughty in the playroom, and chatting (or more) in the jacuzzi. I encountered a wide range of characters here, including a young man traveling alone from South America to get out of his comfort zone, a professional Santa who doesn’t hook up with anyone but is friends with everyone, and a group of swingers who return every year. With this diverse mix, there is never a dull moment. Courtesy of Intimacy Moons
couples’ and singles’ retreat isn’t as sexually adventurous as the others — it takes place at regular, clothing-required resorts ( the one I went to was at The Crane in Barbados) — but it may be perfect if you’re not comfortable with public sex or nudity but still want to work on your sex life. It includes several couples' therapy sessions, and one is devoted to sex. I went through the singles’ program, which is probably a little different, but I had some major breakthroughs in my attitude toward relationships. And aside from the therapy, you also get delicious dinners, time at the spa, and tours around a beautiful setting.
After going to all these places, I’m a believer in going out of your sexual comfort zone for couples’ vacations. If you want that exciting feeling you got when your relationship was new, it's important to do new things together. And if these experiences are anything, they're definitely new.
Experts: Marissa Nelson, LMFT, Couples and sex therapist