The next frontier for adventurous—yet discerning—travelers? Vacationing in the buff. At least that’s what a growing string of nude resorts are betting on as they fancy things up to lure a well-heeled clientele. Davy Rothbart ditched his drawers to find out whether there’s actually such a thing as high-class nudity.
Thus begins an article called, Inside the Clothing-Optional Resort of Your Swinging Dreams, in the August 2017 edition of GQ Magazine. The author travels to Cancún, Mexico and checks into the Desire Pearl, a clothing optional rather than nudist resort. As he states:
The free spirits flocking to Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort, I figured, had to be a different sort. With nightly rates during high season of $700 to $1,500, this place wasn’t for hippies. So, then, who was coming? And how was it that Desire Pearl and a string of establishments like it were booked solid for months at a time?
Within a few hours, Davy makes his way to the pool area, complete with bar and cabanas. The Desire Pearl caters to those seeking more than simply getting a suntan in the buff. After meeting a first-time couple, married with three children, they quickly discover that inhibitions have been shed along with swimsuits.
In that moment, a murmur swept across the Jacuzzi. Half the folks in the water turned their attention toward one of the six cabanas that ring the oversize tub. There, a tall, young, freckled woman was giving her boyfriend a sensual blow job, her ass waving in the air behind her. Rob’s and Laura’s eyes went wide. I have to admit, no matter how much sex you’ve seen in movies or on bookmarked sites on your laptop, it feels crazy to watch real people go at it, just yards away.
Sure, I’d prepared myself to see some amorous behavior, but I’d imagined it’d be fleeting and discreet. Swinging, I had deduced before arriving, was a fact of life at Desire Pearl—and the possibility of a little public sex (perhaps with someone new) must have been a draw for some couples. I knew all that. But even when the trailhead signs warn about bears and rattlesnakes, you’re still a little surprised when you see them.
Although it may be a key attraction for some, the prospect of sex with strangers isn’t explicitly advertised by Desire Pearl. There’s talk, on the resort’s website, of the “erotic,” “sensual,” “open-minded atmosphere” but almost no explicit mention of swinging. Why all this coded language? According to Daniel, one of two Americans who work at Desire Pearl selling vacation packages, the obfuscation allows for a level of discretion, even deniability. If your colleagues or acquaintances from church start Googling around about your vacation, they’re not going to learn too much.
Of course, as Daniel notes, not everybody is here for sex—you’ve got plenty of standard-issue nudists, and also people just drawn by the edgy atmosphere. “Only some are swingers,” he told me. “Others like the freedom of hanging in the pool naked.” The appeal is pretty broad, actually: It’s a tranquil destination where you can step outside of everyday life. There’s an open bar all day and night and a slew of naked people you can flirt with and maybe have sex with. Think of it as Vegas on HGH, a place to let your id off the leash. “The demand is large and growing,” one longtime Desire Pearl staffer told me. “People want ultimate freedom. We provide it.”
The article goes on to explain all the rules about nudity not being allowed in the restaurants, sex only in the cabanas or the ‘Sin Room’ and absolutely no harassment of staff or fellow guests. It paints a picture of safe hedonism far from the grubby club scene. By the end of their stay, the couple he first met winds up swinging with an experienced pair after a late night of partying.
There’s no D/s or spanking going on, or at least none mentioned, but again, the tone of the reporting is constrained and slightly skeevy. I’m actually getting quite discouraged at reading numerous magazines that focus on the ‘abnormal’ aspects of nudity, sex and kink, instead of saying: “America, get your collective heads out of your asses and start accepting the joy of sex.”
For most people though, a vacation—of any kind—is hard to afford. I guess stay-at-home nudism will have to suffice.