When I was first invited to visit the Desire Resorts as a journalist, the first thing I did was head to their website, where I learned both Desire Riviera Maya Pearl and Desire Riviera Maya boasted a sexy, “clothing optional, couples only” environment. In my head, these statements translated to “nudist swingers,” which sounded slightly terrifying. Then, the realization: My husband and I were invited to visit during our sixth anniversary weekend.
I asked my hubby if he wanted to go and received a resounding “Yes!” because who doesn’t want to visit a swanky resort in Cancun? If we felt too terrified, we could just hide in our fancy hotel room, right?
Prior to arriving at Desire, my husband and I had a basic chat about our expectations—of which we had none. We’d never been to a “clothing optional, couples only” resort, so we didn’t fully grasp what we were getting into. That first afternoon, my husband and I donned our bathing suits and headed to the gargantuan beachside pool to sip champagne and toast our anniversary—and we were the only ones not naked. I was gobsmacked by all the breasts and penises staring back at me at the pool. It’s not easy for me to remember people's names while meeting them in their birthday suits.
After six hours of being surrounded by naked people, my husband decided to embrace the trend. (Yes, I asked him three hundred times if he’d applied sunscreen there.) I eventually went topless, but I never felt like it was a requirement: Desire is a place of zero pressure because aggression is so thoroughly frowned upon. When you arrive, you sign a contract that proclaims “No means NO” in huge letters. It also seems to be a place where the women exert most of the control.
The men I met were docile; the women were friendly but much more aggressive. I might get hit on at the grocery store at home in Ohio, but my husband never does. At Desire, women were practically petting him. Still, I never felt jealous—and no one else seemed to, either, probably because every smiling greeting or caress felt neighborly as opposed to expectant.
Shortly after I went topless, one of our new buddies asked if he could give me a hug. Instead of scoffing, I laughed, because everything felt so safe, so comfortable. Even the night we spent swimming in the outdoor Jacuzzi until 3 AM during a lightning storm felt harmless.
As my journalistic instincts kicked in, I asked other guests a lot about the nudist/swinger lifestyle. It turned out that they were equally curious about me, since my husband and I don’t live “the lifestyle.” No one was trying to talk me into bed; they honestly wanted to understand why we wouldn’t be willing to try something that worked so well for them.
Thanks to societal constructs, I always figured my husband should be enough to keep me satisfied. Six years into our marriage, he most certainly is. Will I feel the same in 20? I hope so, but if I ever need more the couples we talked to at Desire sure made swinging look healthy. In fact, 70% of Desire’s clientele are repeat customers.
Although everyone over 21 is welcome at Desire, most of the couples I met were between 40 and 70 and had been married for at least 15 years. In most cases, the couples there were deeply in love. It wasn’t about getting off on sex with strangers as much as it was about adding some excitement to their marriage.
My husband and I went into the trip with open minds, willing to try anything once. We didn’t make any rules, agreeing instead to go with the flow, but the flow didn’t get us very far. We did watch a lot of other couples have sex. That was pretty hot… and a common occurrence at Desire, although only in designated areas. No one was having sex (or walking around naked) in the restaurants.
My husband and I messed around together in a public area, but we never invited another couple to our room and we never “swapped.” We hadn't declared it off-limits, but the biggest roadblock was that we had to find the right chemistry for both of us. In a few instances, my husband was attracted to a wife but the husband and I wouldn’t hit it off. So that was that.
By the end of our vacation, my husband and I had lost our voices from all the talking and laughing. We’d become completely anesthetized to gender-neutral changing rooms. Although we didn’t have sex with anyone else, we hardly remained wallflowers: I licked chocolate syrup off another woman’s stomach, floated on top of a foam party, and kissed four people I will probably never see again.
But what impressed me most was the overall acceptance. There were no shame or body image issues. Everyone felt beautiful. Everyone looked beautiful, too, not necessarily thanks to six-pack abs or a great butt, but because they were having such a good time. Everything about the experience left me feeling happy and comfortable in my marriage and myself.
Since leaving, I’ve had some trouble reintegrating into “normal” society. It seems odd that everyone is wearing clothes and rushing around so much. My sex life with my hubby has been damn near incredible, too, as we're still amped up on Jacuzzi memories. We’ve even discussed hitting some couples-only clubs in our area.
Although our anniversary weekend might have made us fans of public sex, I doubt we’ll ever be total lifestyle participants. Still, Cancun was an adventure I don’t regret. At Desire, pants were prison and life was like a dream: a dream where everything is sexy, and silicone-based lube is your best friend.
The article I Took My Husband To A 'Clothing Optional' Resort And Here's What Happened originally appeared on Prevention.