Temptations open with much fanfare in Cancun

Temptations has certainly been known in the erotic travel circles as the “most elegant of spring break hotels”. Less about drunk students and more about drunk 25-35 year olds with party buses into the big bars in downtown Cancun. But with a re-opening and complete renovation of their Cancun property Temptations is catering more to the over 35 party crowd with elegant fun and more to do later at night directly on property. Not as sophisticated and openly sexy as the Desire properties down the road in the Riviera Maya, Temptation has always been more about the tease- rather than the full Monty. And given that it is situated right in Cancun, the beach took a back seat to the party pools.

But now Temptations has become much more cosmopolitan. It’s just won awards for the design and aims to bring playful, topless sexy to Cancun’s skyline. There media package had this to say about the new renovations.

“Inspired by the human body, Temptation Cancun Resort’s smooth, multi-colored seven story façade will be a beautiful, sensuous highlight of the Cancun Resort strip.

“Temptation’s new design by Karim Rashid showcases everything we stand for – excitement, sensuality, passionate and innovative; with legendary and top-notch services,” said Rodrigo de la Peña, CEO of Original Resorts. “With its grandiose façade, excellent restaurants and facilities, Rashid’s redesign includes everything from the colors to the shapes and the furniture to the open spaces, creating a sensual atmosphere where vacationing couples are immersed in our adults only playground during their entire stay.”

It will be interesting to hear the reviews. We have a number of Ducklings attending the Halloween festivities over the next week as the resort becomes the place to go for adults wanting to re-live their mis-spent youth. Like with any Original property the pool side service and wait staff in general is excellent. The staff is motivated and attentive. But we continue to hear that there is a high pressure push to purchase the timeshares which can take away from your vacation experience. Especially if you are only there for a short visit. No matter what they offer stay away from the “membership presentation”. We heard of a couple of people leaving feeling very strong armed.

But for a quick trip down to sunny Mexico for a few days Temptations is a great choice. It’s easy to get there, sexy but it stays away from the full-on swinging and nudity of Desire (or Hedonism) and emphasizes the innuendo. With newly appointed rooms and great new facilities the time to visit Temptations may be on hand.

Desire Pearl, Mayan Riviera, Mexico 2017

A tale of two worlds.
Having traveled a good part of the world, and experienced some amazing service, this resort is second to none when it comes to attitude, effort, politeness and making a guest feel special. The food and drink is spectacular (especially if you take the time to listen to your server. Their suggestions and knowledge of each chef’s specials can guide you to mouth watering local treats!)

The hotel is small to medium allowing a very personal feel. The facilities are wonderful. Even the beach which can be stony in the general area is quite passable. You can walk quite a distance feeling safe and you can walk out into the ocean.

The animation staff tries to engage you but recognizes those who wish to remain in their own worlds. However, the serving staff is ever present and this is most appreciated in an all inclusive.

Here comes the other world….DO NOT get sucked into a time share presentation. Run away screaming or make a big scene but no matter what is offered, take a giant pass. If you make the mistake be prepared to face the wrath of the sales team unless you write a big cheque. They get very impolite bordering on nasty. I don’t want to dwell on this as it ruins a wonderful property. Just be forewarned and stay resolute!

Back to the happy aspects. The price is upper end but you can watch for deals. And the hotel is perfect for a 4-night getaway from home. Cancun is easy to get to and relatively inexpensive. You will return home talking about your next visit to Desire. It leaves that kind of impression.

2014 – Desire Resort, Riviera Maya. Why it shold be on you bucket list.

Desire Rivera Maya
By Sue “Sex with Sue” McGarvie and Blaik Spratt, Clinical Sex Therapists, Syndicated Talk Show Host, authors of The Ethical Hedonist

As sex and relationship therapists we’re on a mission to seek out the most romantic, the most sexually charged, and the most unique erotic vacations for adult couples who we describe as “Ethical Hedonists”. Tough job, staying away from all those calorie- rich pina coladas and preventing sunburn on your naked parts, but it’s a mission we take seriously. No hurricanes this year to worry about, but if there are hardships to lying naked at a five star, all inclusive resort in the Caribbean, we just can’t think of them at the moment. As part of our nude and romance havens worldwide tour, we have just returned from a week this fall at the upscale Desire Rivera Maya resort 40 minutes outside Cancun Mexico. All in the name of science of course, (grin) our interest was to determine where on the sexual continuum of Ethical Hedonism, the couples staying at Desire found themselves.

Described as an “elegant and exclusive, clothing-optional, couples-only resort” Desire is an adult-only, 114 room, secluded resort somewhat off the beaten path. It’s situated between acres of mangrove swamps – take the “beware of crocodile signs seriously – (we had five, 2 meter crocs swim towards us a few feet from the edge of the road outside the resort when we got out of the car) along with an interesting array of jungle birds and animals including a baby coatimundi (wild jungle raccoons that are social, curious and let you pet them on your way to dinner). The resort is located on the wayward side of the road, and is situated on a strip of Mexico’s typically breathtaking Caribbean beaches, complete with white sands and warm, turquoise water. The beach includes 40 canopied beach beds (complete with drink-providing waitresses and cabana boys) situated along the edge of the water. These beds are the ultimate in decadence beach relaxation. Apparently couples frolicking romantically on the beach beds were a common sight in the past. Desire Rivera Maya had previously been sequestered from any other resorts, but as development has hit this area of the coast (with a new resort a little down the beach) the sexual adventure has had to be curtailed by the security guards asking you to take the sex inside your rooms, or upstairs to the hot tub. A few couples grumbled about the “evil bed police”, stopping their “from Here to Eternity” wave crashing. It deterred those who really enjoyed rolling in the surf and had loved the freedom to be intimate in the Sea, but overall the tone on the beach tended to be more romantic than sexual.

Desire Resorts claim it is for couples over 25, but the average age of couples we observed would probably be in their mid 40’s. We met one couple who were a remarkably active and well preserved 80, (if only we could all be at a nude resort at 80), most of the couples had been together for ten years or longer and were what we call the “empty nesters gone wild” group, or anniversary couples looking for something different. According to the staff (which has some variation depending on the time of year), guests were 20% Mexican/Latin, 20% European, 20% Canadian, and 40% American in nationality, all in varying stages of undress. Clothing optional, as opposed to nude means that bathing suits are seen, but the majority of the couples were either nude or topless throughout the day. They had typical resort games such as water polo and beach volleyball taking place, (nude volleyball is always an interesting eyeful) along with far more sexual ones such as the chocolate eating contest (where two couples compete to see who can drizzle and eat the most chocolate and whipped cream off their partners). Nobody was pressured to participate. The tone was entertaining and playful during the day, rather than sexual, and the evening theme was more erotic, rather than smacking of blatant sex. There is no “getting jumped in the lobby” fear that some people perceive happens at lifestyle friendly resorts. The activity staff was relaxed, but enthusiastic and did their best to be inclusive of everyone interested in participating, and respectful of those who wanted to read quietly, or simply lounge on the beach.

The large elevated hot tub (which is off limits to management and only manned by a bartender and one cleaning staff for the mountain of towels being used) gets going about 4 pm, and is the place to socialize until couples start getting ready for dinner at 7. The hot tub is surrounded by a bar and six beds (all in view of the hot tub) which are either draped or open depending on the level of exhibitionist tendencies of the couple in question. A few couples were seen playing on the beds, (mostly with their own partners, but with some group massages going on). However for the most part, people were simply flirty and friendly in and around the hot tub, and exceptionally respectful of couples who were only into each other. Provided you don’t stare, it’s quite acceptable to watch. And everyone is understandably curious, and wanted to see if the participants are having longer, or more interesting sex than they are. It can get wilder depending on the flavor of groups staying any particular week, but the concern that one young man had before coming to Desire of “being afraid to leave his wife alone while he went to the bathroom for fear she would be mauled” was completely unfounded. A couple of people approached us asking if we were lifestylers, but like most lifestyle aficionados we’ve ever met, they graciously understood the etiquette and body language of disinterest.

Three dinner restaurants (an Asian, a fine dining, and buffet style) had enough of a quality and variety to keep everyone happy, although we found the sameness of the breakfast and lunch buffets had us craving for anything beyond the typical beach food by the end of the week. This is not the place to go if you are trying to manage your weight – and we struggled to find things that weren’t deep fried, or carb loaded (although yummy). The service was outstanding. There is something about Mexican waiters that let them show their appreciation of you, without ever being schwarmy. The dress for dinner was sexy and elegant, and a second change into erotic costumes or lingerie was common for the late evening entertainment and disco, so paying attention to the days themes before you arrive meant you were up for prizes, and admired by the other guests. Disco themes include “pimp and ho night”, Latin fever, costume and mask night, and sexy pj’s, and participants were encouraged to do a strip tease or “show off” to determine who won the t-shirt for the most enthusiastic performance. A couples- only playroom off of the dance floor was popular for about an hour a night (after 11pm), and was the only other condoned, sex-friendly zone in the resort. However it took us two days to find the door leading into it, and with no windows, any active play certainly wasn’t in your face.

The highlight for us were the evening shows before the disco got shaking which were brought in activities including a classic rock band, body painting, lingerie fashion show, casino night (with an auction for Desire merchandise) and where you could find the entire cast of resort guests lounging on chairs, mingling, or just cuddling romantically after dinner on cabana chairs built for two. The late night hot tub action (we were leaving upstairs a few nights at 2 am and the action was just beginning), didn’t get going until very late, and there were a few groups who found beach beds after 3 am to continue the revelry. We marveled at their stamina.

Desire’s concept is certainly upscale, and anyone who tried the couple “Desire” massage (which included very sensuous touching, and a guided “happy ending” in a private room) raved about it. Desire seems to oscillate between the decadent “indulge yourself” mantra of “what goes on in Mexico”… while emphasizing their spa-like features of relaxation and health. To their credit, they had very little of the time-share, or excursion aggressive sales pitches that seem to be the bane of other resorts we’ve visited.

Occupancy at Desire is one of the highest in the Caribbean, with Rivera Maya being close to 80-100% filled from mid October until April. Martin Good, the charming General Manager said that they had purchased the vacant land next door, and were building another 40 units to deal with the occupancy levels, as you will struggle to get in any week during high season. He went on to say “about 40% of Desires guests were repeaters (we met one couple who had been nine times already), and that people seemed to really enjoy the concept”. Desire has no “spring break” feel to it, and with that kind of occupancy, and high end entertainment, the room rates are a bit dear. Rates vary during the high season range from $250 to $540 US a night per person, with bottles of wine, massages, and specialty foods like lobster being extra. This is not discount travel, and within an eight days time span, 90% of the guests turn over.

But it is one of the only places that tolerate what we call “upscale sexual encounters done with taste”. The clientele are affluent, professional, open minded, and have the time and money to explore the boundaries of their relationship. Like with all nude resorts we’ve encountered, the minute you take clothes off, the barriers to meeting people come down. You make friends easily, and most people are happy to tell you about themselves. There is a “no camera policy” and discretion is expected. In interviewing as many couples as possible, Desire vacationers seem to fall largely into one of three categories. They were the “honeymooning type” – couples who were into each other and their relationship, enjoyed a sexually charged environment, but stayed away from the hot tub, disco, and simply re-connected monogamously. They may or may not be nude through their stay. The next third were what we call “exploratory lifestylers or nudists”. These were the couples that were open to “something happening” if it felt right (although many weren’t sure what that something might be), liked trying relaxed nudity, and may participate in a gentle, and somewhat innocent group massage. This group were committed to their own relationships but usually went home without seeing any kind of action as they were just testing the waters. The final third were the swingers, or lifestylers who were social, and interested in meeting and hooking up with like minded people, along with the group we called “indiscriminate lifestylers”, for whom this was about how many partners they could try on their week away. This group was friendly, but were really only interested in meeting other lifestylers.

On the whole Desire really is what you make it. Elegant, upscale, quietly naked and romantic, or with late night happenings, disco dancing, and hut tubbing along with 50 new friends and sexual adventures under the stars. We heard absolutely no complaints, about the resort, rooms, food, or service, and Original Resorts who run Desire Rivera Maya and their Los Cabos location have really found their niche. Anything the resort could control, they managed very well. We really can’t rave about the service more. It is very similar to Desire Los Cabos, in theme and layout (although Los Cabos in our opinion is the nicer, newer resort), however the type of guests seemed to differ at the west coast Desire Los Cabos. They get more of their visitors from California, (think Hollywood clothes, and way more silicone), and on the whole weren’t as laid back and relaxed as the “let it all hang out” group we met at Rivera Maya.

The clientele changes by the week, but as a whole, this is the sexy honeymoon most of wish we had, and can still have. It is worthy of its reputation, and a “must-try” on the bucket list of any adventuring Ethical Hedonist.

Hedonism, Jamaican Tourism and how the bus ride to Negril is forever changed

One of our most vivid memories of our first trip to Hedonism stared in the SuperClubs holding room in the Montego Bay Airport. We were handed a bottle of water and asked where we were going. Hedonism 2 was our tentative answer. “Ah the Zoo” said the Jamaican porter. “You get the narley bus”.

It was a bus ride to remember. Three hours of windy roads, small fishing village, goats in the middle of the road, a couple of beer and bathroom stops and a gaggle of Jimmy Buffet wannabees singing Bob Marley songs at the top of their lungs. Unlike the ride back to the airport where everyone left double fisting banana daiquiris before falling into an exhausted stupor most of the way. All with sunburns and in various stages of undress.

The bus trip now may be the way have gone the way of the dodo.
Hedonism has dropped the free airport transfers. In response to a new tourism tax that the Ministry of Tourism has levied on Jamaican resorts.

Here’s the skinny.
“As part of the agreement, all arriving visitors will be required to pay a US$20 fee, which will be included in the ticket cost, effective Aug. 1, 2012. The agreement will also see the introduction of a new daily accommodation tax per occupied room, per night of US$1 for properties with less than 51 rooms, US$2 for hotels with 51 to 100 rooms and US$4 for hotels with 101 rooms and above, effective Sept. 1, 2012. Currently, unlike most destinations, hotels in Jamaica do not charge an accommodation tax.”

But how do you get there you may ask? You can still pay to get ground transportation. Or as Chris Santilli says in her book “Tales from the Naked City”

Hedonism. Now with 3 closed, everyone is back at 2

Hedonism ll and Hedonism lll A review

By Sue McGarvie, and Blaik Spratt
Clinical Relationship Therapists, Syndicated Talk Show Host, and Authors of The Ethical Hedonist

When I was 16, I spent arguably the best summer of my young life as a counselor at a large family camp in Ontario. I was one of 60 co-ed staff. It was an amazingly fun place, and I made lifelong friends. Camp was singing by the campfire, raiding the boy’s cabin, skinny dipping, dancing at costume parties, and summer romance.

Going to Hedonism was the closest thing I’ve experienced as an adult to re-creating that community feel of laugh-out-loud fun of camp. Only instead of mystery meat in the dining hall, and outhouses with flashlights, Hedonism offers spectacular sunsets, unlimited perfect banana daiquiri’s, hot tubs, cabaret shows, and sensuous spa massages. And it’s the scurrying crabs, not mosquitoes that abound.

Forget what you’ve read about Hedo in Playboy, or the myth of it being a sexually aggressive place. The words we would use to describe the two Hedonism resorts are silly, zany, relaxing, casual, outrageous, sensual, saucy and friendly. Clearly, some of the legends are no more than wishful thinking. Nobody jumps you, and it isn’t a place to go trolling for sex. You would probably have more luck at a nightclub like Rick’s Cafe down the beach atop Negril’s cliffs (one of the 10 most famous bars in the world, and home to the fearless cliff divers). However if you want to make real friends who may want to play with you, then Hedonism does offer the best opportunity we’ve ever found to meet the group we call “Ethical Hedonists.” This is an open-minded and adventurous crowd.

People who “get” Hedo are almost cult-like in their love of the place. There are books written about it, Hedonism cocktail parties that organize themselves in large cities, and groups of travel friends that make an annual pilgrimage with names like “the Wild Bunch”, the Bubbly Bares”, and the BareAss Buccaneers”. It’s really about community and the need for like and open-minded people to congregate. Hedonism is not about orgies on every flat surface of the place. We did see some relaxed, but loving, open sexual play going on a few times between partners. It wasn’t offensive, and was limited exclusively to the nude hot tub. You had to look for it, and if you think it’s about getting all the sex you want there then you are likely mistaken.

We think the magic of Hedonism can best be defined by Serena, the nude pool bartender at Hedo lll, who said “It’s not craziness. Hedo is just about people being who they really are.” And having grown-up fun (which includes, but isn’t limited to a flirty sexuality) and relaxing in a place where nobody judges you- provided you offer the same in return. This means you can use your ball cap to comb your hair, dance naked, play the game that shows off the tattoo closest to your pubic region, pretend you are a Roman Emperor on toga night, or just honeymoon away from it all floating in the warm Caribbean Sea on a raft. It’s different from the elegant but over-dressed crowd at other resorts (fashonista’s at breakfast) Hedonism overall is much more down to earth and friendly.

There are two large resorts, the 27 year old Hedo ll in Negril (we were there during their anniversary week the end of October), and the newer, nine year old Hedo lll in Runaway Bay about three hours apart from each other on the coast of Jamaica. They have almost the same amenities, and similar clientele. They both have a 40% return of guests (unheard of loyalty for a resort, so those who love it, love it again and again), but if you have guests returning for over 27 years, they tend to now be in the 45 to 65 age group on average. Don’t get the idea that it’s a place for the over 50 crowd, there were a range of ages (we met five large “girls gone wild” groups of girlfriends in their 20’s having an adventure week together a la Sex in the City), and newly-weds wouldn’t be out of place. A majority (80%) of the guests are couples, unless they are in organized travel of girl groups, and the wandering single guy syndrome was something we simply didn’t see. And despite the perfect people shown in the brochure, (don’t go expecting to see nothing but gorgeous supermodels rubbing suntan lotion all over each other) the majority were ordinary looking people dressed in 45 sunblock and a smile. Hedo lll as a rule skews younger, but there was a couple in their 70’s who we met there as well. You can go online to www.hedonism.com and see what groups or activities are happening the week you’re thinking of attending, and register to start talking to other guests in advance of your arrival. We met people that greeted each other like long lost friends when they met after chatting a few times online. It allows you to recognize people, and gives you an opening to start conversations and have friends to have dinner with from the get go.

Kevin Levee, the General Manager of Hedonism lll calls Hedo a “facilitator”. “The Hedonism resorts open a door to play if you want it. Or simply lets you have an outgoing and interesting all inclusive vacation, on one of Jamaica’s great beaches if you just want to hang” he says.

Don’t let the stories scare you off. Both Hedo ll, and lll (there never was a Hedo l) are clothing optional – not nude. There is a place for all stages of undress at Hedonism. There are two definite areas at Hedo ll, one for the clothed (which is far, far larger than the nude section), and there is an invisible line in front of the dive shack that will have the smiling security guard handing you a towel if you cross naked. The nude pool and hot tub are discreetly tucked away at the far back corner of the resort. At Hedo lll there is the clothed and naked side, and there has also evolved a “confused” (not nude or prude) area they call the quad with its own gorgeous swimming pool. It’s open to clothed, topless, or nude, (wear or don’t wear whatever you want), and the two groups mingle easily. It offers a safe alternative for nudists who don’t want to see any open sex. The one thing I know about people who like to get naked in public is that they are a friendly bunch. They tend to be a more tolerant and open minded, with a philosophy of “we are all the same under our clothes”.

Kevin goes onto say (in his sexy Jamaican accent), “when you lose your clothes you lose your “isms”, and it’s just about people talking together.”

Jamaica has stereotypical tropical weather. Cloudless sunshine all morning, and heavy showers for an hour during nap time mid afternoon. And you need your nap. Unlike most comparable resorts, Hedo offers terrific nighttime entertainment right on the property. A large entertainment staff and the available nightlife were two of the things that brought most of the first timers we met to try out Hedonism. The music was well worth taking in. The Jamaican culture of music and dance was prevalent from the singing “eggman” at breakfast to a couple of the best dance bands we’ve ever heard play anywhere. We would have gladly paid separately to see the rockin’ Commitments-type band, or the exceptional reggae group whose style was tight, infectious and great to dance to. Hedonism also provided a strong house band during dinner and before the 70’s style disco (complete with age-appropriate music) got going. Or guests had the option to make their way to the notorious Hedo piano bars. The piano bar is half sing-a-long, half variety act, and all with mandatory audience participation, where the host changes the words of songs to be hysterically naughty. Late night has everyone congregating in the hot tubs, or doing a kamikaze waterslide that shoots you like a bullet through the disco. The hot tub bars stay open until the last patron stumbles their way to bed, often at 6 am. Each night is theme night where a good portion of the patrons dressed up in costumes that included a “pimp and ho night”, a pj’s and lingerie evening, a swashbuckling pirate themed night, and the infamous toga party where the staff leaves you a extra sheet on your bed so that the whole resort is wrapped up in billowing while cloth.

Beyond a raucous nightlife, consistently hot weather, and an all-inclusive price (tipping is disallowed, so we spent less than $40 extra for airport gratuities only), Hedonism is set on a spectacular coastline. Turquoise water that stays shallow for a good distance, offers world-class snorkeling right off the beach. We saw hundreds of multi-colored fish, rays, beautiful fan coral, and even an octopus within sight of the resort. Sailing, sea kayaking, separate reef snorkeling and scuba boat trips are offered daily. We walked thigh-high through the water as the sun was going down, and had to watch out not to step on the fish floating above the sandy bottom.

It should be noted that Hedonism isn’t five star rooms and impeccable venue. As one house inspector from Calgary said, “they have 100% humidity, salt water, and off-the-scale UV rays. The only way they could keep up with the peeling paint would be to close the resort down and paint for a month every year.” The resorts were clean, the rooms pleasant with the usual accessories, but abject luxury isn’t how we would describe it. This is a place you go to watch the picture perfect sunsets, hang on the beach, dance the night away, chat with exceptional people, and roar with laughter at the friendly stories. Most people just use their rooms to sleep in. The two complaints we heard expressed were about a shortage of beach towels, and the occasional presence of “working girls” (although we didn’t see any) who snuck in on a purchased night pass with other locals or guests at different resorts to see the nightly entertainment. They are escorted off property, and banned if caught “selling their wares”, but are a fact of life in a country with disparaging incomes.

There are a few package-included on-site restaurants which take reservations in the morning, and three beach grills that offer typical beach fare (most notably amazing jerk chicken and pork, a Jamaican specialty). We ate everyday at the beach for lunch as it was that good, especially at Hedo lll, where the jerk festival was just finishing as we arrived, and their reggae restaurant had spectacular (but hot!) jerk meats. Otherwise, a large buffet was provided for guests that did offer a decent variety of food. Having made changes in the kitchen over the last year, guests commented that the food was much improved from the previous year.

One of the things we heard again and again when we asked why people returned to Hedonism (the place is littered with colored rocks with the names of couples and their dates visited) was the quality of the people – both staff and guests. We can’t say enough about the great staff, who went out of their way to say “ya mon” the Jamaican hello, every time you walked by. Everyone from Robert, the 25 year old maintenance guy to the General Managers were approachable and smiling. It was infectious to the guests, and without fail the people we spoke to stated the thing they liked best about Hedonism was the interesting and kind people that frequent the resort. Think of an amazingly friendly staff, with big hearts and a great spirit about them, and the kind of like-minded guests that morph into friends you stay in touch with long after the holiday is over. It really is that kind of place and we loved it and can’t wait to add our own painted rock as soon as possible.

Hedonism offers “booze cruise” boat rides a few times a week that you pay separately for, and go out for a three hour cruise. Their Saturday trip is a nude excursion that takes you to the snorkeling spots, let’s you splash down the attached slide, and shows you the magnificent Jamaican coastline. We heard a story about a recent nude trip that set sail out of the Hedo ll dock’s on the afternoon before the swashbuckling theme party. The participants brought along their pirate hats and plastic cutlasses on board as part of the festive theme during the cruise, and pirate lingo flowed. When a boat from a neighboring resort anchored close by to gawk at the naked revelers, and as the rum punch took hold, a group of naked Hedo men got into the spirit of things. They swam over and boarded the other boat (fake sword clutched in their teeth and pirate hats askew), and demanded “their beer or their women”. Stealing a few cans of Miller beer, they swam triumphantly back to the nude boat with their bounty to roaring laughter and leaving behind a stunned plundered vessel. That in essence, is a classic Hedonism experience. Being outrageous but fun, hanging with other silly new friends, and playing the part of a naked pirate on the Caribbean Sea. And where else can a group of middle aged people dress up and behave like pirates in the safest and most accepting of ways?

Desire/Temptations in Los Cabos. How to make friends naked.

How to make friends at a Nude Lifestyle resort
Desire Los Cabos
by Sue McGarvie, Clinical sex therapist
It’s not just that we’ve had 17 feet of snow this winter in my part of Canada, that has me wishing I could emigrate to Mexico. I have fallen in love with the lifestyle, and culture of our southern neighbors. The Mexico I experienced, was absolute paradise. Los Cabos Mexico, where I spent a week in March this year, is home to the most charming Latino waiters, almost perfect weather, the world’s yummiest coconut ice cream, and now arguably the best couples resort in the world. Move over Hedonism, the new Desire Resorts has got serious game.

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Los Cabos Mexico, which bills itself as a place of guaranteed sunshine, (only six days of rain all of last year), is located on the tip of the Baja, where the sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s a thousand miles of desert, along Mexico’s west coast, Los Cabos has come into it’s own due to a spectacular coastline and the advent of desalination, and with bevy of fresh water out of the sea that has turned desolate scrub brush into an oasis. This is where the wealthy Californian’s come to vacation (typical real estate prices for a vacation property is over a US million). And at the Desire Resort, it is where the sexually adventurous come to explore the romantic and erotic side to their relationship.

Desire Los Cabos, is similar to Desire Cancun in many ways. An exclusive, couple-only, clothing optional, all inclusive hotel, with a boutique resort feel, with a maximum capacity of 150 rooms. Desire comes with complete privacy and serious security. It’s the honeymoon of decadence and sensuality that you may have always wanted. I find that like with any nude place, the minute you take your clothes off, your inhibitions go as well. That means fellow guests are open, and conversation and friendships start easily all over the resort. However unlike with a typical nude or clothing optional resort, (like the Caliente resorts where PDA’s –public displays of affection- can get you kicked out), there are places where you can be overtly sexual with your (or possibly someone else’s) partner. It is more centrally located than in Cancun, (in the zone tourista, as opposed to Cancun which is way, way off the beaten path). This means there is no nudity on the more public beach, (too bad, as the Desire Cancun beach beds are one of life’s great pleasures). It also means swimming in the ocean is out (the flags read FATAL due to the undertow), but provided you wore a bathing suit, the beach was a delight to walk. With no beach activities, it meant that everyone congregated in the rooftop hot tub, and heated, extra-large, central swimming pool. This central congregation meant it was easier to meet everyone staying in the resort on a first name basis. This also meant you had less of the “gilded cage” feel, as you could easily walk to shopping, restaurants and leave the resort if you needed a change of scenery. So if you are social, and a perfect holiday is having everyone know your name and making friends, the west coast Desire may be a better fit for you, than the isolated, and spread out Cancun Desire. Overall I thought the food was good, (I hugged Antonio, my evening grill chef who made something he specially concocted just for me every night), and I loved the live music played outside between dinner and dance club opening outside on the mezzanine.

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They’ve set the lay out well, so that sexual interaction happens only on the secluded hot tub area, or in the playroom in the dance club. Which means that if you choose not to watch the sex going on, (although who’s kidding, everyone is curious to see if their pool buddies are doing anything more interesting than they do), you can completely avoid that section. So with sex only going on in very specific places, you can otherwise treat it like any other first class resort except that a good 60% of the guests are in various stages of undress.

This is the place where you can be nude (or not), overtly sexual with your partner (or not), and meet other couples for friendship or more. Or you can stay to yourself, and honeymoon in an erotic environment. As Sylvia the Guest Services manager said “The experience at Desire is strictly what you make of it”. So Desire can be called sensuously discreet. It’s there if you want it, but sex is done with ease and elegance. I would say that only about 25% of the guests (in my humble estimation) were in the “swinging” or lifestyle play. Some people were direct in their approach that they were looking for an exchange, but most were just having their partner only eroticism. What surprised me was how many “first-timers” there were, who had never even been to a nude beach before. There was a large group of people who booked off Expedia looking for a vacancy, and although seemed surprised at how sexually open the place was, very quickly dropped the laundry and joined in on the semi-clothed frolicking. When in Rome… seemed to be the philosophy, and the comfortable atmosphere relaxed even the most prudish. I watched a Catholic, grade 1 teacher go from cover-ups, to commando, to sex in public with her husband, over a three day period. Desire has a minimum age of 25 posted on their website, and the age ranged from mid to late 20’s, with the bulk of the guests between 30 and 50. Certainly a 60 year old plus couple wouldn’t be out of place, but most of the bodies were better than average, and a majority had been enhanced. The crowd was affluent, well-preserved, and well-groomed, (with more than their share of silicone and botox).

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The Los Cabos is less crowded than the always booked Cancun location (114 rooms), but my guess is that it will be as equally difficult to get a room over the next year as word gets out. During the high point of the regular travel season (March break, where every other resort was fully booked), Desire Los Cabos was at only 35% capacity. This isn’t a place you bring your kids, and around family holidays, the Desire resorts are slower. Times that are typically not “family holiday time”, you’ll find the parents have pawned off the kids and are engaging in the sensuous adult play that a trip to Desire offers. As an example, May, a warm month up north is 100% booked at Desire Los Cabos, when there are vacancies everywhere else.

A couple of things you may want to take note of when packing for Desire. With guaranteed sunshine, and predominate nudity, we went through far less clothes than anticipated. Although day time clothing needs can be put into a toiletry bag, most women dressed elegantly for cocktails, dinner and after dinner drinks, and for the
disco party, every night is theme night. So my suggestion is bring a big suite case full
of erotic costumes to be creatively silly. It is hot and sexually charged at the disco. Themes included Rodeo-cowboy, naughty school yard, pink, red, and black and white nights, jungle, along with emergency (fireman, nurse). Cancun had similar (but different themes), and it was an adult dress up, with a smile. You should also know that Desire has a camera verboten policy, so you won’t end up in someone else’s pictures naked. However, you may need to plan a day trip if you need pictures to take back to the kids because you can’t otherwise take photos.

Despite what a good job Desire is doing running its resort, it wasn’t perfect. The highlight was the staff and service. I can honestly say that I’ve never met a more gracious, more accommodating staff anywhere in the world. They learned your names from the get go, and made a point to make everyone feel special.

The food however, was a bit inconsistent at times. We had the best steak we’ve ever eaten on holidays, as well as the worst steak, only a day apart. I thought there could have been a more rounded out room service menu, and the pool lunch food was repetitive as the only option to eat. They had great bartenders however. I was very surprised as a therapist, (you would think even for strictly liability reasons), there wasn’t condoms in the playroom and hot tub areas. I also wished that the disco should open earlier for those of us who turn into a pumpkin after midnight.

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Most significantly, I also felt that there was a real thirst for information on what is the erotic lifestyle, and there was a need for clear, non-judgmental facts about what full swing, lifestyle play, group massage, bisexual swap meant to the new attendees. Having tourists books in each rooms were helpful, but those weren’t the questions it took five margherita’s, and a week of beating around the bush to ask. Everyone it seemed, was looking for information on “how do you spice up your relationship with group play without messing up what you have”, or just “how do you keep it hot after years together?” Desire seems to be marketing to the large middle group that one guest described as “Empty Nesters gone wild”, who are curious, open, but very tentative in trying out any kind of extra marital play. Not the serious swingers who are open to anything and everything, but more than the romance marketed by conventional couples resorts. With a few minor changes (better training of their activity staff, more ice breakers, and delicately written information packages), the Desire resorts will be the premiere location for sensuous couples world-wide. Book your holiday soon, because as they make the final adjustments, they will continue to be sold out year round.

Picture Credits:

www.desireloscabos.com, www.desirecancun.com