“Am I walking into an orgy?”
That was one of my first questions to Diamond PR’s Alexandria Autry, who represents Hedonism II, a clothing-optional, pleasure-seeking resort in Negril, Jamaica. Alex emailed me after catching my Cosmo article about abstaining from casual sex and invited me to check out the resort. After excitement over a trip to Jamaica now being on the table, I proceeded to ask myself, “Wait, WTF is Hedonism?” When I looked it up, my eyebrows nearly touched the roof.
Basically, Hedonism resorts are places where people can walk around naked freely and engage in sexual activity wherever they please. Yes, you may see someone getting it in on the beach. So with that said, there was a lot of apprehension.
As you can probably assume, I was confused. After all, I’m not having sex, as my article explained, so what exactly would I be doing there? That’s when Alex explained that the resort offers a lot of different amenities, and it was entirely up to me to do whatever I pleased, sex doesn’t have to be included. Also, I’d be participating in a Jerk Chicken cook-off, which could be fun.
After months of family and friends shrieking at the thought of me going–OMG BRUNA, BE CAREFUL. GUYS ARE GRABBY THERE. THEY’LL BE AGGRESSIVE. WILL YOU BE SAFE? ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?–I hopped on a plane by myself and jet-set to Negril.
To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I didn’t know what to expect. I was apprehensive about being thrown into the lion’s den. I felt like I needed to brush up on my self-defense. But, relief set in when I realized that not only would Alex and some other bloggers also be there, but two of my good friends–Timothy DeLaGhetto and Ricky Shucks. Phew, at least I know people who could protect me LOL.
The flights and shuttle to Hedonism II felt like a year-long excursion, but once I stepped foot onto the resort, I was greeted with big smiles, excited energy and a rum and punch cocktail (which I couldnt’ finish, because gotdamn that shit is strong). I got settled into my room, and while the rain gave me an excuse to be lame and just sleep on my first day, I did set out to get some Jamaican beef patties from the grill, because I was starving.
The food was delicious and the perfect pre-nap activity. I went back and knocked out, because I knew the real fun was about to begin the next day when everybody arrived.
Now, the resort is split into two sides: the nude side and the prude side. On the nude side, you absolutely have to drop trous and prance around in your birthday suit. There is also no tolerance for any phone or camera usage (because duh). On the prude side, you could wear whatever you want, or go topless, or be naked.
I didn’t wanna jump into the nude scene just yet, so the next morning, I went to one of the smaller pools and just read in my bikini. I also walked down the beach and met Shell Boy (yes, that was his name), who not only sold me beautiful shells, but also became my first sexual advance. He was very sweet, leaving me roses and complimenting me. Then he asked if he could “take me for a swim” and went in to shake my hand. That’s when he did the whole finger-in-the-palm move (which means, “I want to have sex with you”) and I kindly said, “No thank you.” Normally, I’d be afraid that an aggressive response would follow, but all he said was, “OK love. No pressure, no rush.” Boom, awkward moment over.
That was probably the biggest surprise throughout my trip. I kept expecting and imagining that I would be this vulnerable (and naked) prey heading into a den of hungry wolves, and I’d have to fight everyone off and start getting all Street Fighter crazy on their ass. But that was so far from the case. No one was aggressive. No one groped me. No one tried to touch me without my consent. Even when I did gain the courage to roam freely buttassnaked on the nude side, no one tried anything. It was nice.
Once the entire group got there, the fun began. I will say this–there weren’t a lot of young people at the resort. We were practically it. But let me tell you, if people my age decided to frequently visit Hedonism II, Las Vegas would seem like child’s play.
Everything’s all-inclusive. So you have food and alcohol galore, all night. ALL NIGHT. People are partying until 5 a.m., and every night has a different theme. We got custom togas made for a foam party, went dancing at their nightclub, played pool and ping-pong, took a naked swim in the main pool in the middle of the night, hung out with other naked people in the hot tub, lit up (because when in Jamaica…) and instantly all became close, because whatever barriers were set up got broken down pretty fast.
I met a guy from Italy, a girl from New York, a couple from Canada, a couple from Russia and a woman from North Carolina. Some had never been to a Hedo resort before and had no idea what to expect. Others were veterans and rocked their naked strut like no one’s business.
Now, even though sex is not forced upon you, the sexual energy is palpable. There’s a “romping room” which is an open area filled with mattresses and candles for people to engage in sexual activity in front of others. Men have to be invited by a women to enter. There were three porn channels on your TV in the hotel room, and, even though I didn’t have sex, I definitely heard everyone around me having sex, because those walls were pretty thin. But hey, get yours.
Our group got to indulge in all of the resort’s dining experiences, including La Flame which had some bomb calamari and steak, the fire Hibachi restaurant, and a private tasting of the resort’s aphrodisiac menu. They really went all out for us on this, setting up a beautiful table right by the water and serving some truly delicious bites and wine pairings.
Then, of course, we got a private jerk chicken lesson from the main chef, Chef Anthony, before competing in our Jerk-Off (pun intended). We each had to prepare a jerk pork and chicken plate for a chance to win a goodie bag of prizes and a trip back to Hedo II. It was seriously like Chopped: Jamaica. Luckily, we each had a sous chef that did most of the work, because most of us couldn’t remember shit. Unfortunately, I didn’t win. Tim won, which annoyed everyone, but whatever LOL.
My absolute favorite experience by far, though, was after the cook-off, when we got our own private yacht ride. This is available for those who stay at the resort, too! The yacht was decked out with drinks and food, and we took it down the famous seven-mile beach, stopping to swim into the horseshoe caves, and also visited Rick’s Cafe, a staple in Jamaica, where a few of us (myself included) decided to be daredevils and jumped off a cliff into the ocean.
I’ll never forget seeing that sunset, and then riding back at night and looking at the stars with everyone. It was one of those moments when you realize how blessed you are.
Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married, sexually active or not, there’s something to experience at Hedonism II. For me, personally, I really relished in the freedom of embracing my body. I’ve had confidence issues for quite some time, as some of you know, and would always cringe at the idea of getting naked in front people. However, I got naked in front of friends and strangers, and there was something so freeing about that. I didn’t care what they thought. I didn’t care what I thought. I was feelin’ myself and enjoyed every minute of it. It was the perfect opportunity to really reconnect with myself, so that I could appreciate and embrace all that I am.
Would I go back to Hedonism II? Absolutely. And maybe next time I’ll have a special someone there with me who could appreciate my body there, too 😉
Thank you so much to Diamond PR for this amazing opportunity. I’ll never forget it! Also, make sure to follow all of my lovely friends from the trip, whose handles are right here:
This post was originally published on The Problem With Dating.