Here's What Really Goes Down at a Clothing-Optional "Erotic" Couples Resort

My boyfriend and I excitedly opened the door to our gorgeous beachfront suite, unsure of what to expect when we entered. While away at dinner, our special selection from a “fantasy menu” at Desire Riviera Maya Pearl, a clothing-optional, couples-only resort in Mexico, was being set up for us.

We crossed the threshold in anticipation, thinking we were ready for what was next. I must stress, emphatically, that we were not f*cking ready for what was next.

Let’s rewind.

We arrived a few days earlier to Desire Riviera Maya Resort, the sister to the resort where we finished off our trip. Both are “adult” escapes for couples, where clothing is optional and where anything goes. We certainly learned what “anything goes” can mean. The resorts describe themselves as places full of freedom, oases of “beauty and eroticism” (wholeheartedly agree) where “fantasies become reality” (reality, indeed).

When I first read about both resorts, my curiosity was understandably piqued. Clothing optional? Great, no more tan lines. Couples only? My boyfriend was very down. Sexy shows every night, great food, and sensual experiences geared toward turning up the heat in your relationship? Sign us up.

Desire Riviera Maya and Pearl are all about creating an environment of openness, where people can explore their sexual desires in a safe, accepting place among like-minded people. Couples (mostly, but not all) in their 30s to 60s are able to escape the limitations of everyday society and embrace the lifestyle they seek, all against the backdrop of the beautiful Yucatán coastline.

I consider myself to be very open-minded, sexually adventurous, totally fine with nudity (love it, actually), and fully supportive of pretty much anything going on between consenting adults. I’m a Love and Sex editor, for f*ck’s sake. Even if it happens to be on public display, as is the case at the resorts, I’m down. It can even be a turn on for many people.

On day two, however, as I found myself in a pool-size sex spa full of guests — all completely nude — sandwiched in between one of the most attractive women I’d ever seen in real life (not complaining one bit here) and her down-for-pretty-much-anything boyfriend, it occurred to me that my significant other and I were in way, way over our heads. We rolled with it, to an extent. But it wasn’t exactly the experience we expected. For the first time in my adult life, I felt incredibly naive and unprepared — and it was pretty hilarious. For the most part.

Most guests coming to resorts like these are generally knowledgeable about what occurs there. In fact, one of the questions we were most frequently asked in the five days we spent at both places was “are you two lifestylers?” This is the question couples often pose in order to get a feel for whether another couple is open to swinging. We were told that around 60 percent of the people who come to the resorts are swingers — people who swap partners and/or engage in group sex — but I’m convinced based on our personal experience that the number is just a bit higher.

The resorts are beautiful and all-inclusive (drinks, too!), with spacious suites, multiple pools and hot tubs, countless restaurants and bars open all hours of the day and night, and extra amenities like spas, salons, and stores filled with all of the sexy outfits and accessories you could ask for. Forgot your lube? No problem. Everything is where you need it, when you need it. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful, and completely nonjudgmental, and overall were a highlight of the trip for us.

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