It was my first night in Mexico. I was leaning up against the bar nursing my third pina colada of the day.
As the chorus of Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind filled the warm night air, I watched in mild horror and fascination as a man bent his wife over a patio chair and proceeded to spank her bare butt with a plastic pitchfork, much to the shrieking delight of onlookers.
She was dressed as a naughty schoolgirl and he was wearing a pair of tight red thong briefs and devil horns. I was wondering what exactly I’d gotten myself into.
I had agreed to spend five days at Temptation, Cancun – a topless optional, “playground for grownups.”
The adult themed resort recently underwent 11 months of extensive, multi-million dollar renovations and a complete rebuild, lead by world-renowned designer Karim Rashid. The result is a luxurious, ultra-modern and playful candy-coloured space that caters to adults 21+ who “love to party in a free-spirited atmosphere.”
Adult themed. Free-spirited. Playground. The language is coded, but the implication is clear.
Sex is in the air – or at the very least, the fantasy that a new sexual encounter is just around the next corner (or hotel room).
I’d heard stories about Temptation – that it was a place to get a little naked (there’s a designated “sexy pool” where women can go topless if they wish) and maybe, hookup with other singles or couples.
I had even heard the S-word (“swingers”) reluctantly thrown around. However, even the guests are protective over how they define the resort and their experiences there.
As one couple I spoke to explained with a wink, “we’re not swingers, but some of the people we sleep with are.”
My second day at Temptation found me at one of the resort’s several pool adjacent restaurants, shovelling obscene amounts of guacamole down my gullet while I watched the steady parade of half-naked bodies just steps away from my table.
Even as I listened to the daily “fake orgasm” contest taking place on the pool-deck, I still felt like I didn’t quite get Temptation. Was I missing something?
Everywhere I looked there were bodies of all different ages, shapes and sizes, but the overall vibe was incredibly friendly, accepting and respectful (a strict “no means no” policy is built into the resort’s code of conduct that each guest signs upon check-in.)
I’d never seen anything like it. I later learned that this is precisely what keeps guests returning to Temptation year after year: the people.
Known to Temptation regulars as “Mr. and Mrs. Claus,” Becky and Norm are impossible to miss. At well over 6ft tall, Norm has a thick, white Gandalf-like beard and is usually wearing a pair of brightly-hued thong swim trunks (I have yet to see him wear the same pair twice.)
Becky is vivacious with long white-blonde hair and soft, pretty features. The retired couple hails from British Columbia and have been visiting Temptation since 2010. When I ask them what keeps them coming back they say, “the freedom.”
Becky likens the resort to Adult Disneyland “(It’s) a whole resort full of like-minded people just there to toss their inhibitions to the wind!”
As Norm explains, “at check-in, there is a large ‘imaginary’ box into which you can deposit your fears and inhibitions. They will keep them safe for you while you enjoy your holiday, and, if you care to, you may retrieve them upon checkout.”
But for Norm, he prefers to leave his behind in Mexico for good.
I’ve always been shy about showing my body in public. But as my stay at Temptation neared a close, I decided to follow Norm’s lead. I was in the “sexy pool” enjoying my thousandth pina colada, surrounded by six new friends I’d made that week.
I knew it was now or never. I unfastened my bikini top. Over the course of the next hour I conversed with a bunch of other half-naked people, made some new friends and flirted with a sexy couple. As I leaned over to take a body-shot off the wife’s naked breasts, I thought to myself, “huh, I get it now.”
Whether it’s a desire to invigorate their sex lives or simply enjoy the freedom of wearing less clothes, in a respectful, open-minded environment – everyone has their unique reasons for visiting Temptation. I discovered a bit of all of the above.
As I neared the pool on my final night at Temptation, “Empire State of Mind” could once again be heard in the distance. I had the phone number of the sexy couple in my phone.
Whether I decided to play with them later, didn’t matter. I’d found what Becky and Norm had been looking for. I felt free. I undid my bikini top, placed it gingerly by the side of the pool and swam over to my new friends.