Georgie Binks feels the love at a nude resort.
two years ago, when we arrived at the famed Hedonism resort in Jamaica, my boyfriend and I were ready for a bit of nudity and some titillation. The idea of an “adult” resort had seemed intriguing, but by some strange quirk of fate (and the fact that we hadn’t read the website closely), we crash-landed in the middle of Swingers Week—narrowly missing MILF Week. As we strolled into the lobby, ducking under the “Swingers” banner, my boyfriend and I felt like Brad and Janet arriving at the castle in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Hedonism has taken on near-mythical proportions as “a place where anything goes.” In reality, the resort is divided into two areas: the prude side, for people like us, and the nude side. We were welcome to join the free-spirited camp—as long as we shed our clothing. As a former nude model for university photography classes, I figured I’d beat my boyfriend to this. I pictured myself strutting by him, naked and laughing. But no sooner had I announced “We need beach towels” than he handed me a stack—“I got these on the nude side,” he explained casually. Enraged that he’d beaten me to it, I dragged him back to the nude beach, tore off my clothes and—nearly died. Being naked in public had felt different when I was 19. It had felt better. I tried to shift some of my discomfort onto him. “So you like it when strangers see your girlfriend naked?” I asked pointedly. He was conflicted. If other people weren’t looking at his naked girlfriend, then he couldn’t look at theirs. He shrugged. I headed for the bar and ordered a Coke. (Why had I given up drinking? The combination of killer migraines and badly executed David Lee Roth impersonations seemed so unimportant now.) I gulped and strode into the crowd. Ten minutes later, I was awkwardly sharing fries with an Aussie couple.
“Do you think everyone else is having sex with one another?” I asked my boyfriend later in the week. I’d heard accounts of sex in the hot tub late at night and in shaded corners of the beach. I wondered if asking another couple “Can we join you?” at dinner meant something else. I thought back to the time an attractive woman jumped into the pool, naked, and engaged me in conversation while her husband eyed me furtively. But, despite the jolt that being nude in public delivered, I wasn’t tempted to complicate a good relationship with distractions. (Well, maybe a little visual distraction.)
As I bounced into the dining room in a sexy dress one evening, I stopped short when I saw 300 women wearing fishnet bodysuits—and nothing else. It seems that “seafood buffet night” at other resorts becomes “fishnet night” at Hedonism. My boyfriend thought it was great, but I became a 19th-century grandma, tut-tutting everyone.
The more I looked at other people, though, the more I loved their naked self-confidence. While I’d initially been horrified by the nudies running by me at 4 p.m. yelling “Naked waterslide!” (dodge balls, anyone?), I started to enjoy the variety of bodies. I even started getting used to mine. I realized that my tummy was no worse than anyone else’s. And it was freeing to let my supposed flaws show.
I learned a few things from the free spirits at Hedonism: I’ve stopped judging women’s bodies, be they clothed or naked. And I realized there’s a logic to putting mirrors on the ceiling: Everyone looks good when they’re on their back. n
It’s party season…and my boss started following me on Instagram! Do I reciprocate or delete my account entirely? A: It’s time for a new Instagram account. Let your boss follow you on the one you have already,
follow him/her back and post pictures you would like him/her to see (e.g., pictures of you working hard all weekend, engaged in charity projects, running marathons). Then start your new Instagram account under a different name, tell all your friends to move over to
that one and post all the real stuff.