It’s two PM on a Wednesday and I’m wading chest-deep through what Temptation, a luxury topless resort in the heart of Cancun’s hotel district, has appropriately dubbed “The Sexy Pool.” If I were at home, this is around the time I’d switch off the computer, curse myself for not buying more Diet Coke, and settle down for 4-7 episodes of Step by Step on Netflix.
I mean, what else are you going to do in the middle of a weekday, right?
There are no “weekdays” at Temptation. The hours blend into what could only be described as a never-ending Saturday; an endless bacchanal of food, drink, and (mostly respectful) sexual titillation that leaves everyone staying at this hormone-charged summer camp bordering on frenzy.
There are no strangers here, either. If I’ve paddled into the pool’s warm waters not quite sure what to make of the people around me or the slick photo of a bare-chested woman splayed across its bottom — “Oh my god,” I thought the first time I saw it, “She’s drowning!” — the confusion dissipates the second a bikini-clad staff member announces another “sexy” game and shouts a reminder that the drinks (the names of which one cannot share in polite company) are free and unlimited at the swim-up bar.
No one at Temptation is who I expect them to be, and yet, they’re exactly in the right place. There are taut, oiled bodies being flexed, to be sure, but anyone standing on the deck overlooking the water would bear witness to a sea of flesh in every size, age, and shape; a thronging mass united in its pursuit of squeezing every last drop of ecstasy from an idle afternoon.
The games begin: I watch three women simulate orgasms (the winner is a topless middle-aged smoker who cries “Yes, give it to me! Yes! Yes!” in the voice of Aunt Selma from The Simpsons); three young couples race to act out as many sex positions as they can within 60 seconds (one couple’s count is an impressive 15); and, in a rousing finale, several female revelers splash into the water to collect as many pairs of trunks and speedos as they can carry — a brief suspension of the resort’s strict “no public nudity” rule.
I fiddle with my shorts for a second during the last game, but by the time I finally build up the courage necessary to whip them off and wave them over my head, the moment has passed. That’s okay: If the first rule of Temptation is to do whatever the hell you want with no fear, then the second is that every minute brings another opportunity to toss your inhibitions by the wayside.
“You never knows what comes next,” a bartender told me on my second day at the resort, after suggesting I live a little and order something other than just my standard Bud Light. “You’ll never be fucking bored.”
Ten minutes after the swim trunks have been collected and returned to their rightful, visibly excited owners, I’m presented with another chance to be the type of adventurous person I promised myself I’d be on the plane. Near the swim-up bar, I shake hands with Keyaira*, who’s come to celebrate her 39th birthday with her husband and 10-15 of their closest friends — some they’ve brought with them, some they’ve met only hours ago.
“We’re up for anything,” Keyaira tells me as her husband shouts that it’s time for nipple shots, everyone welcome.
“Even me?” I ask, not quite sure whether the invitation extends to a person the happy couple only happened to meet because I burn easily and prefer to swim in the shade. Asking for permission to do sexy stuff is terrifying. “Am I being too aggressive?” I wonder, silently preparing myself for the polite rejection that will send me to the other side of the pool, where hopefully no one has seen me strike out in my first attempt to live an adventurous lifestyle.
“Hell yes!” Keyaira shouts. “Get yourself a goddamn drink!” But the party is temporarily interrupted. Before my new friend’s husband can pass out a tower of drinks he’s picked up at the bar, he begins flirting with another woman. Seconds later, I’m serving as lookout (public sex is also verboten, though certainly attempted) as he’s given underwater fellatio. It only lasts a second because blowing someone with water flowing up your nose is really, really hard.
The woman comes up sputtering for air. She and Keyaira’s husband hug, like what they’ve just done is exchanged a friendly hello. Seconds later, this same woman is teaching me how to do shots off Keyaira’s chest. None of this seems to be a particularly big deal.