In the old days, news about swinger-friendly resorts would be spread by word of mouth and black rings, upside-down pineapple insignias, and ankle bracelets would be used to identify each other. The meet-ups would tend to be clandestine and kept on the down low. But these days are no more. Today, swinging and casual sex are very much on the surface and there is now a network of resorts, hotels, and cruises all over the world that are built for marketed directly towards the non-monogamous:
Hedonism II in Jamaica, Cap’dange in the French Riviera, Desire Riviera, Desire Pearl, and Temptation in Cancun, Temptation Grand Miches in the Dominican Republic, along with Bliss Cruise, Couples Cruise, Temptation Cruise, and various Desire cruises have all jumped to the forefront to assuage the ever-growing demand for sexy vacations.
For over 15 years I made my living as a travel writer and journalist, so combining travel with swinging — a hobby that my wife and I have enjoyed for many years — seemed like a perfect mix. We would visit at least one swinger’s resort per year, and eventually check them all off our list.
There were two swinger resorts that stood out to us as options to visit last year: Hedonism II in Jamaica and Temptation in Cancun. The former seemed as if it’s 100% devoted to those in the lifestyle while the latter seemed to be both for swingers as well as those simply looking to party. However, Hedo has the reputation of being mostly for older swingers and the possibility of having other options beyond having sex appealed to us. So we went with Temptation Cancun, a place that’s otherwise known as the “playground for grown-ups.”
Temptation Cancun is an adults-only, top-optional, all inclusive, 430-room resort that’s right on the beach at the apex of Cancun’s hotel zone.
The moment we arrived it was clear that this resort’s tagline was appropriate. We walked in at high noon and were taken up in a wave of speedo dudes and bikini women pounding drinks. Customer service reps dressed in purple mini skirts were racing around with platters of cocktails, seemingly with the prime directive of making sure that every hand had a drink in it.
We were a little early and had to wait to checked in. No problem. We were led over to a bar by a customer service rep, ordered a couple of drinks, and then tried to make our way to the beach … but were caught short by something they called “orientation.” So we sat down with a customer service liaison who introduced us to the resort … and then set up a meeting the following morning so they can try to sell us VIP membership or a timeshare. We ended up cancelling the meeting. Vacation time is too precious for us to sit through a sales meeting for something there is no chance in the world that we would buy, regardless of the price. However, many people who visit do become VIP members and buy a timeshare, so …
Before arriving we were apprehensive as to whether Temptation Cancun would be a place that we (i.e. my wife) would feel comfortable. She enjoys premium, members-only sex clubs that curate the clientele or parties where she knows she’s going to be able to find what she’s after. We’ve actually gone into new clubs together before where she took one look around, spun 180 degrees, and then headed for the door. Her standards are the best or nothing.
All too often swinger’s parties, clubs, and resorts advertise themselves with pictures and videos of scantly-clad, attractive young couples laughing and having a good time only to arrive and find the place full of old, fat people … or, even worse, mobs of single dudes descending on anything with a vagina like a scourge of the undead. Surprisingly, while I’m in my early 40s and my wife is in her late 30s we are still somehow in the category of “young swinger.” This statement doesn’t make any sense until you go to a typical swinger’s joint and take a look around. Many lifestyle resorts have the reputation of being refuges of the retired. While we don’t have anything against our elders, we don’t really want to have sex with them … well, until they become our peers …
This wasn’t an issue at Temptation Cancun, and we knew this the moment we walked through the doors. The place is really something special. It looks exactly like it does in the brochures … and those marketing photos of scantly-clad, attractive couples … yeah, they’re real. The place is really another world. It stopped me in my tracks for a moment and as I took it all in as a smile broke across my face. We walked out of the reception area onto a massive patio that overlooks main pool and the beach and ocean beyond. The pool itself is whimsically-shaped and has a massive naked lady emblazoned across the bottom. We stood there and just took the place in. What will we find here? The anticipation of sex is one of the most exciting things that a human can feel. No matter how often you do it, no matter how many partners you have, it still sends this electric reverberation through your body. Everything about this resort gives you that feeling.
We walked down the long, serpentine ramp that leads to the pool and then made our way to the beach with drinks in hand and laid down on a shaded beach bed. We napped a little and then made our way to the quiet pool that’s at the far end of the resort. The pool definitely lived up to its name. It was a winding, funny shaped pool with a shaded tiki bar shooting up out of the center of it. People were just chilling around here, leisurely swimming, reading books, slowly sipping drinks. It’s a place of refuge for when the partying at the big pool gets a little too much. We swam up to the tiki bar, sat on the submerged stools, and ordered a couple pina coladas. We chatted and looked around. The scene over here could have been at any resort on the Cancun strip — there were couples recovering from the night before, a group of college-age queer dudes chilling at the bar, and a group of older Mexicans hiding out in the jacuzzi — and it was good to know that we had this option should we want to escape the madness.
Eventually, it was time to check-in to our room. We went back to reception and got our bracelets, which are not only the keys to our room but denote our status at the resort by color of the band and the number written on the back of the swipeable oval plastic piece. Our bands were purple — meaning we had a room in the cheap section — and had the number one written on them: rookies.
It didn’t take long to find out that this is a place that people often return to, and the resort has been very successful at developing its own culture … which is kind of like an uber-friendly underground society. Many of the people here have known each other for large swaths of their lives and reconnect each time they come down for a visit … and it was normal to find people who come every year. We met one couple that comes almost every month and another who has been over 20 times. One of the first questions people ask here is how many times you’ve been, and your response indicates your status. Being a regular at Temptation Cancun seems to be a point of identity for some people, and while I have to admit that I’m new to the resort scene, this seemed unique to me.
The rooms at Temptation Cancun range from basic hotel rooms that face a gardened walkway to full-blown penthouses on the beach. There seems to be stark differences between the accommodation options, and trying them all could be a prime motivator for repeat visits. However, the accommodation can be broken down into three major sections:
There’s the “Chill” area, which is to the left of the reception area if you’re facing the beach, and this is more or less the budget zone. In the center is the tower, otherwise known as the “Play” area, which extends up over the reception area and is the heart of the resort. Then off to the right side is the “Relax” section, which is near the quiet pool and has more of a subdued atmosphere.
As we’re a little more budget-conscious than many of our swinging peers, we took an ocean-facing room in the Chill section. The cost was right, the view was beautiful, and the room was … well …
Contributing to the metaversal feel of the resort, the rooms were really something different. Their design was like something people in the 1970s thought the 2020s would look like. It was the past’s idea of the future, and something about that fit the place perfectly. The resort was designed by Karim Rashid, who has a style of interior design that is overtly biological, molecular, dare I say vulva-ular, with orbs and undulating blobs, and channels. When you walk through one of his rooms you get the feeling that you’re taking a voyage through the innards of the human body. It’s pure copulation in design form … and then there’s the light-up silhouettes of naked women on the walls and the massive floor to ceiling windows which provide you with an unimpeded view out … and gives others an unimpeded view in (which many guests take full advantage of).
If you’ve never been in a room at Temptation Cancun before, “whoah” is an appropriate first reaction … even before you start doing what you’re inevitably going to do there.
We went in assuming that the food at Temptation Cancun was going to be sub-par. It was all-inclusive resort after all, and we imagined they would pull from the playbook of other resorts and cut some corners here. “The food is going to suck,” my wife kept saying in the weeks leading up to our visit, and she did not heed my objection when I’d counter by saying that I read on many forums and in reviews that the food was actually decent.
I totally won this one. The food at Temptation Cancun is not only surprisingly edible but I actually found it really good … and we live in Astoria in New York City, a place that’s known for its extremely good restaurants.
That said, there is a dress code — evening casual — for many of the restaurants here. And while you may think this is dumb, as there are people running around half naked in the pools just outside its doors, it really does add something positive to the vibe. The restaurants here are places to take refuge from the pool party scene for a moment, to reset, have a romantic dinner with your partner, and get ready for the party that’s soon to begin.
There are two buffet-style restaurants on the floor below the reception area, Amores and Rain. These are basic eateries where you can stop in for a quick breakfast or lunch without any fanfare. Amores is a little more Mexican-ish and Rain is American-ish. You can walk back and forth between the two so there’s no need to select one and stay there. Think eggs, burritos, chiliquilis, chicken, sausage, pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, juice, salad, dessert — normal food, but still good.
Flame is a steakhouse and was, as you could expect from someone who eats an animal-based diet, my favorite culinary option. It’s a little fancy, candle lit, and has a romantic ambiance. If this place was in NYC, I’d eat there. We actually ate dinner there twice.
Romanza is an Italian themed restaurant. We didn’t do more than peak in but it looked nice.
Sea Flirt is for sea food. We also didn’t eat there, so can’t comment on it.
Sutra is an Asian-fusion place that has a hibachi show and delicious food. We ate there one night, and it had a chill, romantic vibe. While you need stand in a long line during the day to make a reservation to sit at the hibachi bar, if you want to eat at a normal table you can just walk right in.
SHE seems as if it is intended to be the top restaurant at Temptation Cancun — there is a live performance, they apparently serve aphrodisiacs, and you need to stand in line to make a reservation at 2pm sharp (and even if you do this the chances of getting a table seem slim if you’re not a premier member). However, it was also the only restaurant that we’ve heard complaints about. Apparently, the live show and cuisine are nothing to wait in line for … and one of the servers in Amores told us that they serve the exact same food as they do there. I can’t really say much about it, as I’m going off of the words of others, but the consensus opinion seems to fall on the side of underwhelming.
The sexy pool
During the daytime, the Sexy Pool is where the action happens. It is literally the beating heart of the resort. It has a meandering shape with a long, swim-up bar and a naked woman emblazoned along the bottom. This pool is not one for swimming laps, but for double fisting margaritas. Everyone piles in, drinks, and gets to know each other.
Pro tip: bring your own giant cup with a lid. The bartenders will fill it up for you and the lid will keep pool water from being slashed in it.
Pro tip #2: Bring a waterproof holder for some tip money. If you become known as a non-tipper the bartenders will take a long time to serve you.
You’re not going to read a review of Temptation Cancun without it being mentioned how friendly the people are there. An essential part of being swingers is meeting new people, and this sentiment boils over here to the non-swingers as well. Imagine hundreds of people wading around drinking and getting to know people and that’s the Sexy Pool — starting a conversation with anyone here is fair game.
There were multiple sects of swingers floating around here, and it was easy to determine where you fall in. There are old swingers and young swingers, those from the rural south and those from the big cities of the Northeast. Nobody is without a tribe here.
Besides drinking, the central focus of the Sexy Pool is the games that are led by the Play Makers — staff members charged with warming up the crowd. Each morning, the schedule for the day is posted near the pool and there are a list of competitions that you can join … competitions which range from tequila Jenga, a Miss Temptation beauty pageant, pool volleyball, belly flop (seriously), Mr. Sexy Legs, beer pong, music trivia, a chugging contest, Twister, jello wrestling …
The word “naked” can potentially be inserted before any of the above depending on current circumstances. I’m not sure what determines these “current circumstances” but some regulars told me that sometimes nudity is okay and sometimes it isn’t …
I did Mr. Sexy Legs without knowing what I would be in for. I thought I’d just be prancing around showing off some quads, but I actually had to grind on some random topless woman, cover her in hot chocolate, lick it off, slam a shot of some florescent green alcohol … in addition to prancing around showing my quads.
Prancing is not my speciality. Needless to say, I did not win.
However, this contest did directly lead to a four couple orgy that my wife and I hosted in our room …
The girl whose lap I grinded on had a husband out in the crowd who was concurrently flirting with my wife, and when it was over we all reconvened over by the bar and got to know each other. Apparently, licking hot chocolate off of some random woman’s bare breasts is a good way to break the ice. A couple from Houston who we previously had a foursome with (more on that later) came over and joined us, as did a Russian couple that we were talking with in the pool earlier. We did what swingers do — hands began to wander and midsections began to rub together, lips began to touch. I looked over at my wife, who happened to have a dude’s head between her legs under the water, and I proposed a suggestion to the group, “We could all go back to our room if you’d like.”
20 minutes later we were naked. We didn’t lower the window blind. Of course.
The nighttime parties
Besides the Sexy Pool, the hallmark of the Temptation experience is the nightly parties. They take place on the massive deck that overlooks the the resort and all the people who you met during the day in the pool show up wearing wild costumes which, in some cases, reveal more than their bathing suits.
In typical swinger fashion, each party has a theme and dress code. Sunday is a Hawaiian theme, Monday is Wild Safari, Tuesday is Lingerie Masquerade, Wednesday is Glitter and Glam, Thursday is Crazy Circus, Friday is an open theme where you can dress however you want, and Saturday is a neon party. If you don’t prepare in advance, there is a store where you can buy costumes for each theme. While they say there’s a dress code and most people actually follow it, nobody is going to throw you out if you don’t. However, we discovered that the more noticeable your costume is, the more people are going to talk with you; the more people that talk with you, the better the chances of having more sex.
The best costume of our visit: a dude who wore nothing but a pair of skimpy trunks that had an elephant on them with a well-placed trunk.
Runner up: a dude who went balls-out in nothing more than a mask and a sheath.
We were there for the safari, lingerie, and glitter parties. The first night we stood back a little and took in the scene. We watched the dance show that the resort puts on and scanned the crowd, looking for potential partners.
Every swinger’s party has a natural arc of activity level. When people first arrive at a party they tend to be reserved, sober, and not yet ready to play. This is where you meet people, talk about what you’re into, and plant seeds that you may be interested to play. Then the drinks begin to flow and the crowd loosens up. Some people begin moving to the play areas. Eventually, the night crescendos as the play areas fill. After that, things tend to simmer down fast as people tap out, get too drunk, or go home. The important thing is to be ready to hit playtime at its peak.
Our timing for Temptation was thrown off a little as we did not factor in the reality that much of the crowd had literally just spent the entire day drinking. While everyone got amped up for the parties, it was clear that couples were dropping off fast. The gangbangs and orgies that were being excitedly planned during the day started being canceled at night, as their prospective participants crashed or found their faces hovering above a toilet bowl.
As the couples began trickling away from the party on the first night we realized that there was soon not going to be anyone left, and we went into active pursuit mode. I complimented a dude who looked like my wife’s type on his costume and we began talking. Our wives soon joined us. They were from Houston and were hardcore lifestylers — and were likewise on the prowl. We invited them back to our room …
By our third day there we realized that we probably shouldn’t wait until nightfall to play, and that’s how the 2PM four couple orgy got started. When we return to Temptation, we’ll probably stick to this plan, as 2PM seems to be the perfect time to play there.
Our orgy group met up later on at the party, but only the couple from Houston were in good enough shape to play some more, and we went back to our room and had another foursome.
Not everyone is a swinger
While things are very much set up for swingers at Temptation Cancun, it isn’t officially a swinger’s resort, and one of the most hilarious thing we found about the place was that not everyone who goes there is aware of the promiscuous proclivities of most of the guests.
Case in point: We met a cute couple at one of the nighttime parties — they were young, maybe around 25, and, from what we could tell, seemed to be in the lifestyle. We introduced them to our new friends and hung out, talked, and danced. Then I eventually extended an invite:
“So, I think we’re going to get a little group together in our room tonight, would you two be interested in joining?”
“Yes,” the guy said quickly.
But the girl was a little more hesitant. “What are we going to be doing?” she asked.
I was a little taken aback by her response. Usually, this type of proposition in this circumstance leaves little to be read between the lines. Then I got it …
“You know we’re swingers, right?”
“What?!?” the girl exclaimed as she turned to her boyfriend.
“Yes, many of the people here are. It’s kind of a swinger’s resort.”
“Did you know that these people swing!?!” she asked her boyfriend as she smacked his chest.
He just shrugged his shoulders and sheepishly nodded. She took him aside and that was the last we ever saw of that couple.
The moral of the story: verbally check people’s lifestyle statuses first before inviting them to an orgy.
Everything about Temptation Cancun feels as if you’re in some kind of alternate universe — it’s like you walk through the doors and the outside world and your life there freezes and you momentarily live this existence that’s removed from work, obligation, and time. The place really is a playground for grown-ups.