the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.
synonyms:self-indulgence, pleasure-seeking, self-gratification, lotus-eating, sybaritism; More
the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
In the summer of 2010 I traveled alone to Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica as a gift from my parents for getting accepted into the prestigious University of Toronto.
You read that right, my parents paid for my trip to a 'swingers resort.' At the time, I just figured this was a great idea because it was an 18+ resort and I wouldn't have to deal with any children running around. My mom (I think) was okay with sending me there because I needed to grow out of being a constantly covered up tomboy and learn to be more comfortable with my body. As an Eastern European, nude beaches were a regular occurrence for me as a child, but for some reason in my awkward teen years and into my early 20's - showing skin was just NOT for me.
I didn't know what I was really getting myself into until I had a random conversation at the airport in Montego Bay with a nice family from Ohio. As we were all waiting for the shuttle bus that takes everyone to different resorts, one of the teenage boys in the family was perusing the various resort options. The typical Sandals, Riu etc. and then he said to his mom, 'what's Hedonism?' If there was ANY way I could describe the face his mother gave him when her teenager asked that, oh my. The face she made was as if he had asked her to quit school because he knocked a girl up and run off and join the circus. She grabbed the magazine out of his hands and said, 'that's where the degenerate people go.'
Degenerate? I never saw myself as a degenerate. I am many things but that was not one of the self-descriptions I used on Plenty of Fish damn it! We all loaded into the shuttle to make our way from Mobay to Negril and of course as we got to Hedonism II, I was the ONLY person on the shuttle going there. As I went to get off the bus I said bye to the driver and loudly thanked him for helping out 'a degenerate.' (Is that hella childish? Yes, absolutely it was.)
I'm still not sure who the degenerates were supposed to be at the resort - but the people I had the pleasure of meeting the whole week were AWESOME. The entertainment staff and all the tourists were friendly, kind and really fun.
The resort had two sides; the nude side and the prude side. The prude side was for people who wore clothing/bathing suits and the nude side was, well, self-explanatory. That was definitely the party side. Along with the two sides, in the middle we had this incredibly quiet beach. Hedonism is part of Negril's 7 Mile Beach except no outsiders were allowed on ours. I could leave my resort and go walk through other resorts' land but they could not enter ours. On each end of our resort there was security preventing anyone from gallivanting to come gawk and be weird at Hedo. I really liked that because it was so peaceful without any outside interference. Sometimes it felt like I had the whole place to myself, especially since I was on the prude side of the beach mostly.
Now, was there some wild shit happening that you wouldn't see at other resorts?
All the damn time.
Between the nude volleyball, the swingers swingin' (in their rooms, on the beach, in the pool etc), the scandalous costume theme nights and the daggering competitions - this place was wild. I loved every minute of it. For someone who had been so closed off and self-conscious, Hedonism hit the spot for my growth as a person.
Although I didn't participate in any of the extra-curricular swingers activities on the resort (take a breath, mom) this was one of the best experiences of my life. These 40, 50, 60-somethings were just so wise and so comfortable with themselves and at 23, they really impacted me. I can honestly say that traveling to Hedonism positively benefited my self-esteem and how I felt about my body going forward.
I genuinely hope the Hedonism Resort is still the way it was seven years ago. Not only was the beach perfect and the food delicious (especially eating jerk pork on the beach) but the staff made you feel really welcome, especially as a solo traveler. They did everything to include me in random activities and to hang out. It didn't go unnoticed.
Definitely need to add (and emphasize) if you are a solo female going to Hedonism, it really isn't that big of a deal. A woman alone at Hedonism will be very popular, yes, but I assure you that people are mad cool and not weird about it. Instead of feeling like a loner the other couples and even the staff will chat you up and you'll forget you came there alone. By the end of the week you will feel like it is a nude resort filled with strangers who just didn't become your friends yet.
Recently I read the newly inflated prices for Hedo and I was taken aback a little. I feel it is very expensive now and that makes it inaccessible for many younger people. I met some older couples who had been 10-15 times to Hedonism and make it a yearly pilgrimage for themselves, but they had THOSE kinds of incomes to afford it. A week in Hedonism now (with flight) from Toronto at the most basic room will run you $7,798.06 USD for two people. That is about $9,568 CAD = $4,784 per person. When I went to Hedonism back in 2010, it was $1700 CAD for a week (with flight) for just myself in the same kind of room. Shit, I thought THAT was expensive back then.
If you ever have the funds and opportunity to go to Hedonism, I would still say DO IT! Whether you go solo, with friends or with your significant other, the place is a memorable experience.
As I put the hedonism definition at the beginning of this post: the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
HELL YEAH WHY NOT?
You should aim to be pleased and have all your desires met in every aspect of your life. You will happily find and really cultivate your inner hedonist.
Good food. Amazing beach. Entertainment. What else could you ask for?