And I paid for the privilege…
So picture this. I have scheduled a weeks vacation, but I didn’t plan anything as I thought that SURELY I’d have someone to go with me. As the date approached with great quickness, I realized I was gonna have to go solo and I was determined not to sit home and pout. I wanted to go to a beach with tropical drinks, blue water and an absence of bitchy women and judgy couples. I had gone to an all-inclusive alone once before and it was awful. Here are the highlights
- Upon checking in I was asked where my husband was
- Every day I got to the pool early and as the couples arrived to claim their spots they would say “oh I loved that book” and never talk to me again.
- I ate one night at the restaurant. Picture the most romantic setting you can, muted lighting, cozy 2-tops, soft music, and me sitting alone. And so many “oh she’s so sad” head tilts that I ate room service for the duration of my stay.
“This was not going to be me” I exclaimed to no one in particular. I got on the web and searched “best all-inclusives for solo travelers. And one place was on EVERY list. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Hedonism.
If you are unaware, Hedonism is a nudist resort in Negril, Jamaica. It was built in the 70s (and kind of looks it) it has a nude side and a prude side (which I feel is self-explanatory so I’m not going into it) and you can go and be naked amongst like-minded people. I am not a person comfortable with being naked. At all. This comes from years of men telling me I was fat. Or more to the point “could lose a few pounds”. I hated my body. I cursed it every time I stood in front of a mirror. When I have sex with a man the worst thing that ever happens is the trip to the bathroom after, because I have to stand up and he can see everything I was covering up. But goddamit, I decided to go find my bliss and come to terms with me.
What follows are a couple of excerpts from my journal… Enjoy.
I’m getting naked in front of quite a few strangers today. The emotional roller coaster I’m on is bonkers. I’ve cried, I’ve puked – TWICE, I’m shaking uncontrollably. I almost flew back to Boston during my layover in Miami. I am astounded how the mere thought of shedding these skin covers we call clothing has me in pieces. I’ll just be laying it all bare. Literally. I don’t want to. But I’m going to! It’s not going to fix my problems. It’s not going to make me whole. But it’s going to be something I’ll own and it will be all mine. And no one can take that away.
August 24 – a few hours later
Earlier I passed by a naked guy on the 2nd floor on a call pacing back and forth – clearly making a business call – just in the nude. He could have been the guy you stand behind at Starbucks, the one with the phone in his ear talking spreadsheets while waiting on his espresso. Only this guy was naked.
I took measure in the mirror this morning. Today I’ll be walking around with nothing on but a necklace with my name on it, so I felt the need to stare at me. I took in the bumps, the mysterious bruises that appear on my skin even though I don’t remember the pain associated with them, my ass – I mean who even knows what that sucker looks like, my stomach, my thighs, my cellulite, the hair I missed shaving, the angry red marks left behind by my bra… I started ticking off all the things that are wrong. Then I realized that’s exactly why I’m NOT here.
Meeting the neighbors. Let’s call them J and R. They are from the deeeeep south and are in their mid 70’s.
J and R are reading from their Ipads and discussing the Dow Jones and a breaking news story from CNN. Naked. Just the most normal things. OMG they just had another couple stop by to say hi. They are in the same age range and are also from the south, however they are clothed. The two couples are having a conversation about “what went down last night” I’m sure I heard the words “edibles” and “mushrooms”.
Guys, the TVs at Hedonism have channels – that’s plural – filled with porn. Sweet Jesus.
I woke up at 5 am and walked into the ocean all alone. It was interesting to feel the water on all the places that are so often covered.
August 25 a few hours later
I DID IT! I am currently sitting next to two septuagenarians and I am totally naked. I still haven’t stood up, but I’m doing the damn thing!
A couple that I met on the Hedonism Facebook page have come up to say hello. They are beautiful – great bodies and tanned as fuck – but the nicest folks. They are proud of me. Sidenote – when you are sitting on a beach chair and someone comes up to speak with you, you are quite literally at dick level. The man in this couple has a small pair of blue glittery sunglasses double side taped to the head of his penis.
Speaking of penis. I have only ever seen like 8 dicks up close and personal. I’ve been with a few more than 8 men, but I some of those were brief and I never really took a good look. But, if I may, dicks are like snowflakes – no two are alike! Big, small, girthy, skinny, some look like they are hiding, some like they aren’t sure where to go, some are European, some point down, some point up… it’s a lot to take in. I’m not trying to stare, but I don’t know what else to do. I’m not judging, it’s just new to me. I had very little frame of reference. So, I feel I’m justified in looking. It’s research.
There are so many types of bodies here. These are the people you see everyday at work, or at the grocery store, or at the mall. They too have scars and bumps and bruises – but they don’t have one thing – an ounce of insecurity. You see, these people feel they are home and they are surrounded by like-minded people. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it feels good.
I’ll be honest, after this point, I was so comfortable that I pretty much stopped journaling because I just wanted to sit and enjoy. Just be.
Things I did while I was naked I never thought I would have done.
- -did a drug deal on the beach
- -stood up at the grill waiting for my food. For like 7 minutes.
- -sat outside my room, giving no fucks
- -and I may or may not have participated in some adult activities in a cabana in full view of anyone who happened to walk by. May have. Spoiler alert – I did.
So now that I’m home where everyone wears clothes, I have a new appreciation for my body. I walk around my house naked and I’m no longer trying to cover myself up when I get naked with my man. I’m good. My body isn’t perfect but it’s mine, and I’m going to keep it.