Send to a Friend
  Printer Friendly Format
  Leave Feedback
  Read Feedback
  Nerve RSS

I was sixteen and returning from my yearly beach vacation with my mom when I first stumbled across a brochure in the airport for the sex resort Hedonism. While Mom waited in line, I covertly flipped through a Skinemax fantasy: tanned, busty early-twenty-somethings pranced half-naked around a beach fire, licking strawberries and sipping champagne, then slipped into quiet coves for more strawberry licking, now with whipped cream and full-on nudity. I wondered wistfully if I would ever get to visit that kinky Never Never Land.

Fast forward four years, and I was, miraculously, offered a free trip with my girlfriend to Hedonism III. The only problem: It was my mom making the offer, and her boyfriend would be coming as well. I got off the phone immediately.


The set-up would have had Freud salivating, and I took several days to contemplate my answer. Was the whole "oh my God I'm at a sex resort with my mom" thing really worth turning down a free vacation with all-inclusive drinks? All-inclusive drinks! The words followed me for days. And my mom had promised that we'd stay on opposite sides of the resort. When she'd be on the nude side, I'd be on the prude side and vice versa. In all practicality, she wouldn't even be there.

I detailed the plan to my girlfriend, Hadley. During our year-and-a-half-long relationship we'd had a few milestones: the let's-be-exclusive talk; our first "I love you"; meeting the parents; our first sex in a body of water (the Atlantic). Now, I had to pop the big question. I waited until our second bottle of wine over dinner. "So," I looked deep into her eyes. "How about my mom takes us to a sex resort?"

She looked dumbfounded, and I launched into a rambling monologue. "We'll never see them," I reasoned. "Our rooms are on opposite sides of the resort. They don't force you to get naked if you don't want to or throw you into an orgy or anything." I filled her glass to the brink. "Our room will have a Jacuzzi. And did I mention the open bar?"

"Okay," she said. "But I'm not getting naked in front of your mother."

"Okay," she said. "But I'm not getting naked in front of your mother."

Fifteen minutes into the taxi ride to Newark Airport, I remembered that my mom's boyfriend, Harry, had a very special type of Tourette's — every fourth sentence referred to their sex life. He claimed to be naturally polysexual, and often interpreted my protests of "I don't want to fucking hear that" as "please sexually proposition my mom in front of me some more." As we pulled the luggage out of the trunk, he pinched my mom's ass and giggled, "Gee, Sue, I can't wait to see what they're gonna do to you on that beach." Fighting back the urge to strangle him, I imagined tipping back a piña colada, surrounded by beautiful people.

As we arrived at the resort, I considered what I should say to my mom. "Catch you in a week" seemed a bit too direct and unappreciative. But Mom spoke first. "How about we meet at the bar in an hour before dinner?" Before I knew what I was doing, I had said okay. Surely it wouldn't be too hard for me and Hadley to shake Harry and Mom and disappear into the legion of young hardbodies.


March Madness by Jen Matlack
I went to Spring Break a virgin.
After School by Keith Banner
I had one thing in common with the homecoming king.
The Sweetheart Scammer by Salvatore Ciolfi
I made my living lying about love.
The Conditional Surrender by Leo Stark
I'd always been square, until I met Peg.
Roe vs. Wade vs. My Boyfriend by Lauren B.
My abortion was no big deal — except to the men in my life.
A Dram of Poison by Miles Morse
I roofied my wife to save our marriage.

Commentarium (15 Comments)

Mar 19 09 - 9:38am

hysterical! I look forward to the family reunion follow-up.

Mar 19 09 - 9:48am

Really good stuff! Best essay I've read on here this year :)
And now, I know Hedonism may be a place best left to my imagination and dirty bedroom stories...

Mar 19 09 - 10:28am

I ALWAYS wondered about Hedonism! Good read. Thanks.

Mar 20 09 - 12:55am

Please. Make it stop.

Mar 19 09 - 5:15pm

Harry floating into view like the Nevermind baby may be one of the most hysterical phrases ever. Great piece, thanks!

Mar 19 09 - 6:09pm

The county in Florida that has the highest number of STDs is one that houses a huge retirement community that features group square dancing and multiple golf courses that may have been advertised on TV.

Mar 19 09 - 6:53pm

Pretty pathetic story. Then again what do you expect from Nerve...

Mar 20 09 - 3:29pm

is it just me, or did you get the impression that the mom had free tickets to hedonism? the mind explodes.

or was she just paying for her child and his girlfriend? and which is more surreal?

either way, i enjoyed the story.

Mar 21 09 - 5:57pm

kind of jealous haha. great work.

Mar 21 09 - 6:35pm

Humorous read

Mar 23 09 - 12:18am

Your girlfriend's name was Hadley? After the town in Western Massachusetts? Well, it could have been worse. Her parents could have named her "Easthampton" or "Holyoke" or "Worchester" or "Greenfield"...

Mar 23 09 - 1:00pm

Actually, she's named Hadley after Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson. The town-name connection does lead to a lot of jokes though, since a lot of our friends at college are from Mass: "So Joe, I was in Hadley this weekend..." "And yeah, I was driving through Hadley, fast and hard," and the constant crowd-pleaser: "I was excited to get into Hadley, but then it smelled kind of funny."

Mar 23 09 - 9:02pm

this is poor. i've never been to hedonism, but i have been to nudist resorts. is it so hard to see past the genitals?

Mar 24 09 - 5:41pm

HAHA! "In Hadley!" I went to Hampshire:) I really enjoyed this essay. Mprtifying and hillarious!

Apr 16 09 - 11:05pm

In my mid-40's I took my willing g/f (now wife) to a NYEve swing party hosted by friends of mine, and we were the youngest couple there by at LEAST 12 years, and one of the few non-married couples... It was like a church social, with everybody bringing food, etc., except that at 8PM everybody got naked... It was a bit bizarre, but we still smile at fond memories of the night.