Richard's and Sophie's WWW-98 Trip Report

My Dilbert-like existence was becoming tedious. Sophie wanted to get away. Our darling cherubs were whining that they wanted to visit their grandparents. What were we to do? It was time to go to Hedonism II in Jamaica.

We left for the airport at 4:30am on July 16. American Airlines had us change planes in Miami and we landed at Montego Bay late in the morning. After passing through immigration, Sophie and I found the SuperClubs desk and asked if please, oh please, we could ride on one of their buses. The young woman at the desk smiled and arranged it. We declined the optional life insurance.

Our demon-driven bus careened westward along the coast. As we zoomed through crowded towns, the pedestrians, animals, and drivers of other vehicles dove for cover. I don't think there were any fatalities, but I nearly had a coronary event.

After an hour and a half we arrived at Hedonism II. The driver performed CPR, dragged us from the bus and helped us into the lobby. The friendly resort staff greeted us by saying, "Welcome home."

It was nice to be there. Intact.


Our room wasn't ready, but after so much traveling we were in no mood to wait. We were at the resort, yet unable to partake of hedonistic activities. Eventually they provided quarters overlooking the section between the beaches. This was allegedly Ocean View, Clothing Optional but in truth it was neither. We didn't mind, however. We spent very little time in the room during our stay.

Hedonism II is laid out simply. Beyond the lobby is the main dining area. Past that are the Prude Pool and hot tub, and just beyond that is a discotheque featuring the loudest music in the history of the universe. To the left from the main dining area is Pastafari's, the on-site Italian restaurant. Here you can have table service, in contrast to the buffet style main dining area. Beyond Pastafari's are the prude rooms, and in front of those buildings is the prude beach. If you take a right from main dining area you will find several overpriced stores, Veronica's Piano Bar, the gym and a tennis court. The clothing-optional area is on this side. The Nude Pool and hot tub, and Delroy's, are beyond the rooms in the clothing-optional section. In front of those quarters is the nude beach.

In my opinion the prude beach is nicer than the nude beach. The sand is finer and the sea floor is not as rocky. Even so, few guests used it. There is a consensus that the nude side is much more fun. It is.

Between the two beaches some of the locals sell souvenirs, including wood carvings offering varying degrees of obscenity. This area was the view from our room window.

Everyone who's stayed at Hedonism II knows about the inadequate water pressure. Taking a shower can be like washing under a leaky gutter. It's a long-standing joke that this is being worked on. This time, however, people actually were working on it. Friday afternoon a notice was slipped under our door, stating that the water system would be shut down for repairs from 10:00pm to 6:00am Saturday. Generally speaking, when people in Jamaica say a thing will be ready at a specific time, they are referring to a temporal range several hours (or even days) long. Expecting the worst, I filled the pitcher and coffeepot with water. Late in the evening I discovered that evidently the water supply interruption extended to the entire resort, rather than just to selected rooms. Fortunately the water was back on when we awoke, but it was a bit disconcerting nevertheless . . . and this was not the end of the matter.

Monday at 3:00am we woke to hammering and sawing on the roof. We had been soaking in the hot tub as recently as 1:00am, so the noise was not particularly welcome. I was annoyed at first, but then thought about it. For these guys to be working on the roof in the middle of the night certainly implied that there was a problem requiring immediate attention. I would rather have my sleep disturbed and have running water in the morning, I decided, than sleep soundly and wake to Hedonism II without fresh water. And in the morning, the water was on . . . but this also was not the end of the matter.

Wednesday afternoon we received another notice to the effect that the water would be turned off all night. Thursday morning the water came on at 7:00am, and we left five hours later. Heaven knows what happened after that.


As we did the first time we visited Hedonism II, we met a number of people on line before the trip. They, as we, had posted names and e-mail addresses on Denny's web page ( This cast of characters included Denny himself, for his umpteenth trip to Hedonism, stag this time. Recognizing him from his "Hooters" hat, I introduced myself and thanked him for publishing my first trip report. Not everyone has such discriminating literary taste.

We met Doug and Nancy. Doug brought his Palm Pilot and laptop computer to Hedonism II. This was ostensibly to process photographs from his digital camera, but I'm sure I saw him working. Basically, Doug is a geek with a dry sense of humor. So am I, though I am younger and have more hair. We got along very well, though the cosmic imbalance of two sarcastic geeks in the same place at the same time probably caused more planetary damage than all the greenhouse gases ever to emerge from Washington, D.C.

On Toga Night we were introduced to Smiling57. She had been sick, but she is a very determined young lady with a fascinating tattoo and a higher than average partying threshold. It was evident that she wouldn't permit a small thing like an illness interfere with her trip to Hedonism II. Smiling57 is an AWESOME volleyball player, and I would not want to be on the receiving end of one of her spikes. Late one evening I found her with a large group, playing nude volleyball in the prude pool. I am told that this is not an uncommon late-night occurrence, though it was the first I had heard of it.

We spent time with three couples from our state. Jessica and Lance, Chuck and Paula, and Linda and Mike all were great fun. Jessica celebrated her 30th birthday in the hot tub, but I will leave the scandalous details for others to describe. Mike played the drums in the talent show. It was like seeing Ringo Starr perform. Chuck and Paula were a real kick to be around. We discussed politics and apparently share many of the same warped viewpoints.

Kevin and Pam (also a birthday girl during their visit) had contacted us via e-mail. Kevin developed a scheme to catch lobsters, using hot dogs as bait. After several attempts, he concluded (wisely, I think) that it would be a decidedly bad idea to teach the local lobsters to snap at anything shaped like a hot dog.

It was always fun to be with Bill and Karen. For pajama night, Karen wore slippers. Just slippers. Late one afternoon Sophie and I were in the hot tub discussing weighty matters with Doug and Nancy. Between the hot tub and the nude pool is a smaller, elevated pool, overflowing into the nude pool. The water here is cool and always in motion. We noticed Karen and Bill getting comfortable there, then heard Karen shout "Woooh hoooo! Sophie, I found a jet. Oh my!" We smiled and waved, knowing that she was enjoying herself.

We met many others, and I apologize for those I know I will miss in this narrative. Among those whom this feeble mind DOES remember were Jim and Celeste (clearly she should have won the toga contest), Ken and Pam (they forward the funniest e-mails), Mike and Yvonne, Johnny and Joyce, and Cole and Cindy. We also came across some interesting people without actually meeting them. A gentleman in his 60s looked like a corporate executive nearing retirement. At the nude pool, however, we discovered that he was elaborately pierced, in places that were simply painful to look at. He was overheard explaining this in terms of "Well, it doesn't function any more, so I might as well decorate it."


Friday evening after dinner we moseyed over to the beach, where the weekly games were being organized. Thirty of us volunteered to participate, and we were separated into three groups. The teams were named "Freaks of the Week," "Big Bamboo," and my team agreed on the name "Shelly's Sluts." These monikers provide some clue as to the level of maturity involved.

The first few events were fairly innocent contests involving Frisbees, balloons, balls (the kind you throw . . . get your mind out of the gutter) and crazy people running around in circles. This was not very different from the games during our last visit. I'm proud to report that the Sluts ran away with the title, defeating both other teams by a wide margin.

The teams disbanded and some people dispersed. The evening event was not over, however, and the Entertainment Directors gathered 20 guests, divided evenly between men and women. This last game of the night was a variation of musical chairs with a hedonistic twist. Couples paired off and stood back to back, arms linked. Somebody turned on a boom box and the players maneuvered for position. When the music stopped, each couple split and everyone scrambled to find another partner with whom they were to get into a simulated sexual position. After each round, the last couple to couple, so to speak, was ejected from the game.

This game was a bit more violent than I had initially expected from the description. The first time the music paused, one of the staff, perhaps Shelly herself, ran into me, knocked me down and, um, taught me a new position. She was fast, and we were the first pair "in place." The Entertainment Director determined which couple was last, and they were eliminated. I knocked sand from my ears and we stood, linked arms, and waited for the music to pause again.

After five cycles, half the participants had been thrown out. The next musical interruption was an easy one for me, as at that moment my partner and I were very close to another couple, and the woman of that couple was facing me. She and I gave each other eye signals, and when the stereo was turned off we needed to take only a few steps. For the other eight people, however, it was a mad rush not entirely unlike commuters trying to board a New York City subway. One couple collided, fell to the ground and assumed the conventional position. My guess is that they were both accountants. When the dust cleared the Entertainment Director approached that pair and asked the woman her name.

"Lisa," she shyly replied into the microphone.

"Is this your first visit to Hedonism II, Lisa?"


"This man you are embracing . . . have you ever met him before?"


"Did you ever think you'd be on a beach simulating sex with a total stranger, in front of hundreds of people?"

"Well . . . it could happen."

Her life is evidently more exciting life than mine.

Wednesday at the nude pool there was a game called "Find Your Mate." The Entertainment Director requested four women, their mates, and four other men. Doug and Nancy lined up to play, as did Bill and Karen. Inexplicably, Sophie did not want to take part, though she insisted I should. Despite my reluctance, she shoved me to the side of the pool where the event was being organized. The women were blindfolded, and the men were assigned numbers 1 through 8. Bill was #2, Doug was #3, and I was #4.

For the first part of the event, Nancy stood before each man and placed her hands on his chest. From the skin texture, muscle tone, and the amount of hair she encountered, she had to determine which of us was Doug. She paused at #3 and said, "This is Doug. I can tell." Then she moved on. Nancy is a very nice young lady, and my turn was plenty of fun. When she finished testing pectorals, however, she couldn't remember Doug's number, and consequently had to repeat her performance. Once again she accurately picked her husband's chest, but in the time it took her to get all the way through the line, the men were switched around. Somebody else was #3 when Nancy's blindfold was removed, so she thought she had picked the wrong chest.

The second woman probed and prodded our legs. She, like Nancy, correctly identified her mate by touch. Here again, however, the staff shifted us around. When her blindfold was removed, she also thought she had made a mistake.

I will not discuss the actions of woman #3, except to say that I damn near cut and run, and before I again permit anyone like her to do what she did, I'll become a Franciscan monk. Doug adopted an innovative strategy, but the Entertainment Director announced that "hiding the salami" violated the house rules. Doug had to suffer the same indignities the rest of us endured.

Karen was the fourth woman, and her assigned task was to find her husband Bill by the feel of his derriere. This she did with no trouble, and when she placed her hands on the correct tush she whooped "Here he is! I'd know this butt anywhere!"

Of course, she still had to go through the rest of the line, and while she did that, a tall, slim woman changed places with Bill. Karen, finished now, yelled, "He's number 2. Number 2. I know it." When she tore off her blindfold and saw to whom the number 2 derriere belonged, she laughed so hard I thought she was going to fall into the pool.

Near the stores and gym is a large chess set. The board consists of colored tiles on the ground, and the pieces are several feet tall. Sunday afternoon a tournament was held there. After several rounds of play I was eliminated. My opponent was an excellent tactical player, so I found no shame in defeat, and was pleased to take second place. After the tournament all the participants (both of us) discussed the strengths and weaknesses of our games.

One afternoon at the nude pool I encountered a game of naked Twister. Lucky me, they needed a fourth player. Without elaboration, I will say that this variation of Twister is much more entertaining than is the conventional version.


For the most part, evening entertainment in the main dining area was mediocre. This was only our second visit, but even we were bored at some repeated skits.

Elvis night was an exception. The impersonator was really quite good, and I'm not even an Elvis fan. My memories of the real Elvis are basically limited to the image of a fat guy who ate too many fried bananas and took astonishing quantities of prescription medication.

As I said, however, this Elvis impersonator was GOOD. He got the audience into the act and brought a few people on the stage to sing backup vocals. He pounded out a variety of Elvis hits, then sang some Sinatra favorites.

We went to Veronica's piano bar twice. Sophie and I are both musically challenged, but at least she has the good sense to not demonstrate her limitations. I, on the other hand, felt compelled to sing both times. No matter what I did, however, I could not persuade my devoted wife to accompany me, let alone perform a song herself.

For my first public appearance, I said I'd like to sing "Clementine."

The piano player asked, "What's your name?"

"Winston," I replied. [Does any reader of this trip report know why I picked that name? If so, e-mail me. You win the prize.]

So I sang the song, my wife threatened divorce, and some guy who looked like James Carville ran over and helped with the last few lines. Amazing.

During our second visit to Veronica's I sang "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown," which brought on a strong reaction from the crowd. Specifically, they felt strongly about my having been allowed back into the place after the earlier performance. I escaped without being struck by airborne rotten vegetables, but it was a close thing and involved lots of ducking and weaving.


Saturday at 10:30am the catamaran departed for the Pickled Parrot. This is a restaurant on a cliff some distance down the coast. Also on board were Doug and Nancy, Kevin and Pam, Chuck and Paula, Jim and Celeste, and many others. This is a fairly large boat, carrying perhaps 40 passengers. The sun was high and there were no clouds, so I slathered on the SPF #15. I burn easily and wanted to be careful.

The boat stopped at a reef and most of us went snorkeling. Some say the scenery is more beautiful in places like Hawaii. That may be true, but this was very pretty. The water was full of little tiger-striped fish, and others of an intense bright blue color--a color I had never before seen in nature. Two smaller boats dropped anchor nearby, their passengers gawking not at the fish, but at the naked people from Hedonism II. After 20 minutes, a crew member blew on a conch shell. This was the signal to get aboard, and after a head count we resumed our cruise. Sophie pointed out that those few minutes of snorkeling had been sufficient to sunburn my cheeks. Yes, those cheeks.

The Pickled Parrot is home to a very steep waterslide, and is also a place where crazy people jump from the cliff into the water. Considering that I had intentions of being a crazy person, it seemed wise to protect certain tender anatomical structures. I put on my swimsuit. Not being much of a swimmer, Sophie stayed on the boat. I dove over the side, swam to the landing at the edge of the water, and climbed the steps chiseled into the face of the cliff. When I say "cliff," understand that I am not describing El Capitan. I'd say it stood 35 feet high. After ascending, I followed a narrow path by the restaurant to get to the jumpoff point. Customers seated inside stared through the windows, expressions of sympathy on their faces.

At the edge of the cliff there was a small final step, leading to a slightly protruding rock. Looking down from the precipice, the distance to the clear water seemed considerably greater than it had appeared from the catamaran. I could just discern Sophie waving from the boat. There was a brief wait while the remains of the previous lunatic were removed--the larger pieces first, then smaller fragments. I needed the time to compose myself, anyway. I looked behind me and saw a boy, perhaps 10 years old, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for his turn to jump.

I turned back around, stepped into the void, and yelled. I could have read a novel during the fall. Eventually I hit the surface heels first, and my first sensation was pain in the arches of my feet. The water closed over my head as the momentum carried me down. Finally I slowed, reached equilibrium, then kicked and swam for the surface. Emerging into the sunlight, I looked around and realized that nobody had witnessed my courageous act.

Considering this unjust lack of recognition, several days later when Sophie suggested we do the cruise again, I agreed. This second voyage was a little more crowded. Among the passengers was a young lady whose silicone-to- protoplasm ratio significantly exceeded that of the general population. Evidently she has graced the pages of several popular men's magazines. She was quite friendly, and when she agreed to be photographed with other passengers a line of men quickly formed on the starboard (a little nautical lingo there) side of the boat. The craft started to tip, and the captain rushed over to intervene, sending men back to the port side to prevent a catastrophe.

We repeated the snorkeling routine, again frolicked at the Pickled Parrot, then the boat departed for the trip back. To this point the weather had varied from tolerable to beautiful. Now, however, it began to rain in earnest. Fifty naked passengers crowded under the roofed section of the boat, an area the size of a typical kitchen. People got real friendly. To help things along the bartender starting omitting the punch from the rum punch drinks. I don't remember much about the return trip, other than a woman reciting poetry to the rhythm of the heavy rain pounding on the roof. I'm told I had a good time.


Our first trip to Hedonism II (New Year's week 1997-98) was nonstop fun. We connected with several other couples also there for the first time, and our shared experiences will always stay with us. We remain in touch with those friends, and expect to see them again.

This second visit was as much fun as our first, but different in some ways. We were more relaxed and knew what to expect. We did more this time. To our amusement, we were treated by some as experienced veterans. First-timers actually asked for advice, which we gave freely, with the caveat that we weren't necessarily experts.

Clothing-optional resorts are not for everyone. Even among those who would go naked, Hedonism II is, well, different. It's an uninhibited place, and the only limits are the ones you set for yourselves. Even considering this, though, the really striking thing about Hedonism II is the fact that so many of the guests are just regular people from all walks of life.

Hedonism II is unique. There is no other place quite like it. I have often heard that the percentage of returning guests is higher than at any other Caribbean resort. I don't know for certain if this is true, but it is plausible. We certainly are following that pattern.

We'll be back.

Richard & Sophie