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10 things you didn't know about Hedonism

RUNAWAY BAY, Jamaica - Hedonism. Just the word makes modest folks blush. In brochures covered with plain brown wrappers, the Hedonism III resort polishes its naughty reputation.

RUNAWAY BAY, Jamaica - Hedonism. Just the word makes modest folks blush.

In brochures covered with plain brown wrappers, the Hedonism III resort polishes its naughty reputation.

"Be wicked for a week," it beckons. "Go skinny dipping. Don't make your bed. Don't call your mother."

But what is really behind the high yellow-pastel walls of Jamaica's nude singles-couples resort? Fewer clothes and more relaxation than you imagine.

At least, during the day.

"Everyone thinks everyone here is walking around having sex with everybody else, and we want the risque feeling, but we don't want it to seem like a free-for-all," said Aubrey Lewis, public-relations manager at the resort.

Sitting at a bar at Hedonism III in early afternoon, overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean as it sweeps around Runaway Bay, west of Ocho Rios, Lewis is dressed formally in creased trousers, with shiny shoes and a firm handshake.

We go on a tour. The restaurants. The disco. The small but pretty beaches. The lodgings.

The nude pool.

The nude pool is not large, but it is packed with nude people of all ages, shapes and sizes. They are lounging on chairs, sitting at the swim-up bar, eating at the Nud-I-Burger or just floating in the water.

It's afternoon, but managers don't ask what goes on at all hours behind closed doors in those pastel hotel rooms just yonder.

"When you come in, we don't ask, 'Who are you? What are you?' That's none of our business," Lewis said.

Here are 10 more things you might not ask about Hedonism but want to know:

1. Hedonism III has nine lodging buildings and can hold 400 guests. It draws mostly Americans, but more Canadians have been coming lately.

Like its sister property Hedonism II in Negril, the resort draws singles, couples and groups of all types, including straight, gay and lesbian and the curious. Age range? Appears to be mostly 30 to 50ish. You must be at least 18.

2. Nude resorts also have "prude" sides. Hedonism III has a nude pool, a prude pool and a clothing-optional pool. It also has a nude beach and a prude beach.

Some people come as a prude but turn into a nude.

"If you are shy and don't want to show what God gave you, you can start here," Lewis said, pointing to the clothing-optional pool area.

3. The Jamaican inventors of Hedonism, the Issa family, also invented the concept of super all-inclusives. Those are resorts where liquor, recreation, lodging, entertainment, food and tips are all included in one price. The only extra costs are for tours, scuba diving, spa treatments and golf.

4. The 8-year-old Hedonism III has a very Jamaican, pastel feel. Fans whir quietly above the lobby. Proper, even formal, clerks and managers check in guests. It offers windsurfing, sailing, tennis, billiards, aqua aerobics, reggae dancing, a variety of bars and karaoke.

Unlike other Jamaican resorts, it offers things like nightclub "fetish" parties.

5. There really are mirrors on the ceilings of the guest rooms.

6. Hedonism III is the only resort in Jamaica to offer nude weddings.

7. You have to wear clothes in the nice restaurants, one of which is Japanese.

8. The disco has a see-through water slide tube that goes through the room. It's right next to the elevated dancing cage.

9. When you think about it, Jamaica is a weird place for a nude resort. "We are a British colony, with old British mannerisms," said Lewis. "This kind of resort is a thumb sticking out in a basically conservative society."

10. Hedonism III may be famous and the most risque, but it is not the only clothing-optional resort in Jamaica. Couples Ocho Rios is a popular honeymooners' resort with a nude island for sunbathing, which you reach via small boat (you wear clothes the rest of the time).

Another sexy clothing-optional chain, Desire, has no resorts in Jamaica. "It's a copycat," said Lewis. But Hedonism is the original.