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Naked ambition

Sex fest or safe space? What really goes down on a swingers cruise

Swingers cruises – the ultimate let-loose or a mortifying ordeal? Sailawaze investigates the sexy side of, ahem, cruising.

Words by Samantha Priestley

A lot of people, both those who cruise regularly and those who don’t, imagine all cruise ships are a hotbed of passion and guests are secretly swapping partners willy-nilly.

While there is some of this going on – if you ever see an upturned pineapple sign hanging on a cabin door, this means someone inside is ready to swing – for the most part, cruising isn’t about sex.

‘The lifestyle’ as it’s called in swinger circles, is catered for in various settings, including adult parties and clubs, but for anyone looking for some sexy fun on a cruise, there are dedicated cruises you can take that offer a safe, non-judgmental space for adults to explore their fantasies.

Along with the assumption that cruises are full of people swapping partners all day long anyway, there are also some myths about swingers cruises and some facts you probably didn’t know.

We take a look at the fact vs fiction of swingers cruises.

You don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time

You can go on a swingers cruise and not engage in any sexual activity at all, if that’s what you want.

Many people go on adult-only cruises because they like the atmosphere of no judgment, and some simply like to dress up in kinky outfits and have no one bat an eyelid. Not everyone is there to get busy.

It’s an older crowd

We’re not saying everyone who goes on a swingers cruise is older, but you might be surprised by the age demographic.

Alex Douglas, The Naked Narrator, told us about his experiences on an adults-only cruise. “You imagine it’s going to be full of hot people or at least young people or around my age of mid-30s, but it’s mainly couples in their 40s and 50s.”

This could simply be down to finances. As Alex commented: “It was expensive and most people seemed rather rich.”

Hopefully, the older we get the more disposable income we have, so this could be why you find more older people on these cruises. It could also be because the older we get the fewer inhibitions we have; we develop more of a ‘what the hell’ attitude to life and are more likely to do things we wouldn’t have dared to when we were younger.

This isn’t to say hot people, who can be older by the way, and young people, don’t go on these cruises. They do.

It’s ok to say no

As Alex mentioned, you might not be attracted to many of the people on the cruise, for various reasons, in which case you can politely say no to any advances made to you and no one will be offended.

If you don’t want to indulge in any swinging, there are plenty of other things to do. “The good thing about it was it was all very civil and there were quite a few fun things to do like pottery making and massage,” Alex said.

“There was a fair bit of role-play with other people, which was fun too. You chose partners to massage and there was a game where you were being chased by other people. This game was called ‘the hunter and the hunted’. You sat in a circle and the facilitator gave instructions.”

There’s a time and a place

You might be imagining that a swingers cruise is just one big sex fest, but it’s a lot more restrained than that. It differs from cruise to cruise, but most don’t allow sex on deck, or in any of the public areas.

There are designated ‘play rooms’ where guests can explore each other and, of course, what you do in your cabin is up to you.

With shore excursions and activities during the day, most people aren’t looking for fun till later on, as Alex explained, “During the day, it was more about socialising in bars and going on excursions. We visited some lovely cities. Everyone got more sexually charged as the day went on.”

Swingers can be shy

If you think all swingers are constantly putting themselves out there, brimming with confidence and self-love, you might be surprised to find out that swingers can be as shy as anyone else.

It’s not always easy to offer up your body or ask to enjoy someone else’s, even if you’re walking around naked all day. For this reason, the last night on an adults-only cruise is known as the ‘now or never night’.

For anyone who’s been hesitant and hasn’t indulged, this is the last chance on the cruise, and it can end up being a pretty busy one. While no one is pushed to do anything and no one feels obliged, for anyone who wants to but hasn’t found the courage, this can be the nudge they need.

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Published 03.07.23