Unpacking romance on the open seas.
The very concept of a cruise invites a surprising number of associations. For one, it may conjure your grandma and her bridge club, sporting complementary visors, relishing retirement over a card table. It might bring up a lingering resentment because your parents robbed you of the pure euphoria of attending a Disney-themed cruise. But beyond cruises geared pointedly towards children and senior citizens, another class of cruise does indeed exist, with a far spicier reputation.
For decades, cruises have also operated as nefarious hotbeds for hookups. They’ve been home to countless queer raves. And perhaps most famously, they’ve been central to the swingers' scene. But what is it about mammoth ships and all-you-can-eat buffets that makes them such notably horny places?
Well, there’s a lot to unpack. For one, a cruise ship is escapism at its most extreme. While aboard, not only have you removed yourself from the stipulations of home— you’ve removed yourself from landmasses writ large. You’re untethered—from the stressors of your day-to-day life, yes, but also from the inhibitions that might limit you sexually, or romantically. This very version of relinquishing one’s responsibilities, one’s reputation, and even familiar details of home, can make it far easier to lean into The Cruise Experience. To feel utterly free and experimental. And for this reason, sex-positive, thematically curated cruises are a dime a dozen. Beyond your classic swingers cruises, which have been a staple of the cruise industry for decades, 2022 invites a whole new roster of options: you’ll find nude cruises, cosplay-specific cruises, singles cruises, and even BDSM forward cruises.
Moreover, an idiom has never been so apt as “what happens on a cruise, stays on a cruise.” Due to the whole waterborne thing, you and your fellow cruise attendees are, by definition, in this together. This is a closed loop: You’re protectors of one another’s secrets and sexcapades. And the camaraderie therein can help make a cruise ship an excellent venue for experimentation. A safe space, if you will. And better yet, any and all hookups occur on the same boat. There’s no inconvenience or apprehension about “going home with someone” because technically…you share a home. Your cabin is right down the hall, awaiting you whenever you so choose to return to it. The whole affair is staged to make a casual hookup as seamless as possible.
Another primary benefit to the glorious cruise is the inherent all-inclusive feature. While some packages offer more illustrious furnishings than others, any cruise will offer a select roster of dining rooms in which one can..dine. Often, meals are buffet-style or include prix-fixe menus. Meals and drinks are charged to an illusive account. In short, you’re utterly free from the cumbersome responsibility of planning activities, commuting, researching restaurants, and making schedules. It’s hedonism, pure and simple. And when you’ve got more time to devote to pleasure…
Last but not least, it’s probably safe to assume that all cruise ships invite memories of Titanic—which is just about as romantic as it gets before the whole iceberg thing.