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Sexual wellness is part of the travel industry's growing wellness sector.
CNN  — 

Some people travel to relax. Others travel to see new places and explore the world. It turns out a growing number of travelers also are hitting the road to get more comfortable with their existence as sexual beings.

Put differently, more and more people are traveling to get better at sex.

Industry insiders are referring to this new trend as “sexual wellness,” and they say it’s resonating with open-minded travelers in a big way.

Several hotels and resorts across the country have launched promotions and packages to cater to this sexually motivated group of travelers. Internationally, independent travel companies also have launched special getaway programs designed to help travelers reconnect to their sexual selves.

Last year, the Global Wellness Institute predicted that global wellness tourism would become a $1.4 trillion industry by 2027. And sexual wellness programs have been gaining traction.

Conde Nast Traveler included sexual wellness as one of its top travel trends for 2024.

Suzannah Weiss, a sex educator and author of the forthcoming book “Subjectified: Becoming a Sexual Subject,” said travelers increasingly are looking for these types of trips to resolve tension and dissatisfaction in their sex lives. She said many people are stressed about work or parenting and fall into ruts during which they’re not connecting with each other at the same level of intimacy as they have previously.

Making time and space to reconnect can pay huge dividends, she noted.

“A lot of couples struggle in their sex lives because their nervous systems are in fight or flight due to the demands of work and parenting,” said Weiss, who also is a sexologist at BedBible.com. “Vacation is a great way to sexually reconnect.”

Optimizing intimacy

One of the most robust sexual wellness programs today is at Miraval Arizona, an exclusive resort and spa outside Tucson.

Here, sexuality educator Lyndi Rivers teaches three different programs geared toward sexual wellness — two for men and women and one for women only. The newest class, titled “Optimize Your Sex Life,” is designed to help participants learn what motivates their partners regarding sex.

Rivers said the class facilitates communication and gives “students” skills they can practice while at the hotel and in their bedrooms at home.

The other co-ed class teaches participants how to get better at connecting with themselves, while the women-only class delves into specifics about how the female body processes spontaneous and responsive desire. All group classes are $125 per person.

Ken Hayden/Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Luxury resort Miraval Arizona has three programs aimed at sexual wellness.

“My focus is about giving the tools and information [people] need to understand themselves better and [develop] a curiosity to create the sex life and love life they desire,” Rivers said. “Everyone’s definition of what a good sex life looks like is going to be a little different, and I really try to accommodate this.”

Rivers also offers individual coaching and counseling sessions upon request.

Sexual wellness is one of the options on the menu at the new SHA Mexico, an all-inclusive luxury resort and clinic with 35 residences and 100 rooms that opened in late January in Costa Mujeres.

As part of a basic stay, guests receive comprehensive evaluations of physical, emotional and mental health. They then choose between four personalized health programs based on evaluation results.

Those who wish to enhance sexual wellness can book additional (and a la carte) medical treatments from a variety of options such as shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction in men and physiotherapy sessions that help strengthen pelvic floor muscles for women.

These procedures are administered by a branch of the clinic known as the “Sexual Well-being Unit,” according to Clinical Director Jair Olivares.

Olivares said sexual health is a big part of overall wellness.

“Sexual health evolves with age, but with a holistic medical approach, these changes can be realistically managed to enhance sexual satisfaction and fulfillment, thereby integrating wellness into the entirety of our guests’ lives,” Olivares said.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
Miraval Arizona in Tucson is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert and the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Other choices

Depending on what a couple wants, there are a host of other sexual wellness treatments and getaways available.

IntimacyMoons, an outfit created by sex therapist Marissa Nelson, offers private retreats for business executives and their partners. A retreat at the Conrad hotel in Washington, D.C., includes one hour of pre-retreat consultation, six hours of workshops and two post-retreat sessions. (Private retreats can also be arranged in Martha’s Vineyard, Miami, The Bahamas or Barbados.)

Internationally, there are other specialized sexual wellness options.

Retreats from Back to the Body, an independent travel company, emphasize bodywork sessions with intimacy coaches to identify desire and overcome shame. Sex Club, another operator, offers workshops in London and Berlin that skew racier, with specific exercises in exploring new approaches to touching, pleasure and more.

Several hotels are exploring other aspects of wellness that can impact sexual connections.

One example: The Longfellow Hotel in Portland, Maine. The 48-room property is slated to open in May, and it is building a program around packages and spa products for women that exclusively address female health concerns such as menopause and PMS.

Spa Director Melissa DeLois said the hotel will offer a treatment that incorporates massage and guided breath work that’s designed to help women in menopause.

“Nobody really teaches us about menopause; the only thing[s] I knew about it was that you get hot flashes, and you lose your period,” said DeLois. “We’re just trying to make the subject as accessible as possible and talk about it a lot. We want to make sure it’s not a taboo.”

Doing the work

Not every resort has had success with sexual wellness programs.

The Hotel Wailea, for instance, an adults-only Relais & Chateaux luxury resort on Maui, offered a sexual wellness package earlier this year and discontinued it after a few weeks. This particular program was called the “Intimate Connections Tantra Experience,” and included a 90-minute private session led by a Tantra practitioner.

According to the program description, the session included gentle breathing exercises, synchronized movements and shared breathing exercises — all designed to create a sacred space for vulnerability, trust and emotional exploration.

Representatives from the hotel declined to comment about the change.

Weiss, the sex educator, added that other properties have struggled with sexual wellness promotions that incorporate nothing more than a high-priced room and a bag of sex toys.

“Sometimes it’s all about marketing,” she said. “Sometimes it can be a gimmick.”

Because sexual wellness programs can change unexpectedly, and the subject material is so sensitive, sometimes it can be difficult to find detailed information about the offerings online.

According to Weiss, the best way to evaluate the programs is to contact properties directly and ask for a complete rundown of what’s included. Often this means reaching out to the spa if the front desk doesn’t have comprehensive details.

Weiss added that once travelers have booked a sexual wellness trip, it’s important to go with zero inhibitions and a willingness to do the work.

“You can go to a fantastic resort with a wonderful sex package, but if you are not open to connecting with your partner [or yourself], you’re not going to get a lot out of it,” she said. “Be open to doing [new] things. Think about new activities that you can do together. Listen. That … will lead to a vacation you’ll remember.”