When Jackass first aired on MTV, and in the years that followed, I became something of an expert in the ways of Spring Break. When my good friend William Schnell was designing The Official Guide to Spring Break, I offered to share some of what I learned. Considering that I am a clean and sober individual today, it might seem quite inappropriate for me to offer advice about where to party and the potential pitfalls of promiscuous sex with high school students. The fact is though, that alcoholics and addicts of all types most often need to hit some kind of “rock bottom” in order to get better and, without alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever else they may be addicted to, it would be impossible for that to happen. Perhaps I’m writing this to help these people find the shortest distance between themselves and their bottom, perhaps I’m reminiscing about the “good old days”, probably a little bit of both.
The Spring Break location where I spent the most time was Cancun. When I was first asked to go there my initial reaction was, “Why would anyone want to go to Mexico?” I was instantly reminded of horror stories that I’d heard about Americans being arrested or kidnapped, and understood that Mexican cops were so shady that both terms meant the same thing. As it turned out, I don’t think I was terribly mistaken. I got detained by cops and security guards in Cancun more than a few times for various reasons, but each time I felt much more like I was being mugged than arrested. I would be told to hand over money, and never all that much of it, and then let go once I did.
To be honest, I felt like I was being mugged quite often when I was in Cancun. No matter what hotel you stay at while on Spring Break, they require you to wear certain wristbands to enter it. This means that if you meet a new friend out at a club that you feel like bringing back to your hotel to have sex, the security at the hotel will charge your friend a fairly substantial fee for said wristband. If you want to have sex with half as many people as I always did when I was in Cancun, that will get extremely frustrating really quick. To be fair, though, everything is so cheap down there, by the time you get done being mugged by cops and security guards all over the place, you probably haven’t spent much more money than you would if you stayed in the States.
The most obvious reason to go to Mexico for Spring Break is that you don’t have to be 21 to legally drink alcohol. To be honest, I’m not even sure if they have a drinking age there. You can get as loaded as you want at any age. I didn’t spend nearly as much time in Acapulco as I did in Cancun, but I can say that it wasn’t a whole lot different.
In America you have a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into, but there are subtle perks that come with different locations. Although it’s not really known as a Spring Break hotspot, I believe Las Vegas does have friendly age of consent laws. As I understand, it’s perfectly legal to have sex with anyone who is sixteen years of age or older. I’m old enough now that just writing that makes me feel creepier than creepy, but I don’t think this would be a thorough review of Spring Break locations without that information. The age of consent in Florida is seventeen, which is good to know when making friends in Miami, Daytona, and Panama City. I have to say, even though I was pretty thoroughly banned from the whole location (or perhaps because of that fact) I think I enjoyed Panama City the most of all the Spring Break spots Florida has to offer.
I think Jamaica is pretty “hit or miss”. I didn’t spend enough time there on Spring Break to really form an opinion, at least not one that helped improve my feelings about the place after going there every week for almost six months back when I was a professional clown on cruise ships. I hate to sound overly negative, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone I really care about to vacation in Jamaica. I find that place scary and, coming from me, I think that says something. Spring Break is an American tradition that is about as healthy and morally sound as bachelor parties, where men routinely have sex with strippers just days before getting married. In my opinion, it’s got bad news written all over it (which is, of course, why I always loved it so much). I’m not about to tell anyone not to party their asses off or have plenty of promiscuous sex while on Spring Break, I just want everyone to remember to play safe. Have a great time!