Online dating can be a minefield. You look at people’s photos, at the clothes they wear, the cars they drive and you make snap judgements about whether or not you want to get to know them.
But what happens when you strip all of that “stuff” away?
Cue ‘Naked Attraction’ on Channel 4 – it’s like Blind Date but with a twist, you’re butt-naked and people are judging whether they want to date you solely on your body (and voice).
“Getting naked to find a date is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever signed myself up to do,” says one of the show’s contestants in the first episode.
“But you’re single, you do want to find someone, so why not?”
Presenter Anna Richardson explains that the idea behind the show is that the dates “start where most dates end”. In other words, naked.
“Modern dating has become a really complicated thing,” she said. “Most people are dating online, and of course when you are armed with enhanced photos and all your status symbols, and you’re able to hide behind the hair, the make-up, the clothes and everything else, you don’t really know what you’re getting until you actually meet that person on a date.
“Nine times out of 10, people are saying to me, when you actually meet up with that person, they’re nothing like their profile picture and they’re nothing like the person they’ve made out that they are.”
The programme sets out to discover whether people make better, more informed decisions if they are stripped of all of these social norms and crutches.
“Evolutionary scientists say that back in the day we would have picked someone based on primal instinct,” explained Richardson. “So that’s what we’re trying in the 21st Century.
“I see it as a very positive, body-affirming and life-affirming show.”
In the series contestants are faced with six potential suitors who are all naked and hidden behind panels.
Each contestant has to whittle down six potential suitors to just one, based on the snippets of body parts that they are shown. And yes, they certainly don’t hold back on the nudity front.
The show acts as a refreshing reminder that people don’t always go for the “obvious” choices, such as people with athletic figures or shaved parts.
“You think every girl will go with the guy with the biggest willy and the Adonis body, but no, they didn’t,” said Richardson.
“And nor did the guys go with the girl with the fake boobs and the perfect body. It just goes to show that we’re all unique in what we find physically attractive.”
It’s also nice to see that not one negative comment is uttered throughout. Everyone is thoroughly appreciative and respectful of one another’s naked bodies regardless of size, shape and even, in some cases, missing limbs.
“What’s been a real revelation to me doing this show is how kind and supportive every single person was that took part,” said Richardson.
“Nobody ever passed a negative comment, and I think we could all learn from that in this day and age. We’re all vulnerable underneath it all, and it’s not nice to point the finger and laugh.
“It was a hugely uplifting experience.”
‘Naked Attraction’ airs every Monday on Channel 4 from 25 July, at 10pm.