X-Rated Dating Show ‘Naked Attraction’ Delivers Endless Full-Frontal Nudity and More Cringe Than Tinder

Across sexualities and gender spectrums, any modern-day single who desires romance and companionship will likely agree that dating is a shit show. As we’ve become more connected as a society, the expectations around it are increasingly fractured. Adults, especially those living in large metropolises, typically have jampacked schedules, making it challenging to find time for those who aren’t already close friends, loved ones or colleagues. Moreover, people possess varied desires and expectations, which can make things increasingly uncomfortable when trying to find a match. While dating websites gloat about offering endless options, predators, misogynists and everyone in between often use those platforms to prey on unsuspecting victims. Finding love can be a terrifying endeavor.

Television has long been in the business of monetizing love. From “Love Island” to “Love Is Blind,” a new warped version of “The Dating Game” is always underway. Now, the British nude-based reality dating show “Naked Attraction” is available to stream in the U.S. Though the show launched in the U.K. in 2016, and is currently airing its seventh season, Max quietly slid the first six seasons onto its streaming platform without any promotion or even a trailer. The series isn’t even on the platform’s homepage. With a TV-MA rating, “Naked Attraction” is simultaneously unlike anything you’ve seen before and everything you already have. 

Each episode begins with a warning that reads, “The following series is intended only for mature audiences. It contains full frontal nudity, coarse language, and graphic discussions about the human body. Viewer discretion is advised.” From there, the dating show begins generically enough. Host Anna Richardson introduces viewers to a hopeful single looking for love. In what could have easily been a contestant’s intro on “The Great British Baking Show,” fans learn the basics, including the candidate’s name, age, occupation and most importantly, what they are looking for in a partner. 

Casting a wide net across the U.K., “Naked Attraction” showcases people from varied racial backgrounds, identities and sexual orientations. For better or worse, it’s a genuinely inclusive series. During the pilot, one contestant, while admiring a Black man’s torso and penis, declares, “I’ve never exactly had a guy of this race before.”

What’s strange about the show is not the nudity, but rather how it’s displayed. A contestant picks from six prospective dates. The six hopefuls stand on a sound stage in individual boxes highlighted with a different color. At first, their bottom halves, including genitals and butts, are revealed. One person is then eliminated. The divider on each of the remaining five singles’ boxes slides up further, revealing torsos, and then another single is asked to leave. Next, faces and voices are shown, and there is another round of eliminations until only two out of the six prospects are left. For the finale, the original constant strips bare in front of the final two prospects before they choose one person to date. If nudity is upsetting to you, “Naked Attraction” isn’t your show. However, for someone who isn’t offended or even overly moved by the sight of naked bodies, the series isn’t that interesting or controversial. After a time, all of the body parts blend together. 

Amid all of this voyeurism, Richardson asks contestants personal sexual questions and peppers at-home viewers with facts concerning everything from the anti-aging properties of moles to why joining the mile-high club can induce intense orgasms. These little sequences are illustrated with lively animation. “Naked Attraction” episodes typically run 45 minutes or less, and are split in half, with two contestants weeding through their six singles. Each episode ends with a date, and producers follow up two weeks or so later to see whether things have panned out between the couples. Spoiler alert: More often than not, they haven’t. 

Another bizarre aspect of “Naked Attraction” is that the series touts body positivity and acceptance. Yet, the show’s format leaves much to be desired. As the boxes slowly lift, showcasing the lower half of a single’s body, their discomfort is often demonstrated through fidgeting hands and feet. After being rejected, the unlucky singles are left to stumble off the stage nude, cast out because of the shape of their balls, the curve of their hips or the size of their nipples. While some people handle rejection with awkward civility and a hug, bruised egos lead to rude remarks like, “I didn’t really like her legs anyway.” To say it’s cringe would be an understatement. 

Body acceptance isn’t something that just magically happens. Standing nude in front of the world seems like a recipe for trauma. Therefore, speaking to a professional may be a better use of time for those who struggle. While I have no qualms about nudity in safe spaces, I wouldn’t want to constantly be assessing whether a family member or supervisor has already gotten a glimpse of me with my clothes off. Still, if folks consented to this, then by all means, we’re all about bodily autonomy around here. 

After watching a handful of episodes, nudity becomes just another component of “Naked Attraction’s” structure. It is barely interesting. The show’s producers likely realized this, because more recent seasons have included the new humiliation of props and cheaply made costumes for the unclothed prospects to use to entice contestants. Richardson remains quippy and upbeat throughout, but it’s clear that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with these antics. Physical appeal is only one aspect of connection; genuine chemistry and value alignment keep things sizzling beyond the bedroom. 

Of course, the parent groups have been in an uproar since “Naked Attraction’s” Max debut, though parental controls and limited screen time are widely accessible. While the show is absolutely not child-friendly programming, body parts are named plainly in the series, and the human anatomy and sex are spoken about without shame or reservation. Adults who are wrestling with sex positivity might find this type of normalization useful in their daily lives. Frankly, there are plenty of other television shows to be genuinely scandalized by. 

In the end, “Naked Attraction,” which appears to have a success rate even worse than “The Bachelor,” becomes as tiresome as swiping right. If you feel liberated by standing nude before a potential partner and the rest of the world, go for it. However, finding an actual love connection after getting the length and shape of your pubic hair examined under stage lights seems like a stretch.  

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