Dating, no holds barred | PostIndependent.com

Dating, no holds barred

April E. Clark
April in Glenwood
April Clark
Staff Photo |

After nearly four years since my last serious relationship, I figure dating couldn’t be any more challenging than it already is. Then I read about naked dating.

Did someone say game changer?

This week, VH1 continues the recent cable trend of nude reality TV with the new show, “Dating Naked,” premiering Thursday, July 16. Described on its website as a social and radical dating experiment, “Dating Naked” features single men and women getting down to their birthday suits to find true love.

Not since Adam and Eve has finding a soul mate been more revealing.

The immodest castaways have three clothes-free dates, on an island described as primitive, to make the magic happen. They go straight from being complete strangers to full disclosure.

And by full, I mean like the full monty.

The show’s promos prominently feature singles in the buff — with appropriate blurring — doing all the fun things people might do on a date. There’s nude Slip ’n Sliding, snorkeling, sailing, body painting, croquet, zip lining, horseback riding and bird watching.

The binoculars seem to really come in handy.

As the trio of dates end, couples can continue their romps with hometown dates, if they so desire. I probably wouldn’t advise doing the whole meet-the-parents naked. Unless mom and dad are nudists.

Or they like to soak in the Penny Hot Springs sans clothes.

The idea behind dating in the nude is that if single folks have already seen how potential mates look on the outside — more importantly, outside of pants — they can focus what’s on the inside. That makes sense to me, although I’m not sure I would be OK with the naked-on-TV part. Unless I’m looking for some quick laughs. Talk about pure comedy.

It worked for Will Ferrell in “Old School.”

“Dating Naked” and comedies such as “Old School” and the newly released “Sex Tape,” starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, aren’t the only mediums showing people au naturel. The Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” showcase a man and woman, who get down to their skivvies to survive in the wilderness for 21 days.

My advice is to stay clear of sticker bushes.

That is apparently the least of these naked wilderness buffs’ worries. In remote locations including Costa Rica, Panama, Tanzania and Borneo, “Naked and Afraid” survivalists have encountered potentially deadly threats without much, um, coverage. They’ve been exposed to dangers in the wild including venomous snake bites, starvation, dehydration, sickness, alligators and severe weather. And they face what I can only imagine as one of the worst possible scenarios while naked in the wilderness, skin-scorching sunburns.

Ouch.

The premise to “Naked and Afraid” isn’t based on finding true love. Although if I could think of any way to start a healthy relationship on the right footing, it might just be surviving in the wild for 21 days without clothes. Talk about for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

I might add “in pants or no pants” to those traditional wedding vows.

Maybe this trend in nude programming is the next generation’s way of telling us 40-and-over-somethings that being naked is how nature intended us. And that we all need to lighten up, be less narcissistic, and to get over ourselves.

I’m going to need a lot more persuading.

Maybe my generation, raised in the shadows of MTV and material girls, put too much emphasis on $100 Jordache jeans and pink Izod shirts with the collars popped in our pre-teen years to see beyond the materialism. Stylists, and the Kardashians, would probably disagree, but clothes don’t necessarily make a person. They do make a person look hot. Or not. The way we treat others says much more about us than a $1,500 Louis Vuitton handbag, a $600 pair of Oliver Peoples aviator sunglasses, or a $300 pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans.

Not that I could afford that stuff anyway.

Dating while naked takes all those factors that might attract people to each other, like flashy pants and purses, and leaves singles to truly bare their souls. There’s no room to hide. There’s an old English proverb that says the eyes are the windows to the soul. I would need to make a whole lot of eye contact to make it through the first naked date. I actually blush extremely easily — believe it or not — so I would need to focus on personality and sense of humor, first and foremost.

Pants would need to come later.

— April E. Clark wonders how long she would last without clothes in the wild. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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