LONDON — “She absolutely loved your bouncy balls, but on this occasion it’s a ‘No.’”
There are probably worse ways to be ditched, but this dumping took place in front of millions of British TV viewers.
The balls in question—yes, those kind of balls—belonged to a trainee zookeeper from Liverpool. Maxwell, 24, was appearing on the first episode of Naked Attraction, an extraordinary new show that had Britain reaching for the fainting couch on Monday night.
It’s Blind Date in the buff, Blind Date in a brothel, or Blind Date with knobs on, depending on which horrified review you consult.
The concept is familiar enough: A contestant chooses who to date from a panel of six eligible singletons. The twist is that this clutch of potential soul mates has to be whittled down during a slow reveal of their entirely naked bodies.
The doors on the six booths do not slide in the direction you might expect.
The first things we saw were 12 feet. During round one, the doors continued to rise until our heroine, Aina, was looking at six swinging appendages.
The voiceover boomed: These dates “start where a good date often ends—naked.”
About 50 percent of the screen time on this show is dedicated to extreme close-ups of vaginas, penises, six-packs, love-handles, nipples, boobs and butts. The camera seems to linger on every hair, pimple and stretch mark, as well as the curves and protrusions.
Aina made appreciative noises about each of the penises arrayed before her, examining them like prime fillets at the butcher’s counter. Her interest was first piqued by a man whose over-sized organ was framed by a tattoo of an elephant’s eyes and ears. The trunk was already taken care of. “Nice willy,” said Aina in a matter-of-fact tone.
His gleaming prosthetic leg barely warranted a mention.
Next the men’s torsos were revealed. Abs here, pecs there, and a few beer bellies to make up the numbers. Statistically, women prefer “dad-bods” to “gym bodies” we were told. Aina didn’t necessarily agree, and more dead weight was cast aside.
Once the penis girths, the butt hair, and nipple sizes had been thoroughly examined we finally saw the embarrassed faces that were attached to these slabs of meat.
The two men left standing were now invited to compare their own bodies. Rob, who was considerably shorter, plumper and less well-endowed than the man towering above him admitted the obvious.
“I probably would like to have his penis,” he said. “Not literally!” he added, as the nation tittered along at home.
Before she was allowed to pick her mate, it was Aina’s turn to strip.
“Are you a fan of the fuller bush?” The presenter asked the two finalists. They nodded, looked down at Aina’s garden and smirked—realizing, in a sudden moment of clarity, how surreal this whole enterprise had become.
Judging by the social media frenzy, many of the viewers had the same realization much earlier in the evening.
“Naked Attraction may be the most objectionable programme I’ve ever seen,” said Algie Mitchell.
The newspaper reviewers agreed. “Anyone who doubts the poisonous influence of internet porn has only to watch five minutes of Naked Attraction to see the damage done. For an entire generation, constant exposure to clinical sexual footage has ripped the soul out of erotic love,” harrumphed The Daily Mail.
“This was desperately sad, depressing television. God knows Channel Four has broadcast some trash over the years, but this was a new low.”
The Arts Desk compared it unfavorably to previous outrage vehicle Sex Box, a show first broadcast on the same channel in which members of the public had sex in a box right on stage before emerging to describe it all in intimate detail. “As if that wasn’t barrel-scrapingly un-British enough, here for your viewing pleasure is Naked Attraction,” they said.
Around 20 viewers even lodged formal complaints with the television watchdog.
For all the hyper-ventilating, it’s hard to fathom the real problem here.
It’s surely true that the third date discovery of your new hook-up’s hidden wobbly bits is a make or break moment in any relationship.
If you don’t find your partner attractive without their chic outerwear you’re unlikely to last long together.
On the catch-up interview, Aina and her elephant man, Matty, seemed very happy together.
As the Arctic Monkeys suggested, a lot of us are looking for the same thing—so why be coy about it?
The only reason that you came So what you scared for? don’t you always do the same It’s what you there for
Channel Four tried to dress up their latest wheeze as some kind of biological or sociological experiment. “This is a light-hearted and appropriately scheduled series exploring some of the science behind attraction and if our primal instincts still shape our decisions when choosing a mate,” a spokesman said.
Perhaps. There was a lot of chat about all bodies being beautiful and people preferring different shapes and sizes but ultimately—on the first two run-throughs—it was the fat chick and the guy with the smallest cock who got turfed out first.
It’s not science, it’s not the end of days, but it’s quite good fun.
You can bet a lot of the people moaning on Facebook will be tuning in again next week.