sun 27/09/2020

Naked Attraction, Channel 4 | reviews, news & interviews

Naked Attraction, Channel 4

Naked Attraction, Channel 4

New dating game in which contestants compete in their birthday suits

Bush tucker trial with a difference: Anna Richardson, presenter of 'Naked Attraction'

Remember Sex Box? Perhaps you were wisely watching paint dry that night instead. Sex Box was part of Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to making the nation’s toes curl in horror. It involved couples getting it eponymously on in the titular container, after which they emerged blinking into the studio lights to give a blow by blow account to Mariella Frostrup. As if that wasn’t barrel-scrapingly unBritish enough, here for your viewing pleasure is Naked Attraction.

Remember Sex Box? Perhaps you were wisely watching paint dry that night instead. Sex Box was part of Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to making the nation’s toes curl in horror. It involved couples getting it eponymously on in the titular container, after which they emerged blinking into the studio lights to give a blow by blow account to Mariella Frostrup. As if that wasn’t barrel-scrapingly unBritish enough, here for your viewing pleasure is Naked Attraction.

The premise is that physical attraction is a sine qua non of a romantic relationship, so why not begin at the beginning and create a dating game in which people get to pick the bodies they like? One can think of about a thousand reasons why not but anyway here goes. Anna Richardson was the compere who, being bisexual, professed herself ideally qualified for the job of assessing “the bits that boing and bounce”. Her task was to interview the guest as they pored over the body parts of six plucky narcissists standing inside coloured boxes (what is it with boxes?).

Screens on each box were raised in three stages, to reveal the lower half of the body, then the torso, finally the face. Thus Aina, a music producer, spent several minutes assessing the relative merits of half a dozen disembodied penises. She expressed a preference for girth over length, apparently in line with 82 percent of women. The men then displayed their rumps, whereafter Aina had to send her least favourite lower half home. For the record, if not necessarily for compilers of Trivial Pursuit questions, the unlucky midriff belonged to Mohamed, a computer science student from Newcastle.

Here men post cock pics not on Tinder but on national television, so that we can all see

Aina whittled her choice down to two, whereupon it was right and proper and grimly logical that she get her kecks off too. The blokes were asked if they were, and I quote, “a fan of a fuller bush”. Aina plumped for Rob, owner of one prosthetic lower leg and two large elephant ears tattooed either side of his genitals. They went on an awkward date and one thing led, it would seem, to another. “A gentleman never tells,” said Rob, who clearly has a very modern notion of what a gentleman does and doesn’t get up to.

Meanwhile, back in the studio, there was absolutely no way they were going to reverse the scenario and have a man inspect half a dozen naked women from the waist down. The compromise was Mal from Guildford, who is something in lingerie and massage. Mal is a woman who swings both ways but leans towards men “because there is an actual joystick to ride”. “What kind of vagina do you like?” enquired Richardson cheerfully as if asking how she likes her egg boiled. Mal was “pretty open to all sorts.” She had three of each to choose from. Having got naked herself, she eventually selected the larger of two women (“In women I do really prefer quite a hefty chest”).

This is boundary-pushing television in which the boundary is pushed in the direction of dating apps. Here men post cock pics not on Tinder but on a publicly owned national network, so that we can all see. Lucky us. Richardson gasped in amazement when the more well-endowed men were all sent home early. Even the one who visibly tumesced. The credits include a huge casting team, presumably required to hunt down enough needy exhibitionists to take part. Two of the men were Italian. But then they’ve being doing this sort of thing on Italian television since at least the 1980s. All seemed to think this was one in the eye for the body-shamers. The women in particular had had enough of Tinder. Imagine a scenario in which having your naked body picked apart on Channel 4 is deemed the surer bet for finding a date.

Cilla Black's grave is currently set to several hundred revolutions per second. One day Sex Box and Naked Attraction will merge and we’ll be invited to follow these couples into the bedroom. And then privacy will have entirely died. Meanwhile, have you, like Mal, got any disastrous pubic hair stories? Let's hope not because there didn’t seem to be a helpline.

@JasperRees

The men displayed their rumps, whereafter Aina had to send her least favourite lower half home

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