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Naked Attraction: Crass, cringe and crude?

If Naked Attraction started off as an experimental, modern idea, all it has turned into is a cringe, crass and ultimately British interpretation of sex and body-positivity, argues Lucy Sweet.

Guess what? There’s a new series of Naked Attraction! No spoilers, but it’s got baggy naked people on it. One clothed person examines their baggy nakedness in forensic detail, before choosing their favourite. Then they take their clothes off and everyone stands around awkwardly like actual spare pricks at a wedding, before putting clothes on and going on a doomed date to a mid-budget hotel restaurant. After that, we can only presume everyone goes home to eternal derision from friends, family and colleagues who now know every single contour of their genitalia.

Naked Attraction is gross. Not the bodies, I hasten to add. They’re the best thing about it (although why everyone is so brutally shaved that their not-so-private parts resemble newborn Shar-Pei puppies is anyone’s guess). No, there’s actually something quite soothing about the parade of little willies and baggy norks. The familiarity of a cellulite-speckled thigh under a spotlight, the comic vulnerability of wrinkled testicles, the impressive curve of a big belly – that’s all fine. In fact, bring it on. I’m sick of looking at the beautiful people. I WANT to see sales assistant Debbie from Watford who has a vajazzle and a Live, Laugh, Love tattoo on her inner thigh.

It takes all the alluring and interesting things about desire and leaves nothing to the imagination

It’s the rest of it that makes you want to dig an underground bunker in which to cringe yourself to death. I’m sure it started out in more experimental, Channel 4/Sex Box kind of way, but now it’s just grim. Presenter Anna Richardson oversees the nakedness like an enlightened Widow Twankey, pretending that it’s all about inclusivity and diversity and sex education when really it’s about crass jokes and funny-looking knobs. This series revealed more than anyone wanted to see of the oldest contestant yet, 75-year-old widow Ian from Yorkshire. He covered up the fact that he was the most boring man in the world by being a part-time nudist with a large and clunky Prince Albert piercing. ‘Ooh, that’ll bring a tear to your eye and put a lump in your throat,” said one of the contestants, while the ghost of Kenneth Williams cackled from the rafters.

Naked Attraction is everything that’s wrong with the nation’s stilted, sniggering attitude to sex. It takes all the alluring and interesting things about desire and leaves nothing to the imagination, until all you’re left with is a ballbag under a florescent strip light. Even the UK’s most shameless exhibitionists are in a terminal state of double entrendre-ridden denial about it. It’s all anything but sexy. It’s just horribly, grotesquely, depressingly British. Like a large, pendulous, inflatable Ann Summers willy floating on the canal. Like a depressed off-duty male stripper smoking a fag next to a fire escape. Like a soggy, torn page of Big Jugs Monthly in an underpass. I only wish I could take my eyes off it.

Naked Attraction is on All 4
@lucytweet1

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